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.
When you read certain portions of Scripture, are you tempted to judge God’s goodness or the truth of Scripture?
Deuteronomy 23 & 24
Deuteronomy 23 & Deuteronomy 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 (Deut. 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” (Deut. 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:
“Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; for shall the thing made say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me’? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” (Is. 29.16).
God is good (Rom. 2.4). All His judgments are right (Rev. 19.2). In Him there is no darkness (1 Jn. 1.5). We must see ourselves in the light of His truth, goodness and mercy, rather than judging Him by ours.
Treasure on Earth
Verse 6, “Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them.”
Many people go through life busy with things that don’t matter for eternity—gathering treasure that will be left behind for someone else to get.
Verse 1, “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”
A scoffer is a proud person. Pride can make us unteachable and unwilling to take criticism or correction.
New & Old Wineskins
Verses 36-39, Then He spoke a parable to them. “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.'”
The religious leaders had become accustomed to their religion—their ceremonies and their traditions. Jesus offered new wine, but it was bursting the old wineskins.
May God open our eyes to see Christ and Him crucified.
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