Part 2: Chapter 2 – Bronze Judgment

Welcome to Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing an introductory post on the free will offering of bronze, including a prayer she penned together with Bettie and a link to a Michael W. Smith song.

Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze;  Exodus 35:5

The bronze from the wave offering was 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. Exodus 38:29 NIV

The site Bible History tells us:

“The main use for bronze was in the tabernacle furniture within the outer court, in the places where exceptional strength and heat resistance was important. Bronze has a melting point of 1,985 degrees. Since the altar was a place where intense heat was present it was overlaid with bronze.

Ex 27:1-2 You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide–the altar shall be square–and its height shall be three cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze. NKJV”

Source: bible-history.com

Interestingly, it was also used for the large brazen reservoir or molten sea, where the water was stored, in which the priests washed their hands and feet. This took over the role of the laver of the tabernacle. “It rested on 12 brazen (bronze) oxen, facing in four groups the four quarters of heaven.” (SEA, THE MOLTEN; SEA, THE BRAZEN, W. Shaw Caldecott).

Bronze is also used in Scripture to refer to what is strong, lasting and enduring:

The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. Deuteronomy 28:23 

His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. Daniel 10:6

His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. Revelation 1:15

“Then I will make you to this people

A fortified wall of bronze;

And though they fight against you,

They will not prevail over you;

For I am with you to save you

And deliver you,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 15:20

But it is also used to describe man’s stubbornness, pride, idolatry and corruption:

All of them are stubbornly rebellious,

Going about as a talebearer.

They are bronze and iron;

They, all of them, are corrupt.

Jeremiah 6:28

“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, Isaiah 45:2

Interestingly the old temple, with its strong, brazen sea, bronze furniture and bronze-covered altar, was of course destroyed. Through the power of the Cross our human offerings, that have been corrupted by rebelliousness, stubbornness and idolatry are now also being destroyed. For Christ is now purifying us through the trials we face, that we might bring forward new free will offerings of bronze in Him, offerings unpolluted by the world’s judgment.

In Christ bearing the judgment for our sins, we can now endure the refining fires on this earth. Empowered by the Living Word, rather than turning to idolatry, stubbornness and pride, we now learn, through Christ’s loving discipline, to lay down the judgment of the world for Christ’s. We learn to see ourselves and others through His eyes.

Christ then exchanges our false judgment of situations, self and man, with His pure and unadulterated judgment. As Scripture puts it:

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14 (KJV)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5: 21 (ESV)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

    so are my ways higher than your ways

    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55: 8 – 9 (ESV)

And so, contained in the free will offering brought forward by the Israelites was the Promise of the Cross. Now, we can rest in the Promise: “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:9, ESV). Praise God!

As you gather here with us for the 7 days of chapter 2 of Part 2, Bettie and I invite you to join us in bringing forward your own free will offerings of bronze through Christ Jesus.  But before we begin let’s pray:

Dear Abba Father,

We confess that we have allowed our hearts to be crushed beneath the weight of this world’s judgment. We confess that there have been times we have gotten so weary, because our sins are ever before us. Forgive us.

Father, we invite you now, and moment by moment, to wash our conscience clean with the water of Your Holy Word that we might see as You see. Renew us with the Life that only Your Holy Spirit can bring to us. 

Father, we praise and thank You that through Your Son You are even now yielding us to the transforming work of Your living Word, so that our minds might be renewed to test and approve what Your will is– Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Thank You that You are empowering us to shed the judgment of this world to receive the pure and unadulterated judgment of Your holy and righteous Son, Jesus. Thank You that You came into this world, not to condemn it, but to seek and save the lost.

We are so hungry for the freedom that only the blood of Your Son Jesus can bring.  Thank You that Your Son has borne the judgment that should have been ours, so that we can now live in the overflow of Your cleansing mercy.  As we walk through the fiery trials You have sent to purify us, thank You that You are shedding our pride, striving and idolatry, that we might rest ever more in Your pure judgment.

As our hearts ache and we become weary, help us to bring forward the free will offerings of bronze in Christ Jesus. Help us to lay before You the Promises that declare that Your Son has borne the judgment for all our sins in the past, present and future.

Set us free, in Your prompting and empowering, to abide in Your pure and unadulterated Word that we may flourish, and bless others to flourish also, in the abundant life that is ours in Christ Jesus.

In the Precious Name of Jesus we come before you now. 

Amen.

May this song overwhelm you in the love and tender mercy of our God. Come let us arise to declare Him LORD of all.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Romans 11:33 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip each one of us with everything good that we may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 12:20-21, ESV

Day 1: A Tree of Life

Day 2: A New Offering

Day 3: A New Heart

Part 2: The Living Water of God

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come tome and drink. John 7:37 (ESV)

Welcome to Part 2 of Arise and Shine: The Living Water of God. Today, Bettie is opening part 2 with a devotional, including a poem and prayer. She shares a personal testimony on the gift of God’s living water that washes us in the truth and grace of our God.

May God bless you richly today, as you sit at His feet with us to listen and drink deeply of His living water in your weakness and need. May God pour out rivers of living water in our midst, out of each of our hearts, as He awakens fresh faith in us, through the power of His living and active Word.

“Oh, Lord, I will never be washed clean enough!” The words escaped from my lips as yet another sore erupted on my body, the result of some type of allergic reaction to a bug bite.  Chronic illness and the weakness that followed it had brought to me another physical reaction out of my control. And yet, I took up the blame I heard the enemy whispering in my ear:  “Surely this is your fault. You should have taken better care of yourself. You should have seen these things coming. Surely you could have done something!”

Why did I take upon myself this endless load of responsibility? Had I become self-sufficient to the point of neglecting my own dependency on God?

“From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness— only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with olive oil.” Isaiah 1:6

“The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and bathe with water; then they will be ceremonially clean. After this they may come into the camp, but they must stay outside their tent for seven days. Leviticus 14:8

A year passed, and the strange reactions to the bug bites had become a distant memory.  When more medications were tried, and failed, the Doctor called me in to begin yet another injection. Humiliated, I was forced to show the Doctor the rash that had come back, a huge welt and ugly bruise around each bite.

When I heard his quickly uttered response: “There is no infection here. But you have a bleed under the surface, probably caused by a reaction to the latest medication,” something within me marked those words to ponder later.  

Why had I assumed, once again, that the rash was my fault? Why had I tried to “get by” when a medication was so obviously not reacting well with my own body? 

Those wounds on my flesh caused me to feel like an outcast, covered in shame. I wanted to clean those ugly sores; oh how I wanted to wash them away. I didn’t want them seen! But God had exposed those outer wounds to show me the deeper truth: there is a soul cleansing and a heart healing that I cannot provide for myself. 

I know it all too well, now, here in this Season. He has taken away my own methods of preserving my flesh, and brought me to a place where cleanness of heart is a gift to be granted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

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. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Hebrews 13:11-12

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:14

The burning wounds 
They glare
My arms ache
From the scrubbing.

How can I be clean?
Where is my purity?
When did I lose my wholeness?

Seeing here the blemishes I
Bear
Crying out for wholeness
Has become a daily chant

But what if
My wounding is not meant to
Leave
While my weakness is revealing
A deeper sore?

My own pride I lay it
Down
My own strength I
Surrender

There is no good in me
Covered here with sores
From head to foot
I am sinful born

Jesus comes.

He takes the basin and the
Towel
He lifts my feet and plunges
Into water deep

Wash me here whiter
Than snow
You see me pure
You call me clean

Where once I walked in my
Own strength
Self-sufficient
All the way,
Beauty now has come to me
Washed by You alone.

Dear Lord Jesus,

We lay ourselves, wounded, sore, and bandaged, before You now. We cry out for Your mercy in this place, because we know that we cannot cleanse ourselves. Forgive us for trying to take up that responsibility. And forgive us for believing the lie that the shame of those woundings is ours to bear alone.

Oh precious Lord, thank You for taking up the basin and washing clean what had been incurable. Thank You for taking on Yourself what was our responsibility, and freeing us from that load! Oh the depth of Your mercy overwhelms us. May we receive Your Love and Grace today. 

In Your sweet name we pray,

Amen.

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5

Join us for each chapter of The Living Water of God, as we add it here below, each week. Each chapter includes daily devotionals, prayers and/or poems.

Part 2: Chapter 1 – Silver Redemption

Part 2: Chapter 1 – Bronze Judgment

Anger’s Invitation

Did you know that the anger rising within us, is not our shame to hide, but Jesus’ invitation to come to Him just as we are. To let Him pick us up and hold us in His strong, safe arms. For, He longs to unravel our hearts in His mercy, to comfort and restore us in His love.

He won’t let us go in our anger. He promises to hold us tight and to speak HIS Word of truth and grace over us. Just as He has done for me, over and over again.

Once, in a vision during EMDR therapy, I saw Him pick me up to hold me close to His heart. I heard Him invite me to kick, scream and flail. He promised to hold me tight and not let me go. As He freed me to cast out what lurked within me, I felt the tension holding my body captive dissolve into tears, as He uncovered the wounds He had so longed to nurse.

You see, trauma cages us. Frozen in shock and fear, we are unable to feel and process what we have walked through. But even trauma is no match for our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. For, Jesus, like no other, knows what it is to walk through grave injustice. And so, rather than condemn us and our frozen hearts, He moves toward us in our need. He breathes His warmth over and into us to melt our hearts in His love for us.

He moves toward us to set our hearts free to run in the path of His commands. For, He longs to fill us with peace and to release rivers of mercy from us. Just like the rivers of mercy that flowed in His tears for us, as He walked toward the Cross to do the will of His Father for the joy set before Him.

Psalm 7:11 says “God is a righteous judge, a God who displays His wrath every day.” We love to talk of the God of love, but that same God of love also loves through His wrath and through His justice. He hates sin because it cripples, shames and enslaves us.

So, when we walk through injustice and suffering, God is angry and He weeps. He is not aloof or lacking in compassion. Rather, even now, His hand of justice is working to bring full restoration and healing. 

Part of this restoration and healing comes in the release of our hearts from anger. Anger is a natural human response to situations, where we feel helpless. Our bodies seek to restore the control taken from us, by asserting control. But this anger hides the very real wounds inside us that are crying out to be nursed.

God knows that anger, if not released, will only further destroy our souls and infect all our relationships. It enables the thief and accuser of our souls to steal, kill and destroy. This is why God calls us to cast our burdens upon Him and to pour out our hearts to Him. 

Casting is a strong word. It doesn’t mean settling ourselves down first to then speak in polite niceties to our Savior. It means Christ is inviting us to get real before Him. To turn our anger toward Him that HE may lift its heavy weight off of us. And where we are frozen in trauma, He is more than able to free us to express our anger and to release our tears.

In expressing our anger freely, we follow in the footsteps of King David and many prophets in the Bible, who didn’t hide their anger, but spoke it aloud before their Maker in deep laments, as they walked through grave injustice in doing the will of their God.

Jesus is not ashamed of us in our anger. The anger is only His invitation to come to Him, just as we are. To allow Him to unravel our hearts, comfort us in our pain, and transform our anger into rivers of mercy.

Will you join me in prayer?

Thank You, LORD, that You see me, You see all the injustice I and my loved ones have walked through.  Thank You that You are angry too, that You are a holy God of wrath and justice, who has not turned a blind eye to our suffering (Hebrews 10:30). 

Thank You that Your heart weeps at the destruction wreaked by the enemy of our souls (Luke 19:41, John 11:35). Thank You that I can come before Your throne in complete confidence that you accept me, as I am (Hebrews 4:16). Thank You that I don’t need to clean myself up first, but that I can come just as I am, knowing You will not turn me away (Psalm 55: 22). 

Thank You that my righteousness has been bought at the Cross to set me free from all unholy anger, bitterness and rage that consumes me, that You may uncover and nurse the wounds hidden within me.

LORD, thank You that You are my refuge and strength. As I come to You now, breathe Your warmth over and into me. Melt me in Your love and mercy.

For, LORD, I turn to You now as I am. Unravel me in Your living and breathing Word of truth, love and grace. Melt my heart in the arms of Jesus to pour out all that lurks within me. Release Your mercy richly in and through me.

Set me free that my lips may speak of Your mercy for us all. I am opening my hands wide to receive Your ‘wildly extravagant life gift, this grand setting-everything-right’ (Romans 5: 17 MSG). Hear my cry for mercy! In Your precious Name, Amen.