Today: Psalms 106:40-48; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Isaiah 27 & 28
“Many times He delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. Yet He took note of their distress when He heard their cry for their sake He remembered His covenant and out of His great love He relented. He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.” Psalm 106:43-46
God’s judgment is very real. So many times, He judged the Israelites when they turned away from Him and worshiped other gods. Often His judgment was to allow them to be defeated and enslaved by their enemies.
People don’t like judgment God. They try to explain away judgment God… ‘Oh that was just the Old Testament,’ they say, ‘We live in the New Testament times now. God isn’t judging anymore.’
But that just is not true. God never changes. Jesus came to earth and died for us because God IS STILL judging righteously. God will ALWAYS be the righteous judge.
But God ALSO forgives. He forgave the Israelites over and over and over again. Every time they cried out to Him, He heard them and delivered them.
He does the same for us. He is BOTH the holy righteous judge AND the God who loves and forgives us.
“Save us, LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name and glory in Your praise. Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the LORD.” Psalm 106:47-48
2 Corinthians 12
Paul was so humble that he couldn’t even talk about himself in the first person when he described the visions God had given him. Be wary of prideful religious leaders who brag constantly. Often when God has truly called someone and plans to use them mightily, He will allow them some sort of “thorn in the flesh,” to keep them humble, to ensure they rely on Him rather than on themselves. As He told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (v.8)
“Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom He said, ‘This is the resting place, let the weary rest’; and, ‘This is the place of repose’__ but they would not listen. So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there– so that as they go they will fall backward; they will be injured and snared and captured.” Isaiah 28:11-13
Isaiah 28 explains how the Israelites turned away from God and made a pact with death by worshiping false gods. So God made His own death pact through Moses, a system of required rules that could never be met…