by steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. [proverbs 16:6]
atoned and turns – these are the two actions in this verse. one God did. one we are empowered to do through God’s work. this is the beauty and power of the gospel. and, it is right here in proverbs!
by steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for
this is the work of Jesus. it couldn’t be stated any clearer. this is God’s word fore-telling of his gospel work in Jesus. for in Jesus, atonement was made for your sin soaked soul. every ounce of rebellion, guilt, shame, and evil was taken from you and put on Jesus. that is what atoned means. what was yours, was transferred to Jesus to carry and consume. how?
faithfulness – Jesus lived the holy life we should have lived. every temptation defeated, every command joyfully obeyed. he loved his Father perfectly and he loved others with a steadfast holy love. this was the greatest command. love God, love others!
steadfast love – Jesus’ holy life then led him to an evil cross where his steadfast love kept him there till he paid for all your sin, guilt, and shame. his steadfast love consumed your rebellion and your punishment. his steadfast love felt every pain ever done to you by other’s sin and every pain you have ever caused to others by your sin. his steadfast love held him there till every ounce of your sin was atoned for.
the result for those captured by the steadfast love of Christ – is fear or awe of him. said another way, we are moved to worship, to become worshipers of the one who has loved us so!
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
the result of true worship, true fear, true awe – is we are led away, we turn away from evil.
today, the pursuit of purity is not your task to pursue alone. holiness, purity is who our God is. and our pursuit of this must flow from his work that declares us holy. today, visit afresh the stunning work of Jesus through his steadfast love and faithfulness. ask to be awed. and, ask for this holy sight to drive you to the faithful one, to the one who is steadfast love.
Lord, i confess my pursuit of evil is often greater than my pursuit of holiness. today, awe me afresh with the beauty and power of your faithful and steadfast love poured out in Jesus death. my eyes have grown dull to your stunning work that has atoned for my sin, my guilt, my shame. stun me anew! and as you do, stir my longing for your life, increase my desire for your holiness. come Lord, make it so! in Jesus name, amen!
~ john ryan