Down through the ages God has clearly shown to us: what we humans do – can offend Him greatly. And the actions of some have provoked Him to such an extreme that God has chosen to immediately act in clear and present action against them, dramatically.
We must be careful not to blithfully label every dramatic event as God’s judgement, but at the same time we must respect God’s Word and learn from what were clearly God’s past dramatic judgements.
Dramatic actions by God in the past
These (following examples) are real life historical events for us to learn from. (See verse 11 of 1 Corinthians 10:9-14.) The Bible clearly states that these following dramatic events were actions by God – because of His great displeasure:
The King willingly received worship of himself and “did not give God the glory”. See Acts 12:20-24.
“And at once an angel of the Lord struck him down”; [d]he was eaten by worms and died [five days later].
Herod “did not give God the glory [and instead permitted himself to be worshiped]”.
“It is the voice of a god and not of a man!”
22The assembled people kept shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And at once an angel of the Lord struck him down because he did not give God the glory [and instead permitted himself to be worshiped], and [d]he was eaten by worms and died [five days later].
BibleGateway Footnote [d]: Acts 12:23 Herod’s painful death over a five day period in a.d. 44 is recorded by Josephus, the Jewish historian.
“He struck down 50,070 men among the people”
1 Samuel 6:19 “The Lord struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. He struck down 50,070 men among the people, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great slaughter.”
BibleGateway Footnote: 1 Corinthians 10:5 Of all those adult Israelites who had been in bondage in Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb (along with those born in the wilderness) were allowed to enter the promised land.
* Ananias, with his wife Sapphira in early church days
Both Sapphira and Ananias “fell down suddenly and died.” They willfully lied and embezzeled from the Lord, and “put the Spirit of the Lord to the test”, so God chose to make an example of them, causing them to fall dead suddenly.
“Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit”
“[secretly] keep back for yourself”
“you have conceived this act [of hypocrisy and deceit] in your heart”
“You have not [simply] lied to people, but to God.”
“put the Spirit of the Lord to the test”
Acts 5:2 Ananias wanted everyone to think that he had turned over all the money from the sale, so secretly holding some back was essentially embezzling. If he had been honest and told Peter that he had kept some of the money, he would have done nothing wrong.
* Careless and unworthy participation in communion
Partaking of communion, participating without a repentant heart, or without repentance when you are in active sin, or having an attitude “without solemn reverence and heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ” (v30)… can bring-on God’s very real and present punishment upon you, physically. This does not mean you loose your salvation, but – He may allow sickness or actually take you Home “before your time”, so to speak.
1 Corinthians 11:18-34.
“many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep [in death].” God may actually step into our life to inflict physical weakness, sickness, or even death – if we participate in a holy commemoration of His death, what we call “communion”, without “solemn reverence” of Him, without a sincere repentance of some active sin in our life. In that attitude, the partaker disrespects God, fails to “recognize the body [of Christ]” (v30)… and thus “…eats and drinks a judgment on himself”.
1 Corinthians 11:27-32.
Verse 30 states this about participating in communion: that “the reason why many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep [in death]” – is because “anyone who eats and drinks [without solemn reverence and heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ], eats and drinks a judgment on himself if he does not [a] recognize the body [of Christ].”
What we, weak humans, do,
(whether born again or not)
can offend God
– and sometimes
God will dramatically
show His displeasure
through dramatic events on earth.
“as an example and warning”
“Now these things happened to them as an example and warning [to us]; they were written for our instruction [to admonish and equip us], upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
– Verse of 11 of 1 Corinthians 10:11-13
God still shows
His displeasure dramatically
– even today.
See 1 Corinthians 10: verse 11
We are warned: “run [keep far, far away] from [any sort of] idolatry [and that includes loving anything more than God, or participating in anything that leads to sin and enslaves the soul]” – Verse 14 of 1 Corinthians 10:9-14.
Dramatic actions of divine displeasure today
Just as God did with others in the past, recorded in the Bible, I believe there are present-day happenings that are stark examples of God Himself “showing up”. By stepping into earth time, God is showing His divine displeasure with the extreme pride of man, and with idolatry, the worship of others – today. Two examples:
* Improv Comedian that said, “Clearly Jesus loves me the most.”
Comedian Heather McDonald immediately struck down
* Mural in north Toledo where people gathered to pray before the image.
George Floyd mural dramatically destroyed by lightening strike
“these things happened
as an example
and warning [to us]
they were written
for our instruction
[to admonish and equip us]”
– 1 Corinthians 10: verse 11
There are many more examples like this from today’s current news. Most just don’t believe it was God “showing up”.
Showing His divine displeasure
You do not want to incurr divine displeasure by any persistent extreme pride or with your worship of idols, or with your impudent participation in taking communion at church.
Don’t be a King Herod, or one of the 50,070 of Beth-shemesh, one of the 23,000 sexually immoral of 1 Corinthians 10:8. Don’t be a Sapphira or her husband Ananias. Don’t be comedian Heather, who dissed God in her pride.
Don’t fall into being an idol worshipper, such as with the image at the George Floyd BLM mural, placing anything above God, as verse 14 of 1 Corinthians 10:9-14 warns:
“run [keep far, far away] from [any sort of] idolatry”
14 Therefore, my beloved, run [keep far, far away] from [any sort of] idolatry [and that includes loving anything more than God, or participating in anything that leads to sin and enslaves the soul].
The truth is:
What we humans do today,
and the next day –
can greatly offend God,
God will dramatically
show His displeasure
through dramatic events on earth,
even in today’s end days.
Believe it. Or believe doubting Thomases and folks who blaspheme and don’t believe in Him.