The Bible contains several examples of people who were called to do a particular work, and who at first refused, or questioned its necessity, or insisted on doing it their own way, or wanted to quit the job before it was finished.
Since I know people who have done all these things, and having at times felt that way myself, I thought it would be interesting to examine some of these instances and see if we could find a common thread or underlying cause that would help and encourage us.
Adam and Eve
Without a doubt, Yahweh instructed Adam and Eve and their children. Since they were created on the sixth day, chances are that the very next day after their lives began, on that first Sabbath day, Yahweh sat them down and instructed them in His laws, telling them what He expected of them. They were told to dress and keep the garden, among other things. In view of what followed, He must also have instructed them in how He wanted to be worshipped.
We know that they quickly decided Satan knew more about their needs than Yahweh did, ate the fruit, and lived to regret it. Their disobedience got them expelled from Yahweh's presence, and out of the garden. They probably thought, "well, what will one little bite hurt?" And as a result, they have handicapped all their descendants ever since. We are still living under the curse of sin.
Of course, they tried to shift the blame from themselves. "It's not my fault," they cried. Adam said "this woman YOU gave me - she gave it to me and I ate it." "The snake made me do it," Eve cried.
Cain and Abel
Later, their sons were taught to offer sacrifices. Since a blemish-free sacrifice was required, Cain's offering "of the fruit of the ground" was not acceptable. This was not because it was not an animal, but because it was not the best Cain had.
Gen 4:3-4 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Yahweh. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Yahweh had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Gen 4:5-6 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell…
Cain apparently just went out to his field and pulled up or cut down the first thing he came to, or maybe even selected inferior fruit to offer, and kept the best for himself. Abel's offering was the firstfruits, and "the fat thereof," meaning the very best Abel had. Cain was so incensed, even though it was clearly his own fault, that he invited Abel out into the field, where he rose up and killed his own brother out of jealousy and anger.
Would he have done such a thing if their parents had not sinned? Not likely. So we see that the world's first parents, and their first offspring refused to follow Yahweh, and as a result, they were kicked out of the garden. They were required to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow from that point forward.
Then we move on to Moses. He had been selected by Yahweh to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery. But he had qualms about such a momentous undertaking. The story is in Exodus chapter 3.
Exo 3:10-11 So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."
But Moses said to Elohim, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
Then he complained in verse 13 that the Israelites would want to know His Name. So Yahweh introduced Himself to Moses. He told him in verse 15, that YHWH is His Name, and that this is the Name He wants to be known by throughout ALL generations.
Exo 3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Yahweh, God (Heb. Elohim) of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (Note: "The LORD" is a substitute for YHWH, placed in the Scriptures about 7,000 times by misguided translators. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Encylcopedia Judaica, and numerous scholars, this is pronounced "Yahweh.")
Exo 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, Yahweh hath not appeared unto thee.
Once again we see Moses trying to talk Yahweh out of sending him to Pharaoh. And yet again:
Exo 4:10-13 But Moses said to Yahweh, O my Lord, (Heb. Adonai) I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue. Then Yahweh said to him, Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh?
Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak." But he said, "O my Lord, please send someone else." (NRSV)
So Moses finally went, after Yahweh gave him Aaron his brother to be his spokesman. Even so , there were times when Moses wanted to give up and quit. But the good news is, he did not. Yahweh gave him strength and courage and determination through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to persevere.
King Saul
Then we see the example of Saul, the first king of Israel. He accepted the job readily enough, but he could not bring himself to obey fully. He was more concerned with what his subjects thought than what Yahweh told him to do. He was told to go attack the Amalekites for what they did to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Not only that, but they were to utterly destroy them, their wives, children, and all their possessions. Notice this in 1 Samuel 15:1-3.
1 Sam 15:9-11 Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the cattle and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was valuable, and would not utterly destroy them; all that was despised and worthless they utterly destroyed. The word of Yahweh came to Samuel: "I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands."
This entire 15th chapter of 1 Samuel should be read and studied. It contains many lessons. At first Saul insisted that he HAD obeyed Yahweh, and had faithfully carried out His instructions. Indeed he had carried out some of them, but NOT FULLY. Samuel told him that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is the same as idolatry. His heart was not fully committed to Yahweh. He thought he could "do his own thing," in the modern vernacular, doing only part of what Yahweh wanted, and still please Yahweh.
Yahweh said He regretted making Saul king because he would not follow orders. Saul said he saved the animals because he "feared the people and obeyed their voice." When we fear people and what they may say or think about us, more than we fear Yahweh, we have a problem. Partial obedience will not get us into His Kingdom. What a tragedy if, on Judgment Day, we hear His voice as recorded in Mat. 7:
Mat 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
These people He is referring to, are "good" people, who think they are "right with the Almighty." Some of us are in for a rude shock. His followers must be fully committed to Him and His way. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).
The prophet Jeremiah received his calling even before he was born, although it had not yet been revealed. (Incidentally, this Scripture is ample proof that life begins at conception, in the womb, and not at birth.)
Jer 1:45 Now the word of Yahweh came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
But what was Jeremiah's reaction when he found out? Was he thrilled and excited about his calling to be a prophet?
Jer 1:6-8 Then I said, "Ah, Adonai Yahweh! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." But Yahweh said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a boy'; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says Yahweh."
So, somewhat reluctantly, Jeremiah did as he was told, after first trying to "beg off." Yes, he suffered some for his decision, even getting thrown into a slimy dungeon for his "seditious and treasonous" speeches and prophecies. Today someone preaching that we should surrender to the Germans, the Russians, or the Chinese, for example, would probably receive even more harsh treatment than Jeremiah did.
Quoting from the Introduction to the Book of Jeremiah in the Good News Bible, "Jeremiah was a sensitive man who deeply loved his people, and who hated to have to pronounce judgment upon them. In many passages he spoke with deep emotion about the things he suffered because (Yahweh) had called him to be a prophet. The word of (Yahweh) was like fire in his heart - he could not keep it back.
There are several other examples, but we will let Jonah be our last one. Yahweh told Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. A great empire, they were Israel's deadly enemy. Jonah did not want to go there and proclaim their sins and the destruction Yahweh threatened, if they did not repent. He knew that Yahweh was a merciful Elohim, and would forgive them if they should repent. He feared that the city would not be destroyed. So, after a dramatic series of events, he obeyed somewhat reluctantly, and then pouted when they did repent and Yahweh spared them.
This book illustrates Yahweh's total sovereignty over His creation, and even more, shows that He would rather forgive and save than to punish and destroy, even the sworn enemies of His people Israel. Incidentally, this is the only account I can recall where the people DID repent after being warned by a prophet of Yahweh. And shame of shames, it was not the people Yahweh had called and nurtured and loved, but a nation of pagans who did not even know the laws of Yahweh.
There are lessons to be learned from all this. Some of us, who have the Holy Scriptures, and to whom a bit of understanding has been imparted, stand in jeopardy for our failure to carry out the commission we have been given. We mentally judge others who do not "have the truth," all the while either ignoring our own calling, or only doing it half-heartedly. Where has our zeal gone? Have we lost our "first love"?
If you get discouraged from time to time and have fleeting doubts as to your calling, whether or not you have Yahweh's Holy Spirit, or your ability to carry on, persevering to the end, here are some points to consider.
We should exhort and encourage one another at every opportunity. We should never be guilty of discouraging someone, or putting a stumbling block in their way.
Heb 3:12-13 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living El. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
How do we do this? By exercising the Holy Spirit - by letting His mind dwell in us.
Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in the Messiah Yahshua.
We must guard diligently against letting Satan gain a foothold in our minds.
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Master: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of Yahweh; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Malachi was inspired to write (Mal 3:16-17) Then they that feared Yahweh spake often one to another: and Yahweh hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Yahweh, and that thought upon his name.
And they shall be mine, saith Yahweh of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
What a wonderful, inspiring, encouraging, glorious thought! We are going to be His! He said it! This book that was written - could this be the same book spoken of in Revelation 20?
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Yah; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
We must exhort one another at every opportunity, encouraging each other in the faith. It is not always an easy path. We have much tribulation in this life, especially those of us who take the Bible seriously.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of Yahweh.
The best time that we have opportunities to interact with brethren, to discuss our Walk with Him, is on the Sabbath day, at our assemblies. The writer of Hebrews instructs us as follows:
Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
I personally know several who have done just that! They will not meet with anyone or any group, yet claim to be in the faith. This cannot be. We must get involved in the way that Yahweh has called us to do. The way that leads to a better, more contented life here and now, and leads ultimately to a position in His glorious Kingdom!
Our finite minds, even with help from the Holy Spirit, cannot fully grasp what He has planned for us.
I Cor 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Yah hath prepared for them that love him. But Yahweh hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Yahweh.
Yahshua said, "Be of good courage; I have overcome the world." So, do not be a quitter. Let us persevere, and do the work! <>

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