Sunday, 9 August 2009

"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth."

Hi Everyone!
~A rainbow never fails to bring a sense of peace and serenity to the heart of man. It is because this beautiful phenomenon, above all the single acts of God's creation, exists for no other reason than to communicate His everlasting assurance that all living things will be kept safe from His wrath as it was unleashed in a flood. All things in God's creation demonstrate His character, we know this from Romans 1:20, which says, "For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So that they are without excuse". However, the rainbow has not existed since the creation of the world...it did not come into existence till much later. It is a special token designed to remind mankind of two of God's attributes in particular; His wrath and His faithfulness. Most men, and christians alike, fail to remember that God put a bow in the sky to remind them that He is a God of justice and does exhibit wrath. He does not want man to forget what He did to the ancient world because of their wickedness. He never says in that text that He will not show His wrath and justice again, but that it will not be by a flood of waters. I wonder if when men look out over the wonders of the Grand Canyon or the vast Sahara Desert if they see before them the scars of the utter wreckage that God left upon the earth because of man's behavior. Do Paleontologists even stop to consider the fact that their whole career consists in "pouring over" the massive animal grave yards of the earth that God deposited in His fury? This is in striking contrast to God's dealings with the wicked Ninevites and their livestock when He told Jonah, "And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six hundred thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?" We can see that God, depending on His sovereign choice and purposes, has dealt with men according to either His mercy or justice. In December of 2007, National Geographic News reported that the largest "dinosaur graveyard" in Europe had been discovered in Spain while excavating a road bed for a new high speed rail link. Then in 2008 the Los Angeles Times reported that another dinosaur graveyard had been unearthed in Southeastern Utah...one of many there. Finally, in 2009 it was announced that a "massive" dinosaur graveyard had been found in China. For those of you who do not follow paleontology and its "ground breaking" discoveries...there are thousands of such animal "graveyards" which mark a world wide cataclysm scientists would prefer explain through a meteor impact rather than a biblical flood. Who are you inclined to believe. What is the motive behind your inclination?
The bibles tells us that prior to God's destruction of all mankind in the flood, except for eight souls, that "The thoughts and intents of mans heart were only evil continually." Does this sound like anyone you know? Does this sound like any nations you know? Lets bring this a little closer to home. Does anyone even know how many children have been murdered in the United States alone through abortion since Roe v. Wade? Did you also know that because of the murder of just one man, Adam's son Abel, the justice of God came upon his brother Cain? God said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground!" What do you suppose the voice, of the blood of all those murdered children, is crying out to God from the ground? And shall will we escape His fury who commit such atrocities...and what of the all the other nations of the earth which together practice this murder so freely? Not even the ancient world was doing this before the Lord God destroyed them utterly. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy in 2 Tim 3:1-5, "Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having an appearance of godliness, but denying its power." What a perfectly accurate and timely indictment against mankind in his present condition. Who has not heard someone say to them in the last year, at how alarmed they are at the ever increasing evil around them. Children are usually the bellwether of any society and exhibit the degradation of the society that produced them. It should be noted that when Paul wrote those words to Timothy, he was warning him about those who would be found in the churches! Can there be a greater bellwether than the churches of a society? Exhibiting the degradation of the spiritual condition of the societies which populate them? James explains why God does not execute justice immediately upon the earth and why men who are not "rich" toward God are allowed to continue on in their sins, we read in James 5:5, "You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter". Now every cattle rancher knows that you never slaughter a cow when it is lean, you wait till its fat. Now if you were a cow, and by continuing in your sin, you made yourself more and more obvious to the slaughterer, wouldn't you at least try and stay lean? The bible tells us in another place, "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Eccl.8:11. Jesus said, "Come unto me all of you who are weak and heavy laden" There's that allusion to weight again! We can see the sinner, fattened up by the sins of his or her life, and struggling under the weight of their own mass! Laden down with the fat of every kind of sin and misdeed. But instead of hearing the call of the slaughterer, a voice of tender mercy...beaconing men to come to Him that He might give them rest. How many times have you done something wrong and have not be caught? Do you remember the progression? We do not like to think about our own hearts as having been "fully set" in us "to do evil". We must find ways to ease our consciences in order to make life livable. No man is exempt from this malignant practice. We do not see our sin the way God sees it. Our definition of sin must after all either approve or excuse us or else we will live in a state of perpetual condemnation, our very own consciences being chief witness against us. The point is, that the reality of our guilt is never-the-less unchanged, we have only deceived ourselves by telling our hearts, "well, I really didn't mean to! What is waiting for us is not God's approval and understanding. It will be His agreement with our own consciences as they read back, verbatim, our entire sordid history of evil thoughts and deeds, our guilt that followed, and all of the approvals or excuses we employed to get ourselves off the hook. We never even consider that over time, our own consciences become seared and no longer even function! They have been offended so many times by the same sin repeated over and over again. We wake up one morning and honestly cannot tell if we are either improving as moral beings or if our conscience has become like an old worn out song. We are mystified as we wonder to ourselves why that song no longer invokes the same feelings it once did! We all can remember sitting around the table with friends sharing fond memories of when we were children, when arrows of guilt and shame once pierced our hearts and we ran to God for help never to do those things again or lose our sensitivity to the evil in them. NO...none of us can ever remember sitting around a table like that, talking about such things, because no one ever would! We hide our guilt and shame, except when we are caught red handed and have no choice. Just observe a child when they are caught being naughty...and thats when it began for us to! And we dare to question God's integrity on the subject of our sin? or dismiss Him as being overly harsh? The truth is God is amazingly long-suffering and patient with men, while man on the other hand is horribly lenient with himself and his fellow sinners, but they don't even hesitate when showing disgust at the times when God does finally act upon evil.
Was Noah and the seven other souls that escaped any different than the masses of humanity who perished around them? Not in the slightest. Noah was a sinner guilty of every kind of sin and misdeed and so were those who escaped with him. So what was the difference? Christ Alone! Christ was their true ark, who carried them safely through the waters of God's wrath. The wooden boat was symbolic of a greater vessel of salvation. But some will say, Christ was not born yet, how could Christ have been a help to Noah and those with him so many thousands of years before He came to earth? It is a critical error to think that the believers in the Old Testament had no knowledge of a Christ (greek for "Anointed One"; hebrew translates as Messiah) who would come and sacrafice Himself to save us from the wrath of God. In Genesis 3:15 after mans fall into sin, God mentions Christ for the first time in the Bible while condemning Satan and giving hope to Adam and Eve and many of her children, we read, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel." Here we see unequivocally that not all of the decedents of Eve are considered by God as "her offspring" although they physically originated from her. God says to Eve and Satan, "your offspring" will be in fierce opposition to one another. But we are told that one of her children (Jesus) will engage an offspring of Satan directly one day (Satan when He possessed Judas Iscariot most likely) and, "bruise your head", but all Satan would do to Him would be to "bruise his heel" because Jesus was raised from the dead. One of the best texts in the bible (although there are many allusions to them, i.e. the sheep and the goats) about the existence of the two distinct "offsprings" mentioned in Genesis is in John 8:37-44. For the sake of space I will not quote it all here, but I will leave you with some verses that ought to shake us loose from any delusions about Gods wrath coming upon "the children of promise". Jesus says, "I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from you father. They answered him, Abraham is our father. If you were Abraham's children you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works of your father did.....You are of your father the devil, and you will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him, When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." How many times have you heard men say, "We are all a childen of God". That is the furthest thing from the truth and the volume of evil that is in the world is proof! The true children of God either love Jesus and obeyed His gospel or will love them when they learn about His sacrifice for them. The children of Satan will rebel against Jesus and defy Him to their dying breath because they have another father and wish to do what pleases him. Who is your father? Despite what you say, it is ultimately determined by your obedience and surrender to the Gospel.