Counting Down to Atonement Day

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Some people seem to be counting down to Judgment Day but in our family we count down to Atonement Day (Yom Kippur).  We prefer to look forward to the times that God said mattered rather than getting caught up in man made ideas and fears about what might happen.

For those who have never heard of Yom Kippur here’s the short version.

After spending a month or so engrossed in self-examination and repentance everyone comes together as a community to reflect on the the promise that our sins shall be made as white as snow if we are willing to reason with our Creator.

Come now, and let us reason together, says HaShem; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 18.1

I’d like to tell you all that the idea is completely unique to Judaism but the truth is that God himself instituted the whole thing. He even had it written down so we could read it for ourselves.  You can find it in Vayikra (Leviticus) chapter 23 right around verse 27 or so.

The idea is pretty simple.  Sadly many good people have dismissed this as being something that is old fashioned or no longer needed.  In fact many of our beloved Christian friends insist that their Jesus has done away with the “law”.

At first glance this would be wonderful.  We could all do anything we liked because we would have ZERO consequences.  But when we stop and think through this idea there are a few challenges. The first being what we find written in Matthew chapter 5: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass , one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Unless something has changed in the last few minutes of history the lion does not lay down with the lamb.  There is not world peace.  No one is ruling from a throne in Jerusalem.  This means that all has not been fulfilled.

Another thought to consider is if the “law” was done away with then why does anyone need a Redeemer?  After all, the “law” defines sin.  Without it we have nothing by which to be judged thus no need for a Redeemer.

Interestingly enough, most of our Christian loved ones insist that much of what is found in the “law” is indeed valid for today.  For example,

  • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 1.1
  • If you do good, you will have good.  Also known as you reap what you sow. Gen 4.7
  • God shows mercy to those who love him. Ex 20.6
  • God shows mercy to those who love him and obey him. Deut. 5.10
  • We are to love the LORD our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might. Deut. 6.5
  • God loves us. Deut. 7.7
  • God will love us and bless us. Deut. 7.13
  • God is our life. Deut. 30.20
  • God will fight for us – we don’t have to. Ex. 14.14
  • God will give us peace. Lev. 26.6, Deut. 6.26
  • God even gives a covenant of peace. Num. 25.12
  • We can expect a long, full life. Gen 6.3
  • God fills us with His spirit. Ex. 28.3, 31.3, 35.31, Num. 11.29, 27.28
  • We can pray and ask God for forgiveness – and He will forgive us. Ex. 10.17, 32.32, Num. 30.5
  • His people will have no lack. Deut. 8.9
  • We can overcome. Num. 13.30
  • God created every living creature. Gen. 1.21
  • The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise. Gen. 9.12
  • God will give us rest from our enemies. Deut. 25.19
  • God will set you in praise, fame and honor Deut. 26.19
  • You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.Deut. 28.3
  • Your children will be blessed. Deut. 28.4
  • God will grant you abundant prosperity Deut. 28.11
  • God will make you the head, not the tail. Deut. 28.13
  • God will send a blessing on everything you put your hand to. Deut. 28.8

If the “law” has been done away with so have all of these things because they are all part of the “law”.   I guess God was right when He said:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge . . . Hosea 4.6

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