Changing The Rules

by Tim Hall
Leadership of the Democratic Party in Michigan and Florida is in a quandary. In the past, the presidential nomination process has been settled by the time their primaries were held. In an attempt to make their primaries more meaningful, they scheduled the events for an earlier date. The national party leaders warned them not to make those changes, or their votes would not be counted. The warnings went unheeded.
The closeness of the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign has surprised many. The delegates that would have been chosen in the Michigan and Florida primaries might have made a distinct difference. In hindsight, all wish that they had left the schedule alone. Now there is discussion about redoing the primaries. Many oppose such efforts, however, saying that rules can’t be changed after the fact. It will be interesting to see how all of this develops.
Attempting to change the rules is an ancient practice. Esau, described in Hebrews 12:16 as a “profane person” (NKJV), made an impulsive decision to sell his birthright in order to satisfy his physical hunger. Later he begged his father to reverse the blessing he had given to Jacob, or at least to pronounce a second blessing. His words in Genesis 27:38 reveal his desperate situation: “And Esau said to his father, ‘Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me — me also, O my father!’ And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.” But it was too late. There was no blessing for one who had thought so little of his spiritual heritage. The rules would not be changed for Esau.
Similar desperation can be found in Matthew 7:21-23, words which will surprise many religious folks: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!'”
God’s will had been given to these startled souls. They could have known and obeyed the will of God if they had so chosen. Instead they launched out on their own wisdom, doing whatever seemed right and religious to them. In the end they were lost because they had not obeyed God’s rules. No amount of pleading would change what God had laid down in scripture.
Let us learn from the mistakes others have made. Let us be thankful that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2-4), and then let us be intent on knowing and doing those things. One thing is certain: We’re not going to change what God has said!

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