Friday, June 17, 2011

Past Discoveries & Bathroom Ponderings.

Originally written January 17, 2009.

It was a cycle, you see. Over and over again as you look at the Old Testament: the Israelites would turn away from God; God would withdraw His protection and allow some other nation to conquer and oppress them; the Israelites would cry out to God for help; God, in all His grace and mercy and love, would reach down to rescue them. Why did this keep happening? Why didn't the Israelites learn their lesson? They knew the history. They knew what had happened before and what would happen again. I think the answer lies in Judges 4:3. "Because he had nine hundred chariots and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help." They did not cry out to God because they saw their sin and realized what they were doing was wrong. They cried out to God because they were suffering, and they wanted a way out. There was no true repentance in their hearts, no true desire to seek after God. We see this situation described for us in Psalm 106:34-46.

We oftentimes look at the past of the Israelites and wonder what in the world they were thinking. It seemed as soon as God had saved them, they went right back into their rebellious practices. And yet, do we not do the same thing? Return to our sins, return to the dirt and filth that God sought to cleanse us from? Our Father knew this from the beginning. He knew that the blood of every lamb upon the earth would not be enough to redeem our fickle hearts. For every lamb that was slaughtered, another sin would be committed. How could such a cycle be broken? There was only one answer. There was only one Lamb whose blood was precious enough to atone for every sin ever committed and every sin that ever would be committed by every person ever to walk the face of the earth. That Lamb was the Son of God. His name was Jesus. He paid the price, once and for all. For all those who were truly repentant, those who had a true desire to seek after God. Those who accepted His sacrifice have been made new.

And that causes me to wonder. We are not bound to the fate of the Israelites in the Old Testament, for we have been given a new covenant. We are no longer under the law, we are no longer under condemnation. When we are washed in the blood of the Lamb, we no longer live a life of defeat, but a life of victory. So my question is: why are God's people still living in defeat? Why do we continue to live as though we are fighting a losing battle? The cycle has been broken! We are no longer slaves to our sinful nature. All fear, all inadequacy, all guilt, all despair, all darkness has been vanquished in His name. Is that not a glorious truth? This is freedom I speak of! Yet we do not live in it. We are content to live our lives as though we are struggling just to make it through, when our Father has offered rest for the weary. We are content to pity our shattered hearts, when our Father has offered healing for the broken. We are content to cower beneath the gaze of the rest of the world, when our Father has offered His authority and power to His beloved children to overcome the world. Yes, we are weak. But I believe His grace is more than sufficient. Stand upon the love of our God, the truth of His promises, the Rock that will never be shaken.

Jesus said in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." So take heart, beloved of God. Fall in love with your Savior once again. Rejoice in His amazing, incomprehensible love! I know that is what I am being reminded to do. Life doesn't always make sense to me. But when I sit at the feet of the King, and feel His Presence wash over me—that makes perfect sense. I will take heart, for I know my God is here.

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