Don't Make God Burn Your Barley Fields

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2 Samuel l4:28‑33


In the previous chapter we read how Amnon raped his own sister, Tamar.  Tamar's brother, Absalom, began to think revenge on Amnon.  Two full years went by with no revenge on his part.  At the end of those two years he talked his father, David, into allowing all of the king's sons to go on the annual sheep shearing trip.  Absalom had conspired with his servants that when Amnon had gotten drunk that they would kill him.

After Amnon had been killed, the word came to David that all of the king's sons were killed.  David is devastated.  Eventually, he is told that only Amnon was killed, and that Absalom was the murderer.  David is both grieved and angry.  He is grieved because his oldest son has been murdered, and he is angry because his young son, Absalom is the murderer.  Absalom flees to Geshur.  For three years Absalom lives in exile in Geshur.

As time goes by, the hurt in David's heart heals, and he longs for Absalom to return home.  However, when Absalom returns to Jerusalem, two full years pass without him seeing his father.  Absalom wants Joab to go to see his father for him, but when he sends for Joab, he refuses to come.  He sent for him the second time, and he still refuses to come.  Finally, he tells his servants that Joab's barley field border his own, and orders them to burn Joab's fields.

After the fields had burned, Joab comes to Absalom and asks why he had burned his barley fields.  Absalom informed him that he had sent for him twice and he had refused to come, and that the only way he could get his attention was to burn his fields.

That is the way God works today.  He will call you once, and call you twice, and the day may come when He has no recourse but to burn your barley field.  Your barley field may come in the form of a heart attack, a stroke, death of a loved one, loss of job, or any number of things.

This morning I want you to notice three things: First, God may burn your barley field as it relates to service.  Second, God may burn your barley field as it relates to the backslider.  Third, God may burn your barley field as it relates to salvation.


A.        God Calls each of us to service

1.      Examples of those He has called

a)      Moses Exodus 3:4  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

b)      Samuel 1 Samuel 3:4  That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

c)      Paul Acts 9:6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

d)      Apostles Matthew 4:18-19  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

e)      Today Mark 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

B.        God calls to different services  1 Corinthians 12:6  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1.      God has a job for each of us to do.

2.      We must have our priorities in order

C.        God calls us to do His will   Hebrews 13:21  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1.      We can=t all do the same thing

2.      We must do it God=s way

3.      Example of health in Las Cruces

D.        God Calls us to tithe Malachi 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

1.      Proverbs 3:9-10  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase:  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

2.      1 Corinthians 16:2  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

E.        God calls us to faithfulness 1 Corinthians 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

1.      Perhaps there is a definite need in your life to be more faithful.

2.      Yet, in spite of the Holy Spirit's wooing, you have refused to listen to Him. 

F.         The day is coming when God may have to burn your barley field in order to get your attention.

1.      He has called, He has called again, and now you leave Him no recourse but to burn your barley field.

2.      In the mid 1953, Dr. & Mrs. LaVeme Miley, were living in Nashville, Tennessee.  He was on the faculty of FWBBC. They felt that God was dealing with them concerning medical missions.  They reasoned with God that with two children it would be difficult, but if additional children were born into their family it would be even more difficult.  They prayed that if God wanted them to be medical missionaries to keep her from getting pregnant.  You can imagine their confusion and dismay when Lorene became pregnant with their third child.  They now felt that God, not only did not want them in medical missions, but did not want them to go to the mission field. The day came for the delivery.  Lorene was taken into the delivery room.  However, the baby was born dead. If you would go to Rebekah Gardens in Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee, you would see a simple bronze marker which reads:  Lydia Miley  December 13, 1953  A Perpetual Reminder of God's Will for Our Lives Psalm 143:10a Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God:

3.      Please do not make God burn your barley field before you begin serving Him as you ought.


A.        David lost the joy of his salvation

B.        Peter denied Christ

C.        Destroys Families

D.        God must use drastic means to get our attention

1.      Death

a)      Couple who lost 3 day old baby in Tennessee

2.      Finances

3.      Health

E.        God has no recourse but burn the barley field


A.        There is no doubt in my mind that God has called you by His Spirit.

1.      He has spoken to some of you once.  Some He has spoken to twice.  Some of you are in danger of having your barley field burned.  There may be someone here whom God has burned your barley field, but you still refuse to receive Him as Savior.  That is a most dangerous place to be. 

2.      I confess that I do not know all of the theology involved in the story of Pharaoh in Exodus.  I do know that God called him repeatedly, and only after giving him ample opportunity to repent did God burn his barley field.  His barley field came in the form of plagues.  Still, in spite of the burning barley fields, Pharaoh refused to repent.  God did the next thing, he destroyed him.

B.        God has a four step program:

1.      He calls.

2.      He calls again.

3.      He burns your barley field.

4.      He either withdraws conviction from you or he destroys you.  Why cannot we respond when God calls us?  Why is disaster required to get our attention?

C.        God calls, and calls him again, but finally He had to burn his barley field to get his attention.



I have been preaching for 35 years.  I have pastored 8 churches.  Time and time again I have seen God call once, and call twice, and then burn a person's barley field.  There have been times when even the burning of their barley field didn't bring them to Christ.  Finally, God destroyed them.

Friend, God is calling you.  If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, He calls you this today.  Is this first  time?  The second?  Is the burning barley field the next step in God's program for your life?

Perhaps you have received Christ, but have gotten away from Him. There was a day when you walked close to Him.  You were in church; living the way you ought, but today you have become backslidden.  You may not like that term, but you know what I mean.

Perhaps God has been speaking to you about some area of Christian service.  You have either put it off or given excuses.  It is a dangerous thing to put it off any longer.

You may not agree with this message, but all it will take is one burning barley field to convince you that I am right.

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