Advent 7: A Frog’s Perspective on Righteousness and Holiness

The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. – Psalms 145:17 (KJV)

Take a saucepan and fill it with water.  Put the water on a stove and heat until the water is warm – not hot, but bathwater warm.  Place a frog in the water and slowly begin turning up the heat.  No need to put a lid on the pot.  The frog is warm and comfy – he won’t be jumping out.  Before he realizes it, he will be thoroughly boiled.

OK… first, let me assure everyone that I am not some sadistic frog killer.  I have never actually boiled a frog.  And I hope you don’t either!

But the analogy shows us how sneaky sin works.  If you throw the frog in boiling water, he’ll jump right out.  But… let him stew in the warmth for a while and slowly crank up the heat and he’ll never know he’s being cooked.  At least not until he is medium rare.

That, friends, is our problem.  We get comfortable in the warmth of our own sinful stew and don’t realize when the simmer becomes a slow boil.  We need someone who can / will reach into the boiling pot and pluck us out of our sin.  But that somebody must be pure – without sin, entirely righteous and holy.  Otherwise we’ll just end up in another pot of warming water.

“The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a [KJV]).  In the garden of Eden, there was no death.  Only life – eternal, pure existence with God.  Then the fall of man, the entrance of sin, and the rot of impurity.  Sin is the absolute antithesis of God.  It opposes everything God is.  It takes all that God created beautiful and pollutes it.  The problem for us is that, sin is so prevalent, we don’t always notice it.  We desperately need saving from the employment of sin.

“…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b [KJV]).  The Hebrew word ‏צַדִּיק‎ (ṣaddîq) is translated as “righteous”.  It means that, in all His thoughts, in all His ways, God is just.  He is the righteous judge.  It is the reason we are instructed to not judge others.  That is His job, and way out of our pay grade.  We simply do not possess the necessary qualifications to judge others.  Why?  We are sinful, and sin turns out thoughts and motives inward.  God is love.  We are self serving.  Our judgments are not pure.

Add to God’s righteousness the fact that He is holy.  He is filled with pure goodness and love (because, as we have learned, He is love).  The ESV Bible renders the Hebrew word ‏ ‏חָסִיד‎ (ḥāsîd) as “kind”.  Indeed, holiness is truly kindness.  God does not need us, but we need Him.  He does not treat us like we are the mere creation of a distant deity.  He is our Father.  And He is righteous, holy, kind, love…

It is why He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross.  In doing so, good (holiness, life) overcame evil (sin, death).  We cannot jump out of the pot ourselves.  We need someone qualified – just and pure – to save us, once and for all.  And Jesus did just that.  We frogs should all be eternally grateful – a grand understatement if ever there was one.

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