“Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.” (Isaiah11:13)
Israel’s future hope involved reconciliation between the two nations of Ephraim (Northern Kingdom) and Judah (Southern Kingdom). Jealousy and hostility would have no place in their relationship. They were to become friends.
Likewise, when persons are reconciled to God they become friends: they bury their hostility and jealousy. The reconciliation foreseen here was ultimately fulfilled through Christ. God is the initiator of this reconciled relationship. Reconciliation with Him leads to reconciliation with enemies.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, reconciliation is a “healing” of hard feelings between two or more parties, or in this case, the two nations. God recognized the need for the two nations one from the North and one from the South must reconcile, before reconciliations between their enemies could even be considered. On this day, three days past Easter, each of us must learn to reconcile in our own families; then we can move to reconcile between us and others around us; then, we reach out to reconcile our community with another; a state between other states; then our United States between other nations, and so on. Abba, we need Your help daily to remember that You are as involved in ourselves only as much we want to be with You. Thus, we must reconcile with others, to be able to move towards our enemies. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The will of God will never take us where the Grace of God will not protect us.”
“For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have not received reconciliation.” (Romans5:10-11)
Sin makes the righteous God angry. Sinners become God’s enemies. Jesus in His death restored the relationship between us as sinners and God in His grace. This is reconciliation (Greek – katallasso), put into friendship with.” Reconciliation comes through God’s initiative. It is His accomplishment and His gift. Salvation is spoken of there as future, referring to final salvation in the final judgment when the living Christ completes His work of intercession for us by presenting us to the Father. Then salvation will be complete in our experience as well as to God’s provision.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implored you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2nd Corinthians5:18–21)
Remember Jesus’ words from the Cross? “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani”—- which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus could feel, He was all alone. He knew God was not with Him at that moment, because He had taken on the sins of the world, our sins, and God cannot look upon evil beloved. Can you imagine, how heavy that must have felt for Him. Salvation is reconciliation to God so that He no long charges our sins against our account! God has done everything necessary for us to be reconciled to Him. We must give up our hostility to Him and accept His reconciliation. Reconciliation here means bringing God and human beings together or making them friends. God takes the initiative in bringing back alienated strangers to Himself. His initiative is through Christ and Christ’s ambassadors, such as Paul. The ministry of reconciliation is given to all saved persons. None is excluded, though Christ has called and gifted some Christians to be His special ambassadors.
Second Thought of the Day:
“His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to Bod through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace in those who were near. For through him we both were near. For through him we both have access to this Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians2:15-18)
Christ reconciles to God and to each other both Jews and Gentiles in His death on the cross.
Their hostility to God and to each other is crucified with Christ. Christ opes the door to God for all people, whatever their background.