Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ray's back -and Israel's to the fore!

I'm back to share, inform, annoy and challenge anyone who chooses to, or stumbles across my blog. February 2018 was when I hung-up my blogging keyboard and it was enjoying the rest period. In recent days I've been itching to share with the valiant few some writings I've undertaken and it now begins. The key-board has had its period of quiet.
I'm writing from my understanding of what the Bible says on issuesabout which I am deeply interested in.Whether anyone agrees or disagrees I do hope that we all might enjoy the interchange of thought and comment.
Whether in politics or in the Church scene Israel arouses passions which quickly melts indifference. So, I thought I would recommence my blog with a series of meditation/studies/thoughts that might excite or challenge our passions about Israel. My opening blog about God's heart for Israel series is an introduction to what lies ahead.

Israel must be the only Nation to have its destiny recorded before its actual participation on the World stage. It began with a promise to Abraham. He was informed by the Lord that his descendants, through the promised son (Isaac) would be a blessing or a curse to Gentile nations. Later, Moses warned the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that they too would be blessed or cursed. The big difference stemmed from their peculiar covenantal relationship with Yahweh. Faithfulness would mean blessing, unfaithfulness would mean an ever increasing severity of judgements. The ultimate expression of the Lord God of Hosts wrath would be dispersion from the Promised Land.

Where can all this information be found? To the first generation out of Egypt it is in Leviticus 26. Their unbelief made them refuse to enter the land and caused thirty-eight years of wilderness experiences. Only Joshua and Caleb of that generation came into their promised possessions. In Deuteronomy 28-31 Moses gives an expanded list of what the second generation faced on entering the land. What we have can only be described as the Lord’s revelation expressing the seriousness of their calling and the faith required to fulfil it. Deuteronomy 29:29 explains why Yahweh did this, ‘The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.’ What He was offering the Nation was a special relationship with Himself. Within such a bond of love was the assurance of dwelling in the land and prospering (Deuteronomy 30:19-10). To be stiff-necked and obstinate would be fatal.

To read the Biblical account of Israel’s history is to understand God keeps His word. What also becomes evident is how often this fifth book of Moses is referred too. When Solomon gave his dedicatory prayer at the Temple’s opening he quoted sections from Deuteronomy asking Yahweh to be merciful to the Nation’s lawlessness (1 Kings 8:22-53). Was Solomon surprised by a night visit from the Lord according to 2 Chronicles 7:12? Here the Lord repeated part of Solomon’s prayer from the fifth book of the Bible. It concluded with a dire warning about apostasy. The King would never be able to play the ‘ignorance’ card as to what Yahweh expected. It was already written in Deuteronomy.

As Israel wandered further and further away from keeping their covenant agreement the Lord raised up prophets (Amos 3:7) to call them to repentance. Chief among the prophets were Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The weeping prophet, Jeremiah, foretold how the Nation’s apostasy would culminate in seventy years of Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel goes to very descriptive lengths to show the glory of Israel depart from the Temple to the Mount of Olives. This paved the way for the destruction of Solomon’s magnificent temple complex. The Lord has yet to return to the site He loves.

Daniel was given certain specific insights concerning the Lord’s extreme judgement of dispersion. From Nebuchadnezzar’s reign it is known as the ‘Time of the Gentiles’. Daniel gives some crucial information about the Messiah, the great tribulation and the violent overthrow of the ‘times of the Gentiles’. The Gospels elaborate on the Messiah, Jesus. Revelation fills out Daniel’s outline. Unbelief still shrouds Israel, and many Christians imagine Yahweh has forsaken Israel, replaced by the Church. However, God keeps His word and will complete what Deuteronomy and other passages foresee. In the face of Israel’s dire and historic failures why does the Lord show such grace? For His own Name’s sake!
Next week. My People!