I began a word study last week on the word atonement. Even though this is an Old Testament word used mainly in the books Moses wrote or the Pentateuch. It still has a lot of meaning for present day Christians. As I studied the root Hebrew word it amazed me all the places it was translated in the King James Bible with other words than atonement. It always amazes me to discover the depth and richness of the word of God.
The first unusual occurrence was in Genesis in the story of Noah when he was building the ark. When God told Noah to “pitch with tar” the ark on the outside and the inside. The phrase “pitch with tar” is the same word translated atonement. By the way this is the only occurrence in the Old Testament where the Hebrew word is used in this manner. It started me thinking about the ark and why God chose this particular word. I thought this atonement of the ark turned a vessel built by human hands into a vehicle of deliverance for Noah his family and the animal kingdom. The atonement became a blessing to those inside the ark and judgment to those outside the ark.
The next unusual occurrence is in Isaiah the account of his commissioning to do the work of God. Isaiah had a vision in the year King Uzziah died he saw the Lord God seated on his throne in heaven and all the angels ministering praise to God. This vision allowed a man full of pride to realize he needed a savior. He needed help outside of himself as he was repenting God sent an angel with a coal of fire from the alter of God. The angel touched the coal to Isaiah’s lips and his sin was atoned. He was cleansed and sealed by the power of God. Like Noah he was protected from judgment by the atonement.
As I was pondering these things in my heart I had a picture in my mind of a time I was really struggling. I was depressed and disheartened I do not get that way often but when I do it is bad. I decided in my mood to praise God, I know that may be an unusual thing to think of but I lifted my hands to praise the Lord. When I did Jesus stepped between me and God. But Jesus was transparent so God could see Jesus and also see me. I was still struggling but Jesus was expressing all the praise to God for me that I could not express my self. This was an awesome time of worship for me because I saw another part of Jesus and His love for me. He became for me that day my atonement (cover) that I could have never received without Jesus’ work on the cross and resurrection from the dead. God desires that we become one with Him, not that we become little gods but like a father enjoys the presence of his children. He wants to restore what Adam and Eve had as they walked with God in the cool of the day.
If you do not have a regular time of worship to God daily I encourage you to take some time to get to know your heavenly father.
God Bless you!