Categories: father_articles Date: Mar 11, 2010 Title: why hast thou cast us off forever?
“O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? Psa 74:1.”
By Fr. Youhanna Ghaly
My dear beloveds, David, the psalms writer wonders how God refused Hid people and declare His wrath on them: He, David, remember His great mercies on them and His covenant with them. And now, my beloveds, let us think what makes God refused us and cast us off. And , more importantly how we get back to Him, how to implore His mercy, and remind Him with His promises so He may extend His kindness and great care to us again.
First: The reasons for God’s rejections to His people:
1- Rebellion and Stubbornness: One of the sins that cause God’s wrath and His rejection to His people is rebellious behaviour toward Him. He is the one who created everything and wisely arrange them; He is the one who looked after them in Sinai and with a strong hand set them free from Egypt. He is the one who made wonders to keep them among the gentiles and yet they rebel. The same things happen with us: He loved us, completed the salvation, indulged us with every blessing and yet we rebel, yet we follow the world and our lusts. It is so bad to rebel listen to the bible: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1Sa
2- Resisting the Truth: Jesus said “ Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” Joh 18:37 The lord Jesus is the truth so we shouldn’t resist Him or His words. We should listen to His laws and convent, whoever does not is a rebellious and will be rejected as said “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” 2Ti 3:8
3- Lack of Knowledge: When you reject God, and refuse to know Him, you become unaware of his love and kindness. You become ignorant, aimlessly human being just like everybody else who eats and drinks because tomorrow he would die. Be carful not to waste such a great opportunity of knowing Him so you missed on many things.
“ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hos 4:6 St Paul said: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” Rom 1:28
4- Disobedience: God is everything and we are clay utensil He made us He can make us graceful ones and this does not happen unless we submit ourselves to Him. “And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.” Lev 26:15-16 And also
“But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh” Pro 1:26
When make our desires according to His laws, we will enjoy glory and everlasting happiness. Disobedience strip us a lot of good things to come. Obey God and enjoy “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,” 1Pe2:7
5-Ego: Our egos will be the largest obstacle to God’ work in us. Setting aside our egos is an essential condition that the Lord asked his disciples to in order to be disciples. Many people were trapped in their self-centering thought. Once there was a big fuss: who would be the greatest in heaven and Jesus raised a child and told them unless you return and become like children you wouldn’t enter the heavenly kingdom. “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” Luk7:30 It is important that everyone examines themselves and see if they behave according to their egos or God is working in them as St. paul said: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2Co 13:5 Also “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1Co 9:27
6-Non-repentance: we all know that did not repent so he was rejected from God as St. Paul said “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” Heb 12:17 Also, Judas regret doing what he did, however he went and executed himself in despair. There was no repentance here there was ignorance of God ‘s wide door of mercy.
7- Not Accepting Discipline: accepting discipline is crucial in our relationship with God. Pro 1:8 “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” God is our father and as children we should obey and listen. Also Pro 15:32 “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. Also in the book of Job: Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. Job 5:17-18 So be careful my friend on accepting God’s discipline so you may get abundant of blessings And heed to church’s economy.
8- Not Relying on God: Depend on God not on your understanding. Make God you rescue not a human arm. He will be your fortress; He will look after you: No worldly fire would burn you. He created all things, how would you leave the creator and depend on the creatures? Jer 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? Isa 30:12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: Isa 30:13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
9- Hippocratic Faith: We all know my beloved that without faith we can not satisfy God. Our Christianity urge us to have a real faith: a fruitful faith that is at action through love. This is secret of a true Christian fellowship: Our lives are full of sacraments ; our church is full of sacraments. Sacrament is a secret work can be accomplish only by faith. Understanding that is only based on our minds is not enough. True, faithful faith is really needed in order to enjoy this these sacraments. No to ungodly deed, no to hypocritical faith, no to faith that is only based on knowledge. Paul said about them that: They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. Tit 1:16 Also `But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. `Heb 6:8
These are the essentials that we should focus on in order to enjoy God’s great mercies.
Second: Returning to God
Would God leave us to perishing? Would God continue in His rejection to us? Would God accept us another time? Many questions! But from our experience with Him, we would notice that He is kind, merciful, and a true father. He would not ignore us, quite contrary He would wait for our return. Moreover, he would ask us, urge us to return to Him. That is why in our prayers we ask Him daily to have mercy on us. We say it more often knowingly that his mercies are great. If we done everything perfectly we still should wonder because of our sins: Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Psa 77:7-8 As much as possible we try to be perfect though. As much as possible we try to have pure heart. Listen to what the bible says: Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers: Job 8:20 Try my beloveds to have a holy life and stay away form ungodly life so that God may accept you Listen to what St. Paul says ``But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.`` 2Co 4:2
After all we are His people and we must return to righteousness and He won`t cast us off as the psalm says: For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it. Psa 94:14-15 Jeremiah also says: For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. Lam 3:31-32 and we hear the voice of encouragement in psalm: Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Psa 44:23
Don’t despair, Remind God with His covenant: Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. seek His mercy and ask Him Psa 27:9 Don’t be disobedient not to be obedient, remember how much did the Lord with you Psa 71:9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. And in Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
As He did with you in the past, he will wipe every tear from your eyes when He meets you in His eternal life, after we have washed our clothes in the blood of the lamb when we were baptised and when we repented and partaken His communion.