What is Your Responsibility?

What is your responsibility? Knowledge of a situation times control of a situation equals responsibility for that situation (Ez.33:2-7). Rights are proportional to responsibilities. Liability must be limited to what a person would have stood to gain. A concubine who commits adultery can only be scourged "because she was not free" (Lev.19:20). As Christ said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin" (John 15:22). "Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin. But now ye say, we see. Therefore, your sin remaineth" (John 9:41). God ignores mistakes (Acts 17:30) but "unto whom much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48). Those who deliberately disobey will be beaten with many stripes while those who accidentally disobey will be beaten with few (Luke 12:47-48). Why not remain perfectly ignorant then? Because if a man falls off a cliff and dies, he may have been ignorant of the cliff (not responsible) but he must still bear the penalty (death). "Not guilty by reason of insanity" doesn't mean "not penalized." God has given us various identifying "SIGNS" such as Sabbath-keeping (Ex. 31:17) and putting the Law on our hand and forehead (Deut. 6:8 & 11:18) to set us apart from idolaters and lawbreakers and identify us to the world as responsible covenant-keepers who therefore have rights.

When God said, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart" (Ex. 7:3), it means God permitted Pharaoh to harden his own heart (v. 22). Or as Paul expressed it, that "God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering this vessel of his wrath fitted to destruction" (Rom. 9:22). It being a common method of expression among Hebrews to attribute an action to the person who permits it to be done. Thus Joseph is said to do whatever the prisoners did in the prison where he was the keeper (Gen. 39:22). Nebuchadnezzar claimed to have built Babylon himself even though he employed thousands of men in the task (Dan. 4:30). "Thus we know Pharaoh "hardened his (own) heart" (Ex. 8:15,32; 9:34; 1 Sam. 6:6) and God allowed it. .

"Perverse mankind! whose wills, created free,
Charge all their woes on absolute decree;
All to the dooming gods their guilt translate,
And follies are miscalled the crimes of fate."
(Homer's Odyssey 1:32)

"Jove's all-seeing and all-knowing eye
Discerns at pleasure, things that hidden lie."
(Hes. oper. et dies, 265)

"Man may not see thee do an impious deed;
But God thy very inmost thought can read." (Lucian. epigr. 9)

"The gods neither suffer evil themselves, nor inflict it upon others; though they sometimes chastise and lay heavy afflictions upon some persons, which have the appearance of evil." (Seneca epist. 95)

"We defend our vices because we love them, and we had rather find out some excuse for them than shake them off. Nature hath given us sufficient strength, if we would exert ourselves in the use of it. We pretend we cannot, but the truth is we will not." (Seneca Epist. 116)

Yesterday when I was young
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned
I always built to last on weak and shifting sand
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of day
And only now I see how the years ran away
Yesterday when I was young
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung
So many wild pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see
I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me and nothing else at all
Yesterday the moon was blue
And every crazy day brought something new to do
I used my magic age as if it were a wand
And never saw the waste and the emptiness beyond
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play
There are so many songs in me that won't be sung
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue
The time has come for me to pay
For yesterday when I was young -- Charles Aznavour

"The first step in the right worshipping of God is to believe that there is a God. And next, to ascribe unto him all majesty, and goodness, without which true majesty cannot subsist; to know likewise that it is he who governs the world and presides over the universe as his own, who hath taken mankind in general under his protection and on some is pleased to bestow particular favor. He can neither do nor suffer evil." (Seneca epist. 95)

Wretched man, whenever he stoops to sin,
Feels a strong remorse within" -- Juvenal


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