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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

"Crucified before the foundation of the world." What does that mean? How could that even happen? Historians and archaeologists ta...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Knowledge of Good and Evil

Knowledge of Good and Evil rests in God, but he has given humans some insight on the problem. In the Garden of Eden this knowledge was imparted by consuming the fruit of the Tree which Adam and Eve were forbidden to do.  Understanding good and evil seems like a basic attribute of being human, but God wanted people to seek him instead of making independent choices and decisions.

After they ate of the fruit, they recognized their nakedness and their disobedience and sought to hide from the presence of God. Even the thicket and foliage did not protect them. God saw them and knew their state. Being naked was not the sin, but no one can stand before God having committed sin and endure exposure. Adam and Eve used the large leaves of the fig tree to cover their bodies, but leaves dry up or wilt and lose the ability to cover pretty soon. Their exposure was profound.

God is not at a loss for words nor does he search frantically for a solution, but he does require a sacrifice. The skin of animals provided a more appropriate covering for Adam and Eve, but they knew the extent of their sin by the slaughter required to make them acceptable to God, and they suffered eviction from Eden 

The sin released in the heart and mind of man and woman in Eden has kept pace with technology and invention so that now we have evil on a grand scale. War and genocide reveal evil as an attribute of nations not just individuals. Can we recall the sin naturre and reframe mankind's goals to eliminate this tendency? 

God provided that in the person of Jesus Christ. It required a sacrifice just like the covering of Adam's sin. It also required a continuous living under the shelter of his provision. We  are still revealed as naked sinners and repeat the same mistakes when we fail to obey his instructions. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where Is Jeremiah Today?

Jeremiah 18:1-6 tells the story of God's message to Jeremiah as he watched the potter shape a vessel. The lesson is straightforward: God can craft the clay, but, if it is flawed, he can also reshape it to suit his purpose . Applying the lesson to Israel is easy enough, but the story doesn't end there. 

The guilty of Judah and Jerusalem heard Jeremiah's message but instead of the repentance God called for, they attacked Jeremiah and Jeremiah returned to God to complain. 

In bright light of day when all the people could hear Jeremiah's prophesy against them for the evil in their hearts, Judah and it's capital city Jerusalem did not repent or humble themselves. Actually they responded much as people do today. Instead of seeking forgiveness, they attacked the messenger. 

Jeremiah goes to God to complain about their response. "They have dug a pit for m," he says. Now Jeremiah goes on the offensive with God against the attack. He calls on God to leave the women childless widows and let the young men be killed with the sword.  In his defense against the unjust accusations against him, Jeremiah has become violent, too. Where will the sin end?

God told Jeremiah to take a clay jar to the Valley of Ben Hinnon and there he was to smash the jar as an illustration to the people of the coming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. The clay was no longer pliable in the potters hands. When it became hardened and ridged, destruction was God's judgment, and the hardness of their hearts brought destruction on them. God called them a stiff-necked people. 

Not only Israel and Judah, but all nations that have once received light from God and blessing on their land, stand in jeopardy of judgment. It is still true.