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March 13, Day #73 – The Unfailing Love of God

Our readings today reflect the complete, unfailing love of God for us beyond all our capacity for understanding. From eternity past, God designed and planned to remove us from our slavery to sin unto a place of freedom, fellowship, rejoicing, and service unto Him. I am amazed how post-modern man fights so strongly against the unfailing love of God to liberate him from his bondage. In Leviticus 25:1–26:13, we see for the Israelites the institution of the Sabbath Year, the Year of Jubilee, and various, tangible blessings (or curses) for national obedience (or disobedience) to God. In God’s plan, the Sabbath Year was designed to give the land itself a rest every seventh year (cf., verse 4). And then, after every forty-nine years, the entire nation was to enjoy a full year of jubilee – “proclaim liberty throughout the land, and everyone is to return to his own property” (verses 8-13). The year of jubilee was a year of release, redemption, and return – slaves would be released, all property would be redeemed, and it would return to its original owner. The Lord promised “such a blessing in the sixth year that the land would yield enough for three years” (verse 21). How gracious was our God toward the Israelites! Yet, the Israelites even rebelled against this grace. Later, for failing to honor the Sabbath Year, they were uprooted and went into exile (cf., 2 Chronicles 36:15-21). In Leviticus 26, we see God’s promises of rewards or punishments for Israel’s conduct. From this section, we learn several important lessons: (1) God’s will is central to all of man’s activities, and He will definitely accomplish His will – it is unstoppable. In this brief section, God says “I will …” no less than thirty-three times! (2) This section contains at least five degrees or levels of curses, judgment, and punishment for Israel’s national disobedience. We can say that the only result of national disobedience is national chaos and disaster. (3) Finally, on behalf of Israel (and us), Jesus bore all these curses on Himself at the cross. We should recognize, in principle, that God has no reason to withhold from us the same judgments, curses, and punishments for our own national sins.

Ps 33:1-11 tells us that it is “fitting for the upright to praise” God (verse 1). In verse 5, we read that “the earth is full of His unfailing love.” God’s love for us cannot fail, but in our culture today, many people find it hard to believe that God loves us. How tragic! The evidence for God’s love toward us is overwhelming. Not only does He provide sufficient air, water, food, protection, and so many other good things for us every day, but also He gives us the daily strength and ability to manage our needs for air, water, and food. What if He were a God Who required us to create our own air or find our own supply of food and water? This is not a bizarre thought; in our country, we need to be reminded that many people all over the rest of the world actually struggle for breath, for clean drinking water, for wholesome food, or even for a good night’s sleep. Think about it, and then thank God for what He’s given us.

In Mark 16, we come to the resurrection of Jesus. Ordinarily, the resurrection of a life from the dead would be a bizarre thought – who would believe it? Three times in this chapter, Mark tells us that the disciples didn’t believe it (verses 11, 13, and 14). Indeed, it is unbelievable, but it is true. We notice that Mark begins the chapter with a significant message – “The Sabbath was over” (verse 1). Did you catch that? The Sabbath is over. Resurrection Day is far more important and now outshines the Sabbath. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, God certifies and validates His entire eternal plan – confirming His sovereign power to provide not only resurrection life for His Son, but also He guarantees His promise of resurrection and eternal life to us. Praise God for His plan and His power – the resurrection is true!

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