“You can say NO to an offer that cannot be refused.” (Know Thy Self Part 4)

“This above all: to thine own self be true,  and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare

“Tell me about yourself?”  Is a common line of inquiry job hunters expect to hear.  A prepared aspirant can easily ace this portion of the interview without sweat, but it could also back lash if the overconfident tries to blow his own horn with exaggerations.  In fact, man always cheats on himself, but when reality kicks in, it surely does uncover what he’s really made of.  

However, a few men of God in the Old Testament think highly of themselves.    One striking character of these men is their attitude on wealth and power.  Evidently nobody can buy them off.  

 First, learn from Abraham.   Abraham just arrived from his victory over their enemies.  He recovered all looted  treasures and captives who were taken during enemy invasion.   When Abraham faced the king of Sodom to return his people and the loot, he said something that was very unusual.    

  •  “The king of Sodom said to Abram, “All I want are my people.  You can keep everything else.”  Abram answered: The LORD God Most High made the heavens and the earth.  And I have promised him that I won’t keep anything of yours, not even a sandal strap or a piece of thread.  Then you can never say that you are the one who made me rich.”  (Genesis 14:22­-23 CEV)

 Abraham refused to accept a thing from the King of Sodom, he knew before hand that the God he serves shall make him rich, and he’ll become a great nation as promised.  Indeed, Abraham immediately recognized the power play being initiated by the king, but Abraham knew better.  And he will never put himself under the mercy of a man, not even owing a favor from anyone.  For God is his resource and no one else.

 When Sarah died Abraham wanted to give her a proper burial.  His friends were willing to give him a place to bury his wife Sarah.  Once again, Abraham refused to accept their offer and decided to buy the burial place instead.   Abraham paid cash and became the owner of the property.

  •  “Choose the finest of our tombs and bury her there.  No one here will refuse to help you in this way…Then Abraham …said, “…let me buy his cave…I will pay the full price in the presence of witnesses… ”No my lord,” he said to Abraham, ”please listen to me.  I will give you the field and the cave…Go and bury your dead.”…he replied…”No listen to me.  I will buy it from you.  Let me pay the full price for the field so I can bury my dead there.” (Genesis 23:1-20 NLT)  

 Again, Abraham didn’t blink when a free offer was made to him, rather he countered the offer by saying, “No, listen to me.  I will buy it from you.”  Here is a man who will never bow down when given an offer that cannot be refused. 

Second, learn from David.  David wanted to build an altar for the Lord in the threshing floor of Araunah.  However, Araunah offered the threshing floor and the burnt offerings to David for free.  

  •  “David replied, “I have come to buy your threshing floor and to build an altar to the Lord there … “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “Here are the oxen for the burn offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar.  I will give it all to you … but the king replied … “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him … “ (2 Samuel 24:21-24 NLT)       

 Here is another classic example of a man of God refusing to take the bait on money matters.  The fact that Araunah was a cheerful giver and willing to provide David’s needs for free, David knew something.  He will never present or give the Lord God that has cost him nothing.    

 Here is a man of God who values what he offers to the Lord.  He wants to give the Lord that has cost him, not a cheap tip or whatever.

  •  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

 The question arises: How in the world these two men blatantly refused these seemingly harmless offers from their friends.

 First, they knew who their God.  “…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32 NKJV).  From the early days of their lives, God has been reveling himself through his promises and covenants.  The more you know God’s word, the more faith develops, faith comes by hearing and hearing of the word of God (Roman 10:17).

 Second, they were obedient to their God.  Obedience is putting the word of God into action.  Whatever the Lord says, they just do it.  They make it happen by stepping out in faith, no matter what.   If God said it, then that is it.        

 Last, they don’t care what other people say.  They have been ridiculed many times for thinking highly of themselves.   The fact is Abraham was God’s friend and David was the closest man in God’s heart. 

 On the other hand, Christians are in better place than Abraham and David.  In the New Testament, believers have a better covenant which was established on better promises, because Jesus is the guarantee and the collateral of this new covenant: 

  •  As a believer, everything you needed for living a godly life has been provided (2Peter 1:3).
  • God’s promise to Abraham also belongs to you (Galatians 3:29).
  • You have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3)
  • You are seated in the heavenly places with Christ (Ephesians 2:6)
  • And many more.
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