Not for our righteousness
Deuteronomy 9:4 -
Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
We as Christians are called to love even our enemies but when people do any harm to us or to someone concerned we cry unto the Lord asking for justice for it is written it is He Who will take justice. It is at these times we think He listens to our cry because we are good.
In today's message the Lord wants to correct us; the reason He punishes our enemies not because we are righteous, meaning because we follow His commandments and do according His will.
As we grow in more understanding of scripture we realize before what we knew as being perfect and things we did, was not exactly to what the Lord asked of us; so the question does not arise of us perfectly keeping His will. We only better the process according to our understanding of His will.
When God punishes people it is not because someone else is good but because those people whom He punishes are bad. We will understand this in Elijah's prayer to the Lord to stop the rain from falling. When Elijah prayed he did not say 'Lord, because I am a Man of God, You hear my prayer and stop the rain', nor did he say 'Lord, because I did all these things for You therefore You hear my prayer and stop the rain'. When he prayed he knew the Lord would stop the rain because they were sinning greatly against Him and therefore had no right to receive His mercy. In Deuteronomy the Lord committed a person who sins will lose his blessing and be under curse so Elijah took this promise of the Lord since the Lord is a righteous God who hates sin and keeps His promise.
The message to us does not only concern someone being punished, it is also concerning our attempts to buy our prayer request from the Lord by doing things. Many think by fasting we can buy our prayer request from the Lord. Fasting does not answer prayers, but by fasting our faith gets built and it's this faith that draws grace and it's this grace that answers prayers. Similarly repentance does not answer prayer but by repentance we come under the grace of God and it is this grace that answers prayers.
What the Lord is telling us today is that we cannot buy our prayer request or justice, it is only by the grace and righteousness of the Lord we can.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, there are times we foolishly though since we were good You heard our prayer. There were also times when we thought by doing things we could buy the answers to our prayers. We ask You Lord to forgive us for those times. Today You spoke to us that it by your grace and righteousness that we receive the answers to our prayers. We know Lord by faith tapping into your abundant grace, by your promises and by your righteousness we can always defeat the enemy and get the answer to our prayers...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.
4 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
1 Kings 16:30-43; 17:1-6
30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.
31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.
33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
17 And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.
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