Given to Change

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Proverbs 24:21-22


I.         For many people, trying out something new is exciting. You don’t know exactly what the result will be, which is part of the fun

            A.        So we try out new restaurants or travel to places we’ve never been before

            B.        Some changes are fun, but not always. For example, changing jobs every few months would be a disaster.

II.        Governmental Changes

            A.        During the reign of David, Absalom offered Israel change

                        1.         He made many promises of better times - II Samuel 15:2-6

                                    a.         He offered people what they wanted and not what was needed or right

                                    b.         And the people loved it - II Samuel 15:12-13

                        2.         But they were empty promises. Though Absalom took over the government, he did not survive long because God was against him

            B.        There was period of time in Israel’s history that rulers changed rapidly

                        1.         After King Baasha of Israel died, his son reigned for two years - I Kings 16:8-10

                        2.         This didn’t go over well with the people - I Kings 16:16-17

                        3.         Seven days into his reign, Zimri committed suicide - I Kings 16:18

                        4.         This didn’t settle the problem until civil war broke out - I Kings 16:21-22

                        5.         It was a period of many changes, but none of them were good changes. The rulers never got better.

            C.        Countries prosper when their governments are stable because people know what to expect

                        1.         This helps us understand why God tells his people to be obedient to the rulers

                                    a.         Be subject to rulers and authorities - Titus 3:1

                                    b.         God put them in power for reasons - Romans 13:1-7

                                    c.         Thus, we should be subject to the rulers for God’s sake - I Peter 2:13-17

                        2.         Solomon gives details for dealing with rulers - Ecclesiastes 8:2-5

                                    a.         Don’t quickly abandon a ruler

                                    b.         Don’t get involved in evil

                                    c.         Don’t question a king’s authority

                                    d.         Instead, wait for the proper time and use the proper procedures

                                                (1)       Thus, it is not no change, but controlled and considered change when needed

III.       Religious Changes

            A.        Korah staged a rebellion against Moses - Numbers 16:1-3

                        1.         They thought they could serve God better than Moses, or at least just as well

                        2.         The problem was that they were going against God’s chosen leader and for that they ended up dying in a novel way - Numbers 16:30-31

            B.        In Jeremiah’s day, God had a complaint against Judah - Jeremiah 2:11-13

                        1.         Most nations stick with their idols, even though they are not real

                        2.         But Israel exchanged God for false gods who could not do anything for them

            C.        In the New Testament, there are also warnings against changes - Ephesians 4:14

                        1.         The number of innovations in religion is staggering

                        2.         There is always another new fad that draws people

            D.        But as before, people only think about what they want. They are certain that God will like what they like. But they never consult God

                        1.         Prove what is acceptable - Romans 12:1-3

            E.        Christianity produced changes to the world - Acts 17:6

                        1.         But it was a change demanded by God that resulted in the betterment of mankind

                        2.         Those that accepted it weren’t going by feelings, but examined it to see if it matched what God said - Acts 17:11

                        3.         It wasn’t change for the sake of changing. It had purpose – a good purpose

IV.      Personal changes

            A.        Sin also offers changes.

                        1.         The seductress is noted as being a rebel - Proverbs 7:11

            B.        It is far too easy to let emotions carry you away because you are being offered exactly what you want

            C.        But like other changes, we have to consider what God wants

                        1.         God’s wants us to change to remove sin from our lives - I Corinthians 6:9-11

                        2.         We have changed from darkness - Ephesians 5:6-10

V.        Don’t be a person given to change - Proverbs 24:21-22

            A.        That is, don’t change just because it is exciting to change

            B.        Give consideration. Is it improving your life? Is it what God wants you to do?

            C.        Change for a purpose because the wrong change could destroy you

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