What Have You Done?
Solomon in his book of
Ecclesiastes concluded that, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with
every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl 12:14). This serves to remind
us that whatever we do we are answerable to God. For the eyes of the Lord are
in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. David in his Psalms
said, “O Lord, who shall sojourn in the tent? Who shall dwell on thy holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart”
(Ps 15:1-2). It is understood then that only those who fear God and keep His
commandments, do what is right, pure in mouth and minds are qualified to draw
near to God.
the Chinese there is a common saying that if you look upwards you have no shame
to face God and if you look downwards you have no remorse to face man. This is
their basic principle in life. We, as worshippers of God must lead a life
compatible to the gospel of Christ. Our character must be upright before
believers so as to bring glory to God. The Bible says, “The spirit of man is
the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts” (Prov 20:27). The
Psalm of Asaph also says, “I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and
search my spirit” (Ps 77:6). Self-examination is a conscience given by God. We
must do it often lest the lamp in our heart be extinguished.
The Lord God Asked Eve What She Had Done
Eve had gone against the
commandment of God by eating the forbidden fruits and after that she was afraid
to see God. When God called her she replied that she was naked and therefore,
she dared not see God. The Lord God asked Eve, “What is this that you have
done?” Eve replied that the serpent had beguiled her and she ate (Gen 3:1-13).
Because Eve had sinned and in turn had also led Adam to sin. Therefore, as sin
came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread
to all men because all men sin (Rom 5:12).
Eve, tempted by the serpent also
because of her own lust. She was not watchful but had given way to Satan. James
pointed out, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his
own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when
it is full-grown brings forth death” (Jas 1:14-15). Actually, when Eve saw the
fruit which was beautiful and could be consumed as food she had an urge to eat
it and this gave the devil an opportunity to tempt her. When she had taken the
fruit and eaten it she also gave it to her husband to eat.
God’s commandment is absolute and
pure and it will not change but it was a pity that Eve did not look upon it as
something important and this had resulted her sinning. The Lord said that His
words were Spirit and Life (Jn 6:63). He said again, “If you keep my
commandments, you will abide in my love” (Jn 15:10). Eve did not keep the
commandment of God. She had departed from the love of God. What a pitiful state
God Asked Cain, “What Have You Done?”
Man started to kill during the
second generation and the one who was killed was the younger brother.
After Cain had killed his own
brother, God inquired Cain of his brother; to this he said he did not know and
he even questioned God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” But God said, “What have
you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive
your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no
longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the
earth” (Gen 4:9-12). Will not God inquire of Cain whose hands had killed his
own brother? Will God let Cain go unpunished?
The killing of Abel by Cain
accounts the first bloodshed of mankind. Eversince there happened
countless numbers of killings and murders. Therefore, God in His Ten
Commandments forbade people from killing each other (Ex 20:13). The Bible
teaches us to love one another. One who does not love his brother whom he has
seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 Jn 4:20). The Bible also records,
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the
brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Anyone who hates his brother is
a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1
Jn 3:14-15). We learn from here that as brothers and sisters we should love one
another, and if we hate each other it amounts to killing each other.
Jesus said, “You have heard that
it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be
liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that any one who is angry with his
brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be
liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’
shall be liable to hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar,
and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift
there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then
come offer your gift.” (Mt 5:21-24).
Peter said, “Having purified your
souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love
one another earnestly from the heart” (1 Pet 1:22). So let us not love in words
or speech but in deed and in truth, that our hearts may remain peaceful before
the Lord. We must truly love one another for love can cover a multitude of
sins. Cain had no love for his brother and this led him to the killing of his
Samuel Said To Saul, “What Have You Done?”
The Israelites were at war with
the Philistines. Saul had no patience to wait for Samuel and he offered the
burnt offering himself. When finally Samuel arrived and asked Saul, “What have
you done?” Apparently, Saul had done something which had violated the
commandment of God and this had enraged Samuel to reprove him, “You have done
foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he
commanded you; for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel
forever” (1 Sam 13:8-13).
After this incident Saul was still
not repentant. Later God had commissioned him to destroy all the Amalekites
including their animals but Saul did not do as he was told by God. Saul had
compassion on Agag, the Amalekite King and Saul also kept some of the best
animals. When questioned by Samuel, Saul replied that the animals that he had
kept were for the burnt sacrifice to God. And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as
great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the
Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of
rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as
iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has
also rejected you from being king.” (I Sam 15:22-23).
We learn from here that it is
important that we should be submissive to God. Saul was disobedient to God and
so he was rejected by God and deprived of his kingship and also lost his life.
So, let Saul’s downfall serve as a warning to us. Learn the way Jesus had
submitted Himself to God. Paul in his epistle to the Phillipians said that, “though Jesus was in the form of God, did not count equality
with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a
servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he
humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil
2:6-8). Indeed, the Lord had received the bitter cup whereby fulfilling the
will of the Lord (Mt 26:42). We, too, must carry His yoke and follow His
example (Mt 11:29).
The Boatmen Asked Jonah, “What Is This That You
Jonah, a prophet
to Jeroboam II, King of the Israelites (2 Kgs 14:23-27). God sent him to
the city of Nineveh
to warn the people to repent for this wickedness had come up before God. But
Jonah did not obey God’s commands, instead he boarded
on a ship intending to escape to a place called Tarshish. However, God had sent
a great storm tossing the ship to and fro to a dangerous point causing the ship
nearly to capsized. The passengers on board the ship
were very frightened, each one calling to his god to save them. When the storm
did not stop they resorted to the casting of lots to find out who was the cause
of the trouble. The lot fell on Jonah. The boatmen asked Jonah, “What is this
that you have done!” Jonah told them unreservedly how he had tried to escape
the commission of God. Finally, Jonah told them to lift him up and throw him
into the sea, then the sea will quiet down for them (Jon 1:1-15). It is hard to
imagine that a prophet like Jonah could also fail to carry out the will of God.
King David in his psalm wrote, “0
Lord, thou hast searched me and known me! Thou knowest when I sit down and when
I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar. Thou searchest out my path
and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. Whither shall I go from
thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend to heaven,
thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!” (Ps 139:1-3, 7-8).
God also makes such remark thought
the prophet saying, “Am I a God at hand’, says the Lord, ‘and not a God afar
off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ says
the Lord. ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the Lord” (Jer 23:23-24).
God’s eyes are everywhere. We must submit to His will and not to shirk our
Jonah had avoided God because of
his self-righteousness. He had reasoned with God that what he did was right but
according to his own judgment (Jon 4:1-9). Paul in his epistle to the Romans
wrote that, “For being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and
seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness”
(Rom 10:3). So, Jonah’s self-righteousness and his rebellion against God may wel1 serve as a warning to us.
Paul said, “Therefore do not be
foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph 5:17). Though the
four people mentioned: Eve, Cain, Saul and Jonah had offered God to different
degrees, nevertheless they had committed a common error, ie, they had
disregarded the will of God; they had acted on their own will instead of the
will of the Lord. They regarded themselves more than God.
As disciples of Christ, we must
act according to the will of the Lord as Paul did, he said, “If we live, we
live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live
or we die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8). The correct interpretation of Paul’s
statement here is we must obey God unto death, a total sacrifice. Therefore,
we must spend more effort in spiritual training so that we may grow up into
maturity and we would not be deceived like a small child. When we have equipped
ourselves with the truth we shall be able to discern between the good and the
bad then slowly we shall attain perfection.