When God’s Hands are tied
“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.” Daniel 1:1-2 NKJV
When we see the phrase, the Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hand what comes to mind? ?
Before Daniel, Israel was one nation with David as King. David so loved God that the Holy Spirit gave a testimony about him in Acts 13:22, that he was “a man after God’s own heart”. Because of this love David had for God, God entered into a covenant with him that one of your sons will always occupy the throne of Judah. However, because of the foolishness of Rehoboam his grandson, the nation was divided into Israel in the North and Judah in the South. Israel’s kings came from all over the place. However, in remembrance of his covenant with David, Judah’s kings only came from the lineage of David
When we see the phrase, the Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hand what comes to mind? If you did not know better, you would have said Nebuchadnezzar was the descendant of David, while Jehoakim was one of the enemies of God. This is however not the case. Nebuchadnezzar was not the descendant of David: Jehoakim was. Unfortunately, Jehoakim was a king who had repeatedly disobeyed God, with consequences.
- Repeated disobedience to God will invariably lead to enmity with God
Eccl 10:8, He who breaks the edge the serpent will bite
Jehoakim was the descendent of David. He was supposed to inherit the covenant …but he had broken the hedge … repeatedly. He had repeatedly disobeyed God.
God is sovereign. God is long suffering. God is merciful. As such, it is possible to continue to sin and no judgement comes because of the mercy, sovereignty and long suffering nature of God. But we never can tell when it will be too much.
- God is always willing to give another chance, however Romans 6:1 asks a valid question, shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? And in response, Romans 6:2 simply states, God forbid!
One person may do something once and that is the last straw. Another may do it three times before it becomes the last straw. Ecclesiastes 8:11, Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
The kings of Judah had repeatedly disobeyed God. God had repeatedly sent prophets to warn them. They had continued in disobedience and the day of judgement finally came. This was the day of judgement. The king was taken captive. This king was not buried in his land, but was rather buried in a strange land. All because of disobedience.
In what way are we disobeying God?
Stealing. Something as simple as surfing the Internet in the office when we should be working … this is not right in the sight of God.
Unforgiveness: Matthew 6:12, is a very popular prayer we often repeat and states, Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me. Th question is “How complete is your forgiveness?”. Someone once said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die”. Holding a grudge against any one is like drinking poison … it will lead to slow death … a slow spiritual death… a slow decay in our relationship with God. Unforgiveness will lead to a slow calcification of the heart until the heart becomes so hard it becomes impenetrable by man or by God.
- Repeated disobedience will handicap God’s ability to help us out of tough situations
In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshapat another King of Judah went to war against 3 other kings much mightier than he. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God told him, You will not need to fight in this battle. Positions yourself. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed: tomorrow go against them, for the Lord is with you
Jehoshaphat was the grand father of Jehoakim. He feared God. He sought after God. He obeyed God. And God helped him.
The Dictionary defines an enemy as
– A person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
– Anything that wants to harm or weakens you
– Anything or anyone that is standing against us
God never expects us to fight the battles of life alone
There are too many enemies
– Bad health is an enemy
– Poverty is an enemy
– Sorrow is an enemy
– Pain is an enemy
When God is with you, He will fight your enemies, no matter how great they are!
Jehoakim was the great-grandson of Jehoshapat. He lived in disobedience to God, and as a result he ended up figting his enemies alone, and he lost!
In conclusion, obedience is not easy. It can be very hard, but walking with God, having God as your friend pays great dividends. Your obedience to God is a sign of your faith: a sign of your faith that this God is more than enough; that this God will make all things work out for your good!
The following are just some of the benefits of Obedience to God
- God will work for you
- God will fight with those who want to fight against you
- God will make your enemies turn their back to you and flee from you
- God will make your enemies live at peace with you. And those who refuse to be at peace with you will turn their back and flee from you
There is an old song we need to sing continually: “Trust and obey, Lord, there is no other way. To be happy in Jesus, just to trust and obey”
Dear Father, please forgive me for every unforgiveness in my heart. Please soften my heart and make it easy for me to live a life of complete obedience to You. These I pray, in Jesus name. Amen.
Other Sermons In This Series
September 23, 2018
August 26, 2018
September 09, 2018