VIDEO No Spin On Sin – 1 Kings 13

 

No Spin on Sin

 

It’s definitely the age of doctors who are specialists. Including one of the latest new specialties – the spin doctor. The spin doctor is actually to be found in the world of politics. As soon as some news breaks that might be damaging or embarrassing to a political leader or candidate, someone on their staff talks to the press about it – and they find a way to put a positive or undamaging “spin” on those revelations … to put their man or woman in the best possible light. The more powerful you become, the more “spin doctors” you need. And depending on how good the “doctor” is, a lot of people may end up believing the “spin” rather than the truth!

Well, I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about “No Spin On Sin.”

These days, “image” is often what matters more than the real condition. Except to God. When it comes to sin, there is no “spin” you can put on it that will work with God.

In the Old Testament, King Saul had been commanded by God to go perform spiritual surgery on the Amalekite nation that had openly defied God and morally poisoned many around them. God had promised they’d be destroyed, and He sent Saul and his army to fulfill that promise. They were to destroy everything, and keep nothing from their conquest. Saul didn’t do everything God told him to do, but just like us, he tried to put a convincing spin on his sin.

According to our word for today from the Word of God from I Samuel 15 beginning at verse 13, as God’s man Samuel approached, “Saul said … ‘I have carried out the Lord’s instructions. But Samuel said, ‘What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? And what is this lowing of cattle I hear?”

Saul and his men had brought back some of the goodies that they were supposed to have destroyed. But does Saul confess he’s disobeyed the Lord? Oh no! He comes out with a very positive testimony! “I’ve done what the Lord said.” Great spin – not true. Oh, he had partially obeyed the Lord, but he tries to cover up his disobedience with impressive spiritual words. Some of us have learned just the right things to say in Christian settings … how to even give a pretty impressive testimony, but God knows that spin is covering up a dark disobedience in our life.

When Samuel confronts the evidence of Saul’s sin, Saul answers, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle … but we totally destroyed the rest.” Spiritual words … and now let’s try to turn God’s attention to what others are doing wrong. Let’s talk about them, and maybe I can get off the hook. Let’s pass the buck. “They did it.” … “God, it’s her fault … it’s his fault … it’s because of them.” But God doesn’t buy that anymore than He does the beautiful spiritual speeches.

Saul made one last try at being his own spin doctor. “‘But I did obey the Lord,’ Saul said. 1 went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites … the soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God.'” How about this one: “I did this so we could do something really spiritual – have a big sacrifice to the Lord.” See, we seem to think that if we get busy doing some real Christian things, God may give us a pass on the sin.

But God allows no spin on sin. Samuel answers, “To obey is better than sacrifice … Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” God’s message is clear. No amount of godly words … no pointing at the sins of others … no amount of spiritual activity can cover or make up for that sin that you have not repented of.

If this message is meant for you, I know God’s Holy Spirit is letting you know what sin that is. Living in an age where image is what matters and a good spin can rescue you from the ugly truth, you may have hoped that might work for you with God. It didn’t work for God’s chosen king of His people … and it will not work for you.

It’s time to bring that sin to the foot of Jesus’ cross where He died for it … and dump it all out at Jesus’ feet. A spin on your sin never fools God … it just deceives you into thinking that you’re getting away with what God will surely deal with.

________________

Copyright Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc., PO Box 400, Harrison, AR 72602. Used by permission. Written by Ron Hutchcraft. “Practical Answers to Real Life Issues”


In threatening the altar, the prophet threatens the founder and worshippers. Idolatrous worship will not continue, but the word of the Lord will endure for ever. The prediction plainly declared that the family of David would continue, and support true religion, when the ten tribes would not be able to resist them. If God, in justice, harden the hearts of sinners, so that the hand they have stretched out in sin they cannot pull in again by repentance, that is a spiritual judgment, represented by this, and much more dreadful. Jeroboam looked for help, not from his calves, but from God only, from his power, and his favour. The time may come when those that hate the preaching, would be glad of the prayers of faithful ministers. Jeroboam does not desire the prophet to pray that his sin might be pardoned, and his heart changed, but only that his hand might be restored. He seemed affected for the present with both the judgment and the mercy, but the impression wore off. God forbade his messenger to eat or drink in Bethel, to show his detestation of their idolatry and apostacy from God, and to teach us not to have fellowship with the works of darkness. Those have not learned self-denial, who cannot forbear one forbidden meal.

Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise)


1 Kings 13

This Sundays We Celebrate Palm Sunday

Then those who went before [Jesus] and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Mark 11:9

It’s hard to know which travels faster: good news or bad news. Sometimes, the same news is both good and bad depending on who hears it. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11), it was good news to Lazarus’ family but bad news to those who opposed Jesus since it would only increase His popularity.

The same happened shortly thereafter when Jesus entered Jerusalem and the crowds hailed Him as the Son of David who came in the Name of the Lord. But His entrance was bad news for those seeking to stop Him. Palm Sunday, the day we commemorate Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem, was a foreshadowing of the day He will arrive, not on a donkey but on a white horse. It will be good news for those who have loved His appearing but bad news for those who refuse to bow before Him as King of kings.

On this Palm Sunday, remember the good news that Jesus Christ is coming to judge the nations and establish His Kingdom for all who believe in Him.

The subject of the second coming of Christ has never been popular to any but the true believer. Billy Graham

Favor in Trials

1 Peter 2:18-25

Every believer wants God’s favor. We usually have expectations of what that looks like since the word favor brings to mind blessings, and no one would include things like mistreatment in that category. But while unfairness and other harsh conditions aren’t good in themselves, the way we respond can bring divine favor.

Scripture tells us that obedience brings blessing, but from a human perspective, it sometimes seems that the only result is trouble. Peter uses the example of a servant who submits to an unreasonable master but is treated unjustly and suffers as a result of doing what’s right.

There are basically two ways to respond to such unfair treatment. We can grumble, complain, and seek vengeance, or we can patiently endure it. The latter is the only response that finds favor with God. Why? Because when we act this way, we are following in Christ’s footsteps.

No one was treated more unfairly than Jesus. He never did wrong, yet He was reviled, mocked, tortured, and killed by men. However, He didn’t revile in return or utter threats but instead entrusted Himself to His Father.

Having this kind of attitude may seem impossible, and it is—apart from God’s power. But Jesus bore our transgressions on the cross so we might die to sin and live righteously. He’s given us all we need to respond in a manner that pleases our heavenly Father. Every difficult, unjust, and painful situation is an opportunity to entrust ourselves to God, who judges righteously. Then, through the Holy Spirit, we’ll be empowered to respond in a Christlike manner, which God looks upon with favor.

Korah Dispute

“Woe unto them! for they have . . . perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:11)

Jude describes the Levite Korah’s rebellion against Moses (Numbers 16) as an antilogia (to speak against, dispute, contradict). During that time, Moses and Aaron were the spokespersons for the Lord, with authority and direct instructions from God. The Scriptures take that place today.

Korah and 250 other “princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown” (Numbers 16:2) had decided that they were just as “holy” as Moses and were demanding some share of the leadership (and presumably some of the control). This was far more than a mere leadership struggle.

Israel had just come through several major miracles (Red Sea parting, manna, water from the rock, etc.), had been given the Ten Commandments, and had built the tabernacle. They had rejected the report of Joshua and Caleb on God’s promise about Canaan and were in the middle of trying to choose a captain to “return into Egypt” (Numbers 14:4). God was really angry with them!

Korah led this “gainsaying” in an attempt to thwart God’s direction through Moses. Today, that would be equivalent to insisting that science (or philosophy or theology) is just as holy as the text of Scripture. God’s method of testing this antilogia was simple: Each leader was to prepare his own censer and incense (equivalent to his interpretation of God’s Word) and see how God responded to him.

They perished in a most spectacular display of ruin—“the ground clave asunder that was under them” and they “went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation” (Numbers 16:31, 33). God does not tolerate rejection of His message, “for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). HMM III

Take Time to Really Listen

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

—Psalm 119:130-131

The Quakers had many fine ideas about life, and there is a story from them that illustrates the point I am trying to make. It concerns a conversation between Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a Quaker woman he had met. Maybe Coleridge was boasting a bit, but he told the woman how he had arranged the use of time so he would have no wasted hours. He said he memorized Greek while dressing and during breakfast. He went on with his list of other mental activities—making notes, reading, writing, formulating thoughts and ideas—until bedtime.

The Quaker listened unimpressed. When Coleridge was finished with his explanation, she asked him a simple, searching question: “My friend, when dost thee think?”

God is having a difficult time getting through to us because we are a fast-paced generation. We seem to have no time for contemplation. We have no time to answer God when He calls.   JAF046

Lord, in this increasingly fast-paced, success-oriented life, slow us down and teach us the value of having time to think. Amen.

 

If any man have not the Spirit of Christ

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.—Romans 8:9.

 

What profits it that He is risen,

If dead in sins thou yet dost lie?

If yet thou cleavest to thy prison,

What profit that He dwells on high?

His triumph will avail thee naught,

If thou hast ne’er the battle fought.

Lyra Germanica.

 

Many, who often hear the gospel of Christ, are yet but little affected, because they are void of the Spirit of Christ. But whosoever would fully and feelingly understand the words of Christ must endeavor to make all his life like in its beauty unto His. What will it avail thee to dispute profoundly of the Trinity, if thou be void of humility, and art thereby displeasing to the Trinity? Surely, high words do not make a man holy and just j but a virtuous life maketh him dear to God. I had rather feel compunction, than understand the definition thereof. If thou didst know the whole Bible by heart, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what would all that profit thee without the love of God and without grace?

Thomas Á Kempis.

 

Body Fashioned Anew

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Phil. 3:21

Often when we are racked with pain, and unable to think or worship, we feel that this indeed is “the body of our humiliation,” and when we are tempted by the passions which rise from the flesh we do not think the word “vile” at all too vigorous a translation. Our bodies humble us; and that is about the best thing they do for us. Oh, that we were duly lowly, because our bodies ally us with animals, and even link us with the dust!

But our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, shall change all this. We shall be fashioned like His own body of glory. This will take place in all who believe in Jesus. By faith their souls have been transformed, and their bodies will undergo such a renewal as shall fit them for their regenerated spirits. How soon this grand transformation will happen we cannot tell; but the thought of it should help us to bear the trials of today, and all the woes of the flesh, In a little while we shall be as Jesus now is. No more aching brows, no more swollen limbs, no more dim eyes, no more fainting hearts. The old man shall be no more a bundle of infirmities, nor the sick man a mass of agony. “Like unto his glorious body.” What an expression! Even our flesh shall rest in hope of such a resurrection!