Nor Forsake Thee . . .


Deuteronomy 31:8:

And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Deuteronomy 32:4:

He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

Isaiah 43:

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth;

Even every one that is called by My name: for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.

I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no saviour.

I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

Yea, before the day was I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

The Scapegoat

scapegoatIn Leviticus 16, God tells Moses and Aaron how the sins of Israel are to be taken care of. Sin offerings were made to cover up and atone for the sin, but the sin was still there; it was just covered with the blood of an animal. No animal’s blood could wash away sin . . . only cover it.

So, in order for Israel to be “free” of their sin, they needed something to take their sin upon them. In Old Testament times, this was done by way of a scapegoat.

A scapegoat was a selected animal that would bear the sins of Israel upon itself. But, contrary to what you may think, the scapegoat was not killed. An animal could not bear the sins of a nation and die for them . . . a goat is not pure enough to take a nation’s sin to the grave. No, the scapegoat was released into the wilderness.

Leviticus 16:22:

And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

The scapegoat simple took the sin elsewhere . . . no blood atonement. That was not accomplished until Christ, the perfectly pure sacrifice, came and took the sins of the entire world, past, present and future, upon Himself and died for them. His blood washed away the sins, whereas the scapegoat just carried the sins somewhere else.

Christ is more than a scapegoat. He washed away our sins so that we may be like Him. What an amazing, loving sacrifice!

Thou Shall Not . . . Part 2


1. He is a jealous God

Eight times in the Bible, God calls Himself or someone refers to Him as a “jealous God”. Nowadays, with the sin-filled world we live in, the word “jealous” is almost always associated with the negative, selfish feeling. However, with God, the meaning is the opposite.

When applied to God, jealously is something that marks God’s love for mankind. He wants to make sure we are not lead astray by anything. Anything that distracts us from the purpose God has put us here, makes God jealous for us (Deuteronomy 4:24, 6:15, Joshua 24:19, Nahum 1:2). He is jealous in a way that says He wants someone to be with Him because it is the best for that person (this is the opposite way humans think). So, one sin that is condemned in this commandment is anything that takes us away from what God knows is best.

2. He visits the iniquity of humans, even future humans not yet born

Idols could do nothing to save humans from their sins (1 Corinthians 8:4). Nothing made by human hands could or can save humans (Ephesians 8-9). However, the Israelites, and people today, still want to believe that their own works will get them to heaven. They do not believe that God is the only One who can save them. So, this commandment also condemns those who think their own works can help save them.

3. He shows mercy to those who follow Him

Those who follow God are blessed in so many ways that Paul had to word it this way, “nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39).

However, the best blessing any human can have, is the saving grace of Jesus Christ to wash away their sins. I don’t hesitate to say this but I know it will not be well liked, but those who are un-saved (and thus have not had this blessing) are sinning. The one that is not saved has sinned because he has not repented. It is a sad fact that many will try to ignore or disguise but, nevertheless, it is true. Unbelief is, in fact, a sin.

So, once one gathers together the key points of the second commandment, which talks against idols, they can see that he who rejects the love of God, His Son who He sent as the Savior and repentance of their evil deeds, has effectively broking the commandment.

In a nutshell, he who rejects God’s loving, saving, mercy and grace has broken the second commandment. It is interesting to note that a person who trusts an idol actually does deny all of that in one swift move!