Daily Radio Bible Podcast
Numbers 30-31 and Mark 9. We are reading through the NLT.
Numbers 30 starts with some seemingly obscure instructions on how to be released from a vow or a binding agreement, for a married woman or an unmarried daughter. It was pretty simple. They were to go to their father or husband and let them know of their vow. If they didn’t approve, the husband or Father, had the power to nullify the agreement and release the woman from the vow’s obligations.
In our reading in Mark 9, Jesus gives some very stern and sober warnings on the power of sin, and the extreme measures we are to take, in order to be released from the power of sin and its consequences. Jesus sounds quite ‘Old Testament’ here, when he says,
“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. (Mk 9:43-47).
Jesus is showing us that sin works like an agreement. We make vows, agreements, contractual arrangements, as it were, with our sin. Sin says to the hand, ‘Do this and I’ll reward you with that.’ Sin says to the eye, ‘Do this and I will reward you with that.’ Jesus isn’t advocating mass amputations. He is simply emphasizing, in the strongest language, our deep need to be freed from sins control. Severing our limbs isn’t the answer. Severing the agreements and vows that we have made with the sin, is the answer.
We do that, wonderfully enough, the same way that we see it done in Numbers 30. We go to our Father and we confess the vow that we’ve made with sin – the agreement – the promise - that is ruining our lives. And he, our Father, is the one who can absolve us from the vow. He can break the contract. He frees us from sin’s power and control. It doesn’t happen with magic words. It happens because He has paid the price for our sin. He has met the demands of the vow. He alone has the power to free us from these agreements we’ve made. He, alone, can take those vows and deceitful contracts, and tie them to a millstone and throw them into the sea.
Are you trapped in the grip of sin? Has it reached out and grabbed your hand? Has it laid hold of your foot? Has it captured your eye? Take the deceitful agreements you have made with sin, and bring them to your Father. Confess them to Him. Your confession will not change God’s attitude toward you. Confession doesn’t change God it changes us. Becaue it demonstrates that we are indeed in realtionship with God. We are his, he is our father, and he will never not be our father, regardless of sins committed. He is not seperating himself with you because you have sinned. On the contrary, God has united himself to us, in his incarnation, his death, resurrection and ascention, he once and for all time defeats, sin, death and the grave. Sin blinds our eyes to this new reality that we have been swept up into, and confession is our way of wiping our eyes clear to the truth of our being. On the Cross, Jesus broke the power of those agreements. Let us return to the Father and get see once again, the truth of our being in Christ, and begin again to discover the way of our being...free, alive, hopeful and full of love.
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