Saturday, October 24, 2020

Zealous And Jealous

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

There are six verses (Six being the number of man in the Bible) that speak of God being a jealous God. All six serve as a warning to mankind to not fall away from God and worship strange gods. There are three verses (Three being the number of God and the Trinity) that speak of the zeal of the Lord. All three speak of the Lord’s provision and protection over His people.

God is both zealous for us, and jealous for us. So often, as did the Israelites, we turn away from God and follow our own hearts. And as often happens, our hearts can be even further divided and we go in multiple directions, and have no time for God.

All the world’s population began somewhere in the line of Noah: the world was populated either from Ham, Japeth, or Shem. According to the Bible, Jesus was descended from the line of Shem (Semites), and prior to that, even the Godly line of Seth, Adam’s third-named son (again, the number three is dominant).

Does God follow numerology? No, for there is no science in the numbers God uses in scripture, other than the numbers of holiness, Godliness, sin, and judgment seem to appear repeatedly. Seven? Completion. Eight? New beginnings. Six? Mankind. Four? Judgment (These make for a curious study).

Whole cultures have turned their backs on God and created their own god or gods. And though we all have a tendency to wander away from Him because something else catches our eye, we should always be aware that all that glitters is not gold. Call it the “bling factor.” Satan uses it all the time in the temptations he presents to us.

Today in the second half of Jeremiah 49, we learn of a few more cultures that went their own way and find themselves on the wrong side of God and without a relationship with Him. But we also learn of God’s zeal towards one tribe of people. With the Elamites, after they suffer a while, God raises them up to receive a promise in Latter Days. God’s zeal for His own, a grandson of Noah, by Shem, displaces the judgment sent to them at first.

The Lord knows how to deliver His Prodigals from their troubles and trials.

Today's Audio Message: "Zealous And Jealous"

We could title the last few chapters of Jeremiah, “God’s Word Tested and Proven.” What a testament of a “MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY,” as the inspiration of Scripture is proven by its fulfillment. These chapters have been somewhat difficult as we read of the pronouncements of judgment against several nations surrounding Judea, but we must never forget that “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable”; and we can be sure that these portions of scripture were written for our admonition.

As we finish up chapter 49 of Jeremiah, verses 23-39 focus on the prophesies against Damascus, Kedar, Hazor and Elam. Those who reject God’s Word should take heed, He will not be trifled with. God’s standard of judgment is defined by His holy character, before which none of us can stand.

In the age of grace, God who is infinitely rich in mercy, provided for us the perfect sacrificial Lamb as a sacrifice for our sins. He gave His Son to die in the place of corrupt men and women (John 3:16).  Our salvation depends upon Jesus' flawless nature because, as God made clear to the Israelites, only a perfect sacrifice would do.  Jesus, the Son of God,  was the perfect Lamb, unblemished in every way, and that is why God accepted Christ's sacrifice.  The way we lay claim to the offering made on our behalf is by placing faith in Him. Our salvation is in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone.  Those who come to Christ by faith are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who will teach us all things and lead us into all truth.

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