Just as you drank on my holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been. Obadiah 16 (NIV).
This is a warning against drunkenness and, in turn, all sin.
When the Babylonians overran Jerusalem, they had the assistance of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau; we’ve discussed this before. Like many ancient kingdoms (or many current nations), the Edomites celebrated by getting drunk, specifically getting drunk on Mount Zion, where the Lord’s Temple stood. The invaders desecrated the Temple, and insulted God by doing unholy things in a consecrated holy place: unholy things like getting drunk in the holy rooms where God resided.
Flash forward to today. I can’t speak for you, but I’ve been drunk before. Many times, in fact. These days, I can’t say I’m proud of it. I can’t say I’ve ever gotten drunk in a church, but I’ve done it plenty of other places. And I’m ashamed to admit I’m not a nice guy when I’ve had too much. In fact, sometimes I’m a jerk.
Here’s the kicker: pick your poison: your sin and mine are both detestable to God. They are all equally wrong. Those who don’t embrace the forgiveness of Jesus to turn from them are damned for choosing the consequences of sin. It was sin for the Babylonians to desecrate the Temple. It was sin for me to drink so much so often. It was sin for that woman to mouth off to me in the parking lot the other day (and for me to return fire in kind). It was sin for those people to invade the US Capitol (and for all who overreacted after it). It’s sin for us to judge others.
Sinful things, done by me, done by you, done by all of us.
The good news is the news you already know and we need to always remember. Jesus paid for all those sins. All of them. Every sin going back to Eve believing the serpent is paid for in every way possible by Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary. Every spiritual death owed for every sin is extinguished by His resurrection in that garden. Nothing you or I could ever do could change that, or add to it, or take away from it. The ONLY thing we bring into the ‘salvation equation’ is our acceptance of it: everything to actually save us the God-man Jesus already did.
I’ll drink to celebrate that…just not too much.
For further reading: Obadiah 17
Lord Jesus, only You forgive sin and only you have eternal life for us.
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