“That was one of the funniest sermons I've ever heard.” Randy over heard Tim telling his wife. Moments later, Randy quietly slipped out of the church foyer and hid himself in the supply closet hoping no one would find him. “Maybe,” he thought to himself, I'll be able to find myself a one way trip to Tim-Buck-Tu.”
It was there in the supply closet, Randy was found several hours later mumbling to himself, “I just don’t believe it.” over and over again. “Randy? Is that you?” came a female's voice. Randy tried to cover up but was unsuccessful and soon Rhonda Clay was pulling him to his feet. “What are you doing in here?” she asked, I thought you would have gone home long before now. And, what don't you believe?”
“Didn't you hear the sermon?” Randy asked. “Sorry,” Rhonda said, “I didn't make it to church this morning because I had to work at the hospital. So, what happened, did someone paint more green graffiti on the church building?” “This was even worse.” Randy stated. “Worse?” Rhonda said in surprise, “Did they actually destroy part of the church building?”
“No.” Randy said, “The building isn’t any worse than last week.” “Did you find out who painted it?” Rhonda asked. “No.” Randy shook his head, “But this week they or he or she or who ever it is did something even worse.” “well, if they didn't break anything,” Rhonda said, “What could be worse?”
“Somebody changed my sermon!” Randy said and tried to hide again. “Changed your sermon?” Rhonda asked, What could be so bad about that?” “Do you know how embarrassing that is?” Randy asked “If I would have known before I started preaching I might have been able to fix it. But oooooh.” “How did it happen?” Rhonda asked.
“I don’t know for certain.” Randy replied, “I keep my sermon on the computer and somebody reworded all the Bible verses on me. Did you know that Noah’s wife was the size of the ark? And did you know it snowed for forty days and lights? By the time I got through all the verses my entire sermon was a mess. What an embarrassment. I'll never be able to show my face again.”
“Well,” Rhonda said, “If it's any comfort, I not only heard your sermon was the funniest one you have ever preached, but it was one of your best, and it can't be near as embarrassing as what happened to me this morning, but, I can't stop being a nurse and you can't stop being a preacher.” “I guess your right.” Randy said stepping out of the closet, “I just hope something worse doesn't happen.”
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." - Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV)
God said something, He gave a command and something happened to it. Later in scripture God had given other commands and something happened to them as well. You might think they were disobeyed, they were, but something else happened to them – they were twisted.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.' " But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:1-5 (ESV) - Satan said you shall not surely die...
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, " 'He will command his angels concerning you,' and " 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.' " Matthew 4:5-6 (ESV) – Satan said jump and you won't get hurt...
And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, " 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God) — then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do." Mark 7:5-13 (ESV) The Pharisees sad Corban and invalidated God's word....
- Jeremiah got after those who changed God's words - Jeremiah 23:36 But you will never again say, ’The message of the LORD,’ because the only message you speak is your own words. You have changed the words of our God, the living God, the LORD All-Powerful. (NCV)
- God said - Don’t add to these commands, and don’t leave anything out, but obey the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. Deuteronomy 4:2 (NCV)
- We have Paul's Example - 2 Corinthians 4:2 But we have turned away from secret and shameful ways. We use no trickery, and we do not change the teaching of God. We teach the truth plainly, showing everyone who we are. Then they can know in their hearts what kind of people we are in God’s sight. (NCV)
- Peter speaks of those who twist things to their own destruction - 2 Peter 3:16 He speaks about these things in all his letters, in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures. (HCSB)
We need to keep God's word – God's word. We shouldn't try and twist it, change it, etc to say what it doesn't say, to use it to try and justify evil, wrong doings, our ways.
Here's Something To Ponder
- In what ways might you be tempted to change God's words to justify yourself?
- In what way have you twisted others peoples word to your advantage or their hurt?