Relying on God
I. The afternoon news and talk show featured a short debate over a recent story. The parents of eleven children had two of their children die. One died from untreated diabetes. The other died from complications of an untreated ear infection. The parents believed firmly in the power of prayer and had accepted that God’s answer to their prayers was “no.” They believed that using the service of medical doctors was an expression of unbelief in God.
A. One talk show host argued that everyone had a right to their own belief. It was unfortunate that the children had died, but the parents had done the best for the children that they knew how within their system of belief.
B. The other talk show host was adamant that the remaining children should be removed since the deaths were easily preventable.
C. I found both answers inadequate.
II. A person does not have the right to their own belief
A. We understand that the owner of an object has the right to determine what to do with that object. I own a car. I can drive it. I can keep it in the garage. I can leave it in the rain. I could sell it.
1. God has the right of ownership
a. He created the world - Gen 1:1
b. Therefore the world belongs to God - Ps 24:1-2
c. Man was made in the image of God - Gen 1:26
d. Therefore all souls belong to God - Ezek 18:4
B. When we meet someone in authority, whether it is business or government, we speak with respect. We recognize the power they hold
1. God holds the power - Ps 33:8-9
2. Note the description of God’s power - Job 26:5-14
C. It becomes our duty to serve God - Eccl 12:13
D. All of this indicates that man does not have a right to his own beliefs.
1. We have the right to obey God, but that is the limit
2. We do not have the right to compose our own beliefs. Jer 10:23
3. We do not have the right to say you must honor my beliefs, no matter what they are.
a. Everyone thinks they are pure, but it is God who judges - Pr 16:1-5
III. A government does not have the right to its own belief
A. God controls the government - Rom 13:1
1. No government exists that God does not permit - Dan 2:21, 4:17
2. Isa 8:5-15 - Israel was told that Assyria would destroy the nations around it. They could bind together with other nations, but it won’t make a difference. Don’t blame it on a conspiracy, it is simply God’s hand being revealed.
3. Acts 4:21-31 - Government tried to stop the teaching of Jesus, but this was against God’s Will
a. Psalms 2 is quoted. Notice what it says in full. God is in control whether men like or not.
4. Ancient Roman made war on God’s people, but God overcomes - Rev 17:12-14
B. Isa 46:9-11 - God does just as He intends. He manipulates events and people, even events far away to accomplish His will.
C. Just because someone or a group says “I don’t like the way you raise your children” does not automatically give society the right to fix things as they see fit.
1. Everyone must recognize that they are accountable to a higher standard.
2. If those standards are being violated, then yes something should be done to correct the problem.
3. Too often, government gives a knee-jerk reaction to a problem and “solves” the problem with a worse situation.
IV. Doing what we can does not reflect our belief in God’s aid
A. If so, then when we pray for our daily bread as taught in Matthew 6:11 we should not go to work because we would be showing a lack of belief.
1. But this conflicts with II Thess 3:10
2. It is a recognition that God is in control. I have my job, not because of my greatness, but because of God’s generosity. I have the ability to work because God has given me good health. God wants us to work for our bread even though we are to pray for it.
B. We do the best we can and leave the rest in God’s hands - Prov 16:9
C. There is a tale being circulated about a man who is trapped by a flood. The police came by to warn him to leave, but he declined saying he would pray to God and place himself in His care. As the waters rose, rescuers came in a boat, but again the man declined. “God will rescue me,” he said. Soon the water was so high, he had to climb on his roof. A helicopter came by and dropped a ladder to him, but he refused to climb on. Just then, the house gave way and he drowned in the flood. As he appeared before God, he said, “I just don’t understand Lord. I prayed as you said and I put my trust in you. What did I do wrong?” The Lord answers, “I did answer your prayers. I sent the police, the boat, and the helicopter, but you refused my aid.”
D. Using the tools that God has provided does not hinder His help nor does it reflect a disbelief in God’s power on our part. These tools are here because of God. Those steps, determined by man, are still from God - Prov 20:24
E. Hence when Timothy was ill, Paul advised him to drink a little wine as medicine - I Tim 5:23
F. This is also why Luke is referred to as the beloved physician - Col 4:14
1. Though a Christian, Luke retained his occupation
2. His use of medical tools did not lessen others respect for him.
A. Just because one prays, does not imply that the answer will be a miraculous intercession by God.
B. Just because man prays, it does not imply God will answer the prayer in the way man expects. The almighty God is not a man’s beck and call.
C. God expects man to do what he can and God will make up the rest.
1. If I need a new job, it means I need to be beating the bushes.
2. If I need food on the table, it means I better be working as hard as I can.
3. If I need healing, I will see those who can help and pray that God makes up for their lack.
D. This family is wrong for not taking advantage of the tools that God has provided us.
E. The solution is not taking their children away, but teaching them God’s Word fully.