Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Sin of Israel, the Sin of Me

The Book of Judges is repeatedly clear on just how sinful man really is. The heart of man is inclined towards sin, and towards offending God. The New Testament makes this all more clear. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1 just how vile man can become. In Ephesians chapter 2 the Apostle says very plainly that man is by his very nature an enemy of God, a child of wrath. But these writers were not composing some sort of new found theology for the Christian faith. They were carrying over the truth which God had revealed through the Old Testament. Originial Sin begins, not in Matthew 15, but in Genesis 3 and it is carried on throughout the Old Testament.

Judges chatper 10 begins with the listing of two judges who arose in Israel's history to "save Israel". First Tola, who judged Israel 23 years and then died. Then Jair the Gileadite judged them for 22 years and then died. Immediately following this historical sketch we read, "Teh people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord..." Amazing! After God's kindness and mercy is displayed in granting a them these two judges, which came after others, they Israelites turn around and reject God. At the end of Chapter 12 we read the same thing, but even more condemning. We read that Izban judged seven years, and Elon judged ten, and Abdon judged eight. And then at the beginning of chapter 13 we read, "And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord..."

What a mass of sin is the human heart. What a pool of idolatry and self-worship! God displays His mercy in sending repeatedly to Israel a savior and they listen to him for a while, but when he dies they return, like a dog to its vomit, to their sin. This too is us. We cannot simply read of Israel's history and wag our finger at them. This is our history too. God sent His Son, even greater than a judge or prophet of Israel, and He is our savior. Yet even for the Christian how often do we find ourselves listening to Jesus for periods of time and then doing exactly what we want contrary to the Lord's command. We know anger is considered murder in the Sermon on the Mount, but we justify ours. We know that we cannot serve God and money, but we try. How foolish. Let this passage from Judges 10-13 awaken in you a fresh realization of your sinfulness and drive you to humiliation before God. What a great God we have, for though He is angry with sin He is merciful to His people. Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins and if we confess it, we know God forgives us on His account.


Blogger saint david said...

Good article on the sin of man.

Israel was always rebellious; joining in with idol worship, child sacrifice, etc. (De. 18:10, God warns them; however they only plunge into it; Jer. 32:35; Eze. 16:21; 20:26; 23:37.

We do indeed see ourselves in the life of the nation of Israel, in our rebellion.

Since I began reading your blog, I've read a book by Robert A. Peterson; 'Why I am not an Arminian' which has helped me to have a clearer understanding of predestination in the Calvinistic tradition. I agree with it.

However, I also agree with what Calvin said which needs to be in effect in the development of theology in Christian doctrine; 'Reformed and always reforming'.

We are taught in scripture to grow in learning of God's word. We must always be open to new understanding.

An article which I have found to be very helpful is on 'conditional immortality' at the link below:

Please take a careful look at it. You may find it very interesting.

7:36 AM  

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