Re-Post: from 4/12/2017
I wondered something last night when studying Psalm 22. I know that the psalm was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it is a prophecy of the crucifixion, yet I also realize that some truly horrific thing had happened in the life of its writer. So, I wonder…
…here is this thoroughly gut-wrenching psalm (22), and on the same page is one of the most inspiring psalms ever written (23). Same Bible. Same book. Same page. Same writer. Same God.
How is it that a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God can allow something so tragic to occur that His child begs Him not to be forsaken?
How can the same God that inspired the words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” also inspire the writer to pen the following plea? “The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet… But you, O Lord, do not be far from me.”
The answer is that we live in a fallen world. To put it another way, we live in a world where sin runs rampant. David eventually learned not to fear what man could do to him in this life, and learned to only fear God.
That begs the question, “Why doesn’t God simply get rid of all the sin in the world? To do that, He would have to get rid of all the sinners. He could simply wipe them off the face of the earth. In that case, you and I should say, “So long,” for you and I are sinners. We would be gone.
Well, then, why can’t He just get rid of the sin? He has made provision to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse our hearts of all unrighteousness. However, to fully get rid of all the sin in this world, He would have to remove our free-will, which would make us something like a robot, and not human. He can, however, sanctify believers, and strengthen us with the power of His love, giving us the means by which to resist the temptation of sin. That, though, is up to each and every individual.
The world will not be made new until the end of days. And until God creates a new heaven and a new earth, there will be tragedy, disasters, and sin and death. This is part of the human experience, the course which mankind has chosen and to which we are bound until Christ returns.
In the meanwhile, know this: every evil deed will, in the end, be punished, and every evil-doer will be brought to justice. Jesus will return someday to judge the sins of quick and the dead; He will judge those who do not repent of their sins.
Judgment, though, is at Christ’s second coming. Right now, He offers mercy.
- “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” – John 12:47
Yes, we serve a just God, One Who is righteous, and Who will someday judge all who hear His Word and do not believe.
But, He is a loving God, Who offers mercy to those who believe.
- Yes, we find every human emotion in God’s Word, for it is a letter inspired by God written by humans for humans. The same writers who record their fear, also write about the God-given courage. They write about their joy and their disappointment. They write about tragedy and reward. They write so that we, who are made lower than the angels, can relate to the stories, and grasp the eternal truth.
Ultimately, we learn to
Fear Not, For the same Bible that tells us that Christ will judge the world, also assures us that God sent His Son to rescue those whom believe.
Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.