“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Lord's condemnation is our salvation

“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness.” (Mic. 7:9).
Micah lived contemporaneously with Isaiah; his ministry was from 740-700 BC. Two hundred years later, Zechariah’s prophetic ministry came in 520-518 BC. Nevertheless, fallen human nature and the issues that come out of it have been everlasting, unchanged since Adam fell. Therefore, the science of God’s salvation, His methodology to convert us, has been the same throughout the ages since the fall of man. So, let’s see how the Lord dealt with sin in the past, and know how we also can obtain the like salvation.
“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him.”
Micah lives under the indignation of the Lord. Why? Because he has sinned. There are consequences to sin, even for a prophet of the Lord. He is not speaking of his sin alone, however, but in behalf of the whole nation. He is teaching them how the Lord sees their sin and how much He abhors it and would send His punishment against it. Micah is forewarning the twelve tribes of Israel how they must accept the coming attack of Assyria as punishment for their great departure from God, and His just and merciful laws.
We see the same work of God in the days of Zechariah. “And He shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” (Zech. 3:1,2).
Joshua represented his whole nation. Assyria had taken away the northern kingdom of Israel, and Babylon had desolated the southern kingdom of Judah. Now the Jews were returning to their homeland under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua, but they had little faith and much of paganism to unlearn. The Lord’s consequences for the nation’s living by popular customs and traditions weighed heavily upon them, and especially upon the high priest.
With all his heart Joshua had led the small remnant back to Canaan in response to Cyrus’ declaration to go home. But, Joshua was still under the reverberations of the captivity and unprepared to operate a temple. There wasn’t even a temple to sanctify the hearts of the people. The Lord, therefore, remained distanced from them, and unlike many of the Jews, Joshua felt that distance terribly.
The reconstruction efforts were greatly retarded by the locals who were bent on blocking the reestablishment of Israel there. Therefore, the Lord sent Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the Jews, and He began with cleansing their hearts and closing the gap that separated them from Him.
“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him”. The whole nation was under the curse of the Law. The second rendition of God’s high standard, Deuteronomy, Moses had ended with blessings and curses. Blessings would abundantly flow down from God for obedience to His laws, and curses would as surely attend disobedience.
Israel had done as God had warned them in the law of Moses. They left Jehovah and followed Baal. If they had remained ever aware of the curses that would come with disobedience, they would have avoided the total destruction of both kingdoms. As the curses forewarned, the spiritual Hebrew religion had been replaced by heathenism, and the economic prosperity had also vanished.
“And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me; and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:38-42).
If they would bear up under the Lord’s indignation, and accept the punishment of their iniquity, their Lord would relent and turn around their conditions. “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:17), for “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” (Heb. 10:16).
How could Micah bear up under the indignation of the Lord? The normal human heart rebels against indignation. It must be that he knew the Lord, the God of love. Only love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1Cor. 13:7). If we can’t stand our circumstances, which is the crucible that God has providentially given us for our humbling and “because I have sinned against” the LORD, then this is sure evidence that we have not received the grace of God. We are not a child of His love, because if we were, we could endure His condemnation. Only “mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (Jas. 2:13).
Micah also speaks of patient endurance. “I will bear the indignation of the LORD...until.” “Until He plead my cause.” Will we stay in the heat of the crucible until God is finished cooking away all of the dross of our pride? Do we want to be humble so badly that we can see our future meekness and taste humility? Do we have faith that He will eventually plead our case as our mediator before God? He will plead our case if we stay in the crucible. This is the promise built into Micah’s statement of hope.
“…and execute judgment for me.”  While the condemnation of heaven continued, God was executing judgment against Micah. Likewise for us in our crucible. We deserve the heat; we deserve the curse of the Law. The Law is against us, the indignation of God is against us because we have sinned.

We should accept the punishment of our iniquity. “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently?” (1Pet. 2:20). But, after a while we are surrendered and sanctified in the heart, and ready for the Lord’s victory for us. Our God will execute judgment for us. This is the great promise from heaven, the greatest lesson of life. The humbling and the surrender are the sweetest gifts from above! And only the few privileged patient ones ever find it. Will you be one of the spiritual elite that receive a new name and rule the earth with the rod of iron?
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. ” (1Pet. 5:10). “And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18:7,8).
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (Jas. 1:2-4).
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” (2Pet. 3:15).
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” (1Pet. 4:1).
If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” (1Tim. 2:12).
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1Pet. 1:9).
This is what we see with Joshua the high priest. He had been in the fire of the Lord’s crucible. But, he did not seek to jump out of the Lord’s hot fire. He knew he deserved his consequences. This conviction led him to seek the Lord for some sign of acceptance. And his patient endurance with God paid off immensely. Jesus turned to Satan and drove away the adversary of this humbled leader of God’s cause. “And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” (Zech. 3:2).
Next, Joshua was given the Holy Spirit of God. He was cleansed of all his iniquity and given new high priestly clothing.
“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” (Zech. 3:3,4).
Zechariah was so encouraged with this sight, and his righteous soul was so excited, that he got involved in the redressing of the high priest. “And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments.” (vs. 3:5).
Blessed peace filled Joshua and Zechariah, and the Lord was very close. “And the angel of the LORD stood by.” (vs. 3:5). “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 15:13).
They could say with David, “For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ps. 16:10,11). “I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (vss. 8,9).
It was the condemnation of God, His indignation toward iniquity that ignited the need for a Savior from sin. “Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal 3:24). Blessed be the name of the Lord for His beautiful method of salvation! As many as He loves, He rebukes and chastens!
“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness.” (Mic. 7:9).
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid Me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.” (Isa. 57:15-19).


Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

Iam so happy I have read the post. thanks David

8/17/2014 4:05 PM  
Blogger David said...

Its the bad news of the good news, isn't it, brother.

8/17/2014 4:55 PM  

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