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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings



Jude 1:11

(11) Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

King James Version

In examining the records of Cain, Balaam, and Korah, we could name several commonalities, but one in particular stands out. All three of these men were intensely self-willed. They all understood what God wanted from them, yet they consciously chose to follow their own wills instead. Jude's whole epistle shows that all his descriptions of those troubling the church would fit under the banner of "self-will." These men are noted for exercising their will to achieve their own ends without any real concern about God's will.

By way of contrast, consider the outcome if Jesus Christ had used their approach when He came to decision points in His life. Imagine if, when the time came for Him to be the sin offering for all of mankind, He decided that He wanted to fulfill only the grain offering—maybe, like Cain, He just wanted to be devoted to His fellow man instead of making a blood sacrifice. Perhaps He could have healed every person in Jerusalem—or even all Judea—given lasting encouragement, and even bestowed a lot of money on the poor. Those could all be good works, yet that self-willed choice would have been evil in its effects because it would have thwarted the benevolent purpose that God had established at the foundation of the world.

Suppose Christ's head had been turned by Satan's offer of all the kingdoms of the world, which would have included all of the temporal rewards or profits that He could dream of. What if, like Balaam, He had been motivated by immediate gain for Himself rather than the long-term benefit of all mankind? Thankfully, He persevered and rejected the bribe that would have cursed us all forever.

Imagine if, like Korah, Jesus had been more concerned about His position and less about His service. What if He had decided that being equal with God was something "to be grasped at" and that His proper place was at the top instead of taking on the form of a bondservant (Philippians 2:6-7)? We would have no hope!

However, Jesus Christ was not self-willed. At every turn, He submitted to the Father, knowing that circumstances would work out for the best. Our salvation and every uncountable blessing we receive along the way result from His saying to our Father, "Not as I will, but as You will." For us to be sons and daughters of the Most High God as well, we must likewise practice saying to Him, "Not as I will, but as You will."

— David C. Grabbe

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