What Does it Mean That 'God Will Not Be Mocked' in Galatians 6:7?
- Clarence L. Haynes Jr. Contributing Writer
- 2021 25 Jan
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. – Galatians 6:7
God. Mocking. Sowing. Reaping. Four simple words that carry an incredible amount of meaning. How do they tie together and what does it mean that God will not be mocked? This verse is often seen in terms of penalty for wrong-doing and viewed from a negative light. However, as you look closer I believe you will see that this has far better results for those who take this to heart.
What Does it Mean That 'God Will Not Be Mocked' Galatians 6:7?
To fully understand this verse let’s break it down into three sections. After we break the verse down we will put it back together again.
1. Do not be deceived.
This word deceived in the original Greek means to stray, to wander, to roam into error, to be led astray, or to deviate from the correct path or the truth. Paul is stating in these four words simply don’t go astray or believe something that is not true
2. God will not be mocked.
The word mocked here means to turn up your nose or to scornfully disdain. According to Google’s dictionary, the word disdain means “the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one's consideration or respect; contempt.”
Paul is saying that even if you believe that God’s opinion on something is not worth consideration or worthy of respect you are wrong. You simply cannot look past or disregard what God has said and there not be consequences for your actions. When you first think of this, the tendency is to always view this from a negative perspective but this applies in both positive and negative situations. We will look at this a little later.
3. A man reaps what he sows.
Reaping and sowing is a common farming analogy. Sowing is the act of spreading or scattering. Reaping is the act of harvesting or gathering. Whatever you spread or scatter that is what you will harvest or gather. Another way of thinking about it is what you put in is what will come out.
Let’s put it all together
Do not wander away from the truth or be led astray. You cannot disregard what God has said. Whatever you spread, scatter, or feed into that is exactly what you will get in return. I love the way the New Living Translation (NLT) words this verse: Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.
So when you think of what it means God will not be mocked here is a very simple explanation. God will have the last word and his justice will always win out in the end. Even if you try to fight against it or disregard it, that does not matter. Once God has established a principle, it will always be in operation.
How Do God and Mocking Connect with Sowing and Reaping?
The crux of what it means that God will not be mocked centers around the principle of sowing and reaping. As I said earlier when we think of the justice of God we often think in a negative way but it has both positive and negative connotations. The verses Paul uses after that reflect this viewpoint.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:8
Here is where we see the principle and why God will not be mocked. On the positive side if you sow to please the Spirit, if you seek to obey what God has said, if you commit your way to the Lord and seek to honor him in everything you do, you will reap eternal life. Here is the good news. God will not be mocked. Sowing to please God brings with it the reward of eternal life. This has nothing to do with how you feel it will happen because it is what God has established. God blesses what is sown especially what is sown in righteousness. Remember these words of Jesus,
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:4
On the other side of the coin or the negative side if you sow to please your sinful nature you will reap destruction. Again, God will not be mocked. There are consequences that come from looking to serve the desires of your sinful nature. This does not just mean eternal consequences, there are consequences in this life. I am sure you can all think back to things you have done in the past that brought you consequences for your actions. If you could go back and undo them I am sure you would jump at the opportunity. I know I would. This is important because Paul was writing these words to the Christians in the Galatian church. While we often want to apply this principle to those who are not believers, this is a warning to believers. There is a price to pay for living a sinful lifestyle. If you think you can live in sin and get away with it remember God will not be mocked. Again here are more words of Jesus
For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. – Luke 8:17
Whether you sow to the Spirit or your sinful nature, God will not be mocked and you will receive based on how you have sown.
What Constitutes Mocking?
There are two main ways we mock God. Surprisingly, this can happen whether you are sowing to the sinful nature or the Spirit.
1. Believing you will get away with it.
This applies if you are sowing to the sinful nature. Eventually, you will reap the reward of your ways. Thinking or believing you will escape, get away with it, or not face consequences sneers or looks at God’s justice with contempt. When you think or feel this way you are actually mocking God.
2. Believing God will not reward you.
This applies when you are sowing to the Spirit. Let me reiterate we often don’t think of mocking in regards to righteousness but it can happen. If you are sowing to the Spirit but believe that God will not reward you for your right living, you are in essence mocking God.
How Can We Be Sure We Don't Do It?
The best way to know that you are not mocking God is to simply take God at his word. You should take to heart what God has said knowing he will do it. Your confidence and trust in his word will keep you from treating what God has said with contempt.
A Way Forward Knowing God Will Not Be Mocked
Knowing that God will not be mocked, what should you do with this truth? I think what Paul says in this same chapter is the best course of action.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:9-10
Here is what your response should be. Remain faithful and committed to do good to all and don’t become tired in doing it. Recognize that you will be rewarded for your work as long as you don’t give up. Your assurance of reward comes from the reality of this truth, God will not be mocked.
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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, author and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He has spent more than 30 years serving the body of Christ in various capacities and has just released his first book, The Pursuit of Purpose. If you have ever struggled trying to find God’s will, this book will help you discover the different ways God leads you into his perfect will. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.