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Ungodliness Begins With A False Reliance
How do you know if a people are becoming ungodly? How do you know if you - as a child of God - are yielding to the spirit of this age? This message will delineate certain signs to watch for in order to detect if a nation, people, or individual - including yourself - is becoming ungodly. These signs can be found in two separate Scriptures - Isaiah 30:1 and Hosea 8:4.
"The root of a mistaken policy is a false reliance, dependence on an 'arm of flesh.' There is a true and a false self-reliance: that which forgets God is ignorant and impious; that which recognizes Him as the Source of all true intelligence is genuine." - Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
"We cannot expect comfort and success in our affairs when we go about them and go on in them without consulting God and acknowledging Him in all our ways." - Matthew Henry
Isaiah 30:1 says - "Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin."
Hosea 8:4 says - "They have set up kings, but not by Me: they have made princes, and I knew it not..."
"take counsel, but not of Me" - Ungodly people drive plans...execute counsels...and consult together - but not by God's impulse. They look to "Egypt" or the world for help in times of danger and distress. They openly seek help from man. They depend upon a human arm, rather than the Arm of the Lord. They refuse to ask counsel of God - to consult His Word or prophets. They counsel among themselves - one from another. They do things of their own heads. They are so confident of the prudence of their own measures that they find it needless to consult Him and His Word.
"cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit" - Ungodly people seek cover, protection, or shelter from the enemy...make leagues...carry out designs...or ratify covenants which God never required or suggested. They act from a self-center rather than a God-center. They go forth in their own strength rather than the strength of the Lord of hosts.
"set up kings, but not by Me" - "made princes, and I knew it not" - Ungodly people don't wait for God's command or approbation before doing something. They have no regard to the Divine mind. They are bent on carrying out their own cherished projects. They only consult their own evil self-will. They don't consult God about the matter, manner, or time of their decisions. They don't desire His cognizance nor approbation of them.
When found in danger and distress, Israel went down into Egypt - without having inquired of the Lord's mouth. She fled to the fortress of Pharaoh rather than the fortress of her God. She took refuge in the shadow of this great nation rather than the shadow of the Almighty.
Egypt was the only power in her neighborhood that could possibly offer her assistance against Assyria. It had a standing army...trained warriors...numerous chariots and horses...and ample materials and appliances of war.
Knowing this - She ran to them for aid - instead of asking counsel from the Lord.
She turned a deaf ear to any of His warnings.
Also, most people are not aware of this fact - but not one of her kings did God recognize as His viceregents. Unlike the kings of Judah, hers were placed in office by dethronements, assassinations, or usurpations - rather than by the direction of the Almighty. They were set up without consulting Him and ruled in disregard of His will.
Hence, we gather the following truths from these two brief reflections of her past -
To waive all regard to God's will in the shaping of your life
...to plan your existence irrespective of God
...or to seek an independent being
- is pure ungodliness.
She ran to Egypt for aid.
She set up leaders without God's approbation or counsel.
We ask you - how are you like the nation of Israel - as depicted in these Scriptures? Who are you running to for help in time of need? What is your source of protection, provision, and peace? How many decisions are you guilty of making - without first consulting God in His Word and in prayer? When was the last time that you read your Bible and prayed - simply because you feel the need to stay close to the Lord and acknowledge Him in all your ways?
We can almost guarantee that if you are not "abiding in the Vine "(John 15) and deriving strength from Him daily through His Word and prayer, then you are making decisions without His counsel and leaning on "the arm of the flesh" for aid.
This is ungodliness!
You have joined the ranks of the ungodly!
Yours is a false reliance!
You are guilty of forgetting God!
The only expectation that you can have for your future is one disappointment and failure followed by another. And if you do not repent and turn off of this ungodly, downward spiral, you will eventually end up in Hell for all eternity!
This is serious, isn't it?
Ungodliness begins with a false reliance.
Do you have a false reliance in your life today?
On whom or what are you relying for help?
Don't overlook the fact that Isaiah 30:1 begins with the word - "Woe..."
This same "Woe..." will be pronounced against your life if you do as Israel did and rely on the flesh for counsel and aid rather than the Spirit of the Living God.
"They have...but not by Me: they have...and I knew it not."
Is God saying this about you?
May God Bless His Word.