Early Morning Smoke
1/18 Reading Portions: Genesis 19; Matthew 18; Nehemiah 8; Acts 18
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And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. Genesis 19:28
Abraham was a man of faith, believing God’s promise, and God accounted Abraham’s belief as righteousness (Gen 15:6). This is an exact representation of the redeemed sinner saved by grace— we believe in God’s promise of salvation through Jesus Christ and God counts our faith as righteousness (Rom 4:23-25). Therefore, we should likewise glean from Abraham’s prophetic example. We should arise daily to meet with God, just as “Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD” (Gen 19:27). Regardless of what time of day it is because of various hours and shifts one may work, we should spend the first part of our waking moments with God.
While with God, our attention should be drawn immediately to the smoke of His judgment (he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah). How so? We should immediately be brought to the judgment received by our Lord Jesus Christ when He suffered upon the cross— as the Burnt Offering, suffering God’s wrath for sins (Eph 5:2) He did not commit (2 Cor 5:21). We should consider at least three things when meditating upon the fragrant smoke of God’s judgment: “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret” (2 Cor 7:10).
Remorse. We should grieve over sin in general, which demands God’s justice for its offense against His holy nature and character.
Repentance. It should produce in us repentance for our own shameful sins committed against the supreme and superlative goodness of God; for it took nothing less than the Son of God becoming a Man to suffer for our sins so we may be pardoned.
Rejoice. How then could we not rejoice in the grace of God which begets so great a salvation? There should be no regret for God’s gifts of faith and repentance, and no lusting for the former sins, as did Lot’s wife (Gen 19:26); for the repentance produced by godly sorrow lauds God’s grace and exalts Jesus Christ to the Father’s great glory. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
The holy judgment of the LORD
Dispens’d on Jesus Christ
Is a sweet savor to our God
Through perfect sacrifice.
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