Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Biblical Pattern of Character

UV 2810/10000 Biblical Pattern of Character
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
Zephaniah 3 v 13

Believers in Jesus will always be a remnant or a residue, a small portion in every nation. Their characteristics are described in this uni-verse: they will not knowingly or wilfully violate the law of the Lord or commit sin. They do not speak lies but only speak the truth with grace. They will not practice deceit or flattery in order to gain anything. They feed on the Word even as sheep graze on the pastures. Their faith is so strong that they are not afraid of anything or anyone. In other words, their struggle with God (the meaning of Israel) had ceased. They quietly yield themselves to the Lord.
Believers in Jesus surrender their lives to Him as we can trust Him. He is our Good and Great Shepherd who can defend us against any attack- the subtle or deceitful as well as the open and savage attack. The characteristics described in the uni-verse are those of Jesus Himself. He stood secure in His faith in the Father. He did not fear death or disease. He did not fear opposition. He did not fear failure. He did not fear poverty. He did not fear slander. He did not fear what evil men could do to Him. He did no iniquity or sin. He fed multitudes not just spiritual bread to satisfy their spiritual hunger for truth, righteousness and salvation but He also fed the physically hungry, demonstrating that He cares for our holistic need, not just the spiritual. He used His tongue wisely, not deceitfully. The words He spoke continue to give eternal life to all who feed on it.
The words “ lie down” means that we find our rest in Jesus. We find peace with God in Him. We are at peace with all others but we are at war with the enemy of our souls. But we do not fear the enemy as he is a defeated foe. He ruled mankind through sin, fear of death and judgement. But Jesus sets us free from the yoke of fear of judgement and death. We no longer have a burden to prove that we are good enough to God as we are clothed with the clothes of salvation provided by the Father in heaven through Jesus- grace and mercy. Yet, we have a responsibility to imitate Jesus, the first born, to be like Him, to represent Him to the rest of mankind, to the lost sheep, to the least of our brothers and sisters. We are anointed to be distinct from the people of the world. The world makes sense to us on account of the word. We are a peculiar people with different values, goals, aspirations from those who are of this world. We are anointed to be priests and kings. As kings, we are fearless as lions. We desire to know more and more of Him who declared Himself and was proved Himself to be the way, the truth and the life. Kings normally seek glory for themselves but we seek the glory of the King of Kings. As priests, our lips and tongues are consecrated to the Lord. We offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. With the same tongue, we cannot lie, deceive, flatter, curse others. Our mouths are to be unadulterated springs of the Lord.
Prateep V Philip

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