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How to Know What God Approves

September 23, 2018

“The Lord has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” 2 Samuel 4:8

Notice how Baanah and Rechab abuse the name of God—they associate God with their crime. That is called taking the name of God in vain. In the third commandment, God says that he will not hold the one who does this guiltless.

The story of Baanah and Rechab speaks powerfully to us when we see men perpetrating acts of violence in the name of God, fully believing that they will be rewarded in heaven for what they have done.

The god of Baanah and Rechab is a god who approves whatever they do. By assuming that God approves whatever they do, Baanah and Rechab are putting themselves in the place of God. Their god is made in their own image. He is a distant echo of their own voice.

How do we know what God approves? There is only one way in which you could know, and that is if God himself has spoken.

God has spoken, and what is more, these men knew what he had said. They had the Ten Commandments. They knew that God had said, “You shall not murder.” They also knew that God had said, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” (Exod. 20:7). But they ignored what God had said and followed the impulses of their own hearts, assuming that whatever they thought best was the will of God!

What a shock the day of judgment will be for men of violence who, having convinced themselves that what they do is pleasing to God, find to their horror that the living God has nothing but contempt for violence and brutality.

Are you assuming that whatever you think best and do is what God approves?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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