SUNDAY, MARCH 8
Scripture: Deuteronomy 19:1-13, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
Deuteronomy 19:1-13 shows us exactly how God feels about nations that fill their land with innocent blood. In Deuteronomy, he destroyed them. In Deuteronomy 19, the Israelites were commanded to set aside three cities as cities of refuge. The issue in a city of refuge was verses 10-13, “…lest innocent blood be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and thus guilt of bloodshed be upon you. But if anyone hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises against him and strikes him mortally, so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him over to the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.” The Blood Avenger in the New Testament is Jesus. He is the Blood Avenger of the New Covenant. We know that is true for 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.” Jesus is both Lord/koo-re-os and Savior/chris-tos, and in this verse we see Koo-re-os. Unless we cut 1 Thessalonians out of the New Testament, we see the Blood Avenger alive, well and ready to act on our behalf. It was sexual sin that caused zah-ak in the Old Testament, and it is the same in the New. That has not changed. Jesus is the Blood Avenger in the New Covenant and the same issues that bring judgment in the Old bring judgment in the New. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That is obvious. Now the real question is a very simple one – what are we going to do in preparation to walk in the way of the Lord so we might save the righteous and ultimately save the land? Are we ready for this? God is.