Friday, February 06, 2009
As we approach the end of II Chronicles, we can look back and see the long journey we have taken since 2006. We have but studied the Bible to seek an understanding of what took place. For Israel (and the world) it has been a long journey through time. As a result of the sin in the garden, man has been separated from God. Sin placed a barrier before us to keep us from the close personal relationship Adam and Eve had at the beginning. Much of our study has been about the building and actions of the nation Israel. The world has not been forgotten. The sin barrier has not been forgotten. The story of the nation Israel is also the story of the promised salvation for all humankind. It shows us our helplessness to deal with sin on our own. He shows us that even with explicit rules we still ere toward sin. So what is the answer? It was to change the heart of man. Man's sin must be reconciled before we can stand before God in full fellowship. We are all sinners because the inclination to sin runs in our veins. It is genetic, it is passed down to us through the blood of our fathers. So if we cannot deal with this sin that leads us away from God, there must be another answer. ONE who does not have the sin nature must fulfill the penalty that we all face for sin. If there could be one who could stand before God and offer payment for sin then we would be forgiven, the sin debt paid and fellowship restored. In a sinful world where Satan tempts and distorts and tries to taunt God by hurting man, a plan is developing. Israel was chosen by God to be his people but also to bring salvation and fellowship with God back to people. I have likened Israel to a pregnant lady who bears within a promise that would be delivered in time. We have learned about sacrifices, priests and kings. Christ would be all three. One king tried to be priest also but was found unworthy. Only God himself was pure enough to live a sinless life and pay the price for sin. HE paid the price for Adam's sin and those that followed. And so, these books we are studying in the Old Testament are not just a story but a teaching of how the plan came about. You can see how Satan tried to corrupt the nation Israel and foul the plan. As we approach the captivities, it seems the plan of God is lost. Later we will see how a remnant still believed in God and were brought back for a time so that Christ could be born in Israel. It is a magnificent story. God brought his plan for salvation about even amidst a troubled world. The plan is in place and salvation is a reality. It is now possible to not just have the law written on paper, doorpost and other places but in our heart where Christ will dwell if one simply ask him to do so.