Thursday, August 27, 2009

Scarlet Faith… (Hebrews 11:31) 270809

I think I really preached a very good sermon on Sunday. I am still very moved by it. The parable of the Lost Sons (Luke 15:11-32) keeps repeating in my mind. I keep wondering, how could the father welcome and accept his ‘prodigal’ son? After all, this ‘prodigal’ son cursed his father by requesting for his inheritance; this ‘prodigal’ son was not being led astray (at least we are not told by the text), he left his father on his own accord; this supposedly Jewish ‘prodigal’ son was unclean as he had closely associated himself with the pigs; this ‘prodigal’ son did not come to his sense if there was no crisis in his life; and this ‘prodigal’ son had no desire to become a son of his father again, he only wanted to be a servant!

But it was amazing to see how the father welcomed and embraced this ‘prodigal’ son back into his family. Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve his father constant look out for him? No, but the father did it anyway. Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve his father lifting up his robe and expose his leg in disgrace (thought the text didn’t mention this, but I think this is what likely had happened) to run towards him? No, but the father did it anyway. Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve his father hugging him in order to shield him from being stoned by other villagers if they saw him as he deserted his father and being ‘unclean’? No, but the father did it anyway. Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve to be kissed by his father as a sign of welcome? Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve the best robe to cover his ‘unclean’ body? Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve the ring that gives him back his authority? Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve the sandals which only fit the feet of a free man? Did the ‘prodigal’ son deserve the fat calf and enjoy the fellowship with his father once again? No, no, no! But the father did all these for him, anyway! All the ‘prodigal’ son had to do was to ‘return’.

The ‘prodigal’ son had the faith that if he returned, something good will happened to him, though he did not know the extent of it. The prostitute Rahab also knew that if she welcomed the spies of the people of God, she will receive favor from the Lord, though she did not know the extent of it. She became the mother of Boaz, who became the father of Obed, who became the father of Jesse, who became the father of David (Matthew 1:5, 6), and whom the line whereby Jesus Christ the Lord of all our faith came from!

What did Rehab do? She welcomed the spies of Israel and let them went away safely, and clung her hope on a scarlet cord (Joshua 2:18). This was an re-enactment of the Passover. This was a sign of God’s faithfulness in keeping His covenant with His people. With Rehab’s scarlet cord, she and her family was saved from the destruction of Jericho. With the return of the ‘prodigal’ son, he received the full blessing and acceptance from the father. With our faith in Christ’s death on the Cross, we enter into the eternal salvation which He has promised.

We cannot keep the covenant, we cannot keep the promise we make before God; but God is the covenant keeper and He is the One who will make sure the covenant is kept as He make it! God will make sure His promise to us will be fulfilled as we clung on to our scarlet cord with faith.

Do you have dreams or promises from God that yet to be fulfilled? Cling on to the scarlet cord in faith. Do you think you are very far from God and want to return but not knowing how? Hang out your scarlet cord and you will be received.


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