Treasure Your Heritage
Lord, open my heart to hear and through Your Word to me draw near. Let me always keep Your Word as my greatest treasure. Bless my fellow believers and me today as we celebrate Your Word and rejoice in the rich blessing it brings. Amen.
God told Moses to divide the children of Israel into two groups—six tribes on Mount Gerizim to bless the people and six tribes on Mount Ebal to curse the people. These are the words of curses from Mt. Ebal.
Because God’s Law condemns us in our sin, our sinful self looks for ways around that condemnation. No one likes to be condemned. One of the ways around God’s condemnation is to assume that if we get “close enough” that is all we need to do. This approach incorrectly assumes that close is good enough and it still comes down to work righteousness and trying to earn God’s favor by what we can accomplish.
Another attempt to get around God’s condemnation is to approach it in a dismissive way by pretending that the condemnation isn’t really there, or that God doesn’t really view sin quite as seriously as all of that. This approach soft-peddles the Law. This also takes the Gospel for granted by assuming that whatever we do will be forgiven through Christ because with Jesus it doesn’t matter anymore what God says in terms of His Law. However, a “gospel” that comes without the Law is not God’s Gospel because unless we have the Law that condemns us in our sin and shows us our needs for a Savior, we’re not ready to hear the precious news about our Savior. Without a knowledge of sin, there is no reason to love Jesus as our greatest treasure.
Our second Scripture reading addresses the neglect of God’s grace that would assume that because Jesus came it doesn’t matter if we continue in sin.
Because we have enjoyed our heritage of truth in such rich supply, there is a temptation to forget the preciousness of that truth. We have now imagined what it would be like if there were no Gospel at all and if there were a false Gospel. Having imagined the destructiveness of those falsehoods, we now turn to see the truth of our heritage with a better understanding.