If you haven’t read Part 1 of this 3-part series, start reading here: Part 1
7 out of 14 winks that say “You’ll see what I mean 😉” or “This one’s for you, my precious child 😉”
1) Deut 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
This one sent shivers down my spine, knowing the full context of the verse. One of the heaviest judgments in the Mosaic Law involved the accursed punishment that was more often carried out by barbarians (Gentiles.) The Israelites would prefer not to hang a man on a tree, much less leave him there. Even darker is the idea of having a child so rebellious as to hand them over to judgment by the elders (Earlier in the chapter. FYI – This is not a young child, but a son old enough to be getting drunk on wine. See v. 20) And yet the time came when God heaped both these unthinkable acts upon His own Son. Outside the city gates, a man hangs on a makeshift tree. For God the Father, tears. For Jesus, the weight of mankind’s curse. For us, love unspeakable. This wink says, “You’ll see what I mean. This sounds like a horrible curse. But I planned it this way. It’s because I love you.”
2) 1 kings 8: 38 What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: 39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men
We saw this same declaration in 2 chron 7: 30, a reason to smile. Just when we think we’ve got some hidden passageway among the secured passageways of our heart, there comes the searing burn of God’s piercing sight. “I see what you’re doing, and I’m waiting for you to bring that to the altar.”
3) Neh 9:29: testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
If you can keep God’s commandments you’ll live. The Israelites, our example, proved humans can’t stay faithful. You could try to do what they could not. Or, you could take the atonement paid in Christ, fulfilling the commandments, pleasing God, and attaining perfection in His sight. Then you’ll live longer. Wink, wink.
4) Esther 9: 1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them
This describes the overturned plot of the wicked Haman. The same man who determined to destroy the Jews out of burning pride, this man would find that very destruction pinned on him. God was ever looking out for the Jewish lineage, no matter the odds, no matter the kings or kingdoms, and no matter the hot-headed personalities.
5) John 2: 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
In verse 9, I can just imagine the servants’ horror as the ruler of the feast put the goblet up to his mouth, the servant knowing full well it came from the barrel of water. And I can imagine Jesus winking at the servants the moment the gulp washed down the lofty throat. Baited breaths waited for the master to toss the goblet in disgusted rage. Instead, unexpected pleasure spread throughout the house. Jesus’ first miracle says, “I’m nothing like what you would have expected. I’m much more.”
I’ll hold off on the extended debate over predestination. My view is one where God called all of us, and we choose whether to answer that call. He happens to know which one of us will answer before we do, but that does not prevent His infinite love from reaching to those who won’t. One thing is clear in the book of Romans: salvation is not by works. Salvation is by “him that calleth.” And we all know who that might be. Wink, wink.
7) 2 cor 9: 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness
Where do righteousness and good works come from? Surprise, it’s not religion. According to this passage, it’s God’s grace and distribution that enables us. Notice verse 9 says bread and seed and righteousness. Just being righteous around the poor, just doing “holy” things isn’t going to impress them. Hand them food, plant some useful knowledge, show unwavering kindness, and then watch God’s reward come back to your storehouse.
Stay tuned. 7 more winks to follow… Go to Part 3