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Monday, April 17th | Blessings Gone Bad

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2023 9:00 am

Monday, April 17th | Blessings Gone Bad

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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April 17, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about how when we remove God from the blessings He gives they begin to become a burden.

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Welcome back, world. Today is Monday, April the 17th. I'm Ryan Hill.

John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at That's right. You guys can help us keep this conversation going by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from. We're going to leave a couple of links in the description so you can do just that. But before we do, I think it's time to read the verse of the day. We're going to deliver you those links on a silver platter, but before that, we're going to deliver you the word.

That's right. We're delivering the word. It's 1.53 p.m. where we are right now, and that means it's time for the verse of the day.

Amen. John 13 31 says this, So when he had gone out, Jesus said, Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and glorify him immediately. A lot of glory. A lot of glory.

I was trying to make sure I was reading that correctly. The focus there is not Jesus going out and glorifying himself. It's God glorifying him because he is glorifying God. It's the relationship of the Trinity. It's the Son pointing people to the Father and the Father giving glory and authority to the Son so that the Son can give it.

It's just this reciprocal relationship that we see, and it's a good picture for us. As Jesus lived out in his earthly life, it's a good picture for us that our lives should be focused on giving God glory. If you read a couple of verses before that, it says, So when he had gone out, he is actually referring to Judas. So when Judas had gone out, Jesus said, Now the Son of Man is glorified, meaning that in that betrayal, in that fulfillment of prophecy, God is being glorified. It means that even things that the enemy works together for evil, God is going to use them to glorify himself. He's going to use them to bring about good in this world, and that's something to hold onto. That's an important distinction, that God isn't going to take those evil things and make them good.

God's going to take those evil things and use them, although they are evil, although they are bad, although they encapsulate suffering and hardship, he's going to use them to bring about good, because that's the kind of God that he is. That's right. Moving into a segment now, one of my favorite segments that we do on the show. Welcome to the gripe vine. I've got a harvest for you. This is the segment of Queer View Today, where we go and pick all these bountiful gripes off of the tree, off of the vine, and we just snack on them for your radio enjoyment. I'm going to do it again, just so y'all... Those are all of Ryan's gripes, because Ryan, you've got the gripe vine today. I have a gripe, and it is fresh off the vine. Let me get my coffee.

Let me get my coffee. Listening audience, for those of you who do not know, my wife Elizabeth and I have five children. That's a lot of children. All of them are in school, but four of them are of the age in school where projects have begun. The youngest does not have any projects yet. He's in pre-K.

He doesn't have any projects yet. He brings coloring sheets home, and that's about it. The older four are ranging from first grade to fifth grade. We have projects of varying levels of difficulty. Some are just little write-ups. Some are you have to make this... Like a diorama.

Diorama, things like that. Here's my problem with school projects. I know that they're needed. I know that they're necessary.

But I have a problem with control and perfectionism. Those are not a good combination when it comes to school projects. My kid comes home, and they're like, I think I want to do a project on a shark's home. I'm like, okay, great. Sounds fantastic. We'll make the ocean bed, and we'll put some seaweed over here. We're going to do some water filtering down through the ocean water. We're going to suspend the animal in the middle of the thing.

Have him look like he's swimming through the ocean. I have a food chain here. My wife looks at me, and she's like, hey, you're doing too much. You need to calm down, because I'm the one who has to execute this project. You can have all these ideas.

I am the executioner. Why is she doing the baby's project? She's not, but the baby, they're going to need some help.

They can't assemble the supplies themselves. Last night, for instance, I was in the grocery store late at night trying to buy supplies for a project that we were working on. My sweet little child who has the project went to bed. But yours truly was still working on the project, because doggone it, this is going to be a great project. My baby's project is going to be better than all the other babies.

My baby's project is going to the national level somewhere. My kids are two and three months old, so I feel like I'm still in the stage where I'm in denial, where I'm like, I'm not doing my kids' projects, but I know based on everything that I've seen other parents do that I will be doing my kids' projects. I have always said they need to do the project, they need to learn it for themselves, they need to learn how to fail themselves. But when it comes to projects and building things and creativity, something comes over me and I can't help myself. So what is your gripe, that the projects require this? That the teachers require too many projects, because I can't devote that amount of time. I get a full-time job on a radio show. I can't be doing projects at 10.30 at night.

I can't do that. Imagine the teachers being like, well, I want to assign this project, but I know their dad has a radio show. I don't think it's too much to ask teachers at my children's school, but just check with me first, before you assign projects to the entire class. Just clear with my schedule. You are the bane of BTA meetings.

I know that they have to have those projects. It's really more about my personality. I got you. So just pray for me, because we're getting through projects. I'm so sorry.

I'm so sorry for you. We're going to move forward in our episode today. We're continuing our series through Malachi. We've gotten a lot of responses about this series.

People are writing in saying how much they're enjoying it. We're continuing that discussion today. We're going to get Dr. Shah in just a minute. If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or visit us online at

We'll be right back. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clearview Today listeners. My name is Jon.

I'm David. We just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work. That is his weekly podcast series, Sermons, by Abidhan Shah, Ph.D. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know. If you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast. David, hop off the podcast.

I'm just playing. Keep listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clearview Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God-honoring lives. Well, one of the four core values of Clearview Church is that we're a Bible-believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from Scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the Word of God spoken into your life. And God's Word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.

Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's Word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the sermons by Abbadon Shah PhD podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes. But you can also find the podcast on the Apple Podcast app or on our website at And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.

Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. David, let's hop back in.

All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

That's right. And if you guys are joining us for the very first time today, we want to welcome you, let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abbadon Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can follow all of his work at his website. That's That's right. And we are excited to begin the week with you again. Dr. Shah, happy Monday to you. Happy Monday to you guys as well.

Amen. Hope you had a good weekend. Yes.

Busy, but good. The sermon last week, I got to say, was one of my favorites. Same here? Absolutely. It was one of my favorites. Thank you.

Same here. So we are starting today. We're continuing to walk through our series on Malachi. We dove into this last time on the episode. We are continuing to walk through this series on Malachi, figuring out what it is that God is saying to his people through the prophet Malachi, through the book of Malachi. And there's so much that is packed in here. This is one of my favorite series that you ever preached because it's an often overlooked book, but there is so much in here. Oh, absolutely. I've preached through Malachi in revival meetings back in the day.

I'm talking about early 2000s, mid 2000s. It was just such an impactful series and it would begin Sunday morning. And by Sunday night, people were inviting their friends, their families and neighbors because I would do a lot of revival meetings in small towns across North Carolina, up towards the coast into Virginia. And by Tuesday night, the room, the churches would be packed.

Wednesday night, it would be like a big dinner and it's like farming community. So the whole families would come and it was Malachi and it was just a blessing. But now we come to this chapter, chapter two in Malachi, where God is talking about how their blessings have rotted. And that's a funny way to think about it because I know we were talking about this earlier. You tend to think that when you separate yourself from God's blessings, he just doesn't give you any more blessings. But it's deeper than that because the blessings that he gives you start to rot.

It's like you can't even hold on to the good that you already had without God. It's like what happened one time. Nicole, she's from Georgia and she loves getting peaches. You know, we had picked up some peaches from Georgia on the way back, you know, and we put them in this basket in our kitchen. And then Nicole went regular grocery shopping and she picked up a bag of oranges. And I don't know who did that, whether I did it or she did it or one of the kids did it.

But this has been years ago. They put this heavy bag of oranges on top of these Georgia peaches. Beautiful Georgia peaches. You know how beautiful they taste and look.

So put it right on top of that. Didn't know that. Now already when you pluck them from the trees, right, the peach tree, they're already beginning to die. You have some time to eat them.

Right. But they're already on their way to dying. But then now you put this heavy weight on top of them. They're separated from oxygen. We're suffocating. The decomposition has already begun.

And then we smelt this. It's like, hmm, something's rotten. I don't know what it is. I think we took the trash out. I don't know. Maybe a dirty dish.

What's happening? And then I'm like, oh, wait, who put these oranges on top of the peaches? I thought we had eaten all those. Oh, no, we had like four or five still left. And I picked them up.

I'm like, oh, okay. Nope. Oh, man, I can imagine it's like that SpongeBob where it goes in on the disgusting Krabby Patty. And they were all moist. The skin is already very soft on a peach, right?

Yeah. It had already burst like days ago. And it was just wet. And unfortunately, that decomposition, or whatever you want to call it, was already working on the oranges now.

And they were turning sort of black. You know, rotten. So how something so beautiful and so tasty now was going to be thrown away because it was so smelly and corrupt and was corrupting other things.

Yeah. It's a really great picture because just like God blesses us, you detach yourself from God who's your source of life. You take yourself away from that. And then as more and more weight starts to come on, like circumstances or sin or whatever, those blessings that he gave you start to become rotten. That's a lot of times how I feel when I feel distant from God. I just feel rotten inside, like something's wrong. Yeah. Like nothing seems to go right.

Like everything doesn't make sense. And your relationships aren't working well because you've separated yourself from that source. Right. And your strengths become your weaknesses. You know, the very thing you think, this is my strength. This is something I can always fall back on, rely on. But that's actually your weakness.

In fact, it's a double weakness. So Malachi chapter two, verse one says, and now all priests means he's talking to the pastors. He's talking to the religious leaders. This commandment is for you. If you will not hear and if you will not take it to heart to give glory to my name, means if you don't set the example of bringing glory to me, of worshipping me, of keeping me first, of denying self and glorifying God, says the Lord of hosts, I will send a curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already because you do not take it to heart. Now drop down to verse nine. Therefore, I also have made you contemptible and base before all the people because you have not kept my ways, but have shown partiality in the law.

Wow. That's harsh to hear coming from God. You know, it's one thing when we all sit around and we say, well, you know, God's going to do this and God will do that. Be careful because, you know, God will do this. But it's another thing entirely when God says it right to your face.

I'm going to curse your blessing. He's like, oh, I hate to hear that. Malachi is full of those gut checks. Yeah. Yeah. Like just those kind of visceral blows where you really feel the weight of how seriously God takes sin. Well, just that very idea of a rotted blessing is is I don't know, it's it's profound. I mean, it's it's so eye opening because this thing that was good, it's not just that it stopped being good. It's that it started being bad. I mean, the question is, you know, what does it mean?

How did how how does this happen? So it sort of has two meanings. First is that meaning it refers to the blessing that the priest would pronounce twice daily in the temple.

One in the morning, the other one in the evening. You find this in number six twenty three. It says, this is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. So say to them, the Lord bless you and keep you.

You heard this before, right? The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you.

Have you ever been in a sort of a traditional church? This is the final benediction. If you remember that and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the children of Israel and I will bless them. So God was telling them, when you say those words, that's kind of funny thinking about the Lord bless you and keep you is actually coming out. The Lord curse you and keep cursing you. Yeah, that's right.

That's that's insane. And I think especially for us, we all we all talk to God's people from a platform at some point during the week. And you it's the exact opposite.

I mean, I know it's supposed to be the opposite. But man, like the weight of that and the the horror of of God tell you that you're cursing your own people as you're blessing, as you're trying to bless them. So, you know, say, may your crops be blessed. And then what's really happening is may your crops.

It's like it's like God's hearing. It's like you want me to curse the crops. Got it. I'll do it.

That's what I'm going to do. No, no, no. Hold on. Can you bless the crop? Curse them twice? I want you to curse these crops.

OK, I'll do it. No, no. Like you're trying to play opposite day with the Lord.

Not going to win. And second, it refers to what the priest and the Levites consider to be their personal blessing. You know, the personal blessings were their financial compensation, their food, their children, the blessing upon them. Those same blessings had become a source of shame and suffering. So it's like, oh, your kids are your blessing? Oh, no, they're a source of shame and suffering.

Oh, wait a minute. I thought my family was good. I thought we were like the the paragon. I thought we were the the example to strive for.

No, everything you have is a curse. I know it's I know it's kind of a stretch to compare it, but it does make me think of like because I know you and I have been looking at Samuel really, really closely for Samuel this past these past few months. And, you know, I was kind of thinking about when you said that your children are a source of shame now, where Samuel accomplished all these great things. But because he couldn't raise his sons, you know, they they ended up, what do you say, damaging his credibility. And I'm just kind of thinking along those same lines, like these Levites and these these religious teachers and leaders.

They're like, we're doing everything OK. But it's so short sighted to see that God has something I would say better, but really deeper or worse in mind for their children. A great illustration that I heard years ago on a radio or a sermon given by one of my favorite preachers of all time, Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse.

All right. He was a pastor of 10th Presbyterian Church. This is back in, oh, the 40s, 50s, 60s, somewhere in that area. And he was just a tremendous pastor, tremendous preacher. But but he gave this illustration. So I'm going to sort of walk through the illustration with you guys. So, you know, just like September 11th happened in our lifetime.

Go back in his time period. We're talking about the day which will live in infamy. And so he begins the illustration by talking about how God gave us a Sunday as a day of rest, a day to set aside to worship God. You know, six days you can do as you want to. Seventh day is a rest unto the Lord. But what happened is that in the old days, everything began to sort of slack off by third Saturday evening.

And, you know, people would start getting ready for church Sunday morning. But as our country departed from God, Saturday and Sunday became the week end. You know, this concept of weekend is not old, not very old.

It's sort of sort of relatively new. And it became a time to unwind. And Saturday became the party night and still is in some ways, you know, Friday night you can go find plenty of room in restaurants. Saturday night is packed. That's the party night. That's to go out and do what you want to do. Do what you want to do, stay up late.

Even for those who are not as wild and crazy. It's a night to stay up late, watch movies, chill, relax, whatever, have people over. What happens was Sunday morning, Sunday became the weekend and it became the day to sleep in. And especially if you had a hangover. So Saturday night, drink up. What are you going to do in the morning? You're going to sleep in, you're going to sleep it off. And statistics tell us that one out of every five Americans are involved in an alcohol related car crash.

OK, now this is just the stats from years ago. And the day on which those injuries occur the most is, guess which one? Saturday. And the second is? Sunday. Isn't that crazy? Something that was meant to be a blessing through getting away from God and through, you know, distancing ourselves from God has now become that. And so Donald Gray Barnhouse in this message, he talks about how after our Navy was destroyed in Pearl Harbor, Congress held several hearings of the Joint Commission kind of investigating the attack to figure out what happened.

How did this happen? And there were as many as nine investigations. And several books have been written on the subject. I have a couple of those copies in my library. Books like At Dawn We Slept, December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor Papers.

You know, there are several other books out there. And our people went into the War Department in Tokyo and found out that the Japanese espionage had been spying on America for years. And that Admiral Yamamoto, the mastermind of this attack on Pearl Harbor, had deliberately chosen Sunday morning as a day to attack. Yeah, that makes sense. And the question, right, why would he do that?

Several reasons. Number one, the ships would be in the docks because it's a day of rest. So you're not out there.

You're here. Most sailors would be out on leave because of payday. But more than anything, it was the one day that people would be down. Most people would be down because of a... Got a hangover. Got a hangover.

Yep. Been staying up drinking the night before and now... How sad that that was what the intelligence, like the spy missions and all this covert operation, that was the result that it used. Like, they're probably going to be hungover on Sunday morning. So that's the day we're going to... And they were more than likely right. And they were right. Yeah, they were right because they determined that if America was attacked early Sunday morning, it will find it most vulnerable.

And as you know, December 7th, 1941, Japanese fighter planes started coming in. The man at the radar reported, but the officer in charge didn't do anything because... He had a hangover?

He had a hangover. Oh, no. So he's like, ah, it's all good. We're good. Y'all.

Don't prove them right. And the bombs began dropping and destroying our Navy. Gosh. And did God make it happen? I was just about to say people would be like, why would God allow something like this? God punished us.

No, no, no. God allowed your blessings to become curses. Yep. Yep. And God took, you know, we, it's really, we took God's blessings of the day of rest, turned them into a day of hangover, and our blessing became a curse. And that's how a day of rest became a day that will live in... Infamy.

As FDR said. Yeah. And it's crazy because, and people hate to hear this kind of thing, but people get so confused when stuff like this happens. Yeah. We're a nation that has gotten away from God, have, have tried purposely to detach ourselves.

And then these blessings that God give us... I just don't understand. I don't know. Why would he let this kind of thing happen? Really?

You don't understand? I'll tell you what, just something, something will happen. God will work somehow. Like he was trying.

He was trying to work with us. He gave you a wonderful blessing. You took God out. Right.

And you expected the blessing to stand, just like taking the peach off the tree and then put them in this basket and cover them up with oranges. And they're bursting inside, can't breathe. And they're all, you know, pulpy and flies are coming out. And your question is like, why? Well, look around.

You're the culprit. Yeah. And there's been such a methodical process, I think, in our nation to just take God out of everything. Like, like methodically, not even stray away from him.

Let's figure out how to get him out of schools or wherever. Right. You know, every blessing comes from him. But when you take God out of the blessing, it becomes a curse.

Money is a blessing, but you take it out, it becomes your master. Education, take God out. And what you have are school shootings. I mean, this is even right now what's happened in Nashville. You know, we're going to blame the guns and we're going to blame all this stuff without dealing with the depravity of the human heart. You know, we need to realize that this is tragedy. This is tragic. It's evil.

It's horrific what's happened to these poor families. And it's happening across the country. And yet it's going to be directed in the wrong direction.

And we will completely attack something else. And so saying, what is the real problem? And we're afraid to say it.

Right. People are afraid to say it. Hey, could it be that we, you know, removed God from the center of our lives? Because we almost have to presuppose that human beings are just instinctually good. And so we have to take away things, objects, inanimate objects that make a human bad. But humans are not inherently good. Right. I mean, look at the places.

They take knives and do those things. I mean, it's always something. It's not that God is causing these things. It's because God is not the center. Now, forget about the lost world. God is not the center in the lives of even believers.

Even people sitting in this room right now. Is God truly the center? Is he truly the top priority in your life? Are there moments in your life every day that you choose to kindle in your heart the desire to make God sovereign and superior in everything that you do?

I doubt it. Even I failed to do that. But every day, every day, every moment that we have or we become cognizant of the fact that God is that we're, you know, here focusing on self or selfishness or selfish motives. We need to say, God, I retreat and then move to the background and I want you to be glorified. I want you to be center stage in everything I desire, everything I want. Let it be filtered through you. You are the source.

You are the center. I mean, unless I consciously do that in the power of the Holy Spirit, I'm no different. Yeah.

Yeah. It's definitely something that I think you don't realize until you've strayed pretty far. You know, you don't take that checklist at the end of the day and say, OK, was I disciplined in doing this or did I make a conscious effort? Like you said, Dr. Shah, to put God at the center of my life. It's only when you've really strayed that you've realized you have to come back. And you told me that once that most of life is coming back to God. That's how we mostly spend our lives. Yeah. Making him first and foremost in our lives.

And when we don't, I mean, even something as good as technology, it's a distraction. Two, three hours are gone. What'd you get? Nothing. Marriage. Take God out and it becomes miserable. Children. What a blessing. Take God out.

They become a nuisance. So, you know, in verse three, it says, Behold, I will rebuke your descendants, says God. And I would even add church to that list. Take God out and it becomes a meaningless ritualistic burden you have to do. Yeah, that's true.

I hope people paid attention to that last thing that you just said, because I imagine that characterizes more people than they would care to admit. And more churches than I think the churches would care to admit. Yep. Has church become a burden for you? Well, maybe your blessings have started to rot.

Yeah. Maybe the problem's not with the church. Maybe the problem's not with the Bible.

Maybe the problem is in your heart. Yeah, where God is not superior and sovereign and in charge, in control in your church life. So, something good. The bride of Christ is now a curse.

Yeah. Such a great—this is why I love Malachi. This is why I love dignity. This is a good series. Because it's so hard-hitting and it's so relevant to what we're dealing with today. And I want to continue this discussion. We'll maybe continue it on tomorrow's episode. But if you guys have questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at And don't forget that you can support us financially on that same website.

Every gift that you give goes not only building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the Kingdom of God. Before we close, I did have a quote I wanted to read from a guy—I think this is C.S. Lewis? Yeah. Yeah, C.S. Lewis. I think we read his stuff on the— Once or twice, yeah. He's written into the show before. Sure.

A couple times. If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-17 10:09:25 / 2023-04-17 10:22:31 / 13

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