Summary: In a world of greed and materialism it’s difficult for us to accept "no" from God. But sometimes God says no.
I made a statement last week in the message that I want to repeat this morning … “Sometimes, God says no.” And what I want to do this morning is give us a couple of the many examples of God saying no.
Moses’… It was Moses hearts’ desire to go into the Promised Land but because he didn’t follow God’s directions in one incidence, God said no…
Deuteronomy 34:1-4 (NKJV)
1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan,
2 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea,
3 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.
4 Then the Lord said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ’I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there."
God said no to Moses. One of the godliest men to ever live on this earth received a “no” from God. And regardless of the reason, God still said… no. Joshua had this to say about Moses…
Deuteronomy 34:10-12 (NKJV)
10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face,
11 in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land,
12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
What a mighty man of God… and yet as much as God loved Moses and worked through Moses, He wouldn’t allow him to go into the Promised Land. And the reason was because Moses, in a moment of anger, forgot to give God glory and honor and in doing so missed out on the promise of God. There are others in the O.T. that God said no to like David when he wanted to build a temple for God, and Jonah when he wanted to go down to Tarshish instead of Nineveh, and Gideon when he wanted to pass the buck onto someone else. But I want us to look at a story in the N.T. in Mark 5 involving a man whose life drastically needed a change…
Jesus and the disciples had been out on the Sea of Galilee. They had just come through a horrific storm where they had to wake Jesus up from a long needed rest to rebuke the wind and the waves. And as the storm clears out they find themselves coming ashore in the Gadarenes…
Mark 5:1-20 (NKJV)
1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.
2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,
4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.
5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.
7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me."
8 For He said to him, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit!"
9 Then He asked him, "What is your name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion; for we are many."
10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. Notice the demons desire was to stay in the same area and so they petitioned Jesus, they prayed to Him.
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains.
12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, "Send us to the swine, that we may enter them." Notice they desired to go into the swine and again petitioned Jesus to grant them their request.
13 And at once Jesus gave them permission (He answered their prayer with a yes). Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.