God Has Saved His People

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Jeremiah 31:7-14 

Psalm 84 or 84:1-8

Ephesians 1:3-6,15-19a 
Matthew 2:13-15,19-23 

Why does God bother?  We turn against Him routinely.  Satan seems to have more fans, gets more likes.  Even when we are nice it often turns naughty.  Maybe God should develop a new, improved model, one that can actually live the way He wants us to.

As Jeramiah writes, I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn sonNIV  Being our Father puts God in a different and difficult role.  Yes, He created the universe and He continues to create new stars, planets and black holes, but he is also a parent.  Like human parents, He works 9 to 5 but He does not give up being a parent.  And like human parents, he sometimes has to punish his children who do wrong.

All God’s children sin.  Proverbs 10:16, the earnings of the wicked are sin and deathNIV  Romans 6:23, the wages of sin is deathNIV  This is not a ten minute time-out; not grounding for a week.  Death.  Not death, then resurrection.  Death, then resurrection to be thrown into the lake of fire with Satan for eternity.

How does God deal with that as our Father?  No earthly father wants to kill his children (even as we sometimes think it); nor does God.  So, He has designed a universe in which we are protected, as the Psalmist wrote:  he will not withhold anything good from those whose lives are pure. CJB  He has been protecting us since we came to exist.  For example, the strong magnetic field that deflects the harmful radiation from the sun while letting in light; the abundance of life-giving water that also creates our weather, including rain.  The list is long.

But most importantly, God decided to protect us and save us at the same time by taking on our punishment Himself.  He somehow came into the world as a human, lived and died as a human, went into Hell, took the keys away from Abaddon, released the prisoners, and returned to Heaven.  It is the stuff of legends, a fantastic story.  It we think on it too long it is hard to accept.

Oddly, rereading Genesis 2 can clarify the fantastic part.  God was perfect and he created perfect humans with his own hands.  Everything else was created with the Word.  Humans are unique in the universe.  All that God did was create another perfect human whom we called Yeshua, with the help of Miryam.  Unlike Adam, that child remained the perfect Son of God.  He was God in every respect while being Adam (Hebrew for human) in every respect.  He was, in other words, exactly like you and I are supposed to be.

We see in Matthew how God carefully protected Yeshua as a child and later as a man on a mission.  That protection did not cover temptation.  Yeshua was tempted all through his life, right up to the moment of his death.  By doing what Adam failed to do, that is, refuse to listen to the voice of the Deceiver, Yeshua defeated sin.

Today, we can live with the protection of God by accepting Yeshua’s sacrifice.  We can take on the life style he lived and in doing that we come closer to being the perfect human we were first created to be.

No, it is not easy, if it were Adam would have succeeded.  Ephesians 18:  I pray that he will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which he has called you, what rich glories there are in the inheritance he has promised his peopleCJB

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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