2/17/16: The Fire is Still Burning
While reading through Leviticus, all the talk of the sacrifices can get a little tedious and confusing. Bring a bull, bring a lamb, bring a ram, or sacrifice a turtledove. I began to sympathize with the priests who had to keep all the rules straight and deal with all that killing and blood every day. Somebody was sinning all the time so there would be a steady stream of forgiveness-seekers traipsing in and out of the temple. What a job.
Then I got to Leviticus 6:13 which says, “A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out” (NKJ). This one little verse caused me to shift my focus from the priests to the Pardoner. Sure, it cost the sinner the price of his offering, and it cost the priest the time and energy of the ritual, but it cost those animals their very lives, and it ultimately cost God His Son in order to forgive our sins. The “trouble” on our part to come and ask for forgiveness is well overshadowed by God’s amazing love to always be there to give it. The fire on the altar was always burning, indicating God’s open arms of invitation for us to ask for the forgiveness we so desperately need.
The Psalmist says, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’– and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah” Psalm 32:5 (NIV). The Hebrew word for ‘confess’ in this verse is ‘yadah’, here used to mean “to bemoan by wringing the hands, to cast out.” In the New Testament, the Apostle John tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” I John 1:9 (NKJ). The Greek word for confess used here is ‘homologeo’ meaning “to assent or acknowledge.”
Unlike Old Testament times, we no longer have to bring bulls, goats, rams, and turtledoves, but we are still required to confess—to acknowledge by being truly sorry and by being intent on turning away from—our sins. When we do so, we will find our loving Father is still “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Approach the throne today with true confession.
Thank God, the fire is still burning.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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