The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you Peace. (Numbers 6: 24-26)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not Because of Your Righteousness

Know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. Dt 9: 6
This, Dear Reader, is a straight-forward admonition from God, through Moses, to the Hebrew people.  Do not think that I am giving you this land, the land which I promised to your forefather Abraham, because you have somehow earned it.  YOU HAVEN'T!  Don't think that you are somehow entitled to this land because of all the great things you have done or the excellent way that you have kept my laws.  YOU HAVEN'T!

God is saying to His People that despite the way they have acted; despite the things that they have done, and left undone; despite their failures to uphold God's commandments and laws; He is delivering them into the land which He had promised to them.  He is giving them a home.  He is providing for them.  He is saving them from the wilderness.

God continues to do that for us everyday of our lives, through Jesus Christ.  We did nothing to deserve Jesus' ministry and teaching.  We did nothing to rate His love.  We, in fact, did everything possible to earn His everlasting condemnation.  Yet, God is a just and loving God, and in Jesus He proves it to us in the most magnificent way.

Jesus Christ died on the cross because that was the sacrifice necessary to wash His stubborn people clean of their sin and wickedness.  By His death, we no longer fear the icy grip of the grave.  We no longer must labor under the weight of sin or be separated from Our Father by anything or anyone.  In Christ, God again tells us that we, stubborn as we are, are worth saving.

Fr. Michael+

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