Living to please God, influence men – Part – 2
The truth that “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” is the reason everyone must open up to Him in penitence and obtain forgiveness and transformation of life, while on earth. God sees and knows everything; He wants us to live a perfect, holy and righteous lifestyle, and to ensure that what matters to us is what He knows about us. Or, “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him, saith the LORD…” (Jeremiah 23:24).
After Absalom’s gruesome murder of his half-brother, Amnon, he fled to Syria for fear of the death penalty stipulated in the Old Testament for intentional murder. While in exile, Joab connived with a worldly-wise woman to convince David to bring Absalom back. She flattered David by calling him “an angel of God” and thus obtained his consent for Absalom’s return. David’s weakness and inability to say ‘no’ to any request from any attractive woman, who can flatter, is similar to some believers,’ who cannot reject any request or offer from the opposite gender, the wealthy, businessmen or the learned. At home or in ministry, we must make it a principle of life not to say ‘yes,’ when we ought to say ‘no,’ so that our lives will be upright, perfect and holy in God’s sight.
The Lord seeks to transform us from being weaklings to conquerors. Through the wise woman’s appeal, Absalom returned, reconciled with the king, hatched a conspiracy and overthrew his father from the throne. Truly, “A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet” (Proverbs 29:5). Having flattered and led David into trouble, the wise woman disappeared into thin air. People, whose personality and wrong counsel we find irresistible can destroy and displace us from God’s purpose for our lives.
Thus, we must learn to be slow in taking decisions; and such decisions must not be based on sentiments or emotions, but on the word and wisdom of God.
Weakened by flattery, David could not uphold and enforce God’s law on death penalty for Absalom and he paid dearly for it. We must learn to firmly reject any offer or request from men, women, moneybags, businessmen or relations, who flatter us to disobey God’s word.
Mephibosheth, the lame son of Jonathan was granted great privileges, among which is to eat at the royal table with King David. Dethroned due to Absalom’s conspiracy, king David expected appreciation and reciprocal love from Mephibosheth without knowing that he was nursing a secret ambition. His real hidden motive, reported by Ziba, was: “…he said, Today shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father” (2 Samuel 16:3). He felt nemesis had caught up with David, who occupied the throne he should have inherited. He never thought David would recover and be reinstated. His coming to see David, who returned to the warm embrace of all Israel after the death of Absalom, was for fear of losing the privileges he hitherto enjoyed.
While being chided for his ungrateful attitude, he evaded the truth and resorted to flattering David by calling him “an angel of God”. People flatter others with the aim of shifting their attention from the truth. Thus, we should do good for Christ’s sake, without expecting compensation from beneficiaries and care not to be called angels, but possess angelic attributes. Like angels, we should be: one, obedient to God and His word; two, clean and pure in lifestyle; three, holy and righteous; four, fervent, zealous, and passionate for God; five, Christ-like in character; six, irresistible in God’s glory; and seven, shining, not fallen, stars.
We must thus forsake the flattery of men, set our hearts on God and seek Him for grace to live as emblems and symbols of holiness in our generation for His glory.
Further Reading (King James Version): Genesis 17:1; Luke 1:74,75; 1 Corinthians 10:6; 1 Samuel 29:3,6,9; 27:8-12; Jeremiah 17:9,10; Matthew 23:25,26; Luke 16:15; Psalms 44:21; 90:8,12; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Luke 8:17; Romans 2:16; Jeremiah 23:24; 2 Samuel 14:17-21,24,28-33; 15:1-14,16; Proverbs 29:5; 2:10,11,16,17; 26:28; 2 Samuel 19:25; 4:4; 9:3,6-11; 19:25-27; 16:1-3; Luke 6:35; Proverbs 19:17; Psalm 103:20; Zechariah 3:3-7; Matthew 25:31; Psalm 104:4; Galatians 4:14; Acts 6:10,15; Revelation 1:20; Luke 1:74,75; Genesis 17:1.
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