Sunday, March 1, 2009

Trading Places...

I have almost allowed the day to end without writing about the scriptures I read earlier. Deuteronomy 21 through 23 are difficult passages to read. In these chapters Moses continues to provide warnings and regulations--all of which, if followed, would result in an impeccably peaceful and civil society--but many of which, if broken, resulted in death by stoning.

It isn't easy to imagine witnessing such a horrible scene. I once saw part of a movie on television that was about a town where people didn't die. Apparently, in order to prevent over population, every 100 years they drew names to see who would be stoned to death. It was extremely disturbing--and it was only a fictitious drama.

God gave the law--these very rigid, strict regulations, in order to teach his people what being holy looked like. Holiness was required in order for fellowship with The Lord to remain unbroken, and God clearly did not plan to tolerate any behaviors that would disregard His righteousness.

It's important to remember that He also gave the law in order to point us to our great need for His grace. Here's how Romans 5:20 puts it:

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.

God's grace is wonderful indeed. Without it, I would be doomed and so would you. Let us never forget to gratefully praise him and confess our gratitude for the blessing of his grace and for his willingness to trade places with us so that we don't pay the penalty for our unholiness.

Thank you Father for merciful grace.
Thank you for Jesus who died in my place.
Thank you that as I read through your law,
I realize how big, how dreadful my fall.
So Praise be to Jesus who took all my sin
Trading His holiness to let me back in
To your precious presence reborn and made clean
As one of your own, your loved, the redeemed.

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