In Galatians, Paul is speaking to believers and reminds them that, “God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal 6:7). He tells them that if they live according to the flesh, they will reap the things that come from the flesh.
But this principle applies to all people, not just believers. There is a wonderful example of this in 2 Kings 19. The king of Assyria attacks Judah with his mighty army. He comes to Jerusalem and tells the Jews there that if they do not give up, they have no hope.
In doing so, he mocks God. He tells the people that their God cannot save them. Their God is no different than the gods of other nations. Assyria has defeated all these nations, and their gods could not help them. It will be the same for the people in Jerusalem (18:33; 19:12-13). The king of Assyria brags about all his victories over surrounding nations to show the Jews the futility of fighting against him.
The king of Assyria tells them that he will put their city under siege; they will starve, being forced to eat and drink their own human waste (18:27). Their defeat is assured. The majority of them will die (18:32), because their God cannot deliver them. Those who live will be led away into captivity with hooks in their noses and lips (19:28).
All of this was, of course, blasphemous. The king of Assyria was comparing the God who created the heavens and the earth (19:15) to false gods made by the hands of men. He was mocking the God of Israel.
Isaiah tells the Jews not to fear the king of Assyria. The king’s words are unintentionally ironic; he has bragged about all of his victories on the battlefield, but it was Israel’s God, whom he mocked, who gave him these victories (19:25-26).
Gods of stone and wood cannot deliver anybody. But the God of Israel is not such a god and will indeed bring victory to His people. The Assyrians said the people of Jerusalem would eat human waste. God says that His people will, instead, eat their own food and experience a bountiful crop (19:28). The Assyrians said the Jews would die. But God will kill 185,000 of the Assyrians; it is they who will die (19:35). The king of Assyria threatened Hezekiah, the king of Judah, with death. But the king of Assyria will, himself, die. The Assyrians said that the God of Israel could not deliver him, but the leader of Assyria will die in the temple of his false god (19:37). The Assyrians said the Jews would die. God says they will live.
The Assyrian said he would lead the few Jewish survivors away from Judah by the nose in disgrace. Instead, the Assyrians will be forced to leave Judah after a humiliating defeat.
In other words, all that the Assyrian king said God was unable to do, He did. The king blasphemed God, when, in the final analysis, it was his god of wood and stone that could not deliver him or his army.
God is not mocked. A believer cannot lose eternal salvation, but if he lives according to the flesh in disobedience to what God has said, he will reap destruction and the loss of rewards. When it comes to the unbelieving world, the same principle applies. In our day, we clearly see the majority of people mocking God. They question His very existence. In fact, they deny and ridicule it. Like the king of Assyria, they also ridicule His ability to do what He has promised to do for His people. They mock the moral laws He has established for His created order.
When we look around and see all that is going on, it is easy to be discouraged. Why doesn’t God do something about the depravity all around us and respond to what the world says about Him? But when we think that way, we need to notice what is happening. We can already see the chaos and destruction that such blaspheming of God brings into the lives of those who mock Him. Our cities and culture are full of such evidence.
We also know that, in the end, all this mocking is temporary. Christ will come and judge the world. That is one of the major themes of the Book of Revelation. God is not mocked. That is a universal truth. Believers who walk in disobedience learn that lesson. The Assyrians and their king did. Soon, the whole world will.