2 Samuel 2:1-5:5; 1 Chronicles 3:1-4, 11:1-3
What happens when we do things in Jesus’ name that were never part of His plan? Does God bless it anyway? The Old Testament is full of examples of individuals, kings, entire nations doing things without God’s direction. And it usually ends very badly.
Ask Recab and Baanah for instance. Ish-Bosheth was standing in the way of David becoming King. At least that’s what Racab and Baanah seemed to have thought. So they decided to clear the path for David and kill Ish-Bosheth. Then, and this is what struck me today, they went to David and said:
Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to take your life. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring. (2 Samuel 4:8)
They actually gave God credit for what they had done. But do we read anywhere that God had directed them to murder Saul’s son? We don’t. Did God bless them anyway, seeing they had acted with good intentions in His Name? He did not.
They received a swift death penalty. More blood shed.
But look closer. Did that death sentence come from God? Scripture doesn’t say anything about David asking God what to do. It appears David, who was closely identified with God, made that call on his own.
We who are closely identified with Jesus need to be intentional in our walk with Him. We need to be careful not to do something we want, slap God’s name on it, and assume He’ll bless it.
We need to be aware that non-believers are watching us, and judging God by what we do. If we say, “God told me to,” they are going to believe God told us to do that thing. Whether or not He did. And that’s serious.
I think God sometimes gets a bad rap because His children are misrepresenting Him. And I don’t think any of us who love Jesus want to make Him look bad. God help us to do what He asks us to do in His Name.
And may He help us not be guilty of dressing up our own will and actions by saying,
“God told me to.”