Proverbs 16-18, Psalm 3
They say that the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed. We read in Proverbs 16:6,”In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.” The truth is we all sin, and it is this sin that separates us from a perfect God. Unless this sin is paid for we have no hope, for we read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Notice in Proverbs 16:6 that mercy comes first. Charles Spurgeon said, “God’s mercy is so great that you may sooner drain the sea of its water, or deprive the sun of its light , or make space too narrow, than diminish the great mercy of God.” Though God’s mercy has no limits, often times the mercy extended by man does. God in His limitless mercy provided His solution while we were still sinning. We read in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We should be very careful about spouting out what we consider true if we are not going to accompany those comments with mercy. May we never forget that mercy and truth is completely embodied in the Person of Jesus Christ. May we never forget what this mercy cost our Savior as we read in Isaiah 53:4-5, “Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” This is the Atonement which was stated in the Old Testament but was fulfilled in the New Testament when Jesus took our sins with Him to the cross.
So with this amazing offer from God, why doesn’t everyone accept His free gift of Atonement, “And by the fear of the Lord one departs evil.”? We read the problem in Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” The problem is that most don’t think that they are doing anything wrong and therefore don’t require God’s or for that matter anyone’s mercy. For most, truth is what they decide is truth. Living in a world filled with moral relativism and political correctness, many are careful not to speak in moral absolutes for someone might be offended. This is the problem, our opinion is absolutely unimportant, His truth is all that counts. We also read in this chapter, in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” Unless one humbles oneself, repentance is impossible. Without repentance, atonement is impossible. May we be rich in mercy and armed with the truth, and boldly reach out with love to a world who has no hope unless they are willing to humble themselves and accept Jesus’ gift of salvation.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: