Monday, September 13, 2010

Eating the Good of the Land

“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Is. 1:19-20)

The invitation to follow Jesus, to submit to Him, to obey Him, is an invitation to eat the good of the land. It may not always seem like that, but God’s way is always the way of blessings and life. Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you. Jesus even says, Assuredly I say to you, that there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for my sake and the gospel’s sake who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life. Jesus invites us to His table, and His table is a feast of torn flesh and shed blood. Jesus calls us to partake of His sacrifice, to take up His cross and to follow Him. But He calls us to see this cross as the way to victory; He calls us to taste this cup which was wrath for Him and may be suffering for us, but if follow Him, we will eat the good of the land. The great irony is that if we do not partake of this feast, if we do not partake of the good land in faith, the warning is that we will be devoured, eaten by the sword of judgment. Obedience to Jesus means embracing His cross, and eating the good of the land. Disobedience and rebellion means being struck down. Of course the world offers their rival feasts: the communion and fellowship meals of popularity, respectability, beauty, or wealth. Those meals go down sweet; they pretend to offer the good of the land. But they are lies, and at the end of those paths is sadness and pain. Jesus doesn’t promise us a painless and easy life; but He promises resurrection life. He promises that as we give our lives away, as we follow Him, He will share His Resurrection Life with us in this life, and in the life to come Resurrection Life in absolute fullness. If you obey, you shall eat the good of the land. So come in faith, not fearing or worrying but believing.

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