Grace, Jesus, New Covenant
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The scariest​ verses in the Old Testament

© August 8, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

In my view, these are the scariest and most devastating verses in the Old Testament.

Jeremiah 15:1-2 (NKJV)

Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them,

‘Thus says the Lord:

“Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.”

If I were a Jew, these words would have devastated me. I would have broken out in a cold sweat. A chilling shiver would run down my spine. 

According to the Jews, Moses and Samuel were pioneers – first’s in their fields. Moses was their revered deliverer and leader and Samuel was the official “founder” of the prophetic ministry. Few were held in high regard more than these two. Only Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the progenitors of the nation of Israel, were held in the highest regard.

These two scriptures in Jeremiah are placed right in the middle of Israel’s meltdown, just before God would abandon them to their enemies. God was angry with them. Why? They had walked away from him and had embraced foreign gods. In embracing these gods, they broke the first commandment, you shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 NKJV) The results of them embracing these foreign gods? Social injustice, murder, corruption, violence, child sacrifices, abuse, and all manner of evil.

So, God makes this astonishing and brutal statement

Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people.

The Jew would have pondered – you mean even the best of us could not save us?

And then worse,

Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.

What? Are you serious? I mean our best could not save us and now we are being thrown out of God’s presence. To the Jew, being cast out meant that they did not get to see God’s smile and experience his grace towards them. (Numbers 6:25 NLT)

And then, even worse,

“Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.”

This is what it was like to live under the law of Moses. If you disobeyed, you faced God’s wrath. If you disobeyed, your only resolve was to repent, but that’s after you had suffered severe punishment from God. There was no other way.

But, if this was how God would deal with humanity in general, then none of us would have escaped his anger. He would have to wipe out all of us and begin again. So, God decided to change his approach. He decided to enter into the human experience. He became a human. But this time, he became a better Moses and Samuel – to both Jews and Gentiles. 

This is what the New Covenant is really all about. This is what grace is really all about. 

In the New Covenant, Jesus fulfilled all of God’s demands for you. Jesus also received your punishment for breaking the law of Moses. And then, in Jesus, God finds a man who could stand, albeit seat before him. (Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; Matthew 22:44: Revelation 3:21 ESV)

In the New Covenant, Jesus fulfilled all of God’s demands for you. Jesus also received your punishment for breaking the law of Moses. And then, in Jesus, God finds a man who could stand, albeit seat before him.

Right now, Jesus is in heaven for us. He is there, seated, as us. He is there as our representative. He is one of us. This is what gives Christians hope. We Christians are human beings who are certain that no matter how hard we fall into sin, one of us, Jesus, represents us. Or, as Eugene Peterson wrote, the One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. (Romans 8:34 MSG)

Hey, Christian, rest easy. Calm down. Your sin/s will not cause God to cast you out of his presence. God found a man better than Moses and better than Samuel to stand (seat) before him. Calm down. Relax. Jesus has this.

Hey, non-Christian, your tortured conscience can find rest when you receive Jesus’ offer of representation. Actually, Jesus already represents all of humanity before God. He is just waiting for you to believe that he is already doing that.

That’s what grace looks like

This entry was posted in: Grace, Jesus, New Covenant

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Schulter Etyang leads The Life Place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Schulter is one whom Jesus loves. He loves his wife, Jenny, and enjoys reading, travelling, cooking, running and playing squash. He also enjoys conversations with friends about Jesus and about life.

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