Happy New Year! What a great way to begin 2020, as we Consider Him Who Brings Back the Banished…
“For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him,” (14:14).
If we fixate on man, we will lose heart. Joab deceptively devises a scheme to turn the king’s heart for political gain. David still grieves, yet cannot forgive. Absalom has convinced himself murder is justified and he bears no guilt.
But there in the midst of it all, in the midst of man’s deception, grief, unforgiveness and pride, we see Him, Him Who Brings Back the Banished.
Consider Him Who Brings Back the Banished
The Law explicitly required the death penalty for premeditated murder
“He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. 13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. 14 If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die,” (Exodus 21:12-14).
And yet the hired woman appealed to King David on the basis of God’s mercy rather than His judgment. She turned David’s attention to Him Who Brings Back the Banished.
“Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him,” (2 Samuel 14:14).
Scripture clearly describes all men and women as born into sin, banished from experiencing life and fellowship with Holy God.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).
For the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23).
It began in the Garden of Eden…
…therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life, (Genesis 3:23-24).
And there is nothing in and of ourselves to Bring Us Back from His Banishment…
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
3 They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one, (Psalm 14:2-3).
For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; (Isaiah 64:6).
Scripture also turns our attention towards His mercy rather than His judgment, clearly declaring He saves us and Brings Us Back out of His great mercy and grace.
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life, (Titus 3:5-7).
And in His great mercy and grace…
- He Brings Back the Banished that they may have life.
- So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” (John 10:7-10).
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
- He Brings Back the Banished that they may experience His Presence.
- You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever, (Psalm 16:11).
- But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:18-19).
- You will make known to me the path of life;
- He Brings Back the Banished through faith in the crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
- “… let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead— …11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:10-12).
How do we respond to Him Who Brings Back the Banished?
When we repent and place our faith in the sacrifice Jesus endured on the cross, He Brings Us Back to His life and presence.
Are you certain you are His, Brought Back to Him? Don’t let another day pass without the assurance of your salvation. Today you can repent and turn from sin to God, as you trust Him Who Brings Back the Banished. (There would be no better way to begin a new year!)
When we place our faith in Jesus, we are adopted into His family as His child. And as His children, we are called to bear the family resemblance. The New Testament also redirects us towards God’s mercy; and we are to interact with others in the same way He has dealt with us.
For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment, (James 2:13).
As we ponder the great mercy of Him Who Brings Back the Banished, how can we not show mercy to others? Let us choose to live by His grace, overflowing with gratitude and love that others would know we belong to Him, and perhaps also be drawn to His great grace and mercy.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:34-35).