Archive for October 3rd, 2017

When I was a child I can remember getting into trouble at school for some misdemeanour or another with a group of friends. I was convinced that my acts had neither been observed clearly by the teacher nor were they as bad as those of my comrades in arms. I watched as the teacher went round the group telling each person off for their part in the day’s events thinking, “Yes, you did that, you deserve that punishment…”, and “Yes, what you did was really bad…” each time a pronouncement was made. Then she got round to me. I knew I was in big trouble when she started with the words, “And as for you!” She had somehow seen everything!

I could imagine the nations around Israel responding like that as prophecy after prophecy was given against each of them. Each one nodding sagely and agreeing, “Oh yes they did that!” and, “Yes they deserve everything they get!” only to hear their own name called with a punishment levied against them that was just as harsh as the last. So in this chapter Ammon, the sister nation to Moab, Edom, Damascus, Kedar and Hazor and finally Elam are all singled out for their failure to submit to God’s authority and for their various sins. There really was no escape from the wrath of God. If you had failed, as a nation, to submit to God’s authority you were in very deep water.

There are a number of things we can take away from this. Firstly, we cannot hope that our sins will go unobserved by God. He is omnipresent which means He is everywhere all the time. He sees what we do, when we do it and He knows what motivated the action in the first place. Secondly, we cannot make comparisons between our personal sins and those committed by others. There is no sin that is better or worse than any other. They are just different. Thirdly, we live in a post-redemption period in history, in other words Jesus, who sees our sin, has approached our Father in heaven and asked to take the punishment for them on Himself. God has permitted Him to do that for those who have accepted His gift of forgiveness. Finally, we are promised redemption in the person of Jesus while some of these nations were not offered that same privilege. Praise God for Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Father, strengthen me to avoid the snare of sin but to repent when I fall. Praise you for the gift of Your son Jesus. Amen.

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