Summary: What mistakes does man make in an attempt to appease God?
I Thes 2:4
The Word Appease means that someone has made a demand that must be met before peace can be restored.
It can be difficult to appease others in our life sometimes. I heard about a congregation where the preacher and the song leader weren’t getting along. As time went by, this began to spill over into the worship service. One week, the preacher preached on commitment and how we all should dedicate ourselves to the service of God. The song leader led the song, "I Shall not be Moved." The next week, the preacher preached on giving and how we all should gladly contribute to the work of the Lord. The song leader led the song, "Jesus Paid it All." The third week, the preacher preached on gossiping and how we should all watch our tongues. The song leader led the song, "I Love to Tell the Story." With all this going on, the preacher became very disgusted over the situation and the following Sunday told the congregation that he was considering resigning. The song leader led the song, "Oh Why Not Tonight?" As it came to pass, the preacher did indeed resign. The next week he informed the church that it was Jesus who led him there and it was Jesus that was taking him away. The song leader led the song, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
What does God demand of us so that we can find an external and internal peace in our life?
DO WE APPEASE GOD BY:
I. BY GUILT OFFERING?
A) The guilt offering or trespass offering was something mentioned quite often in the Old Testament. In this offering, there was a sacrifice brought to God because one had defrauded another.
B) It seems the primary focus was on restitution and punitive damages.
1. Restitution to the one that had been cheated.
2. Punitive in the sacrifice given to God.
C) The most encouraging reference to this type of offering in the Bible is found in ISA 53:12
1. Jesus Christ paid the debt that was owed for our transgressions.
2. Jesus is our Guilt or Tresspass offering!
3. Some are attempting to appease God by doing some act of service or giving some monetary support to the church or charity.
II. BY SELF-DEPRIVATION
A) From crawling up glass imbedded steps to pray, to the deliberate cutting of oneself as did the pagan’s on Mount Carmel, man has many times been grossly wrong about what God desired from them.
B) The book of I John shows signs of having to deal with this. Although Asceticism didn’t fully get developed until the 2nd century, it was already a teaching spreading among the early churches. John begins the book by pointing out the reality of Jesus in a fleshly body, something gnosticism and asceticism would have perverted the teaching on.
C) What does God expect from us in the area of self-deprivation or self-denial?
1) “You want to follow me? Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow…”
2) Jesus said “When you fast”
3) Our priorities and our focus should be on God, realizing that we live in a sinful body, we are looking forward to the day when we will be clothed in righteous perfection. But never does God teach us to harm ourselves as a way of proving our love or dedication.
ILL. In 1982, “ABC Evening News” reported on an unusual work of modern art—a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gunbarrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at an undetermined moment within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell’s path! They all knew the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn’t happen during THEIR minute in the chair.
III. BY RENDING GARMENTS? I Sam 4:12
A) Rending the clothes, beating the breast, tearing the hair, throwing dust upon the head, and falling prostrate, were usual signs of deep affliction and distress among the ancient Israelites
B) When a person was in deep mourning, they would do this.
1) Messenger came to Eli to tell him Hophni and Phinehas were killed.
2) Job after receiving the news of loosing everything.
C) The Mosaic Law prohibited Priest from rending their garments in an expression of mourning.
1) If I understand this custom right, it had become a shallow, outward expression that made no inward change. People were rending their garments (supposedly in repentance) but were continuing in the same sin. ILL. Little Johnny was sobbing in the back seat of the car on the way home from Church. His dad asked him three times what was wrong. Finally he said “the preacher said that he wanted to see us raised in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys.”