What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Intercession and the Heart of God - When Mercy Triumphs over Judgment

Written and published by Jean-Louis 

The Lord is concerned about the lives of His people and what injustice has been done to us. But it is not for us to prove ourselves or God to others. The Lord will prove Himself and His power, if, when and how He wants. Our duty is to follow Him, to obey Him, to love and serve Him with a willing and whole heart. He will take care of the rest and  signs of confirmation will follow the believer. 
In Exodus chapter 3, we read that when God sent Moses to Pharaoh to give him the message to free the Hebrews from slavery, He gave him 2 signs (to the Hebrews) which should have been enough to identify him and establish his position as a leader capable of proclaiming the Word of the Lord and accomplishing the works that accompany the proclamation through the power of God.

The first one was for judgment and the second was for merciful healing and deliverance.
Both of these are manifest proofs of God’s work in response to prayer.
After the demonstration of His power changing the staff of a Moses the shepherd into a snake and changing it back to its original shape, The Lord doesn’t stop at the sheer manifestation of His power, but wants to be recognized as a judge, a healer and deliverer so “that they may believe that the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you”.

First sign: the judgment.
We read in verse 6 that following the Lord’s command Moses placed his hand underneath his robe near his heart and when he took it out it was leprous like snow.I John 3:19-20 declares: “We shall know by this that we are of the truth and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; While the judgment takes place, it is covered by the garment of Moses that covered his heart. I John 3:20, 21 continue: “For God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our hearts doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God”.

God in His mercy covers our sins. The mercy seat on the top of the Ark of the Covenant was overshadowed by the wings of the cherubim, a gesture echoed in Psalms 17:8:“Hide me in the shadow of your wings” and 36:7;” And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” I Peter 4:8 gives us a perfect example of the covering of love in the New Testament: Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins.” Peter, the apostle to the Jews knew that his readers were acquainted with the Old Testament Proverbs 10:12: "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.

Second sign: healing and deliverance.
Then, the Lord said to Moses: "Put your hand into your bosom again; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold it was restored like the rest of his flesh.” This sign as a prophetic demonstration is a graphic illustration for the rebellious Hebrew children once they were out of Egypt, at the time when people complained to Moses about their lives in the desert and started questioning Moses authority. Numbers 11:12,15 records Moses’ complaint to God: “Was it I who brought them forth that You should say to me: “carry them in your bosom as a nurse (or foster father) carries a nursing infant to the land which you swore to their fathers.

Here we see both signs carried out in sequence again, but this time it is not Pharaoh who questioned Moses leadership position, but his own brother and sister Aaron and Miriam, grumbling and murmuring against him. So now instead of finding comfort and help from his own family, he finds himself isolated and burdened beyond his own capacities.

Fortunately, God comes to his rescue and reminds him and every one else of the same lesson that he taught them in Egypt: Judgment of sin, consequence of sin, repentance, mercy, forgiveness, healing, restoration and moving forward.

Once again, we can look at the steps. In verses 4 through 9, God calls Moses, Aaron and Miriam to the tent of meeting to appear before Him. God defends Moses saying: “He is faithful in all My household …and he beholds the form of the Lord”; then turns to Aaron and Miriam and asks them: “Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?

The Lord was angry and departed from the tent of meeting. The tent represents the place where God meets with His people just as now in the new covenant of the blood of Jesus, he meets with us individually in our body His temple where He dwells and corporately as well when 2 or 3 of His believing children are gathered together in His Name.  It also represents the covering away from the eyes of others.

In this instance, God wanted to protect Moses and called Aaron and Miriam to step out of the tent into His presence to be judged. And when the cloud of the presence of God had lifted up, Miriam was covered with leprosy, a symbol for sin. Aaron and Moses both interceded for Miriam for her forgiveness, healing and restoration. Moses himself requested from God that Miriam be isolated for 7 days away from the camp. But she was still part of the family and all the people of Israel waited for her return to move on.

In the New Testament, we find such an instance of the love and mercy that believers are commanded to show one that has been caught in a sin that affects the whole congregation.

 In II Corinthians 2:6-8 Paul, after having asked the church to discipline and put out the man who was having an incestuous relationship calls them to forgive and comfort him with these words: “Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.”

Notice that the man up to the point of being dis-fellowshiped was under the covering of the church body, the authority provided by God through the elders and the other members and that his punishment was to be removed just as Miriam´s was in the passage above. But then, they were re-integrated into the body of believers after following the steps outlined by God.

Our prayers for ourselves and intercession for others when we release our lives to God result in sin being revealed and judged in our hearts and sometimes manifested out in the open.

Therefore, let us carry ourselves and if necessary our brothers and sisters who suffer from some kind of servitude in our hearts under the protective cover of discretion and confidentiality unless the Holy Spirit directs otherwise. Let us lift each other up to the Father´s heart of God to receive forgiveness, comfort, healing and restoration according to Galatians 6:1

Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13b.

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