God does not contradict Himself!
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and shall He not do it? – or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”
When reading God’s word, I need the Holy Spirit to quicken it to my spirit. There are some apparent contradictions in the Bible, but the truth is: there are no contradictions in the Bible. The problem is my lack of understanding, I need further revelation. Reason, or sense knowledge, is not divine revelation.
Consider the following scriptures:
Proverbs 26:4 “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him”.
Proverbs 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit”.
When God gives further revelation, there is no contradiction here. If I answer a fool in my natural judgement of him, then I am no different to him. What! Yes! I need to apply Romans 2:1 to my natural judgements of people – “You are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are that judges, for wherein you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judges, do the same things”. If I think I am different in any way to my fellow man, I must recognise it is the grace of God on my life, and not take the credit to my character. When I despise and judge others, I am considering myself to be better and thus “condemn myself”, digging my own pit to fall in – grave digging! God calls it inexcusable because He knows how our natural judgements of others, a critical spirit, is like a cancer in the Body of Christ, resulting in hard hearts and disunity. When I feel myself getting critical, I need to repent and get back on track with the Lord.
So, we have established not to answer a fool out of my natural judgement and understanding, (verse 4). When I have dealt with my natural judgement of my fellow man, ( according to the warning in God’s word), I then need the Holy Spirit’s guidance whether to rebuke or tolerate as I “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit”, verse 5.
God requires me to conduct myself in a wise and loving way as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. Dealing with my judgements of others can take a lifetime if I refuse to acknowledge my critical spirit. In God’s love, He forgives me, but please God, don’t let me be unchanged! God wants me to prove Him. I discover just how great and marvellous He is when I surrender to His working in me. The abundant life of Jesus Christ is offered to me as my birthright. When I began my journey at the foot of the Cross, I entered into salvation. As I travel my spiritual journey, God requires my response to walk in His ways, not mine. As I surrender my will to His, He enables me to walk, and live, worthy of Him.
I can ask God to walk with me, and He will meet me where I am because He loves me. Who wants second best when the highest is to walk with Him? His best for me lays ahead. I need to get in step with Him. When in training, military men learn to march together, left, right, left, right. They also learn to change step when the order comes from their superior. Their hearing is inclined to listening intently for the order to change step. May my ear be inclined to listen to my Saviour when He requires me to walk with Him and change step – change direction. Jesus, praying to His Father in Gethsemane, said “……nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done…”. This must be my prayer as the dying must be daily done…..(1 Corinthians 15:31) As I die to self, the glorious life of the Indwelling Christ shines forth in me, bringing glory to the Father as I get in step with Him.