Bible Study


Michael Beck

The LUST of the FLESH involves a DESIRE leading to an ACTION leading to the FULFILLMENT of a PLEASURE.

We have an IDEA (i.e., something comes into our mind). Because of our IDEA we begin an ENTERPRISE.

And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. (1 Kings 21:1-2)

We either have or do not have the needed POWER to bring to pass our ENTERPRISE.

And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. (1 Kings 21:3)


And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. (1 Kings 21:4)

Things more often than not, do not work out the way we want them to.

“The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry” – Robert Burns

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)

The TEMPTATIONS of the FRUSTRATED can lead them into the LUST of the FLESH.

The LUST of the FLESH is not “of the Father” because one becomes OBLIVIOUS as to whether their ACTIONS in fulfilling their PLEASURE is LAWFUL in God’s sight.

But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.
And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. (1 Kings 21:5-7)

Through an ABUSE of POWER, the “gods” of this world utilize the ABILITY they do have to do as they please.

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. (1 Kings 21:7)

It is VITAL that we understand the difference between simply having POWER and having AUTHORITY.

Power provides us with the ability to do something. Authority gives us the right to do it.

…Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest. (Jeremiah 3:5)

The earth mourns when the “FORCE” that men exercise is not RIGHT, and those who are wicked “bear rule.”

For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. (Jeremiah 23:10)

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, thepeople mourn. (Proverbs 29:2)

Creation’s PAIN is connected to man’s SIN or unrighteous rule.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (Romans 8:22)

Man’s subjection to vanity and vexation is tied to his shameful “freedom” from God’s authority.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hathsubjected the same in hope,
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.(Romans 8:20,21)

God does not take pleasure in subjecting any man to frustration. He does so in hope.

For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth,
To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.
Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? (Lamentations 3:33-37)

How though does God make use of a world so full of frustration?

God uses a world of frustration to humble us.

I have seen the travail that God hath given to the sons of man to be humbled by it. (Ecclesiastes 3:10 YLT)

God uses a world of vexation and vanity to de-power and humble proud and invincible man.

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. (Job 5:12,13)

disappoint > Hebrew – parar > break, frustrate, make void, defeat, disannul, disappoint, dissolve, come to nought, break asunder

enterprise > Hebrew – tuwshiyah > wisdom, success, abiding success

The earth is only blessed when man acts under the leadership and rule of God.
God’s judgment upon the lust of the flesh is frustration.
Through it He aims to weaken man’s strength and “break the pride of his power.”

And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. (Leviticus 26:18-20)

The “hands” of every mighty one causes this world to be “out of course.”
God’s judgment shows men that they are not all-mighty.

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. (Psalm 82:1-8)

The Lord does not allow us to prevail so we might know ourselves to be “but men.”

Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.
Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah. (Psalm 9:19,20)

Only the Lord, who is “above all gods,” has the RIGHT to do whatever pleases Him.
To the Lord alone belongs both POWER and AUTHORITY.

For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. (Psalm 135:5,6)

Proud and haughty man loves to boast in what he WILL do.
When Christ has put down all rule and authority and power that operates independently of the Father, the nations will know that they are but men, and Satan will no longer be the god of this world in any wise.

Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Ezekiel 38:1-13)

At the end of the millenium, the Lord will be magnified, known and hallowed as the only true God and Sovereign King over all the earth.

Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 38:23)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.