September 20th 2010

An Order Of a Different Dimension

“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’”
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)

It never ceases to amaze me that people still think that the God of the Old Testament is a harsh monster, waiting to zap anyone at a moment’s notice who steps out of line.

Yet above is just one of literally thousands of passages of scripture in the Old Testament which point to God’s intention, which is to have us give up sin because it hurts us.

He instituted an Old Testament ceremony, called in Hebrew “The day of covering” specifically to remove the nation’s collective sins every year. It’s entitled in English “The Day of Atonement” which isn’t a wrong translation, in that that is the effect of what happened – but isn’t as correct as it should be in that it masks God’s true intentions.

For ancient Israel, the ceremony ‘covered’ the nation’s sins so that, even though they still sinned, God could continue to work with them for another year.

How different that is to the Christians’ experience.

God doesn’t promise just to cover our sins, He promises to do away with our sins, just as Isaiah prophesied (above). Thanks to the saving work of Jesus in giving up His eternal life to become a human being in order to die for us (Hebrews 2:17), He paid the penalty for all sin (1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2).

And so, even though we continue to sin, God is able to work with us daily, helping us to walk the Christian walk day by day – as these studies you have been reading imply by their title. Day by day we practice being just that little bit more able to resist sin, able to live the life that God always intended for His children. And when we fall over and sin, as we do, thanks to what God always intended, He is able to continue to work with us day by day.

No harsh monster, this God of ours, but a God of love, Old Testament and New.

Prayer
Most merciful Father, thank you for the glimpses of your love that come our way all the time as we read your Word and think about what you have done and are doing in our lives. Thank you for the Old Testament examples and models which help us better to understand how your love fits in with your justice, mercy and righteousness. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by John Stettaford 

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