THE REFUGE

After 45 years of peace under the leadership of Tola and Jair, the nation opened themselves back up to gross idolatry. They would turn from The God of their fathers to serve god’s made with human hands, doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord. The deceitfulness of their hearts would be taken captive by the pagan worship in the land. Their mind became depraved being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, immorality, and they no longer acknowledged The Lord. So just as a good father will chasten his children, The Lord would not allow His people to go any further into their sin. So, the righteous anger of The Lord burned against Israel and He sold them into the hands of the sons of Ammon, and for 18 years they were afflicted. After some time passed, Israel cried out to the Lord, “We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.” The Lord heard the cries of the people and delivered his people from their oppression.

One might dare to say that God’s justice is incompatible with his love when we look at the afflictions of Ammon upon his people. But that is not so, because in man’s finite mind, apart from faith in God, he wants to believe, as he looks within himself, what the determiner of justice and love truly is, therefore it becomes twisted and corrupted within his heart. When the truth becomes twisted in the mind of man, it plants seeds of confusion within himself, and he begins to question the true love of The Lord. So, to truly understand the love and justice of God, one must go back to the origin from which it came, and this is found only in the Trinitarian nature of God Himself. That is, God can be both loving and just without ever violating His nature. The Lord cannot sin and can only do what is perfectly right for His people, always accomplishing His will. Of course, this is just received and understood by faith. God establishes faith by the exertion of His holy influence upon the soul, and with sweet words of love, He brings the heart of the one being saved into conformity with His will. He shows them His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, hanging on a tree receiving the wrath that was due to him, resulting in a heart that believes. Who can genuinely grasp hold of the unfathomable riches of God, who is perfect and is worthy of all praise?

In the text above we see The Lord’s perfect justice being put on display for all to see, and to understand. The Lord is not One who can wink at sin, for His perfect justice requires that every violation of His holy law be atoned for. The scriptures tell us in Romans 3:23, “All have fallen short of the glory of God,” and it also says in Romans 5:12, “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all people, because all sinned.” This creates a problem for all of humanity, a problem that cannot be dealt with within human reason or human logic. The answer to this problem is only found in God’s holy word. Paul pens in Romans 10:12 “The message is near you, in your mouth and your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. The one who believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and the one who confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

“The sons of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.” Judges 10:15 NASBS

The Olney Enterprise

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