WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 30, 2020
TOPIC: DON’T TAKE IT BY FORCE!
BY T. O. BANSO
“And if the man said to him, ‘They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,’ he would then answer him, ‘No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force’” (1 Samuel 2:16, New King James Version).
If anyone wants Bible verses to support anything he does, even when it is a sin, he will find them! However, he will have to twist scriptures or quote them wrongly or out of context to find biblical support for his sins. And he does that at his own peril.
The other day, someone did something wrong and quoted what Jesus said to justify his action. He said the violent take it by force. Jesus’ complete statement is in Matthew 11:12. He said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (New King James Version).
That is not a statement to justify anyone’s wrong action to forcefully take what does not belong to him. Certainly not!
If anyone uses that scripture in such a wrong context, he should also obey this scripture: “This is what the LORD says … It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6 New Living Translation). Did you get that?
They say the violent take it by force, but another scripture says it is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit! We must always consider the context to understand the meaning of the scriptures. Anyone who is twisting the Word of God will one day face God’s judgment.
We must not make the scriptures say what they do not say. Preachers, in particular, must be careful. You can make a scripture say what it doesn’t say, get a loud ovation and earn people’s honour. But if you persist in this error, you’re a false teacher. We must constantly seek knowledge, and humbly admit and correct ourselves when we’re wrong.
Don’t take it by force! We live in the days when people are taking by force what the LORD has not given them, does not want to give them yet or will never give them. Be careful! Don’t take it by force if the LORD is not giving you. Take only what He has given you. Wait for what He wants to give you. And don’t take what He never wants to give you.
In 1 Samuel, the sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests under their father. Nevertheless, they were corrupt and didn’t know the LORD (1 Samuel 2:12). They desecrated the sacrifice the people offered to the LORD in Shiloh. They behaved as if the people offered the sacrifice to them. They put their interest ahead of God. They became fat at the expense of God!
1 Samuel 2:13-14 says, “And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there” (New King James Version).
They dishonoured the sacrifice offered to God. Before the fat was burnt, the priest’s servant would demand raw meat as the portion of the priest to be roasted. He would say that the priest would not accept boiled meat from them. That was not the right procedure. It was against the law of God (Leviticus 3:3-5). They took any part of the animal sacrificed instead of their right share of the breast and the right thigh of the animal (Leviticus 7:34).
1 Samuel 2:16 says, “And if the man said to him, ‘They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,’ he would then answer him, ‘No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force’” (New King James Version). Did you see that phrase? – I will take it by force.
If you’ll look at that scripture again, you’ll see another phrase prior to “I will take it by force.” They said, “No, but you must give it now.” That is a common statement by those who want to take things by force. They’re impatient. They want it, “Now, now!” They can’t wait. They can’t wait for the timing of God.
Many times, they have their way like the sons of Eli. Nevertheless, they will face the consequences of their actions someday if not here on earth, certainly on the Judgment Day.
A man of God was sent to warn Eli about the wickedness of his son. He expressed God’s displeasure at their behavior. “Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’” (1 Samuel 2:29, New King James Version).
Because of the wickedness of Eli’s sons, God pronounced judgment on Eli and his house. Among other things, there would not be an old man in Eli’s house forever; Eli’s two sons would die in one day; his family would no longer serve as priests; his descendants would beg for jobs among the priests so as to have enough to eat (verses 30-36).
To show the seriousness of the sin of the desecration of the sacrifice offered to God, God told Samuel, “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever” (1 Samuel 3:14, New King James Version).
God’s charge against Eli was that he didn’t discipline his children. He only gave them a slap on the wrist. God told Samuel, “For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them” (1 Samuel 3:13 New King James Version).
Consequently, the Ark of God was captured in the battle with the Philistines and the two sons of Eli died. When Eli received the report of the death of his sons and the capture of the Ark of God, he fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate, broke his neck and died.
Eli’s ministry of forty years ended on a sad note; he died at the age of 98. Phinehas’ wife also went into forced labour and was delivered of a baby, but she died (1Samuel 4:12-22). Abiathar was the last priest from Eli’s family. He was removed by Solomon and replaced with Zadok (1 Kings 2:27, 35).
Don’t take by force anything that is not right, or not yours. There would be consequences if you do. You may not be the only one that would suffer the consequences, as it happened in the case of Eli’s sons. The entire family suffered.
In the battle of Jericho, the Israelites were warned not to take anything, as the city and everything in it must be destroyed as an offering to the LORD (Joshua 6:17-19). But Achan took the accursed or devoted thing ‘by force.’ He disobeyed Joshua’s command and took a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels and hid them (Joshua 7:21 New King James Version).
Achan means troubler. He troubled Israel and his family. He caused the death of some Israelites in the battle at Ai and, eventually, when he confessed his sin, all Israel stoned him and his family to death and burnt them. They also burnt all that he had and he had taken ‘by force’ – what he had stolen (verses 24-26).
Don’t take by force what is not yours. Jezebel took by force what belonged to Naboth, who had told Ahab he could not give him or sell to him his vineyard. Selling land to someone from another tribe was forbidden by God, except in the case of poverty; and there was a provision for redeeming it or buy it back from the buyer (Leviticus 25:23-28; Numbers 36:7, 9).
Nevertheless, Jezebel plotted and got Naboth the Jezreelite stoned to death for obeying God’s law to keep ancestral land (1 Kings 21:1-14). Ahab went to take possession, but God sent Elijah to confront him and pronounce His judgment on him and his house for this injustice and wickedness.
God would cut off from Ahab every male in Israel, both bond and free. Ahab’s house would be like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. The dogs would eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. The dogs would also eat whoever belonged to Ahab and died in the city. Moreover, the birds of the air would eat whoever died in the field (verses 21-24).
Because Ahab humbled himself, God delayed the execution of the judgment till the reign of his son. However, his family didn’t escape the consequences of the sin of killing Naboth and taking by force what belonged to him. Don’t take by force what God has not given you or belongs to another person.
Rape is taking by force what doesn’t belong to the rapists! There are consequences for that on earth and in eternity. 2 Samuel 13 tells us how Amnon, David’s first son, raped his half-sister, Tamar, who was Absalom’s sister. Pretending to be ill, as advised by Jonadab, he lured her to bring food to him in his bedroom and grabbed her to sleep with her by force (2 Samuel: 1-21).
Verses 12-14 say, “But she answered him, ‘No, my brother, do not force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.’ However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her” (New King James Version).
Amnon took it by force! But two years later, he paid for it with his life. Absalom organized a feast, attended by Amnon and other sons of David, during which, as he had planned, he got someone to murder Amnon when he was drunk (2 Samuel 13:23-29). Don’t take by force what God has not given you or what belongs to someone else.
Jeremiah said in Lamentation 5:11 that Judah’s enemies raped the women and young girls in Jerusalem and throughout the towns of Judah.
Ezekiel 22:11 also records that within Jerusalem’s walls lived men who committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defiled their daughters-in-law or who raped their own sisters. What a horrible sin! Rape must stop! Enough is enough! The rapists should repent and give their lives to Jesus today. Don’t take it by force. If you do, you won’t go unpunished.
David was the king of Israel by the will of God. But his son, Absalom, took the throne by force (2 Samuel 15). However, his rebellion was quashed and he was killed in the process (2 Samuel 18:1-15). Don’t take it by force. It is not by force; it is by choice! If you’re not chosen; you’re not given!
Adonijah, another son of David, took the throne by force, apparently knowing that he was not his father’s favourite for the throne. He lobbied enough people to support him. He succeeded in proclaiming himself king.
The banquet was going on when he received the report that David had anointed Solomon as king. That was the end of the party! He had to beg Solomon to spare his life (1 Kings 1:5-10; 41-53). He took the throne by force, but he lost it as soon as he got it.
Adonijah later told Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set their expectations on me, that I should reign. However, the kingdom has been turned over, and has become my brother’s; for it was his from the LORD” (1 Kings 2:15 New King James Version).
The throne (kingship) wasn’t Adonijah’s portion from the LORD; it was Solomon’s. Adonijah took the throne by force, but his celebration didn’t last. Eventually, Solomon ordered him to be killed due to his own fault (verses 16-25).
Ezekiel 46:18 says, “And the prince may never take anyone’s property by force. If he gives property to his sons, it must be from his own land, for I do not want any of my people unjustly evicted from their property” (New Living Translation). Don’t take by force what is not yours, what God hasn’t given you or hasn’t given you yet, or won’t give you.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing and Bible teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I won’t take by force whatever You haven’t given me. I will be content with what You give me. I will wait for Your timing for what You want to give me.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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