No Disaster Shall Come On Upon Us
“Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the LORD and say, ‘Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.’”
Here is the road to deception and confusion—when we are “trusting in God” and yet walking contrary to His commands, believing we are either safe in living contrary to Him or even believing that God supports us living in rebellion against His commands. How common this disease is even within the church, and how greatly it leaves people confounded when God does bring disaster upon them to rebuke them.
The LORD will never be a God of sin, but only a God of holiness. And while we have an ocean of grace to repent and to walk towards righteousness, we do not have one drop to permit sin. God’s grace is for holiness, never to permit us to live within our sin.
But how common is it for us today to say these same words in our hearts, “Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.” These are the words of someone who imagines that trusting in God’s grace means presuming upon it. Their faith is framed upon what they want to be true, what they seek to permit. It is not framed upon the will of God and their submission to it, it is framed upon their own wills.
We excuse our actions and call them something other than sin, continue forward boldly and call it grace and freedom, and expect God to be our protection! But the truth is that God’s promises belong to those who fear Him, to those who repent at His Word and obey Him. (Ezekiel 18:21-24) As we trust in God’s promises we must equally be careful to obey His commands. While we trust in His grace at our failures we also must trust His very real warnings against our sins, and there continue walking in repentance and towards holiness (Prov 1:23-33). While we trust God’s promises for good to those who obey Him, we must also believe His promises of harm upon those who disobey Him (Ezra 8:22, Deut 28).
We presume upon the grace of God any time that we are walking in our own will, not just when we are in certain sins. We never think we’re presuming upon grace, but we are when we are walking in disobedience to God in our own wills. God’s kindness is always so that we might walk in repentance, not so that we might put repentance off for another day.
The Jews thought themselves safe to sin because of the covenant God had made with them. This is exactly what Jude 1:5-7 and Deuteronomy 29:18-21 warns us away from doing. We cannot bless ourselves as safe in the promises of God when we only seek to continue on in sin. And we must be careful as Christians to never imagine this. There is always a danger to those who seek to remain in sin. Scripture is quite clear on this point.
While we must depend upon Christ fully, trusting in Him to be kept by Him and to be safe in Him, we must understand the nature of our relationship to God. And it certainly is never a shelter for our sins, but a shelter to save us from our sins. It is great perversion to claim God’s grace for anything but what He has given it for: repentance, faith, holiness, submission, and obedience.
God is a shelter for all who seek refuge in Him, but part of our shelter in the Lord is our obedience to Him (Luke 6:46), and our fear of Him (Jer 32:40). If we do not seek to truly walk in this obedience to the Lord, then we are shameful to say we lean on the Lord, and God warns us that we have no such right.
The difference between trusting in the forgiveness of Christ and His righteousness and that of presuming upon God’s grace is defined by our obedience to Him “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
September 30, 2020