Last week I was asked to give a short devotional at our church to a young moms group. This is what I shared in hopes to encourage moms in a way God had encouraged me.
When my children were young (about 5 and 7), I vividly remember one bad day in particular. I was homeschooling that year (1st grade and pre-K), and I can’t say I was particularly cut out for it! I’m not sure all of the things that brought me to discouragement that day, but while I stood at the gas pump filling my car with gas, I felt despair. I had just watched my friend drive by with her kids, and my kids were probably sitting in the car fussing—or perhaps somehow just resisting all the great plans I had. I began to think destructive kinds of thoughts: “What do you think you are doing? All you are trying to do—does it really matter?! Look at so-and-so. She’s such a great mom, and why can’t you just be like everyone else? Do you really think you’ve been called to do the things you’re doing?” And on and on the thoughts went through my mind—just an assault, a barrage of negative thinking—and I was in no way trying to combat it as I was very upset.
Right in the middle of these defeating thoughts, it was as though these words sliced right across my mind, interrupting my thoughts with this clear one: God is not mocked.
I was surprised by this. In the midst of my distress, not even looking for an answer, God had stopped me in my tracks and met me with this thought. I went right home and looked in my Bible concordance to see where this was. I found it in Galatians 6.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Those words were the encouragement my heart needed: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. Do not lose heart. Do not grow weary. Sow to the Spirit. Press on!
As I considered sharing this for the devotional, I went to the Good Friday service at our church. Reading through the passages in our worship folder, I couldn’t help but notice the mockery of Jesus in the Gospels. In Luke 27, we are told how the soldiers and Roman cohort stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on Him. They wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him and beat Him on the head. After they mocked Him, they led him away to crucify Him (Matt. 27:27-31).
As He hung on the cross, those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In this same way, the chief priests and scribes and elders were mocking Him, saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him, for He said ‘I am the Son of God'” (Luke 27:39-43).
I did a quick word study on mocked. The Greek word for mocked in Galatians 6:7 (mukterizo) is only used this one time in the entire New Testament. It means to turn up the nose, sneer at, treat with contempt.
The Greek word for mocked in the mockery of Jesus in the Gospels is empaizo. Its meaning is very similar and closely associated to the one in Galatians. This one means to mock, delude, deceive.
As I thought about this ultimate example of mockery—Jesus being mocked—I wondered how He felt at these accusations coming against Him as He knew the path He was walking—a painful one for our good, for our very salvation. Three days later, He would rise from the dead, and in the end, God was not mocked! Jesus arose triumphant having done the will of His Father. His resurrection is the very centerpiece of our faith.
It gave me perspective for those mocking thoughts and lies that can still come to my mind. We must come back at these lies with truth, with the truth of God’s living Word. He will not be mocked. As we seek Him through reading the Bible and in prayer, as we obey His will and follow Him, we can trust that as we sow in the Spirit, in due time we will reap—even if the outcome looks uncertain or even bleak. Don’t lose heart. Press on. Don’t grow weary. Patiently wait. Keep trusting God. Sow to the Spirit. Don’t believe the lies. God is not mocked.