Today in God’s Word
Numbers 30; Psalm 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3
“12 In that day the Lord GOD of hosts called for weeping and mourning, for baldness and wearing sackcloth; 13 and behold, joy and gladness, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 14 The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears: “Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,” says the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Isaiah 22:12–14, ESV)
Jerusalem was under siege by Assyria and the people of Israel were trusting in human effort to resist and God was calling them to repentance and to brokenness. The response of the people is to ignore God and to presume that he is powerless and they seem settled to enjoy whatever fleeting thing they can as they perceive no hope beyond what they have immediate control over. They throw a party instead of repenting.
Paul refers to this exact thing in 1 Cor 15:32 when he considers the radical implications that would apply if Christ had actually not raised from the dead. Paul quotes Isaiah, using the same phrase, and in doing so he declares that without a resurrection we have no hope in God and we are on our own and that there would be no reason at all to follow the precepts that we thought were from God. In fact, we would be best served to ignore him by seeking whatever fleeting pleasure we could find. If Christ is not raised, then the people of Israel were right in their eating and drinking as Jerusalem was attacked.
His point is not to do this but it is to highlight the importance of the resurrection and the exceeding value of its historical truth. If Christ is not who he claimed then we are lost! Our entire hope is upon his identity and his work. The sub-point here is that there is no redeeming value in God’s precepts separate from the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. God has not written a book of morality or a manual for getting the most out of life…he wrote a revelation of himself and his plan of redemption in the person of Jesus Christ and it would be meaningless without a risen savior. Let us never reduce the Word of God to moral principles, because Christ-less Christianity is worth-less.
Soli Deo Gloria!