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Law? What Law? (Part 4) “The Rulers of this Age”


Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy making wise the simple.”law or grace

Perfect words written by an imperfect man. A man who became King and messed up big time.

The lineage of David would bring about the Messiah, “The Lamb of God.” His coming was prophesied more than once in the Old Testament.

The birth of Jesus came along at a specific time and place as God ordained. How he came up with the schedule is anyone’s guess.
However with it came the writing of the New Testament.

The event marked history bringing with it correction of the Old Testament laws. God ushered in through Jesus the only way evil could be defeated.

For many doubters understanding God came down from Heaven and became a man through a virgin birth is ludicrous. But the blood had to be “holy and pure” and that could only come from God himself.

1 Corinthians 2:8 speaks of how the “rulers of this age” didn’t understood the wisdom of God. If they had they would never have crucified him. In a word God “duped” the enemy.

Many today believe everyone is under God’s wrath or judgment. If that were true Jesus would be dying over and over for our sins even for those who have accepted him.

Romans 8:7 “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so.”

Those who reject God also reject his laws which is where his wrath and judgment appear.

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

History completely changed when Christ was born. 33 years later his death and resurrection became the focal point of our existence.

The depth of what Christ did for us is unseen by many which is tragic. Not only did he save us from “hell” he gave us himself.

What does it mean “he gave us himself?”Christ is the end of the law

To be continued……

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Law? What Law? (Part 3) So, what now?


Christmas.

Years pass by and the meaning changes. Well, hopefully.

The idea of Santa falling down chimneys has been questionable, but what child wouldn’t come up with a better answer than most adults?

Why is it so easy to believe in this jolly red soul than Jesus?

They are both good guys.santa-going-down-chimney-2

Loving children is their joy.

Bringing gifts is part of the plan.

They may look quite different but their hearts are in the right place.

However Santa could never do what Jesus did. No one else can either.

The Old Testament law must have been strange to children.

Why do we have to sacrifice animal’s “ma”? Isn’t that cruel?

Why can’t we eat bacon “ma”?

I don’t want to rest on the Sabbath “ma”. Do we have to?

The line of “I don’t know son, just do what God says” could have been the best answer “ma” could come up with at the time. But it didn’t do much for little Ezekiel or Levi.

Would it or is it easier to explain Jesus?

If the disarray of the world is a result, then no. From the divisions occurring in many arenas clarifying who Jesus is, what he did and where he is now may be much more difficult.

For Christians, the Old Testament laws do not apply today. And this is where it gets sticky.

After researching the difference in the two testaments, it became clear what God did.

The idea we are still facing judgment as Christians is not Biblical. However those who are not followers of Christ, those who have not confessed their sins and invited Jesus into their life as Lord and Savior are facing judgment until they do. The fact many are non-believers, God’s judgment is active around those who are saved which can result in hurting innocent people.

Here in Romans 1:18 Paul says,

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

The law of the old covenant could not accomplish what God intended. But it did do this:

Romans 3:20 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather through the law we become conscious of sin.”

For example: A thief who steals and gets caught may go to jail for his crime. He is made aware of his crime/sin but going to jail won’t necessarily stop him from doing it again once released. So it is with the old covenant.

It could temporarily save the people of God, but only through fear of the law.

Romans 2: 2” Now we know God’s judgment against people who do those things is based on the truth.”

So what happened?

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Law? What Law? (Part 2)


Is God Mad?

Unfortunately in today’s world many are aligning themselves with the Israelites.
Fear of getting to know God on a personal scale is prominent. Why?

Because people in general including Christians believe God is mad at them.

Questions such as “how could God ever forgive me for what I have done?condiments - Copy

Or “If I get too close to God, will he send me to some remote country on the other side of the world to live out my days in a hut?”

I find it interesting the Israelites knew they were sinning and difficult. Yet instead of consulting the God who gave them shoes and clothing that never wore out they played hide and seek like Adam and Eve.
(Deuteronomy 29:5)

Instead of seeking him on an intimate level, they asked Moses to mediate for them.

Relationships with God are not much different today.

Many use their church faith to connect them or lean on a stronger follower’s faith. And then there is the “well, I grew up in this denomination, so that is what I am.”

Growing up there are certain issues we keep we inherited or find common ground with our parents throughout our lifetime.

However, living on their faith doesn’t work nor will it last.

God wants each of us to seek him personally which is what he intended from the beginning of time.

The laws were many and detailed. After God gave them the Ten Commandments he issued laws for personal property and grievances to instructions on how to build the Ark of the Covenant.

In the book of Leviticus you will find out how to regulate mildew, learn the meaning of what is unclean and find a recipe to make unleavened bread.

If you want a new name for your baby, read the book of Numbers.

God didn’t leave anything out.paperback

The basis for the rigidness was for their benefit.

The laws instilled fear to keep his people from sinning.

Deuteronomy 28 summarizes the blessings and curses imposed depending on how one lived.

The Old Testament Covenant laws were undermined or weakened by sin making it imperfect.

The sacrifices made would not fulfill the righteousness of God. (Galatians 3)

The law could not fulfill the grace of God.

The Commandments could not give life.

All the regulations in the world cannot give any prisoner freedom.

So what does this mean?

The law was set in stone until faith could be revealed.

And stones can break…..

camels

 

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Law? What Law? (Part 1)


Moses has always had a special place in my heart.  The conclusion for that is my empathy for him in his job as the “Deliverer.”

It wasn’t like he chose to be the leader of a pac of complainers who were given the most miraculous displays of God’s extravagant creativity.steve jobs

As the Red Sea parted did he question the journey he was about to embark upon?

Did it register in his prolific mind the day to day fires he would have to put out?

Did God give Moses a heads up prior to the release of the slaves of his prophetic voice? Or his need for Management Class 101?

And what about law school? As the author of the first 5 books of the Old Testament was Moses given an Honorary Degree from the Exodus School of Law? And what about all those Numbers?

The law was written to give the Israelites a Covenant between them and God.  This relationship recognized Israel as God’s Holy nation. The laws were given to help them understand how to worship God and live life as he planned. The basics were:

  1. Guidance
  2. Rules to live a Holy life
  3. Recognizing sacrifices
  4. Plans for feasts and the Sabbath
  5. Instructions for offerings
  6. Understanding how to receive God’s blessings 

The Ten Commandments gave an outline for stability in following the law. And the law included the consequences, punishments and written results of curses if broken. In laymen’s terms the law was an Old Testament temporary solution to a permanent one to come.

John 3: 36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

An excellent point to make in the Jews observance of God’s law was that they didn’t; or not very well. The actuality of their confirmation was made when Moses went up to God on Mt. Sinai.

“We will do everything the Lord has said.” (Exodus 19:8) God made it clear to Moses the people of Israel would be his “treasured possession” out of all the nations if they obeyed him and his covenant.

Moses made numerous trips up and down the mountain to communicate between God and the people. After he brought the two tablets with the Ten Commandments to the people, they became so afraid of God who was making a lot of noise they chose not to hear from him directly. Instead they wanted Moses to speak for him.

Fear drove them.

Fear was imputed by God to his people to keep them in line.

Fear implemented the laws.

Exodus 20: 20-21 “Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.”

Fear kept the Israelites from choosing to have direct communication with God.

Do you think that happens today?

To be continued…..

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What is God really up to?


The lingering question outlines many who wonder where God is.

As I previously wrote, God is in the midst of us no matter what it looks like; and it looks pretty bad.

However, it is usually in our worst of times whether private or public God makes a show of his greatness.

We pride ourselves on knowing how God is going to do this or that, when the Bible clearly states,

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t care how God shows up; the point is that I trust him to do so.

One example of his surprises is in 2nd Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat, King of Judah found himself in a mess. Armies of enemies were heading toward God’s people.

Moabites, Ammonites, Meunites and all the “ites” made up a vast militia that wanted his kingdom gone.

As Jehoshaphat heard the news, he gathered the assembly of Judah at the Temple and announced to the people what they were up against.

Fear must have swept over him as he began to cry out to the Lord for help. His prayer was detailed with explanations of what was about to happen to his people if God didn’t intervene.

Instead of focusing on the enemy they kept their eyes on God.

So what does God do?Kingdoms_around_Israel_830_map.svg

He pulls an ambush.

The Spirit of the Lord spoke to a man named Jahaziel.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”

The next day, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing and praise God.

A funny thing happened while they gathered together making music.

Instead of coming after the people of Judah, the enemies began fighting each other. In an all-out slaughter, not one was left. It took 3 days for God’s people to gather the plunder which included equipment, clothing and items of great value.

The 4th day, they didn’t play Spades or Monopoly. NO…..they assembled together praising God for saving them.

God sent some nasty plagues to Egypt for resisting Moses to let his people go.

The Red Sea parted in what may have been one of the most extravagant miracles God has ever pulled.

The Walls of Jericho fell while the Israelites marched around it.

And he preserved the families of Judah, the lineage of Jesus, with a surprise trap that no one saw coming.

These miracles made their way to other lands and adversaries.  It was well known the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was a force to be reckoned with.

I wonder; if God pulled off such supernatural exploits in Old Testament times, do you think he might do it again?

History does repeat itself.

Hmmmmm….an ambush?wlEmoticon-redheart.png

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“Hear ye, Hear ye! Your King is on the Floor!” (1)


Reading 2 Samuel 12 God sends the prophet Nathan to King David.  He comes to him after David has sinned with Bathsheba and killed her husband.

Now, you can’t tell me when Nathan arrived David wasn’t a little uneasy.

Conviction lies in the hearts of those who know the difference between good and evil. Maybe at this point which was too late David was hoping God might have missed his transgressions? Maybe God took a vacation and left no one in charge? Or he hoped God overslept that day?

Yeah, right.

Honestly, what did he think he was going to get away with?

Human nature isn’t privy to Kings, Presidents, royalty.  It has no knowledge of discrimination. It does not play favorites.

David was a King, but first he was a man.

After Nathan rakes him over the coals David speaks.

“I have sinned against the Lord.” 2nd Samuel 12:13

Repentance sets in. Sickened by his actions, he fasts, prays and lies face down dormant on the floor for days. He is motionless in his misery yet hopeful in his heart.

Just like us, he made a real boo-boo. He really messed up bad. He did the unthinkable.

But…..

His response was correct. Is that why God gave him grace? Did he deserve God’s favor after all he had done?

If you continue in 2nd Samuel 12 the servants observe David’s remorseful behavior. Concerned for his well-being the elders of the household remained at his side hoping to feed him. He refused.

 What would you do if your King was lying on the floor face down for hours and days at a time?

Remind him how the neighbors would talk?

Inform him his actions were not that of a King?

Ask him if he missed his last therapy session with Dr. Phil?

Picking this apart are more than one dynamic.

David’s priority as a servant of his God took precedence over being King.

His immediate sorrow for how he had hurt God sent him into despair and depression.

His efforts to pray and fast ceaselessly reveal how David knew God’s mercy extended far beyond his sin.

So what does this mean?

King David knew his God.

He knew the Lord would forgive him, but he also understood the consequences of “reaping and sowing.”

He recognized within his own passion how he would beat himself up for quite some time.

Living with the guilt and shame of his erred ways he wrote his feelings down lamenting his soul resulting in discovering he was a man after God’s own heart.

But….there is more to this story.

What do you think it is?

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