Please allow me to put into perspective the delicate relationship between old and dear friends of a life time. In fact, let me give you a Bible principle that will help any one of God’s people to get along with their worst enemy.
Human relationships always reflect our relationship with our God. If you cannot forgive and move on with your life, then the real problem is with the relationship you have with God, not your enemy. (1 John 1) It merely rises to the surface for all to see because of a failure to grasp this truth.
In Joshua 1:2 the Scripture says, “Moses my servant is dead…” God said that! In the closing chapter of Deuteronomy in verse 10 it says, “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” It says in Deuteronomy 34:5, “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there…”
Hold it, why did God look at Moses’ death, which God Himself had caused because of Moses’ rebellion, and call Moses a “servant”? God Himself took the life of Moses before he wanted his life to be taken. Moses was never able to enter into the Promised Land. He saw it from Mount Nebo, but he, who had led the Israelites for 40 years, was never able to set foot in the Promised Land.
Why? Because of an awful sin he committed, a sin so awful that God took his life. Wait a minute! This is astounding, for as soon as God takes his life God Himself says, “Moses my servant is dead…” God killed Moses and then says in essence, “What a great guy!”
I have a question. Why didn’t God say, “Moses the hot head is dead.”? Why didn’t God say, “Moses the rebel is dead.”? Why didn’t God say, “Moses the disobedient one is dead.”? The truth is, Moses was a hot head, a rebel, and disobedient, for which God took his life. Yet, God said, “Moses my servant is dead…”
Why did God call Abraham his friend? When God speaks of Abraham he says, “…Abraham my friend.” How can God make such a statement about Abraham? Wasn’t Abraham the one who left the land of Canaan because of the famine and sojourned down into Egypt where he should not have gone? Did he not leave the will of God? Did he not hire the little Egyptian maid, Hagar, to be his servant while in Egypt? Did he not bring her back to Canaan? Did he not impregnate her and had an illegitimate child with her?
Is this the same Abraham of whom God said, “Abraham my friend.”? Yes it is! This is amazing to me. Listen to this, after Abraham’s life is over God says, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God.” How do you figure this?
Why did God say concerning David, “…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart.” Someone forgot to tell God that David was the one who stole Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. Someone forgot to tell God how David had Uriah killed to cover up his adultery. Yet, God looks back at the life of David and says, “…a man after mine own heart.”
Why did God say of Noah, “…a preacher of righteousness…”? Someone forgot to tell God that Noah got drunk after the flood. Didn’t God know that Noah took off all his clothes and was lying there naked after the flood?
Why did God say about Lot, the one who fathered illegitimate children from his own daughters, “…just Lot…vexed his righteous soul…”? I believe you would have to agree with me that this does not make any sense whatsoever. After fathering two illegitimate children by incest, God looks back and says Lot was just and his righteous soul was vexed.
Why did God put an ex-harlot, Rahab, into the hall of faith in the book of Hebrews 11? This is confusing to all of us. Certainly there is no doubt that God Himself placed her name in the hall of faith on purpose. This is no mistake with God. This is not an uh-oh with God.
Why did God call a deceiver, a liar, a crook, and a thief like Jacob, “prince of God…”? He stole from his own brother and lied to his own father. A “prince of God.”? This is confusing. This just does not make sense. If God keeps this up, His reputation and credibility will be hurt ,and if the internet ever gets a hold of this God’s name will be hurt.
Here is another one. Why did God allow Peter to preach on the day of Pentecost? It seems to me that the Bible college he graduated from should have demanded his degree be returned along with his ordination certificate. Maybe the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem should demand he return both?
Fifty days after he had denied the Lord, denied the faith, and denied his church, he preached on a big day. Why did God allow this one who had cursed and swore just 50 days earlier to organize and preach on the day of Pentecost? Certainly this does not line up with the modern day excommunication policies for local churches. The church disciple by-laws are being violated. This doesn’t seem to be in tune with keeping the church pure and holy.
Why did God allow John Mark, the quitter, the man who turned back on the first missionary journey with the Apostle Paul, to pen the second book of the New Testament? A quitter was allowed to be the human author of the second book of the New Testament? Something must be wrong with this. Is this a scandal on God?
Here is one that tops them all in my book. Why did God call Solomon the wisest man in the whole world? Dear reader, he had 700 wives and that is not wise. He had 300 substitutes in case one of his wives called in sick and that certainly was not wise. Yet, God looked back at Solomon’s life and said he was the wisest man in the world.
THIS IS CONFUSING?????
How can all of these cases be true? What was God thinking? Maybe this is what God did. Could it be that He looked at each individual’s life and averaged it out? Did God take one day of their life and grade it? Did He then take the next day and grade it?
Did God, at the end of their lives, average out their days and then come to the conclusion that on an average Moses was a “servant,” David was a “…a man after mine own heart,” Noah was a “preacher of righteousness,” Lot had a “just” and “righteous soul,” and Solomon was a “wise” man?
God is not saying that Moses never did anything wrong. God is saying the average came out to be such that God called him “my servant.” God is saying the same thing about Abraham. God is saying that He averaged out Abraham’s life, and his average was defined in the word, “friend.”
God summarizes Moses’ life by taking into account the bad and good days and gave him the average grade of “my servant.” God did the same with all of the above people mentioned.
WE USE AVERAGES TO DEFINE SUCCESS IN LIFE?
Sammy Sosa led the major leagues in strikeouts the same year he broke all of his home run records. Babe Ruth did the same thing in his baseball days. Michael Jordan in his prime missed half of his shots. So, if Babe Ruth can fail 60% of the time he went to the plate, doesn’t it seem feasible to average out life when it comes to others before summing up our opinions about them?
The professional baseball player who will lead his league in hitting will be the one with the highest average. The Valedictorian will be the one with the highest average. Isn’t this a wonderful thought? Think about it. God will not judge any of His people by bad days, or by high days; He will judge all of the days and give an average.
Let us consider all of the good things people have done and average it ALL out. A pastor is never happy when someone leaves their church; however, I refuse to be a part of this crowd that says, “What have you done for me lately?” How about changing the motto to “What have you done for me formerly?” Averaging it out will cause you to keep a right spirit about those who forsake you and to keep a right spirit about those who are currently involved in your life.
Dr. Bob Gray Sr.