"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

God Blesses Abundantly in Judgment

Image from The Longest Straw.
Many would raise the eyebrows at this. You're so blessed when God judges you. Did you know that? And the blessing is this---he judges you to spare you from bigger trouble. But it doesn't seem a blessing (especially if you don't understand God) because, first, he scolds you. Second, he corrects you. Third, he tells you the gloomy picture if you go on with your error. To the carnal person, this is NOT good.

And there you have a problem. Everybody hates judgment. If you're a pastor (in both the Old and New Testaments, God always used persons---his servants---to declare his judgement) and you preach against sin---and some people in church get offended---they'd say you're judgmental and they'd hate you for it. 

More so if you correct some church members personally and they happen to be prominent, untouchable people. They love this dialogue: "Don't be judgmental!" And today they follow this up with: "You don't know what I'm going through!"

It's the anti-judgement spirit or demon that first affected Ahab and Jezebel who hated Elijah for his judgments against their reign of terror, then on Herod and Herodias who wanted to murder John the baptizer for his judgments against their illicit affair.

How to be blessed with God's judgment. Click here.

But really, these judgments were delivered prophetically so they could repent and turn to God and be so blessed beyond their imagination. When will people finally realize this? God blesses abundantly in judgment if only they humbly listen and repent. The judgment they hate actually comes from God, not the servant who declares or releases it.

Jonah said God will destroy Nineveh in 40 days unless they repented. Imagine that judgment. Here was a nobody from Israel telling people in a super power country that they were all wrong and they were all wicked! God was angry at them. They believed Jonah. I wonder what would happen if Jonah is sent today to the church?

Nineveh repented and was spared from sure destruction. What a BIG, BIG blessing!

Here's an Interesting Aspect of It

Now, here's the really exciting part. If you listen wholeheartedly to God's judgment and repent, sometimes nothing happens. You expect somewhat to get rewarded for your obedience but life goes on as usual. If you've been an underdog for somebody, you go on being that. If you've been broke financially you go on being broke. Sometimes even more broke. So it doesn't make sense. 

While you see the wicked go on being prosperous and comfortable. They get more blessed. Money and favor continue to come to them without sweat. 

Now, don't get me wrong here. Truth is, in this situation, you're more blessed than the wicked and the wicked are actually condemned. Often, this is how God's judgment works. He kind of withholds blessings for the righteous and releases it gradually so it won't be so obvious to the wicked. Often, he wants it to look like the righteous receive nothing so that the wicked will revel in their wickedness. 

By this the hearts of men are revealed. Will you love God's judgment even if no reward seems forthcoming or will you just love it if it brings obvious blessings? Humans always go by their ego and flesh cravings, not by God's standards. When the wicked sees that the righteous do not seem rewarded, they go on more with their wickedness since they seem to get more blessed.

For instance, God has kept the rich man busy with his fortunes.
"He seldom reflects on the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart," (Ecc.5). 
Paul also said God gives chronic, hardened or incorrigible sinners "over to the sinful desires of their hearts" [Romans 1.24]. He just allows them to wallow in their sins unchecked, letting them like that until judgment suddenly catches up with them. And while they're at it, they look blessed because nothing wrong happens to them. They even get "blessed" and become rich. If they're pastors, their ministries may even grow more than yours.

I've seen wicked people enjoy riches way beyond their needs, thinking themselves blessed and favored by God, so they never search deeper into their hearts to see deep-seated wickedness there to repent from. They settle in their comfort zones, their religions (even born-again religion) and their church attendance and involvement.

When God sees that you are beyond repair and repentance (John says there is a sin that cannot be forgiven) he blinds you with comfort zones and so much material blessings to keep you so preoccupied, too busy with enjoyment to reflect on your spiritual life deeply and truthfully. He makes you feel too "blessed" to think seriously about repentance and a genuine holy life. Thus, the more the blessings in wickedness, the more you get comfy and confident with it, the more you cling. But the closer you get to danger when final judgment comes. 

If you are intimate with the Judge, you know how he works. You know how he judges things and how his value system operates. You'd know that his judgments are his love, and vice versa.

The righteous, on the other hand, receive meager supplies of blessings---although they are truly blessed and favored in God's eyes (remember the rich man and Lazarus?)---to appear unblessed to carnal people. In this way, the wicked are dissuaded from following the example of the righteous, because the wicked gauges everything in money terms. If you do not have a lot of money, you are not blessed, you are under judgment and you do not please God.

They say, if a church has little or no income, it is not blessed. And because rich churches are blessed financially and materially, then they must be doing the right thing. That is the blessing principle of the wicked, and that comfort zone mentality will lead them to a terrible final judgment. There is a way that seems right.

Get out of the worldly mindset and get God's mindset. Click here.

If you correct them, they first look at your lot in life. Are you financially well off? How much money is in your bank? How big is your house? Or how big is your ministry? How much do you make? If you have something to show, then you must be in the right track. They might listen. If not, they won't believe a thing you say. They may be "touched" or "blessed" by the message, but they won't buy it. 

The problem is when the righteous get confused with God's judgment. And sometimes it can get crazy, like in the case of Job when he seemed accursed (when in fact God delighted in him) and Jesus when he was crucified (when in fact God was "well pleased" with him). And look at how the Psalmist Asaph put it:
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
This righteous believer almost stumbled and quit when he saw the wicked so blessed.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
When you see people drowning in blessings so that they are blinded by their comfort zones, they have signed up themselves for their dismal final judgment.

But looked at how God blessed Job and Jesus in the end. And remember how the prodigal son got back his rich robe and sandals, ring and place in the family the moment he repented. He was judged but he was blessed when he heeded.

You are really powerfully blessed when you heed God's discipline, rebuke and judgment. These are all his love for us. And he always gives his judgments through his Word, and then through a man of God prophetically releasing it to us. God's intention, first and foremost, is to bless us abundantly.