Bearing in mind that the God, Whom we were created to serve and called to walk before in love, punishes every sin committed, the first thing that enters our minds when we become aware of our sins is to try, as Adam and Eve did, to flee from that awful wrath. But, since He is the everywhere present God, this we can never do. David expresses that so emphatically when in Psalm 139:7,8 he writes, "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there." And our Psalter versification has it thus:
Where can I go apart from Thee,
Or whither from Thy presence flee?
In heaven? it is Thy dwelling fair;
In death's abode? Lo, Thou art there.
You will notice that our versification speaks of death's abode rather than of hell. The Hebrew word is often translated that way, or, as in Psalm 141:7, it is translated as grave in these words, "Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth." It really makes no difference, for in death and the grave we are not hidden from God's eyes and have not escaped His awful wrath, and in hell as the lake of fire one is in that awful wrath.
If we keep the word death or grave instead of hell-fire, we still have the word of God condemning the idea that death is the end for man. Never, no never, get the idea that death takes the sinner away from the everlasting punishment which he deserves. One cannot hide from God in his grave. Death does not mean that this is the end of his existence and thus of his suffering the wrath of God. If one makes one's bed in the grave or in physical death, one does not hide from God's Spirit and presence. There just is no way of escape, no possibility of fleeing from God's holy wrath other than through the cross of His Son and in His sovereign grace.
There is no place where man can hide from God's holy wrath. But there is a Person, God's Son, in Whom God hides us, and Whom He punished as our Covenant Head and representative, so that our sins are paid for in full. God's grace does not hide our sins but removes them from us, placing the iniquity of them upon His own Son.
Song for Meditation: Psalter #60
Why not sing along??
- Date: 17-August
Rev. John A. Heys was born on March 16, 1910 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was ordained and installed into the ministry at Hope, Walker, MI in 1941. He later served at Hull, Iowa beginning in 1955. In 1959 he accepted the call to serve the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church. He received and accepted the call to Holland, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church in 1967. He retired from the active ministry in 1980. He entered into glory on February 16, 1998.