Week 7 - Essential 100

June 9, 2016

Week 7 - Essential 100

Hello New Life Fellowship,

This week's reading was a mix of History, Psalms and Proverbs.  The Psalms chosen are excellent ones to read and reflect on in terms of how much they teach us about who God is, as well as what they teach us about how God relates to His people.  Psalm 103 is a concise theology of God's character and would be a great one to commit to memory.  Also, Note the author and occasion of the writing of Psalm 51.  We can relate to the needs of the author in all three of this week's Psalms.

The Proverbs are interesting to reflect on and think about line by line, thought by thought.  You will notice some common sayings in our own culture came from King Solomon in the book of Proverbs.

The history section covers a sad period in Israel's history, but also illuminates us with a hope that will not disappoint; a prophesy about Jesus Christ Himself in Isaiah 52-53.

No matter how many Judges, Kings, or Prophets God had sent to warn Israel, God's people continued to reject Him and the covenant they had agreed to keep with Him generation after generation.  Then, in 2nd Kings 25, Babylon finally captures Jerusalem.  The Temple of The Lord is completely ransacked and destroyed.  The account is tough to read.  The temple and all of its elaborate parts which God had instituted were taken for plunder.  Each item is described just as it had been when God laid out the original plan for the temple.  A very tragic story. . .but it doesn't end there

Seeing the temple of The Lord ransacked and her people taken into captivity by Babylon, we have seen a NEW LOW for God's people.  They had failed to live up to their end of the covenant God had made with them generation after generation and the judgment God had pronounced would happen if people broke His covenant ended up coming to its fruition.  The people really had no one to blame for this but themselves as they KNEW what would happen if they broke God's covenant and worshipped the false gods of the day.  Take a minute to read this passage from Moses:  Exodus 19:3-8 - " Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”  So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord."

They said they would "DO EVERYTHING THE LORD HAS SAID" and Moses brought their answer back to God!  They didn't fulfill their end of the bargain, so after years of covenant breaking, (God had been EXTREMELY PATIENT WITH THEM!) God finally allowed Babylon to capture Jerusalem. 

As you see in this Exodus passage, God had a desire for a people for Himself, a Holy Nation of Priests, but because of the failure of the people, God himself was about to lovingly take care of the PEOPLE'S end of the covenant as well as His own by coming as the "suffering servant", Jesus Christ who was God himself in human form.  God took upon his own body the punishment due for sin and covenant breaking so that we could BECOME FOR HIM AN ACTUAL ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE BELONGING TO GOD!  1 Peter 2:9-10 says this exactly: " But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." 

Through receiving mercy by looking to Jesus' all sufficient sacrifice on the cross, we fulfill God's original intention for Israel (faithfulness to covenant) and all is set right.  Finally we can fulfill God's original intention for His people in the world.  This is why we say "it's all God's work from first to last".

It's amazing to think that Isaiah 52-53 were written over 700 years before Christ was born and describe him and his mission in exact detail.  A breathtaking read!  I highly encourage you to read these passages in full and marvel at the exact detail they share about the person of Jesus and His mission.  These accounts match the historical record of the day as well as that of the Gospels in the New Testament.

-Pastor Nathan