Oct. 10, 2017

Though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me

Jeremiah 15 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go! And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Those destined for death, to death;
And those destined for the sword, to the sword;
And those destined for famine, to famine;
And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’

I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. I will make them an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

“Indeed, who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem, Or who will mourn for you,
Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare? “You who have forsaken Me,” declares the Lord, “You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you;
I am tired of relenting! “I will winnow them with a winnowing fork At the gates of the land;
I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people; They did not repent of their ways.
“Their widows will be more numerous before Me Than the sand of the seas;
I will bring against them, against the mother of a young man, A destroyer at noonday;
I will suddenly bring down on her Anguish and dismay. “She who bore seven sons pines away; Her breathing is labored. Her sun has set while it was yet day; She has been shamed and humiliated. So I will give over their survivors to the sword Before their enemies,” declares the Lord.

10 Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have men lent money to me, Yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said, “Surely I will set you free for purposes of good; Surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you In a time of disaster and a time of distress.

12 “Can anyone smash iron, Iron from the north, or bronze? 13 “Your wealth and your treasures
I will give for booty without cost, Even for all your sins And within all your borders.
14 “Then I will cause your enemies to bring it Into a land you do not know; For a fire has been kindled in My anger, It will burn upon you.”


Ezekiel 14:12-20 says:    Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

In today’s text it says:   Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go!        Noah, Daniel, Job, Moses and Samuel; five of the most righteous and faithful men in all of scripture, yet their prayers of intercession, their presence among the people could not save others. Only they themselves would be delivered. Fortunately for us we don’t need to depend on the righteousness of these or other men. Nor do we depend on our own righteousness before God. Hebrews 7:24-25 says:  Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.   It is the prayers and the intercession of Jesus, the one who Himself paid for our sins through the greatest act of intercession the world has known, it is His prayer and intercession, forever before the Father, which we depend on. God said that Moses and Samuel standing before Him would not be able to keep the people in God’s presence. But because of Jesus, we can:  Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)  The righteousness of Noah, Daniel and Job was not enough, but:   He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(2 Corinthians 5:21)   We have the righteousness of Jesus. Only Jesus righteousness can save others, anyone, whoever believes.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

There is a misconception prevalent today which says that because of Jesus, because of His sacrifice on the cross, sin no longer matters. Numbers 23:19 says:  “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”     Malachi 3:6 saysI am the LORD, I change not.             Hebrews 13:8 says:  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.   James 1:17 says:   Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.       God does not change. His character of love never changed or never changes. His mercy and grace are also unchanging. So too though are His character of righteousness and justice unchanging. God didn’t change the way He views sin. He didn’t change the consequences of sin. Before Christ there was judgment against sin. After Christ there is still judgment against sin. Jesus says: God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:17-20)  Through Christ and the cross, God changed the way we can deal with the consequences of sin.  We can choose to receive from His unchanging love, mercy and grace; demonstrated and given through the cross, or we can choose His unchanging justice. As Romans 6:23 says:  The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Neither the wages, the consequences of sin, nor the offer of eternal life through Christ change. Each one individually must choose, either: redemption, reconciliation and righteousness through believing in Christ or judgment; death through unbelieving.  

Many today pray for our nation, that we as a nation would turn toward God. While that seems noble and good, God is not all that concerned with our nation, with the political entity that is our country. God has allowed the nation of Israel, His chosen people, to rise and fall throughout history. Daniel 2:21 says:  It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings.    God is not concerned about political entities. He raises them up and allows them to fall as He wills. God’s concern is for the nations. After Jesus sacrifice on the cross, when the word nations appears in scripture, it is almost always the Greek word ethnos, which speaks not of a collective political entity, but rather of individuals from every race, tribe and tongue. Jesus didn’t give His life on the cross for America. He gave His life for Americans and also for everyone, regardless of race, tribe, tongue or national origin, whoever believes in Him.  

Unchanging heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit I am thankful that you count each individual as more valuable than any country. Although You never change, through the cross I am changed, made righteous, spared from judgment, believing in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. May the nations also believe!  Amen.