Too often as we read the Old Testament, we’re tempted to judge God by our human standards. Yet God, who is love and who is good, is also perfectly holy and righteous in all His judgments.
Deuteronomy 23 & 24
God’s Holy Standard
Oh, thank God that we live in an age of grace! Think about it, everything we have read in the law, even the parts that are hard to understand or hard to justify by our human standards and understanding, were intended to point us to our need for His grace. As I said yesterday, the law was intended to help us see our complete inability to keep God’s standard, so that we would see our need for a Savior!
It seems harsh in today’s world to say that a person who was born illegitimately could not go into the temple (23.2). Oh, that God would help us understand that He is holy. In Isaiah’s vision the seraphim cried out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”
The only way any of us can come to that throne in heaven, which was represented by the Mercy Seat inside the Holy of Holies in the temple, is through the blood of Christ which takes away our sins. God had to help the people understand His holiness. He wants to help us understand His holiness, too, as we read these Old Testament passages.
God did not hold a child responsible for his parents’ sins. This same section of the law says, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin” (24.16). Neither the circumstances of our birth, our childhood, where we were born, nor anything else can keep us from God, unless we allow it to do so. God desires everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2.4).
But look at the other end of the spectrum. Look where society is today. Nothing is shameful. Girls proudly go to school pregnant. People live together and start families without God’s covenant of marriage. Marriages break up with no regard for what God says. We abort babies we don’t want, sleep with whomever we desire, and then toss people aside when we tire of them. Do we really think all this is better?
I’m not preaching condemnation.
Romans 8.1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
There is no sin too big or too small for the blood of Christ to cover if we humbly turn to Him and trust Him for our salvation, but we should see sin for what it is, a reproach against a Holy God! And turning to Him and trusting Him also means turning away from our sin. We can’t have it both ways.
We simply cannot come to the Word and judge God by our standards. Think about it. How presumptuous of us to think we have a right to judge God! As Isaiah said: Continue reading