"FAMOUS FOR THEIR INFAMY."
Intro. What would you like to be remembered for when you die? You are an unique person, and after you are gone and people refer to you, what are they apt to say? Will they say, "They were always so kind and generous."? Or will they be more apt to say, "They were ill-tempered and miserable."? Will people talk about how loving and considerate you were, or with they be saying that you were cold and indifferent?
I. HERE ARE TWO MEN THAT AFTER THEIR DEATH, WHEN A REFERENCE IS MADE ABOUT THEM, THE THING THAT THEY WERE REMEMBERD FOR IS THAT THEY STROVE AGAINST MOSES AND AARON, AND AGAINST THE LORD.
A. These are men who fought against God's anointed servants and thus against God.
B. What a tragic thing that after you are gone, your claim to fame is that you fought against God.
C. They had become power hungry; they wanted a place of greater authority, and thus they challenged the authority of Moses, who was God's appointed leader. Hence, they strove against God.
II. THE PROPHET ISAIAH SAID: "WOE UNTO HIM WHO STRIVES WITH HIS MAKER."
A. Have you ever thought of how foolish that really is, to strive with God?
1. In this corner we have God who brought the whole vast universe into existence. Who stretched out the heavens like a curtain, and measures the waters in the palm of His hand. The omnipotent, almighty, eternal God.
2. And in the other corner; me, an insignificant speck of breathing dust, on this small little clod of dust called earth, that is orbiting around the sun, which is just one of the medium-sized stars of the billions of stars of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is just one of billions of galaxies in this vast universe.
3. Here I am, ready to go out and do battle with God.
4. What's wrong with this picture?
B. How could I ever hope to possibly win by fighting with God?
C. I think of how foolish it is to fight with God.
1. To fight against God is to fight against my own good, because God wants the best for me, because He loves me.
a. God said to Jeremiah:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
b. The NIV reads: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
c. The prophet Micah said, "He has shown you O man, what is good, and what does the Lord ask you to do? Be fair, be merciful, and walk humbly with your God."
d. The prophet Jeremiah said: "Stand in the way and see, and ask for the old paths, which is the good way, and walk therein and you shall find rest for your soul."
e. David said, "He leads me in the right path for His name's sake surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
2. To fight against God is to be in a no-win situation.
a. Let's say that you are fighting against God today. He is calling you to live a good clean, moral life. He is asking you to be kind and considerate of the needs of others, to follow His rules so that you can enjoy the good life.
b. He is promising that if you will live by His rules, you can enjoy His fellowship, and His help and guidance through life.
c. He is promising that when you die, you will be with Him forever in paradise.
d. You refuse to follow Him, you resist Him steadfastly. You are determined not to surrender your life to Him.
e. Though His Spirit is striving with you, you stubbornly resist, and you refuse to surrender, you have won!
f. Won what? A life that is destined for emptiness and frustration, and a permanent berth in hell.
D. These two men, Dathan and Abiram who were famous for striving against the Lord; how did they end?
1. Let's go back and read the story.
NUM 16:25 (NIV)
Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
NUM 16:26 (NIV)
He warned the assembly, "Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins."
NUM 16:27 (NIV)
So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.
NUM 16:28 (NIV)
Then Moses said, "This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea:
NUM 16:29 (NIV)
If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the LORD has not sent me.
NUM 16:30 (NIV)
But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt."
NUM 16:31 (NIV)
As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart
NUM 16:32 (NIV)
and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households.
NUM 16:33 (NIV)
They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.
2. Thus is the fate of those who chose to fight with God.
III. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT TODAY, YOU MIGHT BE IN THAT POSITION OF STRIVING WITH GOD?
A. Maybe God has been calling you to serve for Him, and you find yourself striving with God.
B. Perhaps God is calling you to make a particular sacrifice for Him and you are reluctant to do it.
C. Perhaps God has been dealing with certain things in your life that are holding you back from receiving God's best for your life, and the Spirit has been striving with you to make a full surrender, but you refuse.
D. It is possible that you are living a life of open rebellion against God, and He is calling you to surrender your life to Jesus Christ before it is eternally too late.
E. Hell is full of people today who became famous because they chose to strive against God.
F. Will that be your story also?
G. Or will your fame be like that of this person?