The Expository Files

 

Fooling God?

Galatians 6:7,8
 


INTRODUCTION

I suppose man has always tried to get away with fooling his fellow man. Kids have forever been trying to fool their parents. Remember Joseph’s brothers deceiving their father about the fate of their brother (Gen.37). Politicians give us a steady diet of foolery. Criminals are forever trying to bluff or fool their way into getting away with their crimes.

For example, when two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refuse to hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call the police. They still refused, so the robber called the police and was arrested.

Then, there was the case where the police fooled the criminal. This was in Radnor, Pennsylvania. They interrogated the suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connected it with wires to a photocopy machine. The message “He’s lying” was placed in the copier, and the police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn’t telling the truth. Believing the “lie detector” was working, the suspect confessed.

Trying to keep secrets from God is even more foolish than these two examples. I’m sure you have heard the old saying: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time” (Or as Spanky from the Little Rascal’s would say, “But you can’t fool mom any of the time!”) But, for sure we can correctly state: “You can never fool God!”

There’s no fooling God. There is no place we can go where He does not see our every move. Proverbs 15: 3, says: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Those who think they have God fooled are only fooling themselves! God sees all things! He hears all things! He knows all things! Nothing escapes His attention!

We read the following in Psalms 139: 1-4: “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”

Hebrews 4: 13, says: “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” No action we ever take is a secret from God. No thought we ever think is unknown to Him. Nothing escapes the scrutiny of God. We may deceive ourselves as to our real motives; we may even deceive those who are the closest to us. But God is never deceived about our actual thoughts and motives.

The word “naked” (gumna) is used of “the soul being without the body (2 Cor.5: 3). It also depicts “a bare kernel of grain without its husk (1 Cor.15: 37), or of “a body without clothing” (Acts 19: 16). The word stresses our complete and total exposure before God. The other word “open” (tetrachelismena) is used only here in the New Testament and denotes “bending back the neck” (as one would “bend the sacrificial victim’s neck for the fatal stroke”). It is also used to denote the grip of an antagonist’s throat that renders him limp and powerless, sometimes
called a “submission-hold” or “strangle-hold.” This reveals our helplessness and vulnerability when our disguises are stripped away and we are compelled to look God in the face. After all, it to Him, that we all must give account (2 Cor.5: 10). Don’t think you are smart enough to pull the wool over God’s eyes! Don’t believe for one second that you will get away with your sin.

GOD CANNOT BE MOCKED

In Gal.6:7-8, we read: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Many people are deceived concerning this principle or law of seedtime and harvest. They sow their seeds thoughtlessly, nonchalantly, and blind themselves to the fact that the seeds they sow will inevitably produce a corresponding harvest. Or they sow seed of one kind and expect to reap a harvest of another. They imagine that somehow they can get away with it. But such is impossible. “God is not mocked.” The Greek here is striking. It is derived from the word for a nose and means literally to “turn up the nose at somebody and so to sneer at or treat with contempt.” It can signify to “fool” or to “outwit.” Thus, Paul is saying that men may fool themselves, but they cannot fool God! They may think they can escape this law of seedtime and harvest, but they cannot. They may go on sowing their seeds and closing their eyes to the consequences, but one day God Himself will bring in the harvest! So, the great deception is that of man thinking that he can sow one kind of life and reap another kind, i.e., to live the life of the wicked and die the death of the righteous. This is why people
pursue interests that the Bible forbids, and maintain a set of priorities that God disapproves, and indulge in desires that are contrary to God’s law, thinking that all is well with them. But in doing so, they are not mocking or fooling God. In reality, they are only making a fool of themselves! You cannot sin with impunity!

The Amplified Bible makes this clear: “Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at-scorned, disdained, or mocked [by mere pretensions or professions, or His precepts being set aside]. He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God. For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.”

We sing the song: “Watching You”:
“All along on the road to the soul’s true abode,
There’s an Eye watching you;
Every step that you take this great Eye is awake,
There’s an Eye watching you.

As you make life’s great flight, keep the pathway of right,
There’s an Eye watching you;
God will warn not to go in the path of the foe,
There’s an Eye watching you.

Fix your mind on the goal, that sweet home of the soul,
There’s an Eye watching you;
Never turn from the way to the kingdom of day,
There’s an Eye watching you.

Watching you, watching you,
Every day mind the course you pursue;
Watching you, watching you,
There’s an all seeing Eye watching you.”


EXAMPLES OF TRYING TO FOOL OR MOCK GOD

Adam and Eve tried it to their sorrow (Gen.2: 15-17; 3: 6, 24). Believing the devil’s lie, they sneered at and scorned God’s law, but not with impunity. They deluded themselves, thinking they could set aside God’s law and all would be well, but the consequences surely followed and they were driven out of the garden and death came upon man.

In Joshua 7, the man named Achan thought he could fool God. He concealed his sin from others but God was not fooled (READ Josh.6: 18-19; 7: 1, 11, 20-21).

Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, tried to gain personal profit by lying but God was not fooled (See 2 Kgs.5: 15-16, 20-27).

The prophet Jonah tried to run and hide from God but God was not mocked or fooled in the least (Jonah 1: 1-3, 17).

Ananias and Sapphira tried to fool God by their lies in Acts 5. But, the seed of lies produced the awful harvest and cost them their lives.

APPLICATIONS

I shall begin with an example. Two preachers had not seen each other for several years met at a lectureship they both were attending. One day when they broke for lunch, they sat down to catch up on old times. The conversation eventually turned to their respective churches where they preached, as one asked the other: “Jack, how many people in your church would you say are serving?” The younger preacher responded: “About 30% of our members are really involved in the work. What about where you preach Bob? Bob responded: “I would say about 100% of
our members are serving.”

A bit taken back by Bob’s response, Jack blurted out “100%”? That is unheard of. You have 100% of your members serving the Lord? That is wonderful my brother!” Bob quickly corrected him: “Serving the Lord? Oh no Jack, I have 100% serving, but only about 50% are serving the Lord. The other 50% are serving the world.”

What is the point? There are too many Christians who play church! They put on a good show on Sunday, but when it comes time to give of their means, to visit the sick and shut-ins, or to knock on doors to invite people to the assemblies, they are nowhere to be found. They are good at putting on a show for others, so that they appear to be spiritual. They try to paint a better image of themselves than what they really are.

I fear that there are too many Christians whose religion is nothing but a façade, a veneer, and thus artificial. Their faith is so shallow and superficial that it does not really mean anything to them. Their religion consists of putting on their Sunday suit and going to church, where they practice their “faith.” When they come home, they take off their Sunday suit and their “religion” with it, and
then they live like the devil the rest of the week. In the Vice-Presidential debate last week, Paul Ryan made a very succinct statement. He said: “I just don’t believe we can separate our religion from our public life.” But many try to do just that. They try to “compartmentalize” their life. They can sing “Abide With Me” while actually abiding with the world, or “Take The World But Give Me Jesus” while the opposite is seen in their life. Theirs is a “brylcream religion;” that is, “Just a little dab will do them.” Maybe it will do them, but it certainly will not do for God!

The Christian’s life is one of faith from beginning to end. Paul said: “I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2: 20). True faith is that which we “walk” by constantly. Our faith is in the Son of God and we look to Him because He is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb.12: 2). We often sing: “My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine.” But, I fear that the faith of too many is like a spare tire. But, did you know that our spare tire is one of the most neglected, yet important parts of our automobile. You probably drive around and never think about it. But, when you have a flat tire, it
certainly becomes important them! We whip it out and put it on, and we are so glad to have it. Is that not what some do with their faith? They relegate it to the trunk of their life and neglect it constantly until some emergency arrives. Then they want to whip it out and use it. That is not true faith. That is not truly trusting God!

Actually, true faith is more like the steering wheel of our life. It must guide us in every move we make and every turn we take. It must be that which guides us daily, because it is always alive within us.

True religion is also a constant thing. It is not something one puts on and takes off. It is both a positive and a negative part of our lives (Jas.1: 27; Tit.2: 11-12).

Several years ago a woman appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. This woman was having an affair with a married man and had been for 19 years. In her discussions, she made comments to this effect: “There’s nothing wrong with it. We have a wonderful relationship. I’m a good (church name given). If I want to see this man in this affair, it’s my business. It is no business of my church. That’s my religion. This has nothing to do with religion. My religion has nothing to do with my personal life!” She went on to say that she would go to heaven just as quick as anyone else. What a warped view of religion!

But many are deceived like her (READ 1 Cor.6: 9-11). Like her they can be deceived into thinking that the wicked will inherit the kingdom of God. Like her, their thinking about right and wrong, about what pleases God and what displeases Him, is the very opposite of what God has said!

You will also notice that the apostle identifies who is wicked or unrighteous. They are those who commit the sins just listed. The people are identified by the sins they commit. God doesn’t separate people from their actions because their actions identify who and what they are.

CONCLUSION

Many are deceived and believe they can fool or mock God and not reap the consequences. When the Word of God warns us to “be not deceived” we better listen. It is the deluded person who thinks he can fool God. When the Lord comes He “will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and reveal the counsels (motives) of the hearts” (1 Cor.4: 5). On that day Paul said: “God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel”(Rom.2: 16). Jeremiah said: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;
who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer.17: 9-10).

But here is the good part of this equation. The wicked can be “washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Those who sow to the flesh (live according to the flesh) will die, (suffer the consequences), but, one can turn and begin to “put to death the deeds of the body” and live, (reap everlasting life)! Rom.8: 13). In Galatians 5: 24, Paul said: And those who are
Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Dear friend, you cannot fool or mock God, neither in this life nor in eternity. He’s not fooled by our clever deceptions. We will reap what we sow!

You Can’t Fool God
By Ellen Bailey

“God is not sitting on some distant cloud
He is on His throne in heaven right now
He is watching everything we say and do
He is not someone that can be fooled.

He knows us when we are in a large crowd
He even knows us well enough to single us out
He knows our hearts and what’s on our minds
He knows when our beliefs are by design

Some people attend church for appearances’ sake
All the while professing to be a person of faith
They cloak their thoughts and actions behind a mask
Forgetting that God will one day take them to task

He might delay His judgment until the last day
But then He’ll rip away their masquerade
We can’t fool God as we might our fellowman
He knows exactly where we stand.”

 
 
 
 

By Dennis Abernathy
From Expository Files 19.11; November 2012

 

 

 

http://www.bible.ca/