Galatians 6:7 says that God is not mocked; what does that mean?
The phrase "God is not mocked" is found Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap." Mocking God means disrespecting, dishonoring, denying or ignoring His existence. It is a serious offense committed by those who David describes as wicked because there is "no fear of God before [their] eyes" (Psalm 36:1). But God is not mocked for long and eventually there will be consequences for such behavior.
In the Bible mockery is a behavior and attitude shown by the fool (Psalm 74:22), the wicked (Psalm 1:1), the enemy (Psalm 74:10), the hater of knowledge (Proverbs 1:22; 13:1), the proud (Psalm 119:51; Isaiah 37:17), and the unteachable (Proverbs 15:12). The mocker's heart is cold and in his foolishness and wickedness, he makes a conscious decision to turn his back on God and pursue evil. Mockers lack humility, wisdom, and goodness in spiritual matters.
Mockers don't limit their disdain to God alone, but extend it to God's people as well. Believers are considered worthy of the same disrespect and dishonor as they proclaim their allegiance to the God who created them and the Savior who provides eternal life. In the Old Testament, God's prophets suffered the same humiliation as believers throughout history. The prophet Jeremiah became "the laughingstock of all peoples" and was "the object of their taunts all day long" (Lamentations 3:14). Nehemiah was mocked by his enemies (Nehemiah 2:19). Elisha was mocked by the youths of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23).
In the New Testament, no one was mocked and disrespected more than the Lord Jesus Christ—by Herod and his soldiers (Luke 23:11), by the Roman soldiers (Mark 15:20; Luke 23:36), by a thief on a cross (Luke 23:39), and by the Jewish leaders who passed by the cross (Matthew 27:41). The hatred for God in the mockers' hearts spilled out onto His followers also. Paul was mocked by the philosophers of Athens when he preached about the resurrection (Acts 17:32). The spirit of mockery continues to this day against all who profess faith in the Bible and in Jesus as the only way of salvation.
To say that God is not mocked is a warning against mockery of what is holy. Eventually and inevitably, mockers will be punished. Throughout Scripture, God warns the mockers who reject Him, turning their mockery against them. God will deride the deriders and laugh at them as they laughed at Him. "But You, O LORD, shall laugh at them; You shall have all the nations in derision" (Psalm 59:8; see also Psalm 2:4). God cannot be deceived (Hebrews 4:12–13). Achan's sin (Joshua 7) and Jonah's flight (Jonah 1) were not unknown to God. Jesus' repeated words to every church in Revelation 2—3 were, "I know your works."
While it may be easy for us to see the errors in Bible characters, it is more difficult to recognize the spirit of mockery in ourselves. Believers may criticize those outside the church who mock God, but the most subtle mockery of God, and the most dangerous, may be in our own hearts. We are guilty of mockery when our actions don't line up with our professions of faith, causing outsiders to mock God's people with accusations of hypocrisy. An outward show of spirituality or godliness without an inward change of heart mocks God. God knows the heart of every man and woman and He knows whose hearts are turned from Him. We would do well to examine our own hearts to see if we are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5) and to be sure our actions back up our words.
If we are truly in the faith, we should be careful not to walk with, stand with, or keep company with those who scorn God because God will not be mocked: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:1–2).
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