And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
Offense is a trap. It is the enemy’s method of operation and he uses it to cause division.
Offense blinds the eye from seeing the truth about a person.
Prejudice and racism are built on offense.
Jesus said, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”(Matthew 11:6)
Numbers 12: 1-16
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb. And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.
Mariam, the sister of Moses, got offended at him because of the woman he chose to marry. She was basically saying, “Moses isn’t the only prophet God speaks through.” Offense has a way of making you discredit the people you once honored.
Meekness is the way you respond to offense. You do not have to defend yourself. The Lord is your defense.
Moses was very meek. He even prayed for Mariam after she had been offended at him.
2 Samuel 6:1-17
Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me? So David would not remove the ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obededom, and all his household. And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness. And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
Another example of offense in the bible is King David and the ark of the covenant. David decided he wanted to carry the ark back to where it belonged. However, instead of reading the Word to see how the ark should have been properly carried, he went and built a cart to transport it. In transport the Ark began to shift on the cart. A man named Uzzah went to steady it, and he fell dead when he touched it. This death hit David hard. He was upset with God about the death of Uzzah. David dropped the Ark off at a man named Obed-Edoms house. It took him 3 months to get over his offense with God. During this time David received reports of how things were improving significantly at Obed’s house. Once David read the proper way to transport the Ark, and realized it was his own fault, he began to rejoice. The Ark of the Covenant was the same the whole time. David’s offense temporarily prevented him from seeing the Ark’s power and glory because he was offended. At first, all David could see when he looked at the Ark was the death of Uzzah. His offense blinded him from seeing it’s power to restore. But, when David saw the Ark restoring Obed’s house, it rekindled his love of God’s Ark (which housed His Word).
This can happen to marriages. We get offended at our spouse and that offense blinds us from seeing all the good they bring to our lives. Don’t let something or someone leave your life before you realize how powerful it is. If you choose to harbor offense towards your spouse, you will be blind to the blessing they can be in your life. This is true of friendships also.
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
In the parable of the prodigal son, both of the man’s sons had issues. When the prodigal son returned, his older brother became offended at the father’s response to his other son’s return. He wouldn’t even go into his brother’s homecoming party. Offense separates and it distorts the facts.
HOW TO RESPOND TO OFFENSE:
1- Hold your tongue.
2- Take it to God.
3- Don’t be defensive. (A man that defends himself will always be average. Trust the Lord to defend you.)
4-Ask yourself, “does this merit a response?”
5-Forgive those who offend you.
6-Protect yourself from habitual critics. (Luke 17:1/ you don’t need friends who will cultivate a heart of offense.)
7-Choose the mercy seat over the judgment seat.
The answer to offense is always love!