Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Pit-iful Post

“Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom”

Job 33:24

Of all the dreadful description of death, and the unhappy hereafter that awaits the unprepared, none seem to me to provoke so portentous a picture as "The Pit." It is, upon reflection, a most dire and doleful depiction of unredeemed man’s ultimate destination. It rises up in menacing mockery of our far to frequent fantasies of the delightful estate of our dearly departed. We imagine that all transcend to a better place but the Bible says many are in a bitter Pit. “The Pit” repeatedly raises its haunting head upon the pages of the Holy Book, so that we cannot long deny it or dismiss it. Consider the frequency of this foreboding phrase:

“I am counted with those who go down to the Pit…” (Psalm 88:4)
“How you have fallen from heaven…to the lowest depths of the Pit…” (Isaiah 14:12,15)
“Fear and the Pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth…” (Isaiah 24:17)
“They shall throw you down into the Pit, and you shall die the death of the slain…” (Ezekiel 28:8)

The Pit” isn’t popular, and thus this shall not be a popular post…in fact, pardon the pun, but it’s Pitiful. The truth be told I tend to prefer more pleasant pronouncements. But soul surgery requires a sharp scalpel. Sometimes one must cut before one can cure. To promise them peace that shall go to the Pit is the epitome of spiritual malpractice, an execrable sin against eternal souls. “The Pit” is a written warning in a word, a call to caution, a sobering signpost in the Scriptures, so reader take heed how you hear!

Consider, for a moment, what “the Pit” implies:

The pit implies Darkness. “Thou hast put me in the lowest pit, in darkness…” (Psalm 88:6). The Psalmist speaks in a figure of what some shall dwell in forever. Jesus says of those found without faith that they will be “cast into outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12). The pit is an eternal night with no hope morning, twilight without even starlight, and what Jude calls “the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13). Consider what opportunity is still open before you! “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light (John 12:36).”

The pit implies Deepness. The psalmist says do not “let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me” (Psalm 69:15). There is no escaping the “depths of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). So great is this gulf it is even called the “bottomless pit” (Rev. 9:1). One might hope to escape from a hole with some help, but this is an excavation made by the arm of eternity, a chasm created by omnipotent power. Oh dear reader…meditate for but a moment upon the irreversible and inescapable destiny of all that exit into this eternal estate of the Pit!

The pit implies Danger. Consider why it is called the “pit of destruction” (Psalm 55:23). Those who saw Korah, Dathan and Abiram get swallowed by the earth for insolence toward God’s servant ran for their lives crying “lest the earth swallow us up also! (Numbers 16:34).” Oh my soul…these enemies of God’s ambassador went “down alive into the pit (Number s 16:33)”…how much more dangerous for those who die the enemies of God Himself (Psalm 68:1). The pit is dangerous! It is awful enough to fall into a pit dug by man: "He himself will fall into his own pit" (Proverbs 28:10). But oh, my friend, what a dangerous and dreadful thing to fall forever into the pit dug out by the hand of God's justice upon sin! Oh what a horrible hole this must be to hold within its walls all of His infinite and holy wrath poured out upon our immeasurable wickedness forever and ever! All of the dangers of our days are nothing compared to this danger that awaits us at death. Everyday evils are only dim echoes of impending doom. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)."

Dear reader, do you care for your soul? The mouth of the Pit is open wide. It has swallowed millions into its darkness, deepness and danger! You too must go there. Your appointment has already been affirmed, written upon rock with a pen of iron forever. “It is appointed unto man once to die…” (Hebrews 9:27). Appointed dear reader. Appointed! No one escapes this appointment. The Pit will have its prey. What will you do? Where will you go? How will you escape? The bell has begun to toll upon your eternal soul! Your works cannot deliver you. “For by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:16).”

Oh if you will hear me now, listen to the words of our text…"I have found a ransom” (Job 33:24). Only a substitution will stay your eternal execution! “For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).” The Pit cries for its victim, but hear the mightier cry of God “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death (Hosea 13:14).” Repent and believe upon Jesus Christ, escape the pit by God’s gracious provision for your soul, and hear in your heart the angels in heaven rejoice saying “Deliver him from going down to the pit!”

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