“SERVANTS OF HONOUR AND DISHONOUR”

[19] Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. [20] But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. [21] If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Timothy 2:19-21) KJV.

It is shocking how those with a political agenda can excuse the behaviour of leaders with whom they have affinity or have preference. This is not only true in politics but sadly also in the church. To side with one political leader over another on the basis of politics is expected for this is not only normal but is logical. I support my friend and political soul mate this is what is known as being partisan, the very word is a clue.

However, when God, the church or the Bible is used then it’s shameful. Some even go as far as prophesying that support for their political person is approved by God and anyone who criticises such a one is in danger of displeasing God or bringing the judgment of God upon themselves. How ridiculous and offensive.

The bible lists many leaders: prophets, priests and kings who behaved badly and certainly was not approved by God. Ahab was a rightful king in Israel but he was an offender and was opposed by Elijah.

The prophet Micaiah also opposed Ahab yet he was supported by many prophets who all thought the king was beyond reproach and even in office with the approval of God.

In the text above, Apostle Paul writes that it’s the seal of God that identifies us as belonging to God. By belonging I mean approved by God and used by God. Then he writes all who would invoke the name of The Lord by claiming to be a servant of God, a child of God, a believer, born again or simply a Christian, must depart from iniquity (lawlessness, immorality or grossly unfair behaviour. Wickedness, sinfulness, impropriety, vice, evil, sin etc).

Then he writes about the many vessels which are in a great house that are to honour and dishonour. Some vessels are low in value, some very expensive; some used all the time and some used on special occasions.

King Nebuchadnezzar is described as a servant of God because he would be used to discipline Israel for their sins. Nebuchadnezzar did some very bad things when he invaded Israel. He later ruled over Israel with a strong arm. God did not approve of his life as a man. At one point the king lost his mind for seven years during which his hair grew, as did his nails and lived out in the open as a wild beast. I am sure his supporters excused his madness even then.

Cyrus the Great was also a servant of God also in respect of the nation of Israel. This same Cyrus issued the decree to build the walls in Jerusalem. Despite carrying out God’s plan for Israel did not mean his sinful ways were exonerated by God.

Paul then makes it clear that to be a vessel of honour one had to purge themselves from these (sin, immorality, evil, vice, unfair behaviour etc) in order to become a vessel of honour fit for the Master’s use.

When President Trump got elected I wrote that God will help him if he humbles himself. It wasn’t so much that he was God’s servant of honour, far from it, but rather God could use him despite his obvious inabilities. Its one thing to be well qualified to be president and getting into trouble because of pride but to get into trouble when one is patently unqualified because of pride is foolish in the extreme.

Pride is foolish at all levels of leadership but it’s especially foolish for those in high office because it leads to destruction. God resists the proud.

It was pride that caused king Nebuchadnezzar to live like a wild beast for seven years. It was pride that precipitated the overthrow and death of many despots and it was pride that led to Satan being cast out of heaven.

Still many Christian leaders are unwilling to let Mr Trump know he is behaving badly. Every wrong is received in silence and those who speak defend his wrong. The prophet Nathan went to King David and told him he had blood on his hands for orchestrating the death of Uriah. Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die”. (2 Samuel 12:13).  

King Ahab of Israel invites king Jehoshaphat of Judah to join him in a battle. Jehoshaphat is not convinced that the battle is justified. He suggests to Ahab that they consult the prophet to find out if God would give the go ahead. At a flash Ahab produces hundreds of prophets who give the go ahead in the name of The Lord. King Jehoshaphat is suspicious at the unanimity and asks if there was another independent minded prophet they could consult. Ahab says there is another and his name is Micaiah but he is in prison because he hates me for he never says anything good about me.

Jehoshaphat insists they consult Micaiah and he is brought out of prison. Before he is brought before the two kings he is briefed by Ahab’s servants to say what the other prophets had said. On being brought before the two kings he says what he was told to say. Ahab is surprised so he insists that Micaiah speak the truth. The prophet then went on to speak a word from God which in effect said don’t engage in this battle for if you do many will die including the king of Israel. Ahab with the support of Jehoshaphat went to war and was killed. The story of Micaiah and his encounter with Ahab can be found in 1 Kings 22.

I do hope Mr Trump will humble himself because America needs good leadership for its in trouble. The world needs good leadership for there is great uncertainty and fear. If he does humble himself and purge himself then he will not only be a successful leader but also a vessel of honour prepared unto every good work.

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.

The Lord’s servant  

Lloyd Denny

 

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