The Argument

Have you ever been in an argument before, one that had been going on for a little while? Every time you see that person it picks up right where you left off. Maybe as a kid a little innocent teasing went a bit to far and then after a few days you pop off with a your momma joke but you had forgot that the other persons mother had died not to long ago. Then instantly you knew you had gone to far, as you look into the other persons eyes you can tell that that comment really hurt. Or maybe you have been arguing with your husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend and your just stuck in this place where everything they say is the wrong thing and after a couple of weeks of fighting in the midst of a big blow out you rashly declare that you want out, that the relationship is over. The room goes silent and both of you are thinking "how did we get here?" This isn't what you wanted and its definitely not what the other person wanted. But, here you are, can you take it back? Suddenly what you have been arguing about seems so pointless when faced with the reality of the situation you are now in. Where do you go from here?

Throughout His time with Jesus, Judas had fostered a argumentative spirit. He felt that if Christ would just listen to him that everything would be better. Especially during Christs last year on earth Judas became more bold covertly challenging the teachings that Jesus was teaching, inciting doubt in the other disciples. At Simons feast when Jesus rebuked him for his comments about Mary he decided that he would show Christ a thing or two. He had heard and believed Jesus when he talked about his betrayal and death but he did not let it change him. Judas could not let go of the idea that Jesus would rule as a king on earth. And so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He thought that by betraying Jesus he would force Jesus to reveal Himself as the Son of God and also gain for himself a place of distinction for his shrewd conduct in ushering in the kingdom if God on earth. As the trials of Jesus continued and he saw that Christ would not deliver Himself, the reality if what he had done hit him like a Mack truck.

I imagine him standing there amidst the crowds at Caiaphas's house watch as they beat Jesus, suddenly he realizes he has gone to far, Jesus is not going to free himself, He is going to die. Ellen White describes the scene this way "As the trial drew to a close, Judas could endure the torture of his guilty conscience no longer. Suddenly a hoarse voice rang through the hall, sending a thrill of terror to all hearts: He is innocent; spare Him, O Caiaphas! The tall form of Judas was now seen pressing through the startled throng. His face was pale and haggard, and great drops of sweat stood on his forehead. Rushing to the throne of judgment, he threw down before the high priest the pieces of silver that had been the price of his Lord's betrayal. Eagerly grasping the robe of Caiaphas, he implored him to release Jesus, declaring that He had done nothing worthy of death. Caiaphas angrily shook him off, but was confused, and knew not what to say. The perfidy of the priests was revealed. It was evident that they had bribed the disciple to betray his Master. "I have sinned," again cried Judas, "in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." But the high priest, regaining his self-possession, answered with scorn, "What is that to us? see thou to that." Matthew 27:4." Desire of Ages p. 721-722

Judas thought that his plans would be better then the plans of God and finally it brought him to that dreadful place just past the edge of the argument when you realize that you have gone to far but there was nothing he could do to fix it. A similar story is told of an angel who thought he could be a better leader then God and his end was much the same. Cast down to a dark shapeless abyss Lucifer looked back at what he had lost and realized he had gone to far as well, but in his heart he would not admit that he had been wrong. His pride would not allow him to humble himself before God and submit to His will.After pleading with the priest Judas threw himself at the feet of Jesus but he did so not out of repentance or in search of forgiveness but rather he pleaded with Christ to free Himself. If Christ would just escape then he could have some peace with what he had done.

How many times do we follow the path of Judas? Judas believed what Jesus had taught but wanted the teachings to be changed to fit into his plans, his expectations of the future. To often I find my self wrestling with clear teachings of the Bible trying to figure out how I can justify going contrary to Gods will. Arguing as it were with God time and time again, I come to God seeking a change but unwilling to yield my prideful heart to Him. For me right now temperance is a big thing. God is continually convicting me to be temperate in all things, but I want to do what feels good until it doesn't feel good anymore. I keep telling myself when the time of trouble comes I won't have a problem letting go of these areas where I am intemperate so its ok to keep indulging for now. I don't love these things so much that I would turn away from true principles and yet the Word of God is clear "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown.Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 And I still argue that I can do things differently and be ok.

I don't ever want to reach that point were I suddenly realize that I have gone to far with God, where I look back and think why did I say that or do that? But this morning I am keenly aware that my decisions today are leading me in one of two directions either closer to God or further away. I am thankful that God is a longsuffering and merciful God and that He is not willing that any should be lost. I do not want to presume that the final day won't be today.For some temperance may not be an issue it maybe something else but the principle applies to all if we persist in arguing with God we run the risk of betraying Jesus in the midst of tribulation and realizing to late the cost of our lack of trust in Him.

Lord, please keep me in your will, take my heart for I cannot give it. 

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