Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Deuteronomy 1:29-31

"Then I said to you, 'Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.'"

Faith versus fear is one of the dominating struggles of the Christian life. Do I believe this promise of God to get me through? Or do I fear my circumstances and follow my own feet? Doubt and disobedience go hand in hand, it seems. And all the book of Deuteronomy is one long litany of fighting for faith in God and God's way, over doing it my way.

What is Moses's solution? Look back to all that God has already done for you and trust that He will keep on doing that. John Piper explains that it's using the past evidences of grace to file our fight ti trust in future grace. Fighting this enemy is no different than fighting that past one. Obeying this law will have the same effect as obeying that one. But oh how inclined my heart is to say "But this is NEW! God doesn't know how to handle this situation! I can't trust Him here!" oh foolish heart! "You have seen how the Lord your God has carried you" trust Him.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Isaiah 66:24

"Before they call, I will answer and while they are still speaking, I will hear."

God's response to Israel's plea for mercy comes in three parts:
1) Why Israel should not expect Mercy.
God lays out how time and again, Israel spurned relationship with God. He calls, they refuse to answer. They go whoring after other gods and polite His dwelling place with sin. God will judge, He will repay, and Israel deserves His wrath.
2) Portions
But, God divides this retribution into two groups: those who sought and those who forsook. Those who sought, are God's chosen, the remnant of believers. Those who forsook are the ones who will be destroyed. They refused the call to salvation and refused to listen to God, so now God refuses their cry for mercy and gives to them what they deserve.
3) Inheritance
But to the chosen, through no merit of their own, simply that God chose them for salvation and they believed, God gives an inheritance. It is filled with Joy (v.18-19 ) Life (v.20) Prosperity (v.21) Possession (v.22) Peace (v.23) and relationship with God.

God answers cries for mercy with the Gospel. "You do not deserve my mercy because of your sin. But because I have called you and because you are mine, I will not deal with you as your sins deserve, instead, I will pour out on you abundant blessing and give you an inheritance that befits my Son and I will form such a deep relationship with you that I will answer before you even know what to ask."
What Mercy!