Posts Tagged ‘ten commandments’

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Piano Man

In order for a full size piano to generate sound, the 240 (or so) strings together must bear approximately 20 tons of tensile pressure. However, tension and stress alone do not pianoproduce music. For this to occur, access must be granted to the one who can adjust and tweak those strings, otherwise the tones produced would be disturbing rather than delightful. It doesn’t take much effort to appreciate that the piano maker and the piano tuner are specially gifted, as is the one who ultimately plays the instrument.

In some ways we are like pianos. We’re intelligently designed (no one looks at a piano and thinks that it created itself), we are subjected to and endure stress, and we’re designed for a specific purpose. A piano cannot create itself, tune itself, or play itself. The comparison comes to a head when we grasp that our Craftsman, and our Tuner, and our Pianist are all One.

Sadly, most humans believe they can both tune and play, while simultaneously rejecting the truth regarding their own creation. These folks (of which we were once also) are simply operating in their own flesh (operating in the flesh is the false notion that we know better than God).

This is not how God designed us.

It reminds me of Proverbs 14:7

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

The Apostle Paul put it this way:

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:12-14

That should be our wake-up call!

Yes, God did make each of us, but our functionality rests in Him and upon Him. In order to drive home the point, God gave each of us choice and a mirror. This mirror we call the Ten Commandments, and when we gaze into it we can see just how bad our choices have been. Most choose to smash the mirror, but a small number of believers opt to see it for what it truly is.

What is it?

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

In Christ

Let’s take the same tension, the same stress, and the same purpose, but put it under the control of the Master who knows how much pressure each string can bear and knows the music best suited for the instrument He made. Suddenly the strain and the pressure are bearable, and the music is delightful. It is in fact pleasing to the ear; both our ear and the Creator’s ear. Nothing much has changed; same characteristics, but different results — better results.

Christians often call this unspeakable joy!

How can this be?

The change is a direct result of discovering that our ‘old man’ (that persona we left behind when we repented and turned towards Christ Jesus) was an impostor masquerading as a piano tuner and a piano player. But because we have submitted ourselves to the One who created us, the music is sweet and satisfying and honors God.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

Consider these Bible verses:

  1. Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you.”
  2. 2 Timothy 1:9, “God, who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”
  3. Romans 7:4, “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.”
  4. Ephesians 4:7, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
  5. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Read those verse again, pausing for a moment to weigh the Divine implication of each one. Understand that we are but tools in the Master’s hand, created and put here for His good purpose and pleasure. Furthermore understand that Christ’s teachings are easy and His burden is light. Christ came to save us and give us life abundantly — if that is not your testimony after having submitted and committed your ways to Jesus, then you can have your old life back.

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The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion…The Lord has sworn And will not relent, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” Psalm 110:2a + 4

No Justice–No Peace

noWhile No justice, no peace! is a nice sentiment, and it sounds marvelous when you get a couple hundred people to chant it in harmony, it is not a solution that works towards true peace, at least not in the context it is being used here, It doesn’t work because in order for ‘justice to be just’, it must be applied to everyone. In other words, if you’re demanding justice in a particular situation, then you yourself must be subject to justice in every situation. That’s true justice.  I for one am not ready for that. All things considered, I will choose God’s mercy over His justice any day of the week.

How Then Do We Achieve Peace

The answer is revealed in God’s promise and oath recorded in Psalm 110 (above). The short-answer is Jesus, but why; why is Jesus the solution to warfare, strife, and dissonance?

Consider Melchizedek

For this Melchizedek…first being translated “King of Righteousness, ” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace.” Hebrews 7:1-2

Melchizedek is the high priest who met Abraham after he and 318 servants fought and won a decisive battle against Chedorlaomer and his huge army. Many believe (as I do) that Melchizedek was in reality a Christophany, or an appearance of our Lord Jesus. Regardless what you believe about Mel, the passage from Hebrews 7:1-2 answers the question (in part) as to why Jesus is the only way to everlasting peace.

First Things First

It tells us that Melchizedek means, ‘King of Righteousness,’ and then afterwards, he is called ‘King of peace.’ In this we see that there is an order; righteousness comes before peace. It must! The Psalmist reminds us that Jesus is coming in the order, or ‘style’ of Melchizedek. Jeremiah 23:6 builds on the doctrine similarly:

In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

C. H. Spurgeon put it this way:

“First, King of righteousness.” How early that “first” was, I cannot tell you. “In the beginning was the Word,” but when that beginning was, who knows?—for is He not, indeed, without beginning? First and firstborn, from everlasting You are God, O mighty Son of Jehovah! First, King of Righteousness, and then afterwards, when men fell, when rebellion, strife and war had sprung up—then He came to heal the mischief and become, “King of Peace.” He comes Himself as the Divine Ambassador, our Peacemaker and Peace. He comes here into this place even into the midst of His Salem, into the midst of His people, and gives us, now, as He has long given, the vision of peace—opening up before the eyes of faith the completeness, the sureness and the delight of perfect peace in Himself.”

Only One King of Righteousness

We are not righteous; no man can be unto himself; a quick review of the Ten Commandments will drive that point home. Our righteousness is His righteousness. Christians are clothed in His garment; we are, as Philippians 3:9 declares:

Found in (Jesus), not having (our) own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith

noOnly perfect and true righteousness leads to perfect peace and why Hebrews 6:20 rightly identifies Jesus as our ‘Forerunner’.  This state of being cannot be accomplished on our own. Jesus must lead the way, otherwise we cannot be seen by the Father as righteous, and therefore we cannot attain peace. We can almost picture the football team bursting through the paper banner with Captain Jesus leading the charge, but better yet, we can envision the Temple veil being rent in two after Jesus finished the work on the cross.

No Jesus, no peace,

Know Jesus, know peace.

Jesus be with you,

Peace be with you.


Believe it or not; like it or not, God loves the Syrian people. He loves them so much that He sent Jesus to die for their sins, just like He did for you in I. Pray that the Gospel message is going out in Syria and that they will take heed and take hold of the promise. Also pray for our nation and our president. The United States does not have to be the ones to fulfill this Bible prophecy. Pray for the unsaved souls and pray for nominal Christians you need revival. Pray that Christ’s righteousness will be the garment of choice so that peace can follow.

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What purpose then does the law serve? Galatians 3:19

Heard on a Plane…

“Would you like a beverage sir or some peanuts?”

“I’ll have a diet coke please.”

“Would you like a parachute as well?”


“A parachute sir. Your life will be much better if you have one, I guarantee it! In fact, your life will be prosperous, full of peace and joy! Having a parachute is the only way. I have one and you should have one too!”

“Thank you, but I have no need for a parachute. I’m very happy for you though. I’m glad your parachute gives you peace, comfort, and joy.”

The Critical Information

The attendant, not wanting to upset the passenger, failed to tell him that the plane was in fact going down. Why upset him (she must have assumed) when he seemed to be having such a good time. However, failing to share the critical information ultimately would lead to this man’s destruction.

The Purpose of the Law

The Law (the Ten Commandments) lets us know that we are all going down. It does that by letting us know that we are all sinners. Tell most folks about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and omit the Law, they will likely respond that they have no need for saving. They probably consider themselves to be good people.

The Law declares otherwise.

“There is none righteous, no, not one…none who understands; There is none who seeks after God..” Romans 3:10-11

No one seeks after God, at least not until after they realize that God was seeking them first. God sought us first by providing the Law as a mirror. This mirror reveals to us how we truly look to Him: dirty. It is this realization, that we are sinners in need of salvation, that leads us to the parachute that is Christ Jesus.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes… Psalm 19:7-8

One More Time

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

  • Are you going to Heaven?
  • Are you a good person?
  • Do you know the Law?
  • Have you taken the Roman’s Road?

*Two words about analogies: they’re flawed.  Whenever we take a biblical truth and attempt to explain it  by making  a worldly comparison (as I did with the parachute story), we fall short.  While some analogies help us to understand biblical concepts, at the end of the day we must solely rely upon the truth of God’s Word.

~ ~ ~

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Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20

Recently I had a discussion with a person and was able to share the Good News. Much to my delight she agreed to attend church the following Sunday with me and my family where the pastor confirmed and elaborated upon many of the things we had previously discussed. The pastor gave the invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior, but she did not respond to the offer. Later on I asked her why.

One of her reasons was, “Because I am already a good person.”

“No you’re not,” I wanted to say, “you’re a rotten person,” but I bit my tongue. As true as it is, there was no love to be found in that response.

The fact of the matter is that we spent a lot of time talking about the very false doctrine of universalism (her other issue) and never really brought the conversation back around to her (our) perceived goodness.

There is none who does good, no, not one. Romans 3:12b

How to Tell a Nonbeliever That They Are No Good

It’s hard to tell someone they are no good and sound loving at the same time. You can say, “I love you,” all you want, but all they’re going to hear is that you just insulted them. From where they stand, they (and perhaps the world) see themselves as good people heading in the right direction. We on the other hand see them lost and heading in the wrong direction. What’s needed here is a road sign. What will a road sign do? Two things actually—it tells you where you are and it tells you the direction you need to go. The Law is that road sign.

You can easily show a nonbeliever the Ten Commandments and demonstrate how they have broken every single one. From there it is easy to point out that no one can be justified by the deeds of the law (Romans 3:20) because no one aside from Jesus has ever been able to keep the Law. So what’s the Law’s purpose? To show you where you are (in sin) and to point you in the direction you need to go (to Jesus). It really is just that simple.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Here’s the solution. Say, “Jesus, I was just at the road sign and it showed me I was a lost sinner. Thankfully, it pointed me in Your direction. Please cleanse me.” That’s all there is to it.

Remember, the Law was written on tablets of stone, not bars of soap–it cannot clean you.


These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” Mark 4:3-8

To Whom is Jesus Talking?

The truth be told, Jesus was addressing a great multitude of people, but the wisdom of this parable was not for everyone–the message was primarily for those who had ears to hear. In other words, it was for His followers. To those who had not yet chosen to believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the parable would make little sense. The fact of the matter is that this parable is a preparatory dictate to His followers; step one as it were towards effective evangelism. Jesus is effectively instructing His disciples, “Before you can plant a single seed, you must prepare the soil.”

The Burden is on the Sower, Not the Soil

Soil by definition is stupid. It doesn’t know it must be prepared. It cannot recognize it must be tilled, turned-over, exposed, and weeded. Soil thinks it’s good just the way it is. Soil thinks it’s good that it shares with the birds; it points to an occasional sprout as positive development. Soil fails to see the big picture—soil does not see its purpose as God sees it.

We have established that soil is stupid, so it stands to reason that it cannot prepare itself; tilling the soil is the sower’s task. Knowing this we need to make a distinction between an earthly farmer and a Christian farmer. We need to do this because they use different tools. A conventional farmer uses a plow to till his soil, but the Christian uses the Law to prepare his. The Law is the only tool that will properly prepare the soil to receive the seed, the Word of God. If a seed fails on stony ground or amongst the thorns, whose fault is it? Is it the soils fault or the sower?

Jesus Loves You

Like it or not, the Good News starts with some bad news. And guess what; the bad news doesn’t start with, “Hey! You’re going to hell!” The bad news is found in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

There are two parts to the bad news: first, ‘all have sinned’ and second, our sin separates us from God. The question that remains is, “How can we establish that every person is a sinner?” The fact is proved by having each sinner gaze into the mirror of the Law—the Ten Commandments. Using the Law as our guide, we can quickly and effectively demonstrate to any person that they have broken every single commandment. By so doing, we have begun the mission of tilling the stony ground. Skip this step and there is a very good chance that the seeds we plant will be gobbled up, withered away, or choked out.

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. 2 Corinthians 7:9

The Psalmist said it this way, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul…” (Psalm 19:7). It’s my testimony that when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior for the first time, I did so because ‘my sower’ told me Jesus loved me and that my life would be better with Him in it—the Law was not utilized. And because the soil was not properly prepared; because I was not brought to a place of godly sorrow leading to sincere repentance, I quickly backslid. I’ll be blunt. If we don’t allow the Law to do its good work [when we share the Gospel], we run the risk of planting a crop of backsliders.

I wonder, “How many of you quickly backslid because your soil was not tilled with the Law before the seed was planted?” Jesus gave His followers this parable so we would not make this critical mistake. Having said that, God was gracious to me and sent me another sower in my back-slidden condition, but know this—as a sower, I have the opportunity to plant the seed correctly the first time. Scattering seed on ill prepared soil is poor stewardship. Break out the Law and let’s till the land!

What say you?

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. Deuteronomy 11:26-28No Joke

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”

Doctor: “Then don’t do that!”

We Have a Choice

Henny Youngman borrowed the concept. Our Father in Heaven made it incredibly simple—two choices—that’s it. No gray area, no muddy water, nothing to guess at: with God you get black or you get white. How come? Because He loves us too much to make life more difficult than it ought to be. So when we say, “God, it hurts when I do this, ” He can effortlessly point to the singular solution.

Turning Aside

The passage from Deuteronomy illustrates a significant doctrine. God does not regulate the gush of blessing; His fount is always on full bore. It is when we choose to turn aside we curse ourselves–when we pursue ungodly things, we have elected to move away from the spout where the blessings pour out. This is the issue if you or I are not feeling blessed today. Strength comes to those who go to the gym, nourishment comes to those who go to the fridge, and cleanliness comes to those who go take a bath, but none of those places will change because we’re not there.

The Remedy

God’s prescription: believe Him, love Him, follow Him, obey Him, and the result is blessing prolifico. Deny Him, hate him, disobey Him and experience spiritual famine, weakness, and failure. God does not curse us because we refuse the cure, we curse ourselves.

And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. Deuteronomy 11:13-14



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So I made an ark of acacia wood, hewed two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain, having the two tablets in my hand. And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments, which the Lord had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the Lord gave them to me. Deuteronomy 10:3-4

God and His Word Never ChangeMoses goes up Mount Sinai and returns with the Ten Commandments. Upon his return and in response to Israel’s depravity, Moses smashes the tablets, a stunning representation of what breaking the law truly looks like. And what was God’s response? “Moses, lets try that again.”

You could say that Moses and Israel got a do-over. What we cannot say is that God changed the rules. God did not express the ‘original’ was too tough and therefore needed a rewrite, nor did He adapt it to conform to the worldly culture Israel had become entangled. God’s action affirms that conformity is our burden, not His. And Jesus later tags, “These burdens are light.” (paraphrase mine)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God could have changed the Law if He wanted to, but He didn’t. That leaves us to ask the question of ourselves, “Where do we get off believing that we can change the Law, or any other part of the Bible for that matter?” The answer is of course we cannot. Oh, we can go ahead and say our behavior is not sinful, but that does not change God’s Word. We can move forward and add requirements to our religion making it burdensome, but that doesn’t change His truth. We can do whatever we want to, but God remains the same.

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

Our efforts to modify the truth are really nothing more than attempts to placate man. Many Christians have caved-in to a culture that abhors what man has done to religion and therefore have removed the very word religion from the Christian vocabulary. How about we change our hearts instead of our vocabulary. How about we conform to what God wants us to be rather than conform to what the world wants us to be. After all, who are we called to please, God or man? Lest we become spiritual chameleons, we ought to do it all God’s way.

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And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. Exodus 25:16-17I Barely Know Where to Start?

To say that the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant are symbolic illustrations that prophetically lend themselves to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is an understatement of biblical proportion—no pun intended. Every element and every detail point toward and speak directly of Jesus Christ.

Consider the Tent

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

I do not pretend to know why God did the things He did or why He continues to do the things He does, but still I ponder, ‘why a tent?’ I didn’t realize until my Bible study today that man’s conception of a tent transcends time and culture. We can benefit from the fact that the word ‘dwelt’ (from the John 1:14 verse) in the Greek means; to tabernacle, or ‘tent’ with, so in both the Old and the New Testaments we have this depiction of Jesus tenting among us—one prophetic and one fulfilled. But there’s more…

The Tabernacle was an impermanent, wilderness quarters, humble outwardly, but inwardly ornate. It was both God’s dwelling place and meeting place among men. In obvious parallelism Jesus was among us temporarily in this our wasteland, an outwardly unassuming man, yet inwardly perfect. His name literally means, ‘God with us’ and He is the sole intermediary between us and the Father. His Word bears witness to these facts—mull over this biblical anthology:

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel… He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him…Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head…let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them… For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus…He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me… Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:2; Matthew 8:20; Exodus 25:8; 1Timothy 2:5; Psalms 101:6b

The Wood

And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around. Exodus 25:11

Wood in the Bible often speaks to our flesh; the pulpy part of our existence and gold speaks of deity. If the Ark is a picture of Jesus Christ (and it is), then we have in it a depiction of a man covered in deity—there is only One who fits that description. The fact that the acacia tree has thorns and its sap is used medicinally to heal can only add more detail to the portrait.

The Good News

And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. Exodus 25:16-17

The Testimony spoken of here is the Law; the Ten Commandments. God directs Moses to put them inside the Ark. The covering; the ‘Mercy Seat’ is not embellished timber this time, but pure gold. See the picture—the Law is covered by mercy. We are not in the Law, but in Christ. The Law is covered by Jesus and if we are in Him we robed in His righteousness, not by any effort on our part, but by the work He has done.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness…For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Isaiah 61:10a and Ephesians 2:8-9

Is there any significance in knowing these things? Absolutely. Once it is understood that the entire Bible, both Old Testament and New, point directly to Jesus Christ, we are better equipped to understand and share that which we believe and in Whom we profess our faith.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. John 5:39

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“You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down. For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious. Exodus 22:22-27Why the Law of Moses?

Saying that post-exodus Israel was a lawless society might be overstating the situation, but regardless, God set forth to establish regulations for His people where before none had officially existed. Prior to these institutions, there were no official policies regarding victim’s rights and restitution and every man was simply doing what they considered to be proper in their own eyes—sometimes justice was fair and sometimes it was not. By the establishment of and adherence to these laws, a certain degree of equity could be guaranteed.

But There is More

While the implementation of these devices served a specific legal purpose, they also were the vehicle by which God could begin to establish biblical models on a grander scale. Prior to this, concepts such as mercy, grace, and restitution were left up to individual interpretation. God was laying down the ground work for what these things looked like from a heavenly perspective.

Perhaps the most significant lesson being taught here is that the compensation we remit for the offenses we commit tender only partial restitution at best. The ideal that is being sketched-out by God is that full restitution can only come from one source ultimately, His Son Jesus Christ. By introducing His people to this notion now, when Jesus is offered as the propitiation for our sins the concept would not be unfamiliar.

“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:2

God’s Priority

As I was going through Exodus 22, one particular passage jumped out at me—the one I featured at the beginning of this blog. It leapt off the page because it is the first of these regulations that God shifts gears, so to speak. Prior to verse twenty-two, the guidelines focused upon how victims were to deal with offenders interpersonally and visa versa, but when the victims are orphans and widows, God will take exceptional interest. God declares in their affliction, “(His) wrath will become hot, and (He) will kill you with the sword…”. Looking around the world today, it would appear that the Christian community has not taken this pronouncement of the Lord very seriously.

I raise that issue not so much as a rebuke towards the Church, but rather as a reminder for her. God is very adamant about His position regarding how believers are to respond to those who are unable to help themselves. Griping about our obligation to the poor or debating the issue of why some find themselves mired in poverty is not a part of God’s solution. The Law of Moses should serve to put each of us in the position of the victim and then ponder how it is we would want to be treated. Mercy and grace ought to be the two attributes that always rise to the top.

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Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Exodus 20:19It Doesn’t Make Any Sense

The nation of Israel has just beheld the most magnificent, the most incredible, the most extravagant, divine display the world has ever seen and their reaction is bizarre to say the least. “Moses, ” they basically said, “God was cool and all that, but next time we would prefer to speak with you.” What? Did we hear them correctly? We cannot even begin to imagine such a peculiar scenario…Or can we?

I Don’t Wanna Die

Therein lies Israel’s reasoning. It was not God’s audible voice that scared them to death, but rather the things He had to say—God had given them the Law; the Ten Commandments. The very moment it was heard every person was convicted by their sin—the Law had done exactly what it was designed to do. God might as well have held up a huge mirror and said, “Lookie here…this is what a sinner looks like.” In light of that, we can scarcely blame Israel for not wanting to see that reflection; no wonder they would rather speak with Moses than God.

Nothing Has Changed

Our similarity to Israel in this regard is predictable. Too many Christians are attending feel-good churches, led by feel-good pastors, who only talk about a feel-good Jesus, just so they might feel better about themselves. Teachings regarding sin, separation, and hell can only lead to one place inevitably: ‘dying-to-self’ and nobody wants to go there, “lest we die.” Somewhere we have latched onto the false notion that if we hide from God we are somehow hidden from Him—an inane gesture on our part. The truth of the matter is that the ruse is ours alone–God cannot be deceived.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13

The Whole Story

The standard reflected by God’s Law exposes every man for the sinner he truly is and avoiding it or God cannot negate that reality–evasion only prevents us from learning the solution to our sin problem—the solution found in Christ Jesus alone. Ironically, it is in our turning away from God that a person truly dies.

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

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