Commitment to God

white-bengal-tiger-406994_640Job 31:1: “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? (ESV) 

We need to learn to look straight ahead regardless of whatever seeks to distract us. Jesus refused to be distracted by Herod (Luke 13:32). He was told “Herod wants to kill you, so get out of here,” but he showed that he was not afraid for his life, he followed the will of God fully and willingly.

He would not allow himself to be distracted, even by the praise of people. Some people wanted to make him king because he gave them food, but he would not budge (John 6:13-15). He ran from them. Someone lesser would have jumped at that opportunity.

A prophet in the Old Testament showed he had an hunger for human approval when he disdained the commandment of God to not eat where he was sent (1Kings 13). He was deceived by an older prophet to eat and he lost out of a promising prophetic ministry eaten as he was killed by a lion, being the reward of disobedience.

Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be distracted by the devil counter-offer of wisdom (Genesis 3). They stopped seeing God as the epitome of wisdom, they were lured by the deceitful sweetness of the mouth of the devil. Note that the smoothness of the words of a man, or even the passion does not mean the man is not sent by the devil to distract you. A juicy offer does not mean a God-offer.

Saul allowed himself to be distracted by the voice of his men who were with him when he was on the way to conquer the Amalekites (1Samuel 15). God said to destroy everything, but the men suggested that certain animals should be saved. God said certain thing to Adam but his wife suggested something different, something contrary. Both Saul and Adam were distracted from the truth with damning consequences.

The children of Israel were charged to remember the one who gives them the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). They should not allow the ease they feel around to cause them to feel no need for God.

Jeremiah said God’s people Israel committed two evils (Jeremiah 2:13), forsaking him, the fountain of living waters, and hewed for themselves cisterns that could not hold water. They rejected the richness of relationship with God for emptiness of association of other gods.

Paul complained about the Galatian church that they have soon departed from the gospel of Jesus to another gospel, which is no gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-10). They allowed themselves to be pulled away from the doctrine of righteousness by faith to righteousness by works, and they consequently fell from grace (Galatians 5:4), just as Adam and Eve fell.

Grace for Adam and Eve was that they had a free access to the wisdom of God, the ultimate wisdom, but when they were deceived that they needed to eat a fruit to get it, they fell from grace.  Embracing a lie, they disconnected from the truth of God, and grace and truth work together. If you embrace another thing counter to Christ’s truth you have fallen from the grace of God.

Covenant speaks of commitment, and that involves two parties. For the focus verse the two parties were the man Job and his eyes.

He treats his eyes as something under his control and not what control him. The eyes are the symbols of passion, but Job was a man of self-control. Paul said that he puts his body under so that after he had preached to others he may not be a cast away (1Corinthians 9:27). He knows that if he allowed the flesh to rule his life, he cannot at the same time claim that Jesus is ruling his life. It is either the Holy Spirit or the flesh. It cannot be both. He has to reject one to embrace the other. And through the instrument of self-control he suppressed the flesh.

Paul made a commitment to put his body under (i.e. passion), you should make a similar commitment.

To avoid fornication takes commitment. Which is another word for covenant. Joseph had a strong commitment to God which was manifested in how he behaved when he was tempted to sin by sleeping with his master’s wife (Genesis 39).

He ran away from her. He puts a distance between himself and the object of the temptation, and that further cost his freedom.

Remember that he was a slave, which meant restriction, and now after he ran away from Potiphar’s wised, he was imprisoned which mean further restriction.

Someone observing the life of Joseph would have blamed him for his choices. He might be told that he made a mistake; why did he try to be so holy, who does he think he was?

But eventually God vindicated him, and from that prison he became a prime minister in Egypt. The temporary limitation because of his commitment to truth led to his experiencing the ultimate freedom possible in the land of Egypt.

Paul said that our light affliction is working for us an eternal weight of glory (2Corinthians 4:17). Our example is Jesus who passed through ultimate humiliation and rejection on the cross to experience ultimate glorification in being given a name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow (Philippians 2:5-11), just as every knee was made to bow when Joseph passes on his chariots on the streets of Egypt, in an uncanny parallelism. Jesus has been given all power in heaven and on earth, and Joseph was given all powers in Egypt except sitting on the throne, the same with Jesus (Genesis 41:38-44).

When you suffer setback because you are righteous, it is a set up for glory. Jesus said you should actually rejoice when we are hated by men because that is the same fate that befell the great prophets of old (Matthew 5:11-12) and your reward is great in heaven.

If God has regard for you, that is enough even if men do not regard you. Every seeming disadvantage that you experience because you are for God is a set up for spiritual elevation. Even for Job, his commitment to God eventually got him elevated from the miry clay of despondency, to a refreshing end.

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