There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 )
Presuming things have caused people lots of harm and heart break. Let me make it real to you;
1) Some people assumed that not wearing the seat belt is harmless, and then got hurt severely in the car that they were in.
2) Some people have assumed that they can speak anything to their spouses and get away from it, and then have been fighting nasty divorce cases instead.
3) I know of people who’ve spoken vile words to their father and that very day their father died later in the same day due to a heart attack. And now these people forever regret their harsh words.
4) Some girls and boys in have tried drugs that are very much illegal just for fun but died on their very first try. And their parents have been in grief ever since that.
The sin of King Saul:
And then we have the case of the first King of Israel Saul who presumed what he felt was right in doing and thereby rejected the whole instruction of the Lord God. And so the Prophet Samuel was sent to him to inform him of God’s punishment for the sin of presumption. You can read the whole of 1 Samuel Chapter 15 to get the details on this.
Because King Saul acted very presumptuously against the commandment of the Lord God he had to hear the following from the Prophet Samuel;
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” (1 Samuel 15:22-29)
If you think by the coming of Jesus Christ and with the preaching of the Gospel, we need not bother about presumptuous sins, are you unfortunately in the wrong.
The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira:
You can refer to Acts 5:1-11 about The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira
A man by the name of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. 2 He kept back part of the money for himself. His wife knew it also. The other part he took to the missionaries. 3 Peter said to Ananias, “Why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You kept back part of the money you got from your land. 4 Was not the land yours before you sold it? After it was sold, you could have done what you wanted to do with the money. Why did you allow your heart to do this? You have lied to God, not to men.”
5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down dead. Much fear came on all those who heard what was done. 6 The young men got up and covered his body and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in. She did not know what had happened.
8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount of money?” She said, “Yes.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have talked together about lying to the Holy Spirit? See! Those who buried your husband are standing at the door and they will carry you out also.” 10 At once she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in, they found that she was dead. They took her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Much fear came on all the church and on all who heard it.
Ananias and Sapphira presumed that they could lie to the Holy Spirit about withholding their offerings towards the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Why do people presume that the Holy Spirit cannot take action against those who sin against Him?
Maybe they have forgotten that each judgement that the Lord God has ever taken, be it against the Fallen Angels, Adam and Eve, the vile Pharaoh of Egypt, the Holy Spirit has never contradicted the Word of God when it comes to judgement against sin. But you O people of God, do not forget this lest you suffer the same fate as Saul or even like that of Ananias and Sapphira.
Verses for reflection:
- Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:12-13)
- Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
- Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16)
In the world there are people who eat to live and then we have the self-indulgent who live to eat. The same way there are those who are obsessed with money. I mean there is the legitimate use of money to provide for your basic needs, payoff debts and help others. And then is there a wicked way of life where a person’s main purpose of existence is to get more and more money by any means.
Now anyone obsessed with money won’t necessarily say they make pets of their money but they surely act that way. And in the due course of time that little pet who likes to be fed and patted often. But later it turns out to be a hideous ugly monster. And mind you, this monster isn’t bothered if you progress physically, all it will seek is that spiritually you are blinded and on the road to damnation.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Let me make it real to you. A person who betrays his nation for the sake of money is on his way to hell. He may be safe on some island resort for the rest of his natural life but when he dies, he won’t make to heaven.
Remember Judas Iscariot. He betrayed Jesus in the most vile way by using an act of greeting as a sign to single out the Lord for his crucifixion. After this Judas did have remorse but never repentance, due to which he committed suicide. Right now Judas is highly tormented in hell without any mercy.
It’s not that everyone who is obsessed with money is a traitor. It could be that the person doesn’t pay attention to the things of God. He may attend church regularly, help out with the orphanages and be nice to family. But deep within his heart his loyalty is not with God but only to money. The Lord is aware of the thoughts of every persons heart and doesn’t like such obsessions that are evil.
People tend to think that they can cheat the Lord God and his church and still be blessed. This assumption is extremely dangerous. Ananias and Sapphira (click here for a related article on them) tried to get fame and honor by lying to the church they sold of their property and gave all of it to the church. While in fact they retained a part of the money they got.
Nobody in the church would have known, except that the Holy Spirit revealed it to the Apostle Peter. So then Peter spoke words of judgement to them as they lied to the Holy Spirit. They cheated God. As a result both Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead immediately by the Lord God. This caused great fear in the church at those times.
No wonder, I say that never make money your pet, it may become a monster which turns out to be your nemesis!
Scriptures for reflection:
Proverbs 15:26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight.
Exodus 23:8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.
Proverbs 1:19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it.
Proverbs 11:29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.