Encouragement for your daily walk with God
When John, the Forerunner, was born, his father Zechariah burst out in prophetic song. It was a song of salvation [see Luke 1:68-79]. Salvation, what a great word! In its most reduced form, it means to be delivered from some clear and present danger — to be rescued from a threat or calamity, as we read in Psalm 107.
In one sense, when Jesus healed the sick and broken, He “saved” them. It was salvation from their physical bondage. As a matter of fact, the English word salve has the same root as salvation.
For the most part, though, Christ followers think about salvation from the standpoint of God’s judgment or wrath against sin. And in all honesty, it’s impossible to grasp the biblical concept of salvation unless we come to grips with the reality of God’s wrath. As the writer of Hebrews points out, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” [10:31]. The fullness of salvation is seen when we realize that God saved us from His own wrath by pouring out that wrath on His Son.
The first part of Zechariah’s song starts with thoughts of God saving Israel from their enemies [1:68-75]. But then he moved on to a much deeper thought; that God saves His people by forgiving their sins [1:77]. It’s by His tender mercies that we are saved and have peace with Him; or as Zechariah said, “… the rising sun will come to us from heaven …” [1:78].
That being said, we must be careful not to fall for the popular myth that God is all love and no wrath. That “god” is an idol. The Bible speaks of a righteous God that doesn’t tolerate sin of any kind, and to whom all will give an account of their life. He doesn’t save unilaterally because of His love, He saves those who repent and forsake their sins because of His mercy [Titus 3:4-5].
Do yourself a real favor and open your ears. Take note of how often you hear God mentioned, if at all. Is He the righteous God of the Bible or an idol?
And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell His people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Luke 1:76-77