Tag: 1st John 1:9.
Scripture reading for March 25th: 1st Samuel 27-31
Saul, tormented by the evil spirit that came as a result of his rebellion, sought information about the future by disguising himself and going to visit a medium. He had tried to seek the Lord first, but God didn’t speak through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6) He was terrified and desperate for direction. He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land in accordance with the law. But obedience to God was not a priority in his life.
Amazingly, God allowed the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead through this medium. Samuel spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day. (1st Samuel 28:16-19) Because of his rebellion, truth did not bring repentance. True repentance must be sought while the Lord may be found! (Psalm 32:6-7)
Saul and his sons died the next day. Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to put him out of his misery. The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life! Even in his death, he took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6)
Saul’s anointing by Samuel to become king was a wonderful opportunity to rule and lead under God’s guidance. Saul’s disobedience to God’s clear instructions brought consequences that eventually lead to further rebellion and death. Someone has said, “sin truly takes us further than we want to go, holds us longer that we want to stay, and exacts a price higher than we want to pay.”
If you are doing something in clear disobedience to the Word of God, take time right now to get down on your knees and ask the Lord for mercy! God gives grace to the humble. Repentance is more than just saying you are sorry, it is getting up to go a new direction of willing obedience! (2nd Corinthians 7:9-11) “But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)
Scripture reading for May 22nd: Job 11-14
“Know this, God has even forgotten some of your sin.” Job 11:6b
“Their sins and lawless acts I will Remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:8-9
Job’s friend Zophar was frank in his accusation that Job needed to repent. He was certain that Job had sinned and that God was being merciful even in this harsh trial. He stated that God had probably forgotten some of Job’s sins or it might be worse! (Job 11:6) If Job would put away his sin, God would be merciful to him. (Job 11:14-15) Zophar could not get away from the common understanding of God’s justice: trouble and suffering were a result of sin.
Job knew of no sin and did not want to fake a repentance or manufacture some sin just to try and manipulate God or appease these friends. He knew that God alone could cover whatever sins he may have. He wrestled with how he could meet with God or if the grave would hold him at death. (Job 14:13-17) Job asked God to hide him in the grave until His anger had passed and then “to set a time and remember me”. He expected to hear a call from God and to respond from the grave. He believed God longed to have fellowship with the “creature He has made”. At this time, God would not keep track of sin. Job expected all his sins to be sealed in a bag and not remembered!
Job longed for an audience with God and a mediator who could speak for him. He asked for resurrection from death with God forgiving and forgetting his sin. He expected God to call him from the grave at a time in the future when God’s wrath had passed! We have a mediator who is like us, but without sin! Jesus Christ came and gave His life to cover our sins. When we confess our sins and believe on Him, He forgives and chooses to remember them no more! (1st John 1:7-9) Jesus is coming again and will call all believers from their graves to be with Him forever! Job’s prayer and desire is fulfilled in Jesus!
January 2nd reading: Genesis 3-5
I remember in my early childhood taking my dad’s pocketknife from the stand by his favorite chair and carving pictures on the bedroom door. It was great fun and my sister liked the pictures too. Dad and Mom were out doing chores on the farm and it was still dark outside. After a while, I knew they would come in soon and slid Dad’s chair in front of the door to try and hide the “sin”. I didn’t understand it but they caught on right away when they came in the house! I initially tried to blame my younger sister for being the instigator, but was found out! I was rightfully afraid of punishment and soon reaped what I had so unwisely sown. (That was before the days when spanking was termed abuse!) Genesis 3 came alive personally to me and I would bet every one of us has learned this lesson the hard way!
As I read this section of scripture, I am introduced to the “serpent” who was “more crafty” than any of the other animals that God had made. This “serpent” talks to the woman Eve. His words contradict or twist what God had told Adam and Eve. They are words designed to appeal to desire for that which is forbidden by God. The words appeal to pride and a desire to know what God knows from a source that God warns them would cause them to die. Crafty is the ability to “craft” a plan that gets around truth. It is a lie with some chocolate covering it. Eve is taken in by this “craft” and takes the forbidden fruit. She gives it to her husband who eats as well. She is deceived and he deliberately eats. They suddenly are aware of their nakedness and hide, covering themselves. Fear has entered with death and, rather than being clothed with God’s Glory, shame now clothes them with a fig leaf!
God is walking in the garden. He is reaching out to those made in His image. He is calling to them and seeking those who are now lost! He knows what they have done but is trying to help them get free. When they emerge shaking in fear, God asks them who told them they were naked and if they had eaten from the forbidden tree. Each answer is an attempt to blame someone else or God himself! No one wants to confess or admit guilt. Sin not only brings guilt and shame, but it causes fear of punishment.
Today, do a quick survey of your life. Ask the Holy Spirit if there are things you are doing that you need to take responsibility for. Confess them to the Lord and ask for forgiveness and cleansing. It’s the only way I know to get rid of sin and its consequence, death! “I ate it.”
The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12; “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:9