Is It Possible to Disappoint God? (Y1.T2.D57)
Unsplash; "Matthew Henry"
No. It is not possible to disappoint God.
One of my all-time favorite preachers, Dr. Charles Stanley, said it this way in his book Can You Still Trust God?:
For many years I was afraid of disappointing God by not performing up to his high standards (whatever those were), but now I know we cannot disappoint God.
A person can disobey God—either willfully or unknowingly—but he cannot disappoint God. A person can sin or rebel against God and reap God’s consequences for that sin as a means of chastisement. But a person cannot disappoint God.
To disappoint someone, the other party must have an unmet "expectation." Merriam-Webster's definition of the word disappoint is: "to fail to meet the expectation or hope of"
In a previous post, we read how Peter denied Christ three times. But he didn't disappoint Jesus by doing this because Jesus did not expect loyalty at that moment. Of course, this didn't mean Peter didn't feel horrible about his disloyalty. Once he realized what he'd done, he "went out and wept bitterly" (Matthew 26:75). So while God wasn't disappointed in Peter, Peter was disappointed in himself.
In today's passages, we will read about how Judas reacted to his betrayal of "innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4). This previously loyal disciple had high expectations of himself—as we all should. And when he failed Christ, he "felt remorse" (Matthew 27:3)—so much so that he went out and hung himself (Matthew 27:5).
But he didn't need to. Forgiveness is available to all—murderers like Moses and Paul, adulterers like King David and the woman at the well, and betrayers like Peter and Judas. Sin relates to our actions toward God, not his reaction toward us. The Almighty is not reactionary.
Our sin doesn't alter his love for us:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written,
“For your sake we are killed all day long.
We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from God’s love which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35–39)
Our sin doesn't change his plans for us:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says Yahweh, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Our sin doesn't prevent our purpose:
Being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
So while we can't disappoint God, we should yield to him any disappointment we have in ourselves and others.
God's Love Covers Our Worst Mistakes
3 Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, felt remorse, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood.”
But they said, “What is that to us? You see to it.”
5 He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary and departed. Then he went away and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It’s not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 They took counsel, and bought the potter’s field with them to bury strangers in. 8 Therefore that field has been called “The Field of Blood” to this day. (Matthew 27:3–8)
22 If a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him the same day; for he who is hanged is accursed of God. Don’t defile your land which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 21:22–23)
9a Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying (Matthew 27:9a)
1 Open your doors, Lebanon,
that the fire may devour your cedars.
2 Wail, cypress tree, for the cedar has fallen,
because the stately ones are destroyed.
Wail, you oaks of Bashan,
for the strong forest has come down.
3 A voice of the wailing of the shepherds!
For their glory is destroyed: a voice of the roaring of young lions!
For the pride of the Jordan is ruined.
4 Yahweh my God says: “Feed the flock of slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them, and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be Yahweh, for I am rich;’ and their own shepherds don’t pity them. 6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land,” says Yahweh; “but, behold, I will deliver every one of the men into his neighbor’s hand, and into the hand of his king. They will strike the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.”
7 So I fed the flock of slaughter, especially the oppressed of the flock. I took for myself two staffs. The one I called “Favor”, and the other I called “Union”, and I fed the flock. 8 I cut off the three shepherds in one month; for my soul was weary of them, and their soul also loathed me. 9 Then I said, “I will not feed you. That which dies, let it die; and that which is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let those who are left eat each other’s flesh.” 10 I took my staff Favor, and cut it apart, that I might break my covenant that I had made with all the peoples. 11 It was broken in that day; and thus the poor of the flock that listened to me knew that it was Yahweh’s word. 12 I said to them, “If you think it best, give me my wages; and if not, keep them.” (Zechariah 11:1–12a)
14 Then I cut apart my other staff, even Union, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 Yahweh said to me, “Take for yourself yet again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For, behold, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, who will not visit those who are cut off, neither will seek those who are scattered, nor heal that which is broken, nor feed that which is sound; but he will eat the meat of the fat sheep, and will tear their hoofs in pieces. 17 Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! The sword will be on his arm, and on his right eye. His arm will be completely withered, and his right eye will be totally blinded!” (Zechariah 11:14–17)
10 I will pour on David’s house, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. 11 In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of David’s house apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart; 14 all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. (Zechariah 12:10–14)
29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”
30 They answered him, “If this man weren’t an evildoer, we wouldn’t have delivered him up to you.”
31 Pilate therefore said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is illegal for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what kind of death he should die. (John 18:29–32)
2 They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting the nation, forbidding paying taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” (Luke 23:2)
Thank You for the depth of Your love for me. I lift my eyes to You because my help comes from You. You will not allow my foot to be moved (Psalm 121:1–3). You keep me from all evil. You keep my soul and my going out and coming in from this time forward and forevermore (Psalm 121:7–8). Glory be to your name.
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