God's Wrath and Outstretched Hand
5/11 Reading Portions: Numbers 20; Psalms 58-59; Isaiah 9:8-10:4; James 3
For all this His anger has not turned away, and His hand is stretched out still. Isaiah 10:4
The holy anger of God is what each one of us deserves. Today’s readings from Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s scheduled portions should humble us to this truth. In Numbers 20, Moses, the most holy man upon the planet at the time, who spoke with the pre-incarnate Christ face to face (Ex 33:11), disobeyed God in his anger and struck the Rock twice when he was told to speak with it. In Psalms 58 and 59, we read the imprecatory words of the Scripture and must face the reality of our depravity. We “go astray from birth, speaking lies” (Psa 58:3); and apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ, we “have venom like the venom of a serpent” (Psa 58:4). As a prophet, David speaks rightly of the wicked when he prays to God to “consume them in wrath: consume them till they are no more, that they may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth” (Psa 59:13). Even James, writing to those saved by grace, reminds us, “For we all stumble in many ways” (Jas 3:2).
Because of all this, God’s anger has not turned away. God is holy and just; and because we have sinned against an infinite God, our sins are infinitely heinous. God’s solution is the holiness, innocence and righteousness of His only begotten Son. Although Jesus laid down His life on a tree of wood at a particular moment in history, because He died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, the reality Christ’s sacrifice to those who believe is an eternal reward. Therefore, His hand of mercy, through faith in Christ’s death upon the cross, His resurrection, and ascension, is stretched out still until the Lord Jesus returns.
Moreover, as His hand of mercy is stretched out still, Christ’s gospel is the very heart and soul of redeemed sinners saved by grace, unto Christ’s exaltation and the Father’s ultimate glory.
The gospel is the heart and soul
Of children saved by grace;
God’s glory is its utmost goal:
Its witness is its place.
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