每日诗歌: Grace Alone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6lhilgWXIE)
亚干不明白神定罪的恐怖。否则，他不会拿“当灭的物”（书7:1）。希伯来文表示这物应该被彻底毁灭，由于它冒犯了圣洁的神，而它在申20:17中的用法给了原因。 “免得他们教导你们学习一切可憎恶的事，就是他们向自己的神所行的，以致你们得罪耶和华你们的神”（申20:18）。耶利哥是以色列人在应许之地的第一场战斗与得胜，其意义极其重大。此时以色列全民正面临着征服迦南作为产业这个艰巨的任务，因此不会容忍任何对神的特定命令的叛逆。但这最终的目的是神保护他们免于陷入 “得罪耶和华你的神”的网罗。亚干不明白这种定罪的份量，这就是为什么他受了惩罚。
Joshua 7 [Read]
Joshua 8 [Read]
Luke 2:25-52 [Read]
Do we appreciate God’s grace? I think many of us would answer YES, for his grace allows us to be with him forever and ever. In other words, God’s grace puts us in heaven. Conversely, do we really appreciate the horror of Hell or eternal separation from God? That would be a tougher question to answer, for we tend not to associate our loving God with such a terrible condemnation. So, we downplay the horror and choose to focus on the positive. That thought is commendable but not biblical. Grace and condemnation are two sides of the same coin. Without condemnation, Grace is meaningless (Mk 9:42-47, Jn 3:36, Rom 8:1).
Achan did not appreciate the horror of God’s condemnation. Otherwise, he would not have taken the “devoted things” (Jos 7:1). The Hebrew word indicated something ought to be completely destroyed due to its offensiveness to the Holy God, and its use in Deut 20:17 gave the reason. “Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God” (Deut 20:18). Jericho was the first battle and victory of Israelites in the Promised Land, and its significance could not be overstated. The nation of Israel was facing a tremendous task in conquering Canaan as their inheritance, so any rebellion against God’s specific command would not be tolerated. But ultimately, God was protecting them from falling into the trap of “sin against the Lord your God”. Achan did not appreciate the weight of such condemnation, and that’s why he was punished.
Is God’s punishment too harsh? It depends on the standard we use for such judgment. Do we rely on our limited view of space and time to make such judgment or do we submit to the standard of Him who is beyond space and time? I chose the latter, for I have made so many mistakes in my life based on the former. My Lord is way better in making judgment than I am, and I choose to trust him even though I still have doubts every now and then. That’s the whole point of growing in Him.
Do you appreciate God’s grace? The answer has everything to do with whether you appreciate the horror of eternal condemnation. It’s good for us to think about this every day, for it shall nurture the heart of thanksgiving in us.
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