Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, Golan, Christ

Been watching the Facebook feed and news on TV and if you didn't know any better you'd think:

1. There is no other news in the whole world aside from the Zimmerman trial.
2. Everyone on Facebook now has a law degree.
3. Christians have a lot of rage they need to deal with.

Calls for justice (and/or revenge) abound and even those of good Quaker stock are talking about the death penalty.  It's all an-eye-for-an-eye everywhere.  And now, as I type this, there are riots, vandalism and brutality happening, as well as a some peaceful protests.

Here's the thing, y'all, the heart of the Gospel is not that every man must pay for his sin.  At the heart of the Gospel is this completely unfair notion of grace.  It was prophetically built into the law from the beginning.  Even with the murderer Cain.  He was marked and no man was to touch him.  
The LORD replied, "No, for I will give a sevenfold punishment to anyone who kills you." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him. Genesis 4:15
If tit-for-tat were the nature of God, I think we could look to how God dealt with the first murderer as an indication of that.  But, rather, we see that God was full of grace even then.

When God gave Moses His law there were rules about what would happen if a man took another man's life by lying-in-wait and with intent to kill.  He would die, eventually.  It is the law of reaping and sowing and not necessarily the law of retaliation.  But, if two people got into it and someone lost their head, and someone died, the one who did the slaying had one recourse.  He could flee.  Flee to a city of refuge.
"Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can flee for safety."  Numbers 35:6
These cities, run by God's priests, were a prophetic picture of Christ and His Body.  God's people were not to merely cry out for retribution.  They were to provide a place of mercy.  

Let's face it.  We all need that place.  Jesus said that if you are angry with your brother without cause you are guilty of murder. (Matthew 5:22)  Today I've seen a lot of angry people.  Angry at the jury.  Angry at the one who pulled the gun.  Angry at those of a different race.  Angry at those of a different political party.  Angry at the police.  Angry, angry, angry.  And that pretty much puts us in Zimmerman's shoes and in equal need of God's mercy.

Yet, God has not called us to rant and threaten to move the Europe.  God has called us to be the ones who say to the guilty, "Run to us!  Find mercy!  Find shelter!  There is a place of refuge."

In the end, Jesus didn't come for the innocent.  Jesus came for the guilty.  If you feel that justice wasn't served, know this: Jesus came for the George Zimmermans of the world and not for the Trayvons.  That might rub you the wrong way.  That may offend your sense of justice.  Remember that Jesus is often offensive. 
"I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance..." Mark 2:17
He certainly is offensive, right up until that moment when you realize that you need Him to be your place of refuge.  When you come to the place where you think, "If He doesn't hide me, I will die."  And then Jesus' offensiveness becomes your best defense.

The Cities of Refuge in the Bible had specific names that spoke to specific traits of God:

Kadesh, meaning Righteousness
Shechem, meaning Shoulder
Hebron, meaning Fellowship
Bezer, meaning Fortress
Ramoth, meaning Exalted
Golan, meaning Joy

These are not just the nature of God.  These were cities, run by God's priests.  They speak to the six things, we, as God's people, have to offer the world, the guilty and to those in need of mercy.  If we don't have these six things to offer, what do we have?  As humans are sympathies are with the innocent.  As Christians, our reach extends to the guilty.

So, while you are chanting (or tweeting or Facebooking), "Justice for Trayvon" and "No Justice; No Peace!" and "If you're not for us, you're against us."  Perhaps think about the call to say: 

Righteousness for the guilty, of whom I am chief.

Zimmerman, do you need a shoulder? He cares for you.

No matter what you've done, we offer you fellowship.

Zimmermans of the world, do you need a safe place?

God will be exalted through every life that takes shelter in His house.

God can and will turn ashes into beauty and give you the oil of joy for your spirit of heaviness.

Christians, remember that the grace and forgiveness you give out is the grace and forgiveness you will receive.  Jesus, out of His great love, died for the guilty.  I don't know about you, but I think we should put down our stones and accept some of that love for ourselves and share a little with a world full of Zimmermans.


The Provision Room said...

Well said my friend, well said! Kristina

Andrea said...

What a beautiful post, Daja. I loved reading it... in fact, I read it twice. <3 <3

You saw what I wrote on my FB page about the whole issue (aka: not much but what I did say was very "neutral"). I too am dismayed by all the chatter about this case... things coming out of people's "mouths" that I would never expect to be contained there.

But I myself have regrettably said many, many, many, MANY things too, that I'm sure others did not expect to be contained in me either... least of all ME, after all was said & done. Ack!

Anyway, just want you to know how much I love this post. I stand in agreement with you on all of it except one statement:

"Jesus came for the George Zimmermans of the world and not for the Trayvons."

Oh, I think there probably was just as much in Trayvon's life that needed Jesus' sacrifice on the cross as there is in Mr. Zimmerman's life... mine too.

Love & blessings~ Andrea

Gombojav Tribe said...

Of course Trayvon as a person needs Jesus' sacrifice. I was using his name only as a representation of the "righteous" or "innocnet."

(And Zimmerman as "the guilty", because those were the presumptions I saw the most in social media.)

It is when we admit guilt that we can accept that sacrifice of Jesus and exchange our guilt for His innocence. Truly, there is no one righteous, not one, apart from Jesus.

Hope that makes sense. ♡

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