Love Revealed – Part 5
God never wanted to destroy us, human beings, for our sins, He always believed in His plan to rescue us and bring us back to where we relate to Him without guilt and shame as the Holy Spirit transforms us back to who He created us to be (Ephesians 1:4-6).
So God started revealing HIS LOVE STORY by giving us a PICTURE OF JESUS in the form of innocent animals being killed in humans’ place to 1. provide for their needs (Genesis 3:21), 2. please God so that He could bless them (Genesis 4:4), and 3. remove their sins so that He could freely bless them (Exodus 20:24). Before Jesus came God would rather kill an innocent animal than kill a human being for his/her sin. God fully revealed His Love Story when He killed His Son in the place of human beings (2 Corinthians 5:21). THIS IS LOVE IN ACTION!.
At times we do not acknowledge the love of God that was revealed under the Old Covenant but we interpret it as God showing favoritism. Let’s look at David and the nation of Israel to see the power of God’s love.
The Bible describes David as the man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). If you are familiar with the Bible you know about David’s blunders. Yet God calls him a man after His own heart. In this story we see that GOD IS LOOKING FOR SINCERITY NOT PERFECTION, just like He told Abraham (Genesis 17:1). God knows that if you are sincere in your relationship with Him you will not be pleased to disobey Him such that you will see your life change for better as you spend time with Him in prayer and His Word (Romans 12:2 & 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Numbers 23:21 tells us that God did not OBSERVE sin in Jacob, nor did He SEE mischief in Israel. This verse doesn’t say there was no sin and mischief in Israel, He didn’t observe or see sin and mischief because He had forgiven Israel. Therefore Balaam could not curse but bless them (verses 18-20). God ensured that sorcery or divination did not work against Jacob not because they didn’t sin but because God loved them and He wanted to show forth His goodness (verses 22&23). This is what He wants to do for those who believe in Him (Romans 4:6-8).
When Israel was passing Edom as they were wondering in the wilderness they became very discouraged and murmured against God and Moses (Numbers 21:4-6). This is not the first time that they murmured against God. But this time God sent fiery serpents as punishment for murmuring. By this time Israel was under the Law Covenant. This covenant stated that if they did good God would bless them but if they didn’t do good they would be punished (Exodus 20). So, God was within His rights to punish them for murmuring. (In future we will look at the purpose of the Law and the fact that we live under a different covenant to the one that Israel lived under. Covenants dictate God’s way of dealing with people hence we see different people experiencing different treatment from God.)
When Israel repented of their sin, murmuring, God instructed Moses to make a serpent out of bronze and set it on a pole. God said whenever a person is bitten by a fiery serpent, that came because of their sin, should simply look up at the fiery serpent that was hanging on the pole and they would live (Numbers 21:7-9).
Jesus said that the same way the fiery serpent was LIFTED UP ON THE POLE in the wilderness to DRAW JUDGMENT for Israel’s sin was the same way He was going to be LIFTED UP WHEN HE DIES to take the penalty for our sin. (John 12:31-33). (Please note that in the NKJV the word PEOPLES is itiliced; not in the original manuscript but added by translators.
When Jesus died on the cross He did not draw all people to Himself hence people still go to hell if they do not believe in Him, HE DREW ALL JUDGMENT THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO COME TO US. Think of a lightning rod, it draws lightning to itself to protect property around it. What Jesus did is similar to what a lightning rod does; He drew to Himself all the judgment that was supposed to come to us because we broke the Law (Romans 3:23-28). THIS IS LOVE IN ACTION!
(To be continued…)