“Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of it’s wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.” Genesis 9:21
After such a mighty deliverance, you would have thought it was all plain sailing from now on – excuse the pun! …
A mighty victory had been won, Noah had;
- fought the battles of doubt through all the time the Ark was being built
- spent a lot of money and time on building it
- resisted all the mocking and abuse he received for building a boat on dry land
- overcame his fear while confined to the Ark
- waited patiently until the earth dried enough to release all the animals from the Ark.
‘Well’ he must have thought, ‘that all worked out rather well. Mission accomplished! I can sit back, and take things easier now!’
We can come through a long battle, (or a dramatic short battle), and then sit back, and start to trust in our own strength.
Paul spoke very strongly to the Galatian church, who started in faith, but then they relied upon themselves to keep God’s Laws:
“You foolish Galations! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the Law, or by believing what you heard?
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Galatians 3:1-3
There is the key: “are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”
The whole emphasis of salvation in Christ is that we are incapable of achieving our goal, but through Christ, God will accomplish it.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘yes’ in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
Then in verse 21
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.“
All the promises in the Bible are ours by trusting in Christ. Paul said:
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, to will, and to act, according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:12
In our everyday life we can sometimes become proud of our achievements and so we end up trusting in ourselves.
Or there is a subtle temptation to start relying upon our routines and practices.
When that happens it is like trying to push a car up a hill.
Everything becomes tedious and dry and God seems far away.
Let’s look briefly at king Hezekiah:
“In those days Hezekiah became ill, and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud, and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him.” (2 Chronicles 32:24)
So we can see the Lord’s discipline was upon him and so Hekekiah repented of the pride of his heart. Then in verse 31
“But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon, to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him, and to know everything that was in his heart.”
Do you find that interesting, that God left him to test what was in his heart?
Obviously, the Lord knew exactly what was hidden in Hezekiah’s heart, but it needed to be brought out so that it could be recognized and confessed.
Perhaps we’ve known a time like that, or maybe we’re in it now.
The Lord wants us to come to our senses, to stop trusting in ourselves, and to turn to Him and trust Jesus Christ.
Remember the verse:
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘yes’ in Christ.”
Animated image: thanks to Serif WebPlus 6