Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wildest Dreams or Worst Nightmares?

54 He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever. And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

If you want proof of the faithfulness of God, study His dealings with Israel. He took one small nation, and simply because of His mercy made them His chosen people. This is what He said to them:

"For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt." (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)

He warned them that if they obeyed Him He would bless them beyond their wildest dreams, and if they turned against them He would chasten them beyond their worst nightmares. As we follow their history, we can watch in awe as God faithfully fulfills His promises. When they obeyed Him, He blessed them with long life, health, and with incredible prosperity (see Israel under Solomon). When they disobeyed Him by forsaking His Law, they predictably denied Him, gave themselves to sin and came under His severe wrath. He sent prophets to warn them and so often they refused to listen (see 2 Kings 17:7-17 and 2 Chronicles 36:15, 16).

God warned Israel that because of their rebellion they would scattered among the nations where they would be horribly treated, then He would bring them back to their own land. Other nations such as the Canaanites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Moabites, Edomites, or Ammonites lost their identities. But Israel persisted as a people because God established His covenant with her. Wherever the Jews went throughout the many centuries of history, despite not having a homeland, they kept their identity until God drew them back to their homeland in 1948. The purposes of God cannot and will not fail.

The reason God chose Israel was to fulfill His divine purpose that He "spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever." Here’s the promise to Abraham: "In you shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). The very first verse of the New Testament is the beginning of the fulfillment of this promise. God became a Man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth for the purpose of destroying our greatest enemy--death itself. And that one Man's death and resurrection gave us access to the wellspring of eternal life: "And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."