The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise . . . for it is not his purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins. (2 Kefa/Peter 3:9)
DRAWING NEAR TO GOD
My friend, Derek Leman (TheHebrewNerd.com), has shared with his readers an interesting analysis of Leviticus 1:1-13 – the understanding of drawing near to God. Drawing upon the Hebrew for nearness, qorban, Derek equates drawing near to God as wiping away the pollution of our sinful lives with the blood of a sacrifice. What an image this conjures in the mind and in the heart!
Before the first arrival of Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, those who wished to draw near to Yahweh brought a sacrifice to the Altar. The blood of the sacrifice was shed to wipe away the punishment for the sin committed, once the ‘sinner’ had also provided whatever compensation was required.
That was then but what is now? There is no Temple in Jerusalem. Most of us reading this teaching today do not live in Israel. Even if there was a Temple, we would have a difficult time getting our sacrifice there, for each sin we committed. What do we do? Of course there is another way, as true believers understand.
The words of Rav Sha’ul, the Apostle Paul, guide us. We find in Romans 12:1 – I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you. What does it mean to offer ourselves as a living, set-apart sacrifice?
In previous teachings, I have discussed the process of offering ourselves as living sacrifices; this process involves commitment and surrender. Committing ourselves to walk on His Path, the Way of Righteousness, entails our following Torah, the Word of Yahweh from Genesis to Revelation, and using His Life Instructions to prevent us from being trapped by temptation.
When we surrender to Yahweh, our Beloved Abba, we give up our earthly desires, our human ambitions and exchange them for His. It means our life-works are His for us and His commission becomes our desire.
Then comes the question, what is our offering? As Hebrews 9:11,12 teach us, But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world),he entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever, our offering, the shed blood that atones for our sins, comes from Messiah Himself!
He has died for our sins and satisfies the requirement of the rabbis, as we find in 2 John 2: Also, he is the kapparah for our sins — and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world, with kapparah meaning atonement.
Beloved, if you feel the deep and personal need to draw nearer to Yahweh, God, I suggest you fall to your knees, in humble supplication, confessing your sins, renouncing your sinful life, accept whatever consequences are due for your actions, and give yourself to Him, the Ruler of the Universe and the Lover of our souls.
CONSIDER: Are you afraid of giving up the life you know, even though it is a sinful one? Does the fear of the unknown overwhelm you? Tell me, dear friend, what do you have to lose? Is the devil you know offering more to you than the God you don’t?
ACTION: Actually, if you think these questions through to their conclusion, the sinful life one leads is far more dangerous and unsettling than the Love, Mercy and Blessings which will flood you, when you accept the Living God into your heart. Are you willing to have faith, trusting Him by stepping forward?
PRAY: Dear God, I am tired of living a live where I am compelled to look over my shoulder, constantly, to see when the hammer will fall. I am tired of feeling guilty after each bad thing I do and I do not want to reach the point where I am insensitive to my hurtful actions. I pray you forgive me of my sinful life, take my pain away and come into my life; guide me and lead me to a better life, a new life with You. Thank you, God.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.