Meditation

Meditation for 09/09/2019

“I will ransom them form the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are you plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?” (Hosea 13:14)

“Grave” (Hebrew – She’ol) is the realm of the dead. The idea of destruction, despair, and desolation is often associated with Sheol. There God’s purpose is lost but not His presence. The ultimate despair would be to be where God is but be unable to know Him. In this text God promised to rescue the dead nation Israel from Sheol, rather than individuals. Even death cannot destroy its victims if God chooses otherwise.

The Old Testament concept of Sheol (found its way into the New Testament in the idea of Hades, where it appears as the intermediate abode of the wicked dead and where torment cold be experienced. Some interpreters believe that because the nation was made up of individuals, the promise about resurrection here can be applied to believing individuals.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, we know that You have the power to choose to take some, many or even all who have died, and bring them into the kingdom of heaven. You are our Creator, our God and the reason we live and breathe. As individuals, it is not our choice of who is or is not allowed into the kingdom, for our focus should be on ourselves and living our lives for You and not for ourselves. This is the key to the kingdom, living as servants of Almighty God, seeking the best for our fellow human beings, and to share the Gospel message of salvation through our belief in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and the One who You have put in charge of the kingdom. Help us to be compassionate, loving, and strong in our faith and obedient to Your will for our lives. This is our prayer. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Salvation is free, but it is not cheap.”

KNOWING GOD:

“The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; the seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; upon them he has set the world. He ill guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. It is not my strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of he earth. ‘He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.’” (1st Samuel 2:6-10)

The concept of death in the Old Testament is largely of something fearful and foreboding. The issues of life and death are in God’s hands. This may be all this passage intended to say. Only a few Old Testament passages clearly set forth a resurrection hope. The language here is quite compatible with later biblical passages on death and resurrection for individuals. The death of the wicked was seen as a silencing in darkness. This would seem to be the result of an unbeliever’s death, though God can choose to do something else.

I AM:

Last Things, Believer’s Death: (Psalm 16:8-10)

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. These are words from a believer’s perspective; thus, if this is true for a believer, then the opposite would be true for an unbeliever! The unbeliever would be alone, where God is nowhere to be found. They will be shaken and shaken hard. Their heart is unhappy and their tongue is dry and there is no security for their body. They will be separated from God completely and decay is all they have to look forward to.

When I was growing up, maybe not all but most people not only professed belief in God but also sought to walk in God’s light in their daily lives. I won’t speak for other people, but I will tell you there was a time in my life when I walked away from God. As I look at that time, it was barren of happiness or joy, hope was at an all time low and depression was closer to me than I like to admit. In the Old Testament, the minor prophets talked of times of economic growth, agricultural successes, joy and happiness was woven in and through the community and then they “turned their backs on God.” They got distracted, or whatever metaphor you would want to us, but then, “they turned back to God,” and all was restored to them. Beloved, this was true in my life and it has not changed. Think about it.

Second Thought of the Day:

“I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

One sin determines our eternal fate. To reject Jesus, refusing to believe He is God’s Son who died for our sins, is the sin which forfeits eternal life and leads to death and eternal condemnation. The death of unbelievers is a death in sins. The failure to believe in Jesus leaves sins unforgiven. Therefore, such a death is one of eternal hopelessness.

Those who believe in Christ will know the truth and be set free from their sins. They will do what Jesus has taught them to do. Failure to believe Jesus is God who became flesh and solved our sin and guilt problem is to believe Jesus is a fraud and a liar. Believing Jesus was just a good man or great teacher contradicts everything Jesus stood for.

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