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The Pointing of the Finger

July 2, 2019

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The Pointing of the Finger

We’ve seen it.      People want to blame others  and accuse others wrongly.      Sometimes it’s because the accuser is the guilty one,  but is wanting  to  take attention away from himself.      At other times,  it is because of jealousy  and hatred  that they want to tear another person down  unjustly.      Whatever the circumstances,  God does not like unjust  and wrongful accusations.

In Isaiah 58,  God speaks  of how Israel makes out  like they want God  to make just decisions  for them and how Israel pretends  that they like to be near God.      The Israelites complain  because God doesn’t answer their prayers,  as they would like  to have them answered.      But,  God tells about all their hypocrisy  and wickedness  towards their fellow countrymen.

So,  the LORD describes a number of ways  they should change,  in an effort  to show some sincerity.      God said He would answer their prayers  when they would change their ways.      Isaiah 58:9 brings up one very important change  that is needed,

If you remove the yoke  from your midst,
The pointing of the finger,  and speaking wickedness…

The people were so wanting  to pretend they were righteous,  that they were always “pointing the finger”  at others  and blaming others  for wrongs done — even blaming God.      They would never confess  their own unrighteousness,  but always said wicked things  about others.      Somehow,  they imagined  that such finger pointing  would get them off the hook  concerning their own sins.      But,  God cannot be fooled.      He already knows all things.

This very sin — this  pointing of the finger  is what led  to Jesus’  suffering and death  to pay for our sins.     The first part of the account is found  in John 2:18-21,  when the Jews complained  about Jesus’ authority  in cleansing the temple,  in the beginning  of His ministry,

The Jews therefore answered  and said to Him,  “What sign do You show to us,  seeing that You do these things?”

Jesus answered  and said to them,  “Destroy this temple,  and in three days  I will raise it up.”

The Jews therefore said,  “It took forty-six years  to build this temple,  and will You raise it up  in three days?”

But He was speaking  of the temple  of His body.

Then,  when Jesus’ ministry was finished  and He was put on trial,  the accusation is made — the hypocritical  pointing of the finger,  in Matthew 26:59-61,

Now the chief priests  and the whole Council  kept trying to obtain false testimony  against Jesus,  in order that they might put Him  to death;  and they did not find it,  even though many false witnesses came forward.      But later on  two came forward and said,  “This man stated,  ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God  and to rebuild it  in three days.'”

That hypocritical  pointing of the finger  fooled a lot of people  as it twisted  what Jesus had really said.      It took the people’s attention away  from all the miracles  Jesus had performed  and all the truths  He had  spoken  regarding God’s word.     So,  with all their twisted concepts  and misunderstandings  of what was really said,  the people showed their utter disdain  as Jesus hung  on the cross.      In Matthew 27:39-43 we read  of the mockery,

And those who were passing by  were hurling abuse at Him,  wagging their heads,  and saying,  “You who destroy the temple  and rebuild it in three days,  save Yourself!      IF  You are the Son of God,  come down  from the cross.”

In the same way  the chief priests,  along with the scribes and elders,  were mocking Him,  and saying, “He saved others;  He cannot save Himself.      He is the King of Israel;  let Him now come down  from the cross,  and we shall believe in Him.      He trusts  in God;  let Him deliver Him now,  IF He takes pleasure in Him;  for He said,  ‘I am the Son of God.'”

And so it went.      The mockery sounded legitimate  and justified.      But,  the mocking and  pointing of the finger  showed its treachery  after Jesus died.      Those religious leaders had fears  about their lies.      They knew their deception  in twisting Jesus’ words  for the people.      So,  in Matthew 27:62-64,  we read,

Now on the next day,  which is the one after the preparation,  the chief priests  and the Pharisees gathered together  with Pilate,  and said,  “Sir,  we remember that  when He was still alive  that deceiver said,  ‘After three days I am to rise again.’      Therefore,  give orders  for the grave  to be made secure  until the third day,  lest the disciples come  and steal Him away  and say to the people,  ‘He has risen  from the dead,’  and the last deception  will be worse  than the first.”

The grave was sealed  and the guard set.      But,  Jesus arose victorious anyway  because He really is LORD and God over all,  our Savior.      The hypocrisy  and pretentious self-righteousness  of the religious leaders  has been laid bare.      They knew exactly what Jesus meant.      With their deception,  God’s work of salvation was completed  according to Old Testament prophecies.

In other words — God is in control  and knows all things.      His work of salvation  sits in front of us  to accept  or reject.

But,  what will we do about our hypocritical  pointing of the finger?      Let us realize  that we can lay all our sins  on Jesus  through confession  and repentance.      They will all be surely forgiven.      We can know  that Jesus is our righteousness  through faith — just as He said.      He keeps His word.

Giving up our old ways,  we say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord,  save us  and lead us  in Your truths.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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