When God, thru Moses, led his people to the Promised Land, he instructed them to drive out all the inhabitants of the land. These people were idol worshipers and God did not want his people mixing with them for fear that the Jews would take on their idol worship and forsake God.
Given a Clean Slate, they could worship and serve the true God as he instructed and remain faithful to Him alone.
King Josiah served God from an early age. One of his first acts in serving God was to tear down the “high places” and destroy the wooden, carved and molded images. He too was creating a Clean Slate for the children of God to begin serving God again without the baggage of the previous evil kings.
The history of the Jewish people reveals that they were repeatedly rejecting God and turning to idols and worship of false gods.
When one is baptized to become a Christian we also are given the opportunity of a Clean Slate.
Psalm 51:7 says “we shall be whiter than snow.” All of our previous sins are forgiven by the grace of God. Yes, we will stumble and fall from time to time, but Christ’s blood continually cleanses us from our sins as we repent of them.
Let us not be like Israel of old. Let’s not turn back to our former lusts of the flesh. Let’s not take up our “idols” and reject God in doing so.
We have a Clean Slate - let’s fill it with good things (Philippians 4:8).
In Romans 8:28 we are taught “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
It is very difficult in the moment that we are experiencing trials to see the good that can come from something so negative. We must trust in God and have faith that he can find the good and believe that he can turn such a negative experience into a positive outcome.
We must not forget the second part of the verse which identifies those to whom this promise is made, “to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Those that answer the gospel call to become children of God and who strive to live according to God’s will, and not their own, are recipients of this blessing!
There have been countless articles written on the subject of “Grief & Suffering.” I’m sure I’m not adding anything new, but I have read many things in the past that have provided me with the most comfort in dealing with the subject.
One helpful comment on the problem of suffering comes from the pen of an uninspired man recorded in W. C. Morro’s biography of J.W. McGarvey:
A grief stricken mother in Lexington, Kentucky, asked McGarvey, ‘Oh, brother McGarvey, where was God when my son was killed?’
McGarvey’s answer was immediate: ‘Sister Yancy, he was just where he was when his own son was killed.’
It is hardly possible to live long on this earth without encountering some sort of heartbreak for which there seems no logical explanation. In the face of such painful circumstances, Satan tempts us to doubt God’s love for us. In Mark 9, a man whose son was possessed with a spirit since childhood asked Jesus’ disciples to cast out the spirit and they could not do it. He then pleaded with Jesus to cast it out. In verse 22, the father said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” Jesus replied, “If you can? All things are possible to him who believes.” In verse 24, the man cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief.” I think we all fall into this man’s weak moment from time to time when our faith is tested. However, like the man, we have more faith than we give ourselves credit for on many occasions.
It will help us to remember that God, in the person of the Father, experienced the loss of his only begotten Son in completely unjust circumstances. On the cruel cross, God assured us of his love for us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (NASB). And by the same cross, he certified his intention to dry every tear after a few more days. “He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him over for us all, how will he not also with him, freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, NASB).