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Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Spoken Sentence

One Spoken Sentence

The word universe means one spoken sentence. “And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
The one, true, perfect God of the universe created man in His image(Genesis 1:27), but lacking His ultimate power. In place of that, He totally provides all that is necessary for life to His creation. To man, He gives free-will and, originally, only one rule - “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) How did He impart this rule? He told them. He communicated with them. They knew each other.

Even though physical death became part of human destiny, Adam and Eve managed to produce a multitude of offspring. Unfortunately, only a noted few walked with God as their ancestors did. “Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence.” (Genesis 6:11) Fewer and fewer people chose God out of their own free-will. He floods the earth, but spares Noah and his descendants.

A later, noteworthy deliverance involves those who continued to acknowledge the creator God, the Israelites. The masses got to ride the coat-tails of the ones who continued to seek Him. Moses pressed into God's explicit directions and led an entire people group out of slavery. In their Exodus, they are utterly dependent on his mercy and provision. He has to get more specific with his rules. Now, there are ten. The very first commandment (Exodus 20:1-3) is prefaced with “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” Just a reminder of the most important thing. The other nine commandments are for protection and so that life may be well. The need for these “rules” points to our inclination toward using free-will for selfishness instead of for worship, relationship, or obedience.

At this point, the people have rules, and eventually need rules to follow when they break the rules, in order to reconcile with God. He responds to an established sacrifice system in order to commune with His people. It is costly, but He is Holy. The Temple,the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, Feasts, Festivals, altars, garments, animal sacrifices, offerings, I could go on...and it would still pale in comparison to perfect righteousness. He knows.

As time moves on, the system becomes the focus instead of God. It becomes a ritual of tradition. Actions motivated by the mind instead of by the heart. The very people who claim the Creator of Heaven and Earth as their master, adopt outside cultural icons and pagan practices into their religion. Clamoring for a king within their ranks instead of worshiping the King of the Universe.

Still, there exists a continuous voice. Prophets who can hear from God. “Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, 'Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.'” (Jeremiah 1:9) They remind the people who God is, what He can do, and that He is capable of wrath and/or compassion. “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you; Do not fear; I will help you.”(Isaiah 41:3)

Isaiah foreshadowed a new plan of reconciliation. The Messiah. The once and for all sacrificial lamb. He would be “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah53:3) Interesting. He would be “pierced for our transgressions”.(Isaiah 53:5) Ouch. Jesus is recognized and embraced by the weary and those burdened by the law. He is scorned and renounced by the power-hungry religious elite who are unwilling to, ironically, acknowledge the will of God.

John told everyone he could. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”(1:14) “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”(1:34)

Who else could endure the cross? He did so without sinning, and even forgiving those who betrayed him, insulted him, spit on him and brutally nailed him to it. Appointed kings, anointed prophets, nor anyone in the old testament ever came close. This is the difference between being made in the image or being the son of God. They didn't have “what it takes”. God-power!

Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice. The old system is dead. He is the “tree of life” (Genesis 3:22), so to speak, and your choice dictates your eternity. Even your ability to choose is God-given. He is worthy, mighty, holy, awesome, and He loves us all. (2 Peter 3:9) Believe it!