Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



Judges 10:16
So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord; and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.

Israel had sinned (again) by serving other gods. The Lord gave them over to that, and when they cried out to Him, He responded by saying that He would no longer deliver them. Still, they knew they had no other help; their help would come from the Lord, or it would not come at all.

Sometimes I forget the tragic and desperate nature of my sin; at others, I forget the depth of God's compassion. It is a sobering lesson that the Lord sometimes grants us when He allows us not only to glimpse or gaze into the murky depths of our sin, but also to bathe in the muck and mire of our hideousness.

2 Chronicles 26:15b, 16
Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

Yesterday, Alistair Begg preached on the story of King Uzziah. Those verses anchored the tragic tale of this once prosperous king, they tell of the fulcrum upon which his life balanced: his pride. Had he realized that his help truly lay in the Lord, rather than allowing his pride to swell his head, he would have humbly walked in obedience all the days of his life. Instead, there came the tragic episode in the temple where he dared to burn incense where he was not supposed to. That led to the repurcussions that would tragically mar the tale of his rule forevermore.

Whether or not Uzziah was strong, he still had a responsibility to walk in humble obedience to the Lord. I often catch myself forgetting this; unfortunately, I don't catch myself often enough.

Hosea 1:14 - 16
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. It will come about in that day," declares the Lord, "that you will call Me Ishi and will no longer call Me Baali."

Those are not the words of a passive heart, of a passive God. When I think about the gospel, one of the most breathtaking aspects of this glorious truth is how passionately the Lord yearns to draw us near to Him once more. He does so with compassion, a compassion that ties my heart into knots when I think upon it. In Psalm 51 David asks, "according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgression." Nothing I do on my own can make me clean and remove God's righteous wrath from me; yet, it is in the greatness of God's compassion, not His wrath, that I find myself kneeling before Him with fear and trembling.

Despite such great compassion, I often come to the Lord with a sterile, almost clinical type of intimacy; the Lord clearly desires more than that. He calls to His bride, He allures her. I don't know about you, but when I think of how the Lord loves me, it's easy to forget that this great God, this Holy and righteous God of wrath and judgment, is a God who calls to His beloved and allures her. There is no greater love story in all of creation, for no other love story could capture the poignant tragedy and sweetness of the Lord's love for His beloved...for us.

posted by Bolo | 1:04 PM
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