Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Lay Not This Sin to Their Charge


Today we take One further Step - -

Parents often step in when children are fighting, and even if their child is wrong, they will defend their darling.  God is like that.  God is not happy when others attack his kids, or mistreat them with words or actions.

Most of us at one time or the other have been wrongly or even rightly accused of being a mean hateful person.  As a Christian, we even fester and fuss before letting it go, and quoting to ourselves, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.” 

God has a way of causing; “What you sow is what you reap,” to accomplish his purpose.

After Cain murdered his brother, God cut him off from his family members, and sent him and his wife to the land of Nod to become a vagabond.  Cain remarked “my punishment is “more than I can bear and people will want to kill me.”  God said, “No because whosoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.”

God is Long suffering, patient and kind, but many times in the Bible, God simply got “ticked off” and rained fire and brimstone on those who sinned, such as the two cities Sodom and Gomorrah.  Other times in his anger against blatant sin, He opened up the earth and swallowed whole families even though they were of the Children of Israel.  

God puts up with a lot of foolishness and nonsense, but eventually He says, “Enough is enough” and He takes action.

In the New Testament, God struck Ananias and his wife Sapphira, dead because they lied to the Holy Ghost. 

There were other occasions when God was angry and ready to punish those who were disobedient to his will, or were harming one of his sons or daughters – but because there was an intercessor, his hand was stayed.

While Moses was in the glory cloud face to face with God and was receiving the commandments and the law, - The Children of Israel provoked God as they quickly turned to worship the golden calves that Aaron fashioned for them.  Exodus 32:7-10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou brought out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted them-selves.  They have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people:  Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them:

Moses spoke up and reminded God of his promises to Abraham, and said, “What would the surrounding nations say about a God who delivers and then wipes out his own children.”

Moses was begging God “Lay Not This Sin to Their Charge.”

Luke 23:34 Jesus was terribly mistreated by his own people, and as he was dying on the cross, He cried out to God; “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”  He was asking God, “Lay Not This Sin to Their Charge.”

Acts 7:  Steven was mightily used of God performing miracles that upset the Jewish leaders.  As he spoke about Moses and the prophets and acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God who was killed by them, but now was alive for He rose from the dead - - they clinched their teeth, and began to yell and stone him.  As Steven lay dying, he saw Jesus reaching out to receive him, and he cried with a loud voice, “Lord Lay Not This Sin to Their Charge.”

Today as we prepare to pray over our city, let us ask God to have mercy on those who are living contrary to God’s will.  Ask God to NOT send vengeance on those who have been deliberate in their sinning and turning their back on Jesus.  Can we pray: “Lay Not This Sin to Their Charge.”

Understand that each of us as Children of God, when persons come against you and trouble you that we are not to retaliate, or “pay back,” but to leave the vengeance to God.  Romans 12:19-20.

Often we find ourselves gloating and hoping that God will avenge us and “Get them good.”  We are happy to imagine how God will bring his wrath on them for hurting and offending us.

I would like us to take an unusual step that we normally do not take:  Instead of desiring those who persecute us to suffer the wrath of God and His vengeance; Might we consider asking God to NOT hold those persons accountable. 

Yes, we are considering those really awful persons who have given you trouble - - Those mean and vicious persons who have maliciously said unkind things to you, told lies about you and your loved ones, and perhaps make fun of your faith in Jesus.  Those persons who have stolen from you, abused you, harshly mistreated you; Those persons who showed you NO respect but wiped their feet on you.

Can we find it within ourselves (through God’s love and mercy that resides inside us) to pray, Lord, Lay Not their Sin against me - - to their charge?

I assume that in your heart you have already forgiven these persons or person who came against you. 

Are you willing to take the next step and intercede for them that trouble will not be their friend?  Because you are praying:  “Lord, Lay Not their Sin against me - - to their charge.



Karen said...

How must the soldiers at the foot of the cross felt, when they heard Jesus cry out, Father, forgive them!!

Betty Draper said...

Your words are a great reminder Hazel about the calling on our life about loving others. I have a person I am praying for in just the way you wrote about. Thanks for this post, it was helpful.