(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
When people know that they are out of favour with God, they usually try to go after those that have his favour and try to destroy them.
In the Bible, when CAIN realized he was out of favour with God due to the poor gift that he chose to offer him, he went after Abel to kill him because Abel’s gift was accepted by the Lord.
When ESAU made poor choices in life, like giving up his valuable birthright (spiritual blessing) for one meal (physical appeasement) and then marrying two ungodly Hittite women which brought grief to his parents, he was out of favour with God but did not think of the implications and repercussions of those poor choices when he engaged in them. He only seemingly realized fully that he was out of favour with God, when Jacob stole the blessing his father intended for him, thereby resigning him to a life outside of that special covering. When Esau realized he was out of favour with God, he plotted to kill Jacob, perhaps thinking that if he died, the blessing and favour would come back to him.
When SAUL was out of favour with God due to his own disobedience, he went after David who had God’s favour and tried repeatedly to kill him.
When SOLOMON disobeyed God and married many ungodly women and caused them to make him set up idols, he was outside the favour of God. He then tried to have Jeroboam killed because he realized that this man had the favour of God on his life and was designated by God to take ten tribes away from his kingdom during his son’s reign.
When a person knows that due to his or her behaviour, attitude, choices in life and disobedience to God, he or she is OUT of favour with him, this usually makes that person bitter, insecure and jealous of those who are IN favour with him. When he or she sees another walking in God’s blessings therefore, he or she often seeks to go after that person to destroy them, maybe not always with a physical object but also with venomous, malicious, violent words, calculated to hurt or to bring them down in the minds of others.
My question to you therefore, if you are guilty of similar action is this: WHY ARE YOU ATTACKING OR BADMOUTHING THAT SISTER? IS IT BECAUSE YOU ARE OUT OF FAVOUR WITH GOD?
Do you have God’s favour on your life? Are you being obedient? If you choose to be wayward and to disobey God, don’t get upset when he chooses to bless that sister or family member or work colleague. How we make our beds is how we will lie on it.
Let us look in more detail at the story surrounding the people I mentioned above and what the Bible said about their situations:
CAIN – Jealous of Abel’s favour
The Bible states in Genesis 4:3-8:
- “And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof, And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
ESAU – Jealous of Jacob’s favour
The Bible states in Genesis 25:29-34; 26:34-38, 41-42:
- “And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he swear unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright…
- And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah….
- And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. And he also had made savoury meet, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is the he that hath taken venison and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest and have blessed him? Yea, and he shall be blessed. And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? For he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and behold, now he hath taken away my blessing…And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept…And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.”
What happened here highlights the fact that many times, blessings are the impetus which often destroys some family relationships, whether it be blood family or Church family. This is because those who perceive that a family member has been blessed with something that they wanted, often develop bitterness, jealousy, envy and hatred towards that person because they want the blessing for themselves.
When they badmouth that person and try to bring him or her down subtly with their words, like Esau, they try to comfort themselves, when they know that they are outside the favour of the Lord, due to their own poor life choices.
This ought not to be but it often happens. The relationship between Esau and Jacob, although they were twins was now estranged because Jacob had the blessing and Esau didn’t. What Esau did not realize was that the day he placed no value on his birthright and gave it up to appease his flesh with food, he could no longer access the blessing that came with that birthright, although his Father tried to bestow it upon him.
A birthright, according to my understanding was a spiritual right that the firstborn child was entitled to, which included obtaining a father’s life blessing. In Hebrews 12:14-17, it states to Christians under the New Covenant in Jesus Christ:
- “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
Today, there are many sisters in the Church who chose to not keep themselves but went out and had sex before marriage (fornication) or some level of sexual activity or dabbled with other forms of sexual immorality, like adultery. Then, when they see that things have not worked out in their lives and they see that sister, who, although not perfect, kept herself from such immorality and God blessed her with a husband, they seethe with envy, bitterness and resentment, even against God. Why?
If you had done good, God may have given you a similar blessing too. Furthermore, if you have genuinely repented of those sins, confessed them to God and turned away from them, he may still do so through his grace alone, which you can keep on hoping in but you have no reason to be hating on someone else who God has decided to bless in this season.
If you want someone to blame for your predicament, then you need to blame yourself.
Instead of being envious, acknowledge, as some sisters have done, that you messed up, that you sinned against God and that although you may have repented, sometimes our bad choices come with consequences. Also, be happy for that sister and rejoice with her, even if God never in his mercy, grants you what you are hoping he will grant you.
SAUL – Jealous of David’s favour
The Bible states in 1 Samuel 15:1-5, 8-11 and 13-29:
- “Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
- And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
- Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.
- And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
- Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?
- And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
- And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
- And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord.
- And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.”
In 1 Samuel 18:45-12, it later reads:
- “And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
- And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.”
SOLOMON – Jealous of Jeroboam’s favour
1 Kings 11: 1-14 reads:
- “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
- And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen. And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom.”
In 1 Kings 11:28-40, it also reads:
- “And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
- Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father…And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.”
Where there is a rift between you and the Lord because of your own actions, don’t take it out on another person, who God has blessed. It will only make matters worse for you. Instead, go to the Lord and confess that you have sinned and ask for forgiveness and amend your wicked and wayward ways. Spend time with the Lord so as to have your relationship repaired with him, instead of maliciously going after those that have done you nothing, simply because you perceive that they are blessed and are inheriting what you desired for yourself.
Blessings are not something you try to attract. It is either you are operating in it or not and you operate in it, through obedience.
After Esau lost the favour of God, he tried futilely to attract God’s blessings by putting in human effort and according to his own wisdom but he only blundered further. He went and married a third wife, Ishmael’s daughter, apparently thinking that this would please his parents and bring him back into favour with God. Apparently, he did not know that Ishmael (Abraham’s son) was not born out of obedience to God but in faithlessness, through Hagar, the Egyptian. Isaac was the promised child, not Ishmael, the son of a bondwoman. He therefore only made his situation worse.
Genesis 28: 1-9 states:
- “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughers of Laban thy mother’s brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham. And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.
- When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram; And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.”
LESSONS FOR US TODAY
When we are outside of the favour of God it is due to OUR OWN actions, life choices and disobedience;
When we perceive that we are OUTSIDE of the favour of God and somebody else is IN it and operating in blessing, we ought not to resent them and hate them because of it and go after them to try to destroy them with our malicious, jealous words, actions or otherwise;
When we perceive that we are outside of the favour of God, we need to go to God and accept responsibility for OUR WRONGDOING and poor choices in life. We need to repent and ask God for forgiveness and turn away from our disobedient ways and attitudes.
After we have spent time with the Lord and have been honest with him and repented of all of our sins, what he chooses to do then is up to him. We have no right to anything. If he chooses to be merciful and grant us certain blessings still, despite our rebellious past, then that is his decision to make. If he however, decides not to, then we must accept this and not get angry at anybody else or at him, as it is what WE sowed and we are simply bearing the fruits of that.
Yes it is painful to see others advancing in their lives and you remaining stuck but you can’t be vexed with them because of YOUR situation. YOU created it. You know to yourself that you are in that situation because of the choices you made in YOUR life. It may hurt therefore when you see the blessings flowing in that sister’s life and you think to yourself, if only I hadn’t messed up, I would have had that as well. Yet, while you can repent and God forgives, you cannot turn back the hands of time and sometimes, we sabotage our own life and happiness.
Ask God for strength to be genuinely happy for that sister or work colleague. Irrespective of your situation, it is still possible for you to be happy for the good news of others. You can certainly pray and hope that God still changes your situation, which he can at any time but if he doesn’t, you know why and must accept that he is a just Judge.
(Written on 23rd November, 2018)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, edifying, beneficial, convicting or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 97 – ‘Seven (7) Mindsets That Will Keep You Stuck In The Land Of Sterility’
- Note 152 – ‘Symptoms Of A Person Outside The Favour Of God’