What does it mean to be “mocked” or to “mock” someone? Dictionary.Com gives the following definitions of the word “mock” when used as a verb (with an object):
1. To attack or treat with ridicule, contempt, or derision.
2. To ridicule by mimicry of action or speech; mimic derisively.
3. To mimic, imitate, or counterfeit.
4. To challenge; defy: His actions mock convention.
5. To deceive, delude, or disappoint.
If we can remember being on the playground as a kid and having other kids make fun of us for something we did, or how we looked or dressed, or because we struck out in baseball, or made an “F” on an assignment, then we have some idea of what it is like to be mocked.
How can it be said that “God is not mocked”? Have you seen some of the television shows that are included in the network lineups lately? There are some things that are displayed in some of the shows that blatantly mock God and His will. Do you not realize what is being taught in psychology, sociology, and philosophy classes at most universities across the nation today? There are professors in the classrooms who are professed atheist and try to persuade their students to also believe that God does not exist, or worse still, that God is dead. In fact, a new Christian film titled “God’s Not Dead” which debuts in theaters across the country beginning 21 March 2014, addresses this very issue.
Didn’t Pharaoh mock God when he said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go” (Exodus 5:2)? What about the mockers that surrounded the cross of Jesus (Matthew 27:41-43), or the soldiers who had earlier tormented Him (Matthew 27:27-31)? And are we not told that “there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:3, 4)?
The word for “mocked” is a very descriptive word in the Greek language. The word translated “mocked” is only used in Galatians 6:7, though a similar word is used of the soldiers who mocked Jesus. The word used in Galatians 6:7 is “mukterizo” which is a verb in the present tense and middle voice. What Paul is literally saying is that “God is not being mocked” by those who hold Him and His will in disdain. The word “mukterizo” literally means: “to turn up the nose, sneer at, to show contempt for, or to ridicule.”
This would describe the attitude of the criminal who thinks he has gotten away with something. He is in his fast sports car and being pursued by the police. As he crosses the border out of their jurisdiction, he stops his car, gets out and taunts them. He’s not afraid of them; he’s gotten away with it and they are powerless to do anything about it. He has escaped judgment and punishment. Or, at least for now, and so he thinks.
There are many people who evidently think they have escaped judgment for the sins that they have committed. They think that they are succeeding in mocking God without any consequences for their actions. What they fail to realize is that God allows such actions on their part not because He is powerless to stop it, but because He has an appointed time to rectify all things, and that time has not yet arrived. It will, but in the meantime even the most foolish outrages are permitted to continue with hopes that another heart may be touched by the Gospel and a soul saved before the day of the Lord comes (see 2 Peter 3:8-10). Those who think otherwise are only deceiving themselves.
In the Old Testament book of 2 Chronicles we learn of a king named Zedekiah who attempted to mock God. He became king at the young age of 21. Though he was faced with a great deal of responsibility, God gave him the prophet Jeremiah and others to give him Godly counsel in leading the nation. Instead of following the counsel that he was given, Zedekiah turned up his nose at God, and the people of Israel followed in his steps. We read some of this account as recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:15-17:
15 And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.
As a result, those who thought it was not necessary to serve the Lord ended up serving King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in shackles and servitude. They had done exactly as the prophet Hosea had warned,”For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up” (Hosea 8:7). Though they had attempted to mock God, He was not mocked, and they ended up reaping exactly what they had sown.
But, the story does not end there. As recorded in 2 Kings 25:7, “they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.” The last thing Zedekiah saw before his eyes were put out was the execution of his own sons. Afterwards he was taken to Babylon where he was imprisoned until the day of his death. In life he had sown according to the flesh, and in the end he reaped according to the flesh. He had only deceived himself by ignoring the counsel of God because God would not be mocked, and so that which he had sown, he also reaped.
We must not grow weary and lose sight of our goal. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). For we look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
It would indeed be easy to grow weary if it seemed that there were no final reckoning and all our sacrificing was in vain. And so, we must keep the faith and hope in our hearts that we will indeed receive of the promises of God. We are reminded in John 14: 1-4:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
We may have experienced being mocked at some point in our life, but God will not be mocked. We know the consequences of “sowing to the flesh” and wish to avoid them. Those who insist on mocking God may sometimes make us angry at the heartless, foolish words and actions they use in opposition to Him. But more than anger, there is a profound sorrow that they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life. We might thumb our nose at God as we go about our business and try to ignore God’s laws and principles that are meant to govern our lives, but in the end harvest we will reap exactly what we have sown.