I am spending this week at home helping my lovely wife recover from surgery. One side benefit of this time is the restarting of a blog I haven’t touched for about 18 months. Not sure all of the reasons for the long hiatus, but hopefully I will be able to continue this time without significant interruption. Stay tuned for a post in the next few days.
Based on Deuteronomy 1:20-46
God: Hey Israel, I have a great gift for you, the hill country of the Amorites. It is incredibly fruitful land and there are wonderful cities to live in. I saved you out of Egypt for this. Go and get it.
Israel: Thanks God, let’s go check it out…Wow, it is a good land!…But it doesn’t look safe!? There’s opposition and they’re scary!?…We can’t go and get it!…We won’t!!!
God: Yes there is opposition but don’t be afraid. I am with you and I will fight for you. Remember the power of Egypt and how it was nothing before me? Remember the difficulties in the wilderness and how they were nothing before me? I saved you for this. Don’t worry, I’ve already given it to you. Go and get it!
Israel: No!! We don’t believe you!!
God: You must go away then. You are not welcome here anymore. I am not with you and the land is not yours. I will give it to those who believe me, to those who follow me. I will be with them, not with you. I will give the land to them, not to you. Go!
Israel: Wait God, we were wrong…we don’t like the wilderness…Look, we’ve got swords and spears and horses; we’re smart and strong; we’ll take the land ourselves. Thanks anyway God, we’ll take it from here.
God: Don’t try it. I am not with you. You will be defeated.
Israel: “Let’s Go!!! Come on We can do this!!!”…Ouch!!…God they won?!?…what happened?…Why didn’t you defeat them?……God?…………….God?…………………………………………………………..God?
…to be continued…
I will not be preaching specifically about the need for the atonement this Easter Sunday. So I direct you to the following blog which gives us a timely and true word from a preacher in the past, Charles Spurgeon. Though it is bit long, it is full of truth that will be food for your soul. Read it, think about it, ask God to teach you from it…Believe it.
From Isaiah 45 (selected verses):
I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
I made the earth and created man on it, it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together. But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity. For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’I the Lord speak the truth; I declare what is right.
“Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’
In case you didn’t get it, there is no other God.
Easter is a time to remember this God, not a God we have created in our imagination. It is a time to remember that this God died for us so that we might live for him and with him. It is time to remember and to glorify this God.
This quote if from the March 13 posting from the Of First Importance blog (see blog roll on right side of page):
The Gospel in Three Words – God saves sinners.
God – the Triune Jehovah, Father, Son and Spirit; three Persons working together in sovereign wisdom, power and love to achieve the salvation of a chosen people, the Father electing, the Son fulfilling the Father’s will by redeeming, the Spirit executing the purpose of the Father and Son by renewing. Saves – does everything, first to last, that is involved in bringing man from death in sin to life in glory: plans, achieves and communicates redemption, calls and keeps, justifies, sanctifies, glorifies. Sinners — men as God finds them, guilty, vile, helpless, powerless, unable to lift a finger to do God’s will or better their spiritual lot.
— J. I. PackerTeaching the Faith, Forming the Faithful(Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2009), 103
Exodus 11:7 “…that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.”
Exodus 12:13 “The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Fundamentally, there was no distinction between Egypt and Israel. But the Lord made one. And it wasn’t because they were “Israel”, nor because they were the sons of Abraham. It was because of the blood.
Blood can be an offensive thing. Especially when the blood is from thousands of sacrificed animals and it is painted on door frames, or thrown against an altar, or thrown on people (Exodus 24). Sounds pagan, doesn’t it! Haven’t we evolved beyond all this “blood talk”? Aren’t we just a bit more cultured, a bit more civilized in the way we express our religion?
Jesus didn’t think so. “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:20)
Paul didn’t think so. “In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (Corinthians 11:25-26)
The basis of our salvation is the blood of Christ. The basis for our life with God is the blood of Christ. If there is no blood, there is no distinction. If there is no distinction, there is only destruction.
Take a moment and thank God for the blood of Christ shed for you. Trust in Him alone.