The Wilderness and Providence – Day 4

“But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.” ~Leviticus 16:10 (NIV)

“But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be set alive before Jehovah, to make atonement for him, to send him away for Azazel into the wilderness.” ~Leviticus 16:10 (ASV)

Today’s verse comes from Leviticus chapter 16 which is titled “Day of Atonement.” The Day of Atonement as known as Yom Kippur, it is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. The significance of Atonement is for personal and national sins, fate of each person is sealed for the upcoming year. Yom Kippur 2018 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, September 18th and ends in the evening of Wednesday, September 19th. I would recommend reading Leviticus 16 if you have never read it, very detailed and interesting rules the Israelites had to follow for the atonement of sin as directed by God. God had provided a way for the Israelites to be reconciled to Him and to let go of the weight of their sins. The word “Azazel” in Hebrew scripture is literally “scapegoat.” The scapegoat would take the sins of the people into the wilderness where they were first removed from the community, and for forgiveness and they were forgotten. Later in the story, God provides the “scapegoat” 2 Corinthians 5:19, “ that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And ha has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” In essence, our sins have been carried into the wilderness

I am reminded of this weeks concentration on “wilderness” and “providence” the scripture verse today tells us of wilderness, the place where in the Old Testament sins were carried away into the wilderness by a scapegoat and were not remembered by God. As Christians today we have the same assurances from God, and how interesting that Jesus went into the wilderness to prepare for His ministry and was tested by satan and was victorious. Jesus knew that His life, death and resurrection would fulfill the “Day of Atonement” as He knowingly accepted the role of “scapegoat” for the sins of all people and that once sins were confessed with sincere repentance would be remembered no more. If fact the Bible tells us in Psalm 103:12, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Everyday is a new day to start with a clean slate with a renewed spirit. The sins of yesterday once repented should not be carried into the new day. God does not remember our sins and collect them on a board, just as the song and the Bible tells us our sins are as far as the east is from the west, they are forgiven and forgotten.
1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”
Question of the day: Is there a sin or mistake you are carrying with you?
Breath Prayer: Lord, I am a sinner, have mercy on me.
~Blessings and Peace~