2009-01-08 - Never the Twain Shall Meet
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (NASB)
: Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
: Barrack Room Ballads, Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936, Not copyrighted in the United States
The first line of this quote from Kipling's Barrak Room Ballads is so often used it has a life of its own. It is a truism that is used to describe two thoughts, points of view, cultures, etc. that will never be reconciled or meet. There is a sizable population that believes that a man has never been landed on the mood, while there are others who are convinced beyond doubt that we have landed twelve men on the moon and returned them safely to the Earth. Both will present their incontrovertible proof that they are correct. Even if they do meet and the conversation is kept polite and there is a free and even exchange of their information, it is unlikely that one side will move the other to their position. The two will never meet.
Looking at a globe there are usually long straight lines drawn both up-and-down and sideways across the sphere. The lines that go from the North Pole to the South Pole are called longitude lines. They all meet at the poles going in a north-south direction. If a plane flies due north and passes the North Pole it will suddenly be going south. Quite literally north and south have met. Now the lines that go side-to-side - they are called latitude lines running in an east-west direction. There is a difference. If the plane flies along one of these lines in either an easterly or westerly direction, it can continue to fly in that direction forever without ever reaching a point where east meets west, or west meets east.
This is how God sees us separated from our sins. Paul instructs us to refuse to allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies (Romans 6:11-13). The chains that held us were broken at Jesus death on Calvary. And still we fight with that old life, our old self unregernated (Romans 6:5-7) by the victory provided by Jesus Christ that followers of Christ share. That victory will not be complete until we leave this life and see our Lord face-to-face.
1 Corinthians 15:52-54 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. (NASB)
Then how is it that God the Father sees us freed completely from sin as David pens in Psalm 103? Jesus has given those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior His sinless life in exchange for the tatters of our old life when we turned away from our sins to walk and live with Him. God sees us in that future state hidden completely purely reflecting the life of Christ. David caught a powerful glimpse of of the mind of God. Even though we wrestle, and stumble like Paul day-to-day and sometimes minute-to-minute with our old self, wanting to do good and doing evil being drawn by the sin waring with us within us (Romans 7:18-20).
I challenge you to compare the chapters of Psalm 103 and Romans 6 and 7 this week. What liberation it is to know that one day this struggle will be over and we will live in the victory that our Savior won at the cross. Sin will be completely crushed. Death will be swallowed up in victory. All because God loved us enough to come and ransom us from the slave market of sin and smashed the chains that held us there - the chains we were powerless to escape. When God seems distant, or unreachable, He is there and this is how much He cares for you. This is the victory He has won for us.
Lord Jesus - Thank You for this crack in the doorway that gives us a wondrous taste of our future and of Your love and powerful mercy toward humanity and available for asking - with a heart of repentance, turning away from our sins, and learning to walk with You a little more every day. Amen.
Grace & Peace,