John 3 .16-18
Hebrews 3. 14-19
There are so many concepts in scripture to ponder, so many verses that I skip over seeing the more obvious revelations, that when I go back again and again I see more and more. That is what draws me to the scripture. Finding more than enough in the Word of God to satisfy my longing heart, yet desiring even more. Is that a paradox or is it what the scripture describes as “exceeding abundantly.”
Pastor Craigs’ sermon on Sunday morning touched one of those points of pondering in my estimation, in John 3.18. I have always stopped wondering after John 3.17. The Christ did not come to condemn, how beautiful is that, He came to save! What more do you want? Well that next sticky verse says something about “if you believe then you are not judged but if you don’t believe then you are judged already.” What can that mean? Craig well described the meaning by his description of the beauty of a painting by Monet, or some other fine art, if discounted or rejected by a person, says nothing about the painting but everything about the person who can’t see the beauty in the art. The painting is not judged, the man without artistic intuition is.
Well, my mind immediately jumped to Hebrews chapter 3.16, where it tells of the Hebrews during the Exodus, when they came to the edge of the promised land and could not find themselves able to trust in Yhwh. This One who had brought them through the Red Sea, after causing their release from bondage in Egypt, and feeding them with manna, protecting them with a pillar of fire, guiding them with a pillar of smoke, revealing Himself to them in such power that they trembled at the sound of His voice and begged that He no longer speak directly to them, but only through Moses. This God who was so intimately involved with them daily, they couldn’t find any trustworthiness, any strength, any power, any supernaturalness, any beauty in Him when faced with a perceived insurmountable obstacle called, the Promised Land. The promised land in and of itself seems rather obvious by it’s name alone. But they chose not to believe in Him.
Paul says in Hebrews 3.19 that “they were not allowed to enter that promised land because of unbelief .”
Christ has come to set us free from our bondage, our sins are forgiven, all that is left is for us to believe. If we don’t, that says nothing about the Christ or what He has done, it does say volumes about us. Put all of your trust in Him, for He cares for you, daily, eternally. As believers we also choose daily to put our trust in Christ in obedience, as we live in a world filled with sin and temptations to not believe. He is a beautiful Savior.