And Just Whose Fault Is It?
Text: Romans 9:14-24
I. I received a note that I found disgusting
A. A woman complained that her husband wasn’t giving her the affection she deserved, so she kicked her husband out and brought in a boyfriend.
1. That sin doesn’t justify sin apparently doesn’t matter to her - Romans 3:8
B. What disgusted me is that she described herself as a Christian, claimed that the boyfriend showed up two days after she prayed to God about the situation, and so she claimed that God wanted her to commit adultery!
1. The fact that God does not support sin doesn’t matter to her - James 1:13
C. I bluntly told her she was sinning both in her actions and in blaming God for her sins, to which she replied that her church told her to feel no guilt for what she had done because it is all her husband’s fault.
D. It reminded me of Proverbs 30:20
II. How can people be so blind?
A. Isaiah asks why God caused Israel to stray - Isaiah 63:17
1. At first this sounds contradictory.
a. God has no sin - I John 1:5
b. He doesn’t vary - James 1:17
2. Yet there are many similar statements in the Bible. For example - John 12:37-41
3. But consider which came first, God encouraging people to stray or people straying?
a. John mentioned the people not believing Jesus, but he also said why - John 12:42-43
b. Isaiah mentioned the fact that Israel was sinning
(1) They rebelled - Isaiah 63:10
(2) They sinned for a long time Isaiah 64:5-7
4. The phrase “made us to err” or “cause us to stray” is the Hebrew word ta’ah. It means to wander or be lost.
a. While the English implies a forcing, the Hebrew implies an allowance or a suffering
b. The question is whose fault is it that Israel strayed? - Isaiah 53:6
B. Paul repeatedly said that God gave the Greeks over to sin - Romans 1:24, 26, 28
1. But notice that this was only after the Greeks continued to push further into sin.
2. This was God’s response to their sins.
C. Sending a deluding influence - II Thessalonians 2:9-12
1. Which came first, the delusion or the lack of love for the truth?
D. When people insist on sinning, God does give people over to what they demand - Psalms 81:11-13
1. In other words, if you really want to sin, God won’t stop you
2. Why? To test people - Deuteronomy 13:1-4
E. God left Israel to her sins - Hosea 4:17-18
III. God lets the wicked be wicked to accomplish His will
A. God made use of Pharaoh - Romans 9:18-20
1. God could have raised up any man to rule Egypt, but this man was select, because of his character to give God opportunity
2. God knew in advance Pharaoh would be stubborn - Exodus 11:9
B. God let the Israelites follow after astrology - Acts 7:42
1. Why? Because they wanted to worship idols - Acts 7:41
C. God allowed the nations to go their own way - Acts 14:16
D. God hardened Sihon so that he would be destroyed - Deuteronomy 2:30
E. The Canaanites were encouraged to think that they could destroy Israel - Joshua 11:19-20
F. When God needed to punish Israel for its sins - II Samuel 24:1
1. How? God made use of Satan - I Chronicles 21:1
G. When Israel became corrupt, God deceived the people - Jeremiah 4:10
1. How? Ezekiel 14:6-11
a. God would allow false prophets to say what they wanted
b. Notice the prophets would be punished for their lies even as God made use of it.
2. How? He took away true prophecy - Isaiah 29:9-10
a. It wasn’t hard. It was what the people wanted - Isaiah 30:8-14
3. The people did as they pleased - Jeremiah 7:24
IV. Actually God gives people the truth, but it is in a form that the wicked won’t accept
A. Isaiah was sent to teach what people did not want to hear - Isaiah 6:10-12
1. Thus, God’s plans were carried out
2. The people fooled themselves - Jeremiah 5:21
B. God let people make their own false conclusions - Jeremiah 44:16-18
C. God sent the Messiah knowing full well he would be rejected - Isaiah 8:14-15
1. It was a trap laid for the wicked
2. The Jews stumbled over the truth - Romans 9:32-33
3. Because they did not obey God - I Peter 2:7-8
4. And thus God’s plan to save all mankind was accomplished
D. God uses people’s character for or against them - Romans 9:18
1. It is not saying that God forces people to be stubborn or yielding.
2. God presents things such that those who are wicked refuse it and the righteous flock to it - Luke 10:21
E. This is the reason the gospel is preached - I Corinthians 1:21
1. God picked a method that the worldly would reject - I Corinthians 1:22-29
2. The same message brings different response because of the heart of those who hear it - I Corinthians 1:18
V. What does this say about us?
A. If we ask for sinful things, we might just get it.
B. If we insist on doing wrong, it might just be the easier path
C. And if we do, it will be no one's fault but our own
D. Let us pray that we do not wander - Psalms 141:4-5; 119:10-11