Salvation: Where Our Rest Must Lie
Again, what is the main point of Deut 29:22-30:4? Is it not salvation?
Most of us, when asked what we should do because we do not know the secret things of God, respond by saying what? We respond by saying that we should trust Him. Should we not put our trust in the all knowing God and not ourselves? We probably all know the famous passage in Proverbs:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
Why? What is the purpose of trusting in God when I don’t have the answers? What is the end result?
Is it not because I trust my God and lean on him for my ultimate salvation for his glory? I mean think of it: Do you think that the martyrs trusted in God merely for their physical lives and for their safety? Or did they trust in God for their salvation?
When we speak of God choosing people for salvation, don’t most of us say, “that isn’t fair!” But, God plainly shows us in his word, that fairness is seen completely different. We think God owes us, for some reason, to bring all to heaven, but look at what some verses say when we think of this term, “the secret things belong to the Lord.” God is going to show us what should perplex us.
I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
God shows us what should perplex us. It shouldn’t perplex us why God would send sinners to hell, it should perplex us that God spreads out his hands to a rebellious people. This should make us wonder, why does God do this? Think again of the passage at hand. Look again to Deut 29:22-30:4.
What is going on here? What does God say he is going to do? He is going to gather back the people of Israel, even though they have been a wicked people.
This should really have us saying, “I don’t understand why God is so gracious to save a people who don’t desire him, who continually turn from him”
God really gets to the point in Ezekiel 16 by calling Israel, or us, all being whores, and harlots going after other gods. God says, in Jeremiah 3, after talking about how terrible the sin of Judah and Israel was, the following:
Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD;I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the LORD. Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’
What?! Why? How could this be? This is the ultimate secret of the Lord. This is the ultimate mystery. How we could be such whores for other gods, so much so that God says in Ezekiel 16:25 that we sit upon the mountain side and spread our legs out for anyone who passes by.
Does that make you cringe? Does that verse in Ezekiel 16:25 make you think that is a little inappropriate for me to say? Are you uncomfortable yet? I hope so, because God is talking about you being a whore. It is a little R rated, is it not? Does anyone desire to grow up to be a prostitute? When God says this it is a little like Nathan and David. God points to how terrible it is to be a whore and a slut, we cringe at those ugly and disgusting people and cry out "SINNERS!" and God looks at us and says, "You are the man!" or "You are the whore!"
That is how terrible you and I are. The secret thing, that is amazing through all this, is that God desires to save you!
Deut 30:3 says, “then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you."
This is not deserved. Again, YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS! So, if you start to understand that you don’t deserve heaven in any way and that you never deserve God, then when you lean on him and trust him, what is it for? It is trusting in God through all things because he has redeemed you. This is ultimate.
You don’t trust God to get you out of a bind, you don’t trust in God to help you get out of financial trouble, out of trouble at school, out of trouble with the law, or with parents, your spouse, your friends, etc., because you might be punished through terrible decisions. But, you trust God through letting yourself rest in his salvation, not in what he might, or might not, give you on this earth.
This is ultimately why Christ said, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, because you might not have any treasures while you are here on earth besides Christ.
The one who trusts in God because of what he gives or takes away from you is one that trusts in a genie in a bottle, not in the true Yahweh God that delivers you from bondage into his everlasting arms.
This is a mystery why God would do this. Not only why he would do it, but through whom he would do it through. The next post will point us to the mystery of the Saviour who saves us from whoredom.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Salvation: Where Our Rest Must Lie