Tuesday, September 11, 2018

True Salvation

“Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of the mountains; truly, in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.” Jeremiah 3:23

Dear Congregation,
      This verse caught my attention recently in my devotions. There is nothing said that shocks us or gives us new information that we never heard before, yet it remains great fuel for meditation. The historical context is the common culture that captivated the minds and hearts of God’s people that caused them to seek worship of other deities or to worship God in ways He did not prescribe. Much of this foreign worship happened on hills and mountains. Thorough reform in Judah would have been accompanied by the dismantling of groves on the hilltops where these practices took place. Imagine how ingrained these cultural practices were that salvation and protection itself was sought for on the mountains instead in the way, truth, and live that was given to them by God. It has occurred to me that while often more subtle, we too seek a salvation from our own cultural hills.

          Humanity has always been captivated more with physical well being than spiritual. Often we can seek a salvation from the mountains and hills of our society. Salvation in health, salvation in finance, salvation in education, salvation in social popularity, salvation in entertainment. As Christians we would deny that any of these things can grant eternal life yet we still bow down to them on their own mountains. Jeremiah had to remind his audience that these hilltops could not save, Paul had to remind his audience that empty obedience could not save, the reformers had to remind their people that saints and indulgences could not save and we have to be reminded much the same, that our own 21st century Gods cannot save.

          Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. We are saved by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. We know our God through His Word alone. It is in him that we can find any stability through the craziness and confusion. Our godly actions come as a result of our salvation, not as a means to an end. In our spiritual practice we must seek Christ, we must embrace His salvation and His promises, we must worship him in spirit and in truth. We must remember that our only hope is in trusting him through challenges. Our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. May we not be enticed by the immediate gratification of hills and mountains where there is no eternal salvation. The true way and the good way is the rest of the Gospel!
In Christ,
Pastor Basile