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Judas Iscariot

(Matthew 26:14-16,20-25,47-50; 27:1-5)

Lesson 9 -- first quarter 1997
January 26, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications

"Woe unto that man!" Would you heed a warning like that? Especially if it came from the Omniscient One? You would think that this would have shaken and awakened Judas from his carelessness, his hypocrisy, his deceit and his treason. But it didn't. And we sit here with the calm assurance that this would never happen to us.

Oh, we're no fools. We wouldn't deny that we occasionally violate the will of the Master. We wouldn't dream of proclaiming an inability to sin. But sometimes I think we are more foolish and deceived than we realize. How else would you explain our penchant for disregarding some things the Lord has to say? We seem to think we can get away with the calloused carelessness that came to characterize Judas. Listen to the Word again and answer this question: Am I disregarding the Lord's woes just like Judas did?

"Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field" (Isaiah 5:8). Have you set your heart to the vigorous expansion of your material holdings? Ask the Lord to free you of a treacherous heart that avidly lays up treasures on earth!

"Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:21). Do you have an attitude that aggrandizes you? Please don't be so foolish and careless as to reject input from others!

"Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me" (Isaiah 30:1). If rebellion were to be measured by an unwillingness to take and live by the Lord's counsels, how would you rate?

"Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots" (Isaiah 31:1). Insurance, bank accounts, valuables, friendships, stockpiles, nest eggs--what or whom are you leaning on for security against present and future need?

"Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker" (Isaiah 45:9). Don't question His choices for you! He "built" you precisely as He wanted to because He knows precisely how He wants to use you. Don't complain!

"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" (Jeremiah 23:1). Don't think this doesn't apply to you just because you aren't the pastor of your congregation! Live in such a fashion that the "lambs" about you are safe in following and emulating your life.

"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion" (Amos 6:1). How might this be for us? Is comfort and ease a threat? Open your heart to God on this one!

"Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink" (Habakkuk 2:15). This one obviously refers to booze, but we'd be glad to stretch it to include smokes and drugs. But we can contribute to the downfall of another in many other ways: attitudes, speech, reading, music, activities, values, sport.

"...Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16). Ah, we know the way out of this one! This was Paul's problem, not that of every Christian. I see. And what if you are wrong?

"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core" (Jude 11). Cain--his eyes glued to present materialism. Balaam-- willing to push God to get his own way despite clear direction to the contrary. Core--not afraid to rise up against authority.

I had selected four other woes, but ran out of space to address them. Please look at them and be instructed: Matthew 18:7; 23:23,25; Luke 11:43. And avoid the error of Judas!

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