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John in Exile - 4 - Shut in With God

Average reading time is about 2 and a half minutes

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3

While John was contemplating the scenes of Horeb, the Spirit of Him who sanctified the seventh day came upon him. He contemplated the sin of Adam in transgressing the divine law, and the fearful result of that transgression. The infinite love of God, in giving His Son to redeem a lost race, seemed too great for language to express. As he presents it in his epistle he calls upon the church and the world to behold it.

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (1 John 3:1). It was a mystery to John that God could give His Son to die for rebellious man. And he was lost in amazement that the plan of salvation, devised at such a cost to Heaven, should be refused by those for whom the infinite sacrifice had been made.

John was shut in with God. As he learned more of the divine character through the works of creation, his reverence for God increased. He often asked himself, Why do not men, who are wholly dependent upon God, seek to be at peace with Him by willing obedience? He is infinite in wisdom, and there is no limit to His power. He controls the heavens with their numberless worlds.

He preserves in perfect harmony the grandeur and beauty of the things which He has created. Sin is the transgression of God's law, and the penalty of sin is death. There would have been no discord in heaven or in the earth if sin had never entered. Disobedience to God's law has brought all the misery that has existed among His creatures. Why will not men be reconciled to God?

It is no light matter to sin against God, to set the perverse will of man in opposition to the will of his Maker. It is for the best interest of men, even in this world, to obey God's commandments. And it is surely for their eternal interest to submit to God, and be at peace with Him. The beasts of the field obey their Creator's law in the instinct which governs them. He speaks to the proud ocean, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further" (Job 38:11); and the waters are prompt to obey His word.

The planets are marshaled in perfect order, obeying the laws which God has established. Of all the creatures that God has made upon the earth, man alone is rebellious. Yet he possesses reasoning powers to understand the claims of the divine law and a conscience to feel the guilt of transgression and the peace and joy of obedience. God made him a free moral agent, to obey or disobey. The reward of everlasting life--an eternal weight of glory--is promised to those who do God's will, while the threatenings of His wrath hang over all who defy His law.
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