Reflections

beholding as in a mirror

Evil is increasing and many are falling away from YHVH’s commands.  Corruption, violence and immorality are becoming more the norm than the exception.  The time for judgment is fast approaching for this world.   What is our attitude towards the evil and the sinful people around us? What should our response be as we await YHVH’s impending judgment?

In Genesis 19:16:33, YHVH reveals to Abraham His concerns about two particularly sinful cities.  Abraham’s response was not to become self-righteous because he did not live in either of those cities, nor did he point an accusing finger and judge the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah.  He does not ask YHVH to change His commandments.  Abraham instead pleads for mercy on behalf of those who are righteous in the midst of so much evil.  YHVH agrees that if ten men can be found who are righteous, then He will reconsider His course of action towards Sodom and Gomorrah.

What is our attitude toward those who engage in corruption, violence or immorality today?  Do we recall that from YHVH’s perspective all sin is an abomination?  Does that include us?  “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  We should never condone or excuse sin.  However, our first priority is to check ourselves for sin (Matt 7:5).  We may not be engaged in violent acts or dishonest dealings with others, but do we fail to forgive others?  Do we reach out to others to warn them in love to turn back to YHVH or do we shun those who might be saved?  Do we reach out to the poor and needy around us or do we shut ourselves away from their misery?

Yeshua came to the earth the first time to pay the debt for our sinfulness and restore us to relationship to YHVH.  He has given us His Holy Spirit and the means to be freed from bondage to Satan.  He is restoring us to the dignity that humans once had before Adam and Eve sinned.  Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth and were to be subject only to YHVH. Humans were created in YHVH’s image and are intended to reflect His glory.   If we are now free from the bonds of Satan and are restored to our former position as managers over the earth, then are we not to some degree accountable for its present condition?  It is true that other people have just as much right as we do to make their own decisions.  Nevertheless, it is our duty to reach out to others in love just as Yeshua reached out to us in our sinfulness.  In Matthew 28:18-19, Yeshua states, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…”  These are the marching orders and first priority of those who have been accepted into YHVH’s kingdom.”  Where does this command fall in our personal list of priorities?

Some of us sin by making excuses about being a lowly sinner.  Many of us grew up or are currently in congregations that fostered this attitude of helplessness.  We are worms or larvae who never develop into butterflies, but are doomed to remain worms while we are on this earth.  We never seem to throw off our own sinfulness and allow ourselves to be transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit just as a butterfly is formed in its chrysalis.  How can we expect to help others to throw off their mantles of sin and corruption if we won’t even help ourselves?

In Ezekiel 3:17-18, YHVH appoints Ezekiel as watchman over Israel.  If Ezekiel failed to warn others of their sins and the impending consequences, then he would be just as liable for their sins as they are.  Likewise, we are appointed to the same task today.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh (Jude 1:20-23).

On Judgment Day, will we be rewarded or punished for our attitude and behavior towards others?  Are we living up to Yeshua’s standards and expectations?  Are we a true reflection of YHVH’s glory?

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