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Misjudging God




I think we all know how hurtful it is to be misjudged by others.

And not only can it be hurtful, but it can have devastating results.

Turn with me to 2 Samuel 10:1-3 “It happened after this that the king of the people of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. Then David said, "I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the people of Ammon. And the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?”

Yes, David’s good intentions had been misconstrued as a ploy to overthrow their city.

And because of this evil surmise, they used his ambassadors despitefully; cutting off half their beards and half their clothes, and sending them back in disgrace.

That was their first mistake, and they were about to make another.

V6 “When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, the people of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand foot soldiers; and from the king of Maacah one thousand men, and from IshTob twelve thousand men.”

Wouldn’t it have made a lot more sense to simply apologize?

After all, they knew they were wrong.

But rather than admit their mistake, they fought two horrendous battles.

In fact, Israel killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 horsemen belonging to the Syrians they had enlisted before the Ammonites finally surrendered.

What a terrible price to pay for a foolish misunderstanding.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But what about God? 

Has He ever been misunderstood?

Well, we don’t have to go any further than Adam and Eve to answer that question.

Here was a couple who literally lived in the centre of God’s love.

There were no wild animals to worry about, no sickness or getting old to plague them, and their food was readily available.

All they had to do was reach up and pick it, but with one exception.

Genesis 2:16-17  “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

Now, there must have been a great variety of foods growing in the garden, so this prohibition shouldn’t have been a hardship.

And it wasn’t a hardship.

No, it was worse than a hardship, at least when Satan got through analyzing it.

According to him, not only was God holding out on them, but He was lying.

Don’t believe God---“You will not surely die. "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Now, I don’t think we should be surprised by such a story.

After all, Jesus called Satan­­ “a liar and the father of it.”

But under the circumstances, why would Eve believe this ridiculous story?

And she certainly believed it.

In fact, she was willing to stake her life on it.

No, she wasn’t trying to commit suicide; she had swallowed Satan’s lie, hook line and sinker!

She had misjudged Satan, and she had certainly misjudged her Heavenly Father.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And Israel misjudged God.

First of all, they denied His deliverance.

Their Heavenly Father had borne them on eagle’s wings, and brought them to Himself.

But it wasn’t long before they were worshipping a golden calf and shouting ----“This is your god, O Israel , that brought you out of the land of Egypt !”

And down through their history, they repeatedly denied His love, and failed to honour Him.

Finally, God had had enough.

Just before He signed off for 400 years, He faced them up with their denial.

Malachi 1:2 “I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?”

And then, dropping down to V6---“A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’ "You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.’ And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Nevertheless, when the fullness of time was come, God sent His only begotten Son to be their Messiah.

But once again, as they had misjudged the Father, so they misjudged the Son.

And after 3½ years of public ministry, John 12:37-38 records these tragic words---“But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yes, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

That’s the bad news.

The good news is---“as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

And praise God, we haven’t misjudged our Saviour.

Let us then, never misjudge our Shepherd, but follow Him obediently in the way.
















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