Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 19 Number 9 September 2017
Page 5

Bent by God

“Consider the work of God. For who is able to strengthen what He has bent?” (Ecclesiastes 7:13). Solomon calls on us to “consider” the work of God. What God has done in creation is worthy of contemplation because there is so much to learn. The wise man most certainly does “consider the work of God.” When he does, he will note the following truths.

First, there are things that God has bent. When God created His world, He established some immutable principles. For instance, birds need air and fish need water. Man needs food. Survival is contingent upon these elements.

Yet, what does it mean that He “bent” some things? It means that there are aspects of God’s divine plan that are wrong (bent) for man to do, and they will always be wrong. Earlier Solomon had noted “what is crooked cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted” (Ecclesiastes 1:15). Men may foolishly believe that they have the right or the power to change God’s laws. However, such is not the case.

Paul told Timothy that he needed to “handle accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). People of God today recognize that they need to study God’s Word to discover God’s immutable spiritual truths. In Romans 7:7-8, Paul said that he didn’t know coveting was wrong until he came to realize the commandment of God. God declared covetousness as “bent.” Only when we consider seriously the Bible will we comprehend all of those things God has bent.

Second, there are things that man tries to straighten. Despite the fact that God set in place these immutable spiritual laws, men still foolishly try to change or undo these laws. They do this because they do not like living under the legislation of God. Jesus spoke of these types of people. “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed” (John 3:20). You see, God already had “exposed” these deeds. They’re bent. They’re evil. They’re wrong. Regardless of what men may do, regardless of how many men may do it—it is still wrong! God does not look kindly on those who try to straighten what He has bent. God said through Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). Homosexuality and abortion are wrong, regardless of those who say that they are good. Premarital sex is evil, period. It doesn’t matter that men have said it is good.

In view of the fact that all men will face God in Judgment (Revelation 20:11-14) and will be judged on how they have followed His instructions, we’d better stay out of the bending and straightening business. This belongs to God and to Him alone. Solomon asked, “Who is able” to straighten what He has bent? The answer? No one! Woe to him who tries!

Worshiping God in Song!

Mark N. PoseyThe authorization for singing in the New Testament is contained in the following Scriptures: Matthew 26:30; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12; 13:15; James 5:13; Revelation 5:8-9; 14:1-3; 15:2-3. Every one of these passages constitute singing–vocal music–as part of worship of the New Testament Church.

The aforementioned passages are the strongest authority for using vocal music in worship of the church of Christ. Notice the categorization of these passages.

Direct command: Hebrews 13:15; James 5:13; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16.
Apostolic example: Matthew 26:30; Acts 16:25; 1 Corinthians 14:15.

God told us clearly and plainly how He wants to be praised. With the fruit of our lips we sing praises to Him and lift up His High and Holy Name. God is worthy of our best. Note that God was specific regarding how to worship Him in song. He authorized vocal singing for those living under the Law of Christ. May we never stray from His desire—our obligation!

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