Monday, January 24, 2011


      " On that day they will say to Jerusalem, 'Do not fear, O Zion: Do not let your hands hang limp.  The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love.  He will rejoice over you with singing."  (NIV)

my photo, sunrise over Jerusalem

     The prophet Zechariah wrote this short book of the Bible in which he summarizes God's plan for Israel and the world. (God had a "Plan A"; and, when that didn't work out, He presented the world with "Plan B".)  I will attempt to write an extremely abbreviated version of the plan, the results, etc., as follows:
     Israel - the Jewish people - are God's chosen people.  No one knows why this small nation was chosen to be God's "evangelists", and it really doesn't matter... God did the choosing;  only He needs to know the reasons. God formed an eternal covenant with Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation.  This was a blood covenant - unalterable and eternal.

my photo, Israel countryside

         But, the people of Israel refused to be God's "missionaries".  They disobeyed. (For any of my regular readers - there's that pesky obedience word again!)  Much like us today, the people were comfortable with the status quo.  They liked life as they knew it.  The familiar was easier than the unknown. Well, the status quo is just not going to get it with God!  Not then;  not now.  Remember, the covenant between God and Abraham was eternal. Thus, it extends to all mankind.  In Deuteronomy we can read the scriptures that describe that covenant:
     "See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you... But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed... this day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life."  (Deuteronomy 30:15-20  NIV)
there is only one way to choose life
   You might be asking yourself, "What does this ancient story have to do with me?"  The answer: Everything!  God loves people so much that when Israel refused to be His evangelists, He promptly went to "Plan B".  He hasn't given up on "Plan A", mind you... He will get back to that in the latter days.  But, for now, He went to "Plan B" wherein the gospel spread to the Gentiles. God accomplished this by sending His only Son, Jesus, who came to us in human form to be our Savior.  Jesus died for the sins of all mankind - the ultimate blood covenant - unalterable and eternal.
     So, once again, God is saying to each person on this earth, "I set before you life and death, blessings and curses... Now choose life..."
     Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."
(John 14:6  NIV)
     Choose life.

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