God’s love and wrath.

Unlike God’s love and hate which are mutually exclusive meaning you are either loved by election in Christ or hated in reprobation outside Christ, God’s love and wrath may exist simultaneously.

We know assuredly from Scripture that the trinity is the repository of eternal love between Father and Son by the Spirit and that God’s people because they are in Christ, are taken into this covenant of love. But we were by nature children of wrath (before conversion) and if we backslide as believers we become subject to his wrath and chastening (Psalms 6:1, 38:1). God’s wrath is his implacable hatred of sin (Romans 1:18) and therefore the reprobate have this wrath abiding on them (John 3:36). Believers pre-conversion and who fall post-conversion are subjects of his temporary wrath.

Christ, the object of God’s eternal love became, during his lifetime and especially on the cross, the object of God’s (temporary) wrath.

God, who is a consuming holy fire (Heb.12:29) consumes sin by the Spirit as Christ suffers and dies, then as that sanctifying power is applied to us, he consumes sin in us throughout our life and especially when we die and enter glory. The sin of the wicked condemns them to the fire of his wrath eternally which never goes out because that sin was never propitiated (atoned for).

His love which is his nature and his wrath which naturally follows from his holiness are both to be praised and glorified by us his people.

Interestingly the burning bush, aflame but not consumed, is the symbol of many presbyterian denominations and depicts the church. We are aflame with his imputed holiness and are the light of the world but we are never consumed.

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The Sacrifices (6)

Sung Psalm 50:7-14 (v8)

Reading Leviticus 1

The offerings

Burnt Offering

Meal offering (only stages 1,5,6-see previous posts)

Peace Offering

Sin Offering

Trespass Offering

The Burning

Wood was used and the ashes were put in a pit to the right of the altar and later taken outside the camp (Lev.6:10,11). Later we read of wood being brought by people, priests or Levites according to lot (Neh.10:34, 13:31)

The priests tended the fire.

Source of the fire? In a few instances God (9:24) and it was kept going.

What was burnt? All but the skin of the burnt offering. All but crop and feathers of a bird burnt. In certain offerings parts were burnt outside the camp.

Who cuts up or washes the offering? The offeror “he” (vv 5,6,8,9,12).

Where was the washing of legs and innards done? Unclear.

Priests lay parts on altar.

All the burnt offerings are called a “sweet savour”, the smoke of which ascended to heaven as a type of Christ’s propitiation who offered himself as a sweet savour (Gen. 8:21, Eph.5:2) having consecrated (set himself apart) to God (John 17:19, Heb.9:14) with the eternal spirit acting like the flame. In a secondary or derived manner Christians are living sacrifices (Rom.12:1,2) and a savour among other people (II Cor.2:14-16). What made the smell of a burning animal, a type of Christ sweet was the fact it represented the willing and loving obedience of the Saviour.

Our God is a consuming fire (Heb.12:29), the sacrifice of Christ consumes the sins of all the elect, whereas the sins of the wicked go on burning them up for ever (Mark 9:44).

Temperance in all things

 

If the athlete has to be self-controlled and temperate in all things (food, sleep, physical training) then even more so should the Christian believer be temperate in all things and keep under, nay mortify, his body of sin (sinful flesh).

 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (I Corinthians 9:24-27).

John Gill is good: Commentary (v24)

Second marriages

Malachi warns people that if they are unrepentant, divorced and remarried their worship is unacceptable to God.

 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out (the tears of the abandoned spouse and children-JK), insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant (Malachi 2;13,14). Futhermore marrying for a second time while the first spouse lives is adultery (Matthew 5:31, Romans 7:2,3) and adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor.6:9). How many friends, even among professing Christians do you know in this position?

Psalm 133

I’ve often wondered why Christian love and unity was compared with Aaron’s anointing or the dew of Hermon. Here are my insights plus that of the great commentator John Gill.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalm 133.

Christian love from our anointing is a public demonstration (John 13:34,35) and personal reassurance of one’s calling (I John 2:27). In Christ we are all anointed as prophets, priests and kings so as to minister to each other. Christian fellowship, like the oil, is precious and refreshing like the dew to invigorate.

“David means the superior aperture of the garment, that which we call the neck or collar band; This anointing oil was typical of the grace of the Spirit, the unction from the Holy One; which has been poured on Christ, the head of the church, without measure; and with which he has been anointed above his fellows; and from him it is communicated to all his members (I John 2:27); to every one of which is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ; and who from his fullness receive, and grace for grace: and particularly brotherly love is compared to this ointment; because of the preciousness of it, which is true of every grace; and because of the extensiveness of it, reaching to head and members, to Christ and all his saints, the meanest and lowest of them; and because of its fragrancy and sweet odour to all that are sensible of it; and because of its delightful, cheering, and refreshing nature; like ointment and perfume it rejoices the heart; yea, the worst things said, or reproofs given, in brotherly love, are like oil, pleasant and useful, ( Proverbs 27:9 ) ( Psalms 141:5) ; and is as necessary for the saints, who are all priests unto God, to offer up their spiritual sacrifices; particularly that of prayer, which should be “without wrath”, as well as without doubting; and to do all other duties of religion, which should spring from charity or love; as the anointing oil was to Aaron and his sons, in order to their officiating in the priest’s office.” John Gill

The Sacrifices (5)

Sung Psalm 84:1-6

Reading Leviticus 1

Having discussed the first three stages in offering namely 1)presentation, 2)laying on hands and 3) slaughter we come to 4) application (of the blood).

APPLICATION Means Places (primarily to atone) Places/people (secondarily to sanctify)
  Sprinkling (even 7 times) altar (5)

horns (4)

people
  Smearing Incense altar(3) tabernacle
  Pouring mercy seat (1)*  
    Veil (2)

*order of holiness Note frequency of blood application is less the holier the place.

 

 

God is omnipresent in all these places but especially in the holy of holies, but also at the altar (Ex.20:24-26, Lev.17:11).

The application of the blood in all these ways is to atone for sin i.e. It is propitiation God-wards. This is redemption accomplished. Redemption applied (sanctification) towards the people is spoken of in 1 Peter 1:2 as it also was on the Israelite doorposts at the Exodus. All the stages of sacrificing are Godward except the last one-eating. Check the reality of Eph.5:2 (burning) and Heb.9:14 (where both accomplishment and application are spoken of).

With the burnt offering (Lev.1:5,11,15, 3:2,8,13) the blood was applied on and around the altar, with sin offering for the priest it was applied before the veil and upon the horns of the altar of incense (Lev.4:6,7, 16,17,25,30) and in same way for the people, a ruler or a common person. The day of atonement saw blood sprinkled on mercy seat and before mercy seat (Lev.16:14,15).

Lessons for us:

  • Blood sacrifice in the O.T. typified the accomplishment of redemption by Christ and the application of the blood typified the application of that redemption in every aspect of salvation.
  • Redemption by Christ’s blood is accomplished at the cross and applied by the Spirit.
  • God is so holy, the only way he can be approached by sinful man is by blood atonement (and that had to be Christ’s).
  • God is so holy all our worship and prayer need sanctified by Christ’s blood.
  • The different sacrifices all teach something different about our approach to God.

Blessing

What more could a human being want than the blessing of God?

 

Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.

The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.

He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great.

 The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children.

 Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth.

 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord‘s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

 The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.

But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 115.

The Sacrifices (4)

Sung Psalm 44:17-26

Reading    Revelation 5

The place of slaughter of the sacrifices was in the court of the tabernacle or inner temple court on the north side of the altar (Lev. 1:11, 4:24,29. 7:2)

Compare this with the pagan practices adopted by apostate Israel in Isaiah 57:5. Ezekiel 16:20,21, 23:29 where offerings were made under shady green trees and children were sacrificed below rock cliffs. This idolatrous self-centred will worship was totally devoid of any true atonement for sin rendered to God.

So in the days of the typical animal sacrifice the death of the animal was substitutionary (Gen. 22:13, Ex.32:32, Is.53:10) and penal (Ezek. 18:4, Rom.6:23).

The reality, the death of Christ, had a time of presentation where he was exonerated by Pilate (John 18:38), the laying of the sins of all the elect on him (Is.53:6, II Cor.5:21) and his slaying (Is.53:7, Rev. 5:6,9,12 and 13:8). Note that in God’s eternal ever-living present tense he was slain before time!

His death earned (according to these verses):

  • The redemption of all the elect
  • His rule of heaven and earth (the opening of the decree of God in the sealed book)
  • The worship of all creation

Who else is slaughtered?

God’s saints through the ages in persecution (Ps.44:22, Rom. 8:36)-we may be too!

What sacrifices do we offer as his children?

  • Praise and thanks (Heb.13:15, Ps.69:13)
  • A broken spirit (Ps.51)
  • Doing good and giving (Heb.13:16)
  • Our lives (Rom.12:1)

After all that he has done this is the least we can do!

Psalm 90

Despite the brevity of life, for the believer it is dwelt in God and he in us (the covenant).
Psalm 90 (John Gill commentary)
Psalm 90:9
“For all our days are passed away in thy wrath.
The life of man is rather measured by days than by months or years; and these are but few, which pass away or “decline” as the day does towards the evening; see ( Jeremiah 6:4 ) or “turn away their face”, as the word may be rendered: they turn their backs upon us, and not the face to us; so that it is a hard thing to get time by the forelock; and these, which is worst of all, pass away in the “wrath” of God. This has a particular reference to the people of Israel in the wilderness, when God had swore in his wrath they should not enter into the land of Canaan, but wander about all their days in the wilderness, and be consumed there; so that their days manifestly passed away under visible marks of the divine displeasure; and this is true of all wicked men, who are by nature children of wrath, and go through the world, and out of it, as such: and even it may be said of man in general; the ailments, diseases, and calamities, that attend the state of infancy and youth; the losses, crosses, and disappointments, vexations and afflictions, which wait upon man in riper years; and the evils and infirmities of old age, do abundantly confirm this truth: none but God’s people can, in any sense, be excepted from it, on whom no wrath comes, being loved with an everlasting love; and yet these, in their own apprehensions, have frequently the wrath (anger-JK) of God upon them, and pass many days under a dreadful sense of it:”
Prayer- Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. (vv.16,17