Days of Awe and Repentance (10/1)
We have just come through ten days of a Jewish Feast called Trumpets, or Ten Days of Awe. It culminated on the Feast of Yom Kippur on Monday. During trumpets, the shofar is blown to symbolize a call to repentance, prayer and the coming of the King. This is to prepare for Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. In biblical times, a lamb was sacrificed for the sins of Israel. But this was no longer possible after the destruction of the temple. For believers in Jesus, He is our “once for all” sacrifice Lamb. In Hebrew 9:11,12 we are told that he was sacrificed once for all. It is no accident that the temple was destroyed a few years later because God wanted all Israel to receive King Jesus, but they did not.
While Jewish folks still celebrate these feasts, hoping that their good deeds will be enough, we hope that they will come to see Jesus as the lamb of Isaiah 53 who was sacrificed for atonement. As I John 2:2 says, “He is the sacrifice of atonement (at-one-ment)” for the whole world. Of course there are many others who also hope their good deeds will be enough. How sad when they could know the grace and peace of Jesus, and assurance of eternal life through Him.
Prayer was offered up in a great assembly in Washington on Saturday called The Return. We continue to pray for God’s intervention in the heavenly places that pushes back the forces of darkness. Part of this involves exposing evil to the light, and that is not pleasant. We see evil on display every day. We also see those who prefer darkness. But God will have his way. For those who long for the truth, we see the contrast clearly on display.
It is time for all of us to return to God’s commandments. God’s moral law was set forth in the Ten Commandments and reiterated by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. But how many today even know what he said!!? He said he did not come to abolish the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them. He went on to say that not the smallest letter would pass away from the law. “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:19. The Commandments must be pretty important.
Whether people follow them or not, his basic commandments have not passed away. They are enshrined in our Judeo-Christian laws and culture. But they are being threatened today by those who would turn the law upside down. But Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the Bible, reminds us how we should love the commandments. Take time to read it.
Lord, help us to return to you and to your commandments. These were not just suggestions, and Jesus said they would never pass away. They are eternal. No one can ignore them and have a just society. Father, remind us that your commands are good and that we should love them like David did.
No one can substitute man’s laws and call it “justice” when it is not. No human system can find justice without your laws. Atheistic socialism is an impossible dream that never works. This godless system is behind much of what we see happening today. Lord, defeat the efforts of people to turn truth and justice upside down for their own agendas.
Lord, we know our good deeds are not enough to achieve righteousness. Thank you for the grace of the atoning blood of Jesus, our sacrifice lamb. Thank you that he is our “once for all” sacrifice.
We thank you for the prayers of millions over the weekend and on through the coming days. We continue to repent for our nation and ask that many more turn to you while there is still time.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.