Part 3: Chapter 2: Goats’ Hair – Cursed Sin Offering

Welcome to Part 3‘s Chapter 2 of Arise and Shine. Today, Bettie is sharing an introductory post for the free will offering of goats’ hair and Anna is sharing more information about the goats’ hair offering and two worship songs: one in English and then one in Dutch (the original version of the one in English). Join us hereafter for our daily goats’ hair offerings in Christ Jesus. May you be blessed.

Scripture tells us goats’ hair was brought forward by the Israelites whose hearts stirred them to offer gifts for the Tabernacle’s tent of meeting, for all its service and the holy garments. In Exodus 35:26 we hear: “All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair.and in Exodus 36 we hear that it was specifically used for the 11 curtains, which covered the tabernacle as a tent: 5 curtains were joined together on one side and 6 on the other side and they were made into one whole through the 50 bronze clasps. Goats’ hair is a very durable fabric, making it perfect as tent material for travel through the wilderness.

While the dampness of winter raged outside, the outer wall of the building, where our closet sat, also grew cold and damp. We were only renters, so no permanent solution could be found when we saw the mold on the wall. I emptied, and scrubbed, and waited, and watched.  But while the outer mold seemed to be under control, God was uncovering moldiness in my heart that had lurked in the corners for too long.  Those were years of stretching: in my marriage, in my parenting, and yes, even in my personal view of Christianity.  

It’s so easy to let those dark corners go unnoticed and unchanged. We pick up our skirts and shake out the wrinkles, and never realize that the closet where the skirt resided was spreading a moldiness touching every other item in our wardrobe.  But when Jesus shines His light on that ugly black growth, we cannot ignore the damp and mangy odor any longer.  He calls us into Holiness that can only be accomplished as we let His Life make atonement for those ugly growths hidden in the dark places.

“But if the priest comes to examine it and the mold has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the defiling mold is gone. 49 To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop. 50 He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot. 51 Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn. 53 Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean” Leviticus 1:48-53

“And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:9-10

“The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:11-14

Mold in the walls 
And mold on my clothes
Set my teeth on edge
Sparked a cleaning frenzy.

How could I let something in
As disgusting as mold?
How would I ever feel free
From the odor it left?

My heart slumped within me
As the pride was revealed
A time of humbling had come
“Inner cleaning” God said.

Disgraced by my pride
And shamed by my hard heart
Rotting foundations and walls
Precariously held up my life.

How could I wipe away
Years of wrong perceptions?
How would I ever
Atone for my mistakes?

The very people I criticized
The same ones that I shunned
Only walked in my shoes
Only carried my burdens.

“Come outside the camp”
Jesus asked me to join Him there
“Sit with the sinners
Hang your own head low.”

And while I wept
He cleansed my sores
He bandaged my wounds
Brought His Holiness to me.

My sisters sat with me
No longer shunning
Instead embracing
Our atonement was paid.

Outside the camp
Where Jesus suffered
There to carry the scorn
For all His precious ones.

Now my heart is full
Compassion is beating
Cleansed and made pure
To carry His Love.

After reading this poem, do you sense an uncovering in your own heart beginning? Our Lord came to freshen the air around us on a daily basis. Recently He called me again into a place of cleansing, a day set apart to be with Him to allow His Word to uncover my heart yet again. Old labels of shame, old habits of self-sufficiency, they all needed to see the Light of His holiness. What is He showing you that needs to be washed and cleansed? Will you sit with me today as we allow His compassion to sweep over our souls?

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for suffering and taking my place upon the cross that I might be made clean. Thank You for becoming that precious offering for sin, once and for all time allowing us to come into Your presence.  

Our hearts have been washed clean by You, but there are things that we have allowed to creep back in. There are pockets of uncleanness that we have tried to hold onto, fearful of what might happen if we allow You full access to our hearts. 

Today we want You to uncover those dark corners. Will You bring Your precious cleansing to those moldy and damp places? Oh thank You Lord for calling us to come with You outside the camp, to join our sisters and brothers who have also felt the shame of this sinful world. 

We are Your people that You have bought with Your own precious blood, and we are forever grateful. We lift up holy hands, hands that have been washed by You, and bring our praises to You here.

In Your name we pray,

Amen.

Day 1: Shepherd of My Soul

Day 2: In the Hollow of His Hands

Day 3: The Greatest of these is Love

Day 4: Pressed, Shaken, Poured

Day 5: Rest

Day 6: Ringing, Singing, Springing

Day 7: My All in All

Part 2: Chapter 2 – Day 3: A New Heart

Welcome to Chapter 2‘s Day 3 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is bringing forward a free will offering forged in the fires of affliction, as Jesus arose to defend His dwelling place with His judgment in mercy.

My Prodigal wandering began, when I began to believe that my God could indeed not have chosen someone like me: someone too young, too sinful, too needy and too broken. I agreed with the enemy’s twisting of Scripture and began to read God’s precious Word, no longer as an invitation to know my Jesus and His mercy more and more, but as evidence that I was doomed for hell.

So one day, when I had committed a sin I abhorred and was deeply ashamed of, I was certain that this was it. That now all I could do was bide my time till God did away with me completely.

Outwardly not much changed. I still attended church. I still played the good girl. But inside my spirit was crushed and my heart aching to be known by God.

Years later, on the day we buried my Mum, I learnt that she had noticed the change in me all those years earlier. My Mum was heartbroken by how her once exuberant and confident girl had retreated into herself. All those years ago when I felt so abandoned in my sin, my Mum began praying with her best friend for God to give me my confidence back.

Now all these years later, her prayers are being answered. For, my Savior is stripping away my confidence in myself and man that stole, killed and destroyed so much in my life. He is now rebuilding my confidence in Him alone.

What I didn’t know, as I sung this beautiful song as a teenager, with tears streaming:

and with such a deep longing for Jesus to rescue me, is that He was in fact already kneeling down to take me into His arms and carry me home, so close to His heart. He had heard my cry.

And now, I can hear and feel that new heart of His beating inside of me.

All these years later, as I sat singing that same song again, now with tears streaming in deep thankfulness to my God, I noticed something about the lyrics I hadn’t before:

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands … Nothing compares to the Promise I have in you.

I realized that I am the work of my God’s hands and that the very Promise of salvation was beating inside of me even then, all those years ago. For, though my sins of reading pornographic literature and masturbation were grave, my God’s mercy was so much more. While Satan convinced me that my God had now turned away from me for good, I now know my God’s heart was not hardened toward me, as mine was toward Him. No! His heart broke in compassion for His hurting child.

Jesus saw deep into my heart. Just as He did for King David in his sin, He caught my every tear in His bottle – even though those very tears were caused by my sin – and He turned what the enemy meant for evil into good. For, through my Prodigal journey, Jesus answered the deepest longings of my heart that I never realized He had heard me whisper as a little eleven year old.

And what were those longings? Those longings of His heart in me were to truly know His grace, the very meaning of my name Anna, the name my mother was led to give me from the womb:

The final birthday card my Mum penned with her shaking hands, less than two months before she went to be with Jesus, overcoming the evil of brain cancer with the blood of Jesus and her word of testimony.

Yes! In our prodigal wandering our God bottles our every tear. I now know that long before I began to run, He began praying for me. Just as He did for Peter, He interceded for me before His Father that my faith would not fail, and so that when I returned to Him after denying His Name, I could strengthen my brethren with my testimony to His glory and grace.

Just look at the life of Saul turned Paul and you will be reminded of what our God’s mercy is capable of. Oh may that mercy flow richly through us to anoint others to be saved, just as it did through Stephen as he was stoned to death at the direction of the very one whom he poured out God’s mercy upon.

May the persecution and affliction we walk through at the hands of our enemy only testify to the judgment our Savior bore for us that we might now declare not a judgment of condemnation against ourselves or others but a judgment of mercy.

For, God’s judgment toward us is not one of wrath because His wrath has already been satisfied at the Cross:

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:13-15 (ESV)

Our God’s judgment toward us is one of mercy because He is a God who keeps His covenant to a thousand generations for those who love Him. Because when we are faithless, He remains faithful because He cannot disown Himself in us. Because our God always finishes what He has begun. And because our God has set eternity in the heart of man to make all things beautiful in His time.

Many years later, I again walked through vicious attacks from the enemy, just as I had as a little girl. But this time, as I stepped out in faith and obedience to my Savior’s call and my own heart failed me, I cried out to Jesus for His heart. And He answered me:

A New Heart

Who you are
Is not all that
You couldn't ever be
It never was
And never ever once
Will be.

Who you are is written
On the palm of My own
True hand
The hand that shaped
And formed you.

Fearfully and wonderfully
Have I made your frame
To hold the very Heart
That bled and died and rose again
To beat within your very own.

I ask not that you hold so tight
I ask not that you strive
I ask not that you try so very hard
To be what beats within you even now.

All I ask is that you
Come
Sit at My feet
Pour all out
That hides behind
That wall of shame.

Cast it out, that it may die
Death to all that holds you
Captive, even now
Not to who you are
But to who those lying tongues
Would have you be.

Rise and shine instead
In all My Light of Grace
That beckons from behind
That wall
No more.

Into My loving arms that wait
To each beat of flowing truth
That girds you now in who
You truly are in Me
Forgiven, held and pure
That’s who You are in Me
And evermore will be.

As I laid each accusation of condemnation before Him, He declared His judgment against me as annulled at the Cross. He asked me to hear and heed the new heart beating inside of me. And that heart declared me:

Forgiven, held and pure
That’s who You are in Me
And evermore will be.

And so, I clasped His hand to depart the old I once believed to be true to enter the new with Him. Now, my faith is no longer in myself or others. It’s in Christ and Christ alone. I now come boldly before the throne of grace in my time of need. I confess my sins freely before God and man. I now lift up my soul to Jesus because I trust Him to save me, moment by moment.

Now, I know that it is precisely my broken heart and crushed spirit that compells my precious Jesus to draw near to me to save me. And so, I cry out to Him, who hears my every cry and bottles my every tear:

Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
    or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?
For thus says the Lord:
“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
    and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and I will save your children. Isaiah 49:24-25 (ESV)

He heard my mother’s pleas. He saved her child and He’s still doing so daily, as this child of His heart is now learning to lean all her weight upon Him. Praise Him for HIS gracious Words to us. For, they are indeed like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and healing to the body.

Worthy is HE alone of all honor, glory and praise: