Genesis 42:18-38; Matthew 13:47-58; Psalms 18:25-36; Proverbs 8:33-36
NT: ““Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind of fish, and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” …When Jesus had finished these parables, he left there. He went to his hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does he get all these things?” And they were offended by him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:47-50, 53-58 CSB)
There is a belief out there known as Evangelical Universalism. Simply put, Evangelical Universalists believe, that while there is a judgement – the judgement is not final; instead there is a final restoration of all things and not an eternal hell. Based on this parable, it doesn’t appear that Jesus taught that. He spoke of a final judgement and a final end to those not found righteous… and apparently, even amongst those who were initially drawn to Him, there will be both righteous and unrighteous. Being “in the net” itself does not mark you as righteous. For those who have been drawn to follow Jesus, we need to be wary of allowing our closeness to Jesus develop into a casual familiarity with Jesus. We must, as His disciples, retain and grow our honor of His word, His will, and His ways. If He is our Lord, then He must remain Lord and His words must remain sacred. As we limit His honor, we limit His work in our lives.
Psalms: “With the faithful you prove yourself faithful, with the blameless you prove yourself blameless, with the pure you prove yourself pure, but with the crooked you prove yourself shrewd. For you rescue an oppressed people, but you humble those with haughty eyes. Lord, you light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness… God — his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in him… God — he clothes me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and sets me securely on the heights. He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation; your right hand upholds me, and your humility exalts me.” (Psalms 18:25-28, 30, 32-35 CSB)
While God is willing to bless anyone, His blessings are only experienced by those who humble themselves and honor Him. As long as David honored the Lord’s will, word, and ways, then the Lord would bless David with His strength, His training, His protection, etc. But as soon as David would allow his heart to be lifted up above the Lord, then the grace would end and David would be exposed to the fate of the world. The same can and will be true of us as we humble ourselves and worshipfully honor the Lord.
Proverbs: “Listen to instruction and be wise; don’t ignore it. Anyone who listens to me is happy, watching at my doors every day, waiting by the posts of my doorway. For the one who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but the one who misses me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”” (Proverbs 8:33-36 CSB)
Waiting on the Lord is a lot like this. Waiting isn’t a passive sitting around for God to do something. It is an active attentiveness to what God is saying and what He is doing. When we wait and only do things in the Lord’s wisdom instead of striking out on our own, then we find life and obtain the Lord’s favor. If, instead, we miss what the Lord is doing and miss His wisdom, then we harm ourselves. Finally, those who despise and intentionally reject the Lord’s wisdom embrace a pathway to death.