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MESSAGE FOR THE FORTNIGHT
 






    








Of Tamper and Hamper




It’s buzzing in the media! The video depicting the moral bankruptcy of the Aussie Cricketer Bancroft in first tampering with the ball with “yellow tape” (sandpaper?) and then shamelessly tucking it in his inner garments out of fear of getting caught has gone viral in the social media. The authorities have responded. Bans of varying periods have beenimposed on Bancroft and the “leadership group” (Captain Smith and Vice-captain Warner who actually “pushed” their younger teammate “over the precipice”, so to speak)for having not only “soiled their hands” in this unsavory episode but also for “soiling” the fair image of the game of Cricket, at large. While the malaise of "Ball tampering" has been in existence since the pace bowlers of Pakistan like Sarfaraz Nawaz would make the ball "talk" as it were, it is only with the advent of hi-tech "all-seeing" cameras' that this illegal practice is being now "caught on camera". So it's not at all surprising when an old practioner of reverse swing like WaqarYounis says "Don't tell me this is happening for the first time..."

While comments of the Pak pacer like these tantamount to the pot calling the kettle black (considering the tainted image of Pak fast bowlers in the matter of ball-tampering) they also bring to the fore apparently a new twist to the governing principle of Law which states that "all are innocent till proven guilty". From now on (funnily speaking) should it be "all pace bowlers are guilty till they are proven innocent"? The debate rages on in the media and we would not hear the last of it for quite some time.

Ah the on-field cameras…but for them this act of tampering would have gone unnoticed! While the advances in development of technology especially in the sphere of cameras’ may still result in some “illicit” practices in the Cricket field going undetected, there is no doubt at all that the eyes of the omniscient God (time we get to the spiritual realm) would never miss the acts of those who tamper with His commands.

Did Smith and co. in their “moment of madness” (aiming to win at all costs) ever envisage how this “tamper” case would seriously “hamper” the progress of their Cricketing careers? Now with bans going into effect there is not only heavy commercial loss (Warner and Smith have been “dumped” by their respective IPL teams besides by other sponsors also) to be endured but also the tag-line “cheat” would haunt them for the rest of their lives. This trio-obviously nominal Christians-would do well to repent and seek Christ’s inimitable forgiveness to live with the “clear conscience” for the rest of their lives ( Heb 9:13-14).

In this message, Yours Truly is inspired to share some Biblical incidents where one would see how the omniscient God has justly judged covert sinful acts of some who in their “moment of indiscretion” thought they could get away with their “secret tampering of God’s Laws”. Of course, I would end this message by focusing also on how the omniscient God also rewardscharity done faraway from public gaze.

Pilfer…

Joshua 7:16-26


For the Jews under the leadership of Joshua, in the larger mission of “Conquest of Canaan”, the first part (permit me to use some military lingo) namely “Operation Jericho annihilation” symbolized consecration of “First Fruits” (Deu 18:4). As such, they were commanded not to take home any war booty of gold or silver or any valuable items but rather bring the “same to Lord’s treasury” (Joshua 6:19). Yes, the spoils of the subsequent wars would be entirely theirs (Joshua 8:2) but that of Jericho was the sole preserve of the Lord. The moot point here is…were they entirely obedient to the Divine command? No!!! At least not one avaricious individual Achan (Joshua 7:1-23) and his family members who were obviously hand in glove with the main perpetrator in this “tampering” (of the Divine command) as can be gauged by the fact that Divine comeuppance came upon all of them (Joshua 7:23-24)!!!

The point to be underscored is that while Achan could pull wool over the eyes of the whole nation of Israel, he could not do the same with the omniscient God (Heb 4:13).

Beware child of God, let obedience borne out of the reverential fear rule the roost in your life. For any secret sin is bound to catch-up with the offenders one day or the other ( Numbers 32:23).

Poach…

2 Sam 12:1-13


King David’s lethargy in not accompanying his soldiers to the battle led him to the wrong place at the wrong time resulting in poaching of yet another man’s wife with calamitous consequences.Welcome to the tragic David-Bathsheba adulterous story once again (2 Sam 12)!

There is a lesson to be had within the lesson here. I intend to hit the loop line at this stage. Imagine David ever falling to the trap of the lust of the eyes/flesh say when he as a fugitive was constantly on the run pursued by murderous King Saul. No way!!! His tribulations kept him spiritually smart and alert at all times (Rom 5:3-4). The moment, his difficulties seized (with the departure of King Saul) and the cool cozy comforts of the royal palace arrived, lethargy with its attendant problems was waiting at the royal gates, so to speak to take control over him leading to oh-so-painful consequences in his life.

Now coming back onto the main track… David obviously reasoned that sin committed in the privacy of his palatial rooms would escape public notice. Let the Scripture encapsulating the Lord’s righteous indignation and poetic justice over his “secret sin” take over at this stage…

“….For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” (2 Sam 12:11-12)

That the Lord’s Divine wrath caught-up with King David one day (though his life would be spared, he would pay a heavy cost- 2 Sam 16:15-22) stands as a testament to the fact that nothing escapes the attention of our all-seeing God. To David’s eternal credit, it needs to be said that this man of “God own heart” (Acts 13:22) never rationalized over his sins but instantly repented on being confronted with them (Psalm 51).

Perjury…

Acts 5


Oh yes, we had seen about Achan and his family members, who grossly underestimated the omniscience of God, even as greed held sway in their lives (Joshua 7). Their NT counterparts namely Ananias and Sapphiratoo took God’s omniscience lightly even while being swayed by that very same lure of the lucre (Acts 5:1-11). There they were lying in the very presence of the all-knowing, omniscient Holy Spirit in the matter of sales proceeds as though the Lord did not know the truth thereof. The result of it all? A swift retribution sending the guilty ones’ to an early grave!!!

With folded hands, let me plead (I am speaking to myself too) a casual attitude towards God in matters of public obedience can cost highly (Leviticus 10:1)!!!

Remember fellow sojourner…if Smith (who “forged” the unholy leadership alliance), Warner (who did not "warn" his captain or his fellow teammate of the allied dangers of ball tampering) and Bancroft (who with the his “two leaders” is at the receiving end of career-threating "bans") are paying a heavy cost for taking the hi-tech yet finite cameras for granted, it would serve you well to steer clear of all the temptations which come your way of “sinning in the dark” for you are under the watchful eyes of the infinite One who seeks your spiritual welfare over anything else (Gal 6:7-8)!!!

A discerning reader would have observed at this stage that barring King David none of the other “secret sinners” repented genuinely when their sins were uncovered. Oh how God seeks genuine heart-felt repentance of the guilty ones'in order their right relationship with Him is restored!!!

Prize…


Acts 10:1-5


Can any study of God’s omniscience be complete till we look at “both sides of the coin”? If the omniscient God calls us to account, when we “sin secretly”, far away from public spotlight then it follows that the all-seeing One will also see all our charitable acts done faraway from public limelight and reward us suitably. So be encouraged, if you are sincerely serving Him, “behind the curtain”, far away from any public gaze.

No one in the early Church knew about the generous Cornelius or his good deeds, no not even Peter who was going to baptize him shortly but look at the salutary greeting of the angel as it approached this silent hero, used to shunning limelight “…‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God!” (Acts 10:31-NLV). Should I need to say more? Time we praised our omniscient and great God, who is also fair and just to the core.

Say Dear Reader is your conscience troubling you with the sins of past (committed publicly or secretly)? Do not stand silently hanging your head in shame. Christ is willing to accept you as you are. Just as He forgave a repentant David, giving him a brand new start (Psalm 32), He would forgive you too. Say this prayer…”Heavenly Father, I accept I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. I accept Jesus’ died an atoning death for me on the Cross as per the Scriptures and rose again as per the Scriptures. Cleanse me with His blood and grant me a new life, a new heart and a new start. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen” Even as His Divine joy and peace fill your heart, this very moment (which is a proof of His forgiveness), start attending a Church near your home to further strengthen your new found faith in Christ or contact me at this number-9849009104-for further guidance.

Similarly is there anyone here, who is discouraged that his many a good deed is going unnoticed and unappreciated by the public. Take heart, God of Cornelius is watching all your God-honoring acts and would reward you in due time (Gal 6:9).

Oh how great is our God who is just but also gracious and merciful to the repentant! Oh glorious is our omniscient God who rewards all who do good consistently faraway from pubic gaze. Yes He indeed is great, good and glorious (Exo 33:18-19). Remember worship in its noblest form is all about worshipping God for WHAT HE IS, more than for the blessings He pours upon us. HALLELUJAH! What price any theology, which doesn’t end with doxology!


Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant



Ps… All those whose heart the Lord is touching say this Prayer right where you are…”Father, I confess I am a Sinner. Cloth me with Your Priceless Robes of Righteousness which Your Son Jesus Christ has purchased for me in the Cross. Fill my heart with the joy of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.