No History, No Understanding

Ezekiel is a book of prophecy that was confirmed by events later in history.

Ezekiel 12:13, “The Lord will spread out a net and trap him as he leaves Jerusalem. He will than be led away to the city of Babylon, but will never see that place, even though he will die there.”

“He will then be led away…that place: According to 2 Kings 25:6, 7, King Zedekiah of Judah was blinded before he was taken to Babylon.” CEV Bible Notes

Last night, Pastor Monte Knudsen spoke of the prophecies in Ezekiel 38, 39. He explained which country was represented by each of the names in the Bible.

But to truly understand what is happening in Israel today, you have to know your history.

This link is to a map showing boundaries (in red) of the proposed protectorate of Palestine, as suggested by the Zionist representatives at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, superimposed on modern boundaries.

Faisal-Weizmann_map.png PNG Image, 330 × 715 pixels – Scaled 95%.

This link is for the “British Mandate for Palestine” which created the territories of Palestine and Transjordan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_for_Palestine_%28legal_instrument%29

Reading the original document tells a different story than we hear on the news. The Bible is the oldest document and its facts, dates, history, and geography can be confirmed today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 22, 2013

King Solomon was known for his wisdom. He loved “hard questions” (problems and riddles).

“The gold, however, as others think, may have been the amount of forfeits paid to Solomon by Hiram for not being able to answer the riddles and apothegms, with which, according to Josephus, in their private correspondence, the two sovereigns amused themselves.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I (See 1 Kings 9:14.)

The queen of Sheba traveled to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, (problems and riddles), (See 1 Kings 10:1).

Yes, he was wise, but not too smart, as we see in today’s verse.

1 Kings 9:19, “And all the store cities which Solomon had and cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.”

“Once on the throne Solomon became a thoroughgoing despot. All political power was taken out of the hands of the tribal sheiks…and placed in the hands of officers who were simply puppets of Solomon. The resources of the nation were expended not on works of public utility but on the personal aggrandizement of the monarch. In the means he took to gratify his passions he showed himself to be little better than a savage (James Orr et al., ed., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia). The division of the nation at Solomon’s death with all the weakness and misery that it caused [idolatry, ignoring God, captivity, exile, the loss of the ten tribes] through the coming centuries was the direct outgrowth of Solomon’s unholy self-indulgence (Amos R. Wells, Bible Miniatures). Because of his extensive building program and his extravagant expenditures in the maintenance of his luxurious court, he resorted to forced labor and heavy taxation. Bitter opposition to his rule thus engendered the divisions of the united kingdom after his death (The New Jewish Encyclopedia).” Amplified Bible Notes.

No matter how wise you are, it is not smart to indulge in “whatever your little old heart desires.”  It is not smart to seek pleasure wherever you go. It is not smart to use your resources on aggrandizement.

Aggrandize- 1. To widen in scope; increase in size, or intensity; enlarge; extend. 2. To make great or greater in power, wealth, rank, or honor. (The Random House Dictionary of the English Language)

February 6, 2013

I woke up an hour before the alarm and debated about getting up. I heard God speak to my heart about the chapters we are reading now. (It sounds just like your conscience.)

He said, “I let David wander in the wilderness for 15 years to give him the opportunity to be among the people. He saw their living conditions. He struggled to get food for his men just as the people struggled to feed their families. He visited other countries: Philistine and Moab; and saw with his own eyes the curse of serving other gods. He hid in caves for his protection and provided protection for those who did not have any.”

1 Samuel 25:15, 16, “But David’s men were very good to us, and we were not harmed, nor did we miss anything as long as we went with them, when we were in the fields. They were a wall to us night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep.”

David was the king most referred to throughout the Bible. He taught the lessons he learned in the wilderness to his son, Solomon. Solomon was the richest, wisest and most successful king in all the history of Israel. He did everything David instructed him to do, (See 1 Kings 2:1-9, 28-46).

 

December 15, 2012

Today we started reading the book of Judges. The term ‘judge’ meant ‘ruling leaders.’ Those appointed by God were ruling leaders.

Judges 2:16, “But the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the hands of those who robbed them.”

I like the description of the judges in the commentary.

“The judges who governed Israel were strictly God’s vicegerents (an officer appointed by a sovereign or supreme chief as his deputy)…He (God) being the supreme ruler…Individuals, prompted by the inward, irresistible impulse of God’s Spirit…endowed with extraordinary courage or strength…They were without pomp, equipage (a carriage drawn by horses and attended by servants), or emoluments (profit arising from office or employment) attached to the office. They had no power to make laws; for these were given by God; not to explain them, for that was the provence of the priests – but they were officially upholders of the law, defenders of religion, avengers of all crimes…” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

Oh God, please raise up judges today!

 

December 10, 2012

We have been blessed to not have a foreign army attack American soil since December 7, 1941. We did have a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, but the death toll was minor compared to D Day.

We have a more insidious enemy. Our enemies are like the Gibeonites.

Joshua 9:4, “They worked cunningly, and went pretending to be ambassadors and took [provisions and] old sacks on their donkeys and wineskins, old, torn, and mended.”

“They acted with dexterous policy, seeking the means of self-preservation, not by force, which they were convinced, would be unavailing, but by artful diplomacy.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

Let us learn from the story of the Gibeonites and ask God how to respond.

November 25, 2012

This last election showed us there is nothing more divisive than the selection of a leader. Some had their Christianity questioned because of whom they supported for president.

The children of Israel were preparing to enter the Promised Land. The national leaders had been recognized by God. They were Eleazer the priest and Joshua the son of Nun, (v. 16). Eleazer took Aaron’s place and Joshua would take Moses’ place.

God went on to name the heads of each tribe. We don’t know about the majority of these men, but we do know the first one listed.

Numbers 34:19, “The names of the men are: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh.”

Caleb and Joshua, along with Moses, were the only ones left of the older generations, (Numbers 26:65). Caleb and Joshua were the ones who brought a good report after spying out the land, (Numbers 13:6). Caleb was faith-filled, older – with age comes wisdom – and vigorous. Joshua 14:6 – 15:19, tells us Caleb conquered a mountain, killing the inhabitants, when he was 80! The other leaders must have been full of faith, wise and vigorous. After all, God chose them!

 

November 5, 2012 – Relevant

Women in the Bible were considered property and ignored. When they counted the people they didn’t bother to count the women or children. That stigma was reflected in today’s verse.

Leviticus 12:5, “But if the child she bears is a girl, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her periodic impurity, and she shall remain separated sixty-six days to be purified [from her loss] of blood.”

“A stigma on the sex (1 Timothy 2:14, 15) for sin, which was removed by Christ.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary” Vol. I

1 Timothy 2:14, 15, “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceived and deluded and fell into transgression. [Genesis 3:1-6] Nevertheless [the sentence put upon women of pain in motherhood does not hinder their souls’ salvation, and] they will be saved [eternally] if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control, [saved indeed] through Childbearing or by the birth of the divine Child.”

Jesus Christ removed the stigma and we are saved because he was born. In America, we are lucky to be counted. Our vote carries as much weight as a man’s. We need to exercise that privilege, denied to so many world-wide, and cast our vote tomorrow. But remember; only Christ can make us free.

Babysteps – Day 563

On November 6th, we will vote for president.  No matter which candidate wins, there is no guarantee they will be able to serve their term.

2 Chronicles 36:1, “Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in his father’s stead in Jerusalem.”

Jehoahaz was the second son of King Josiah, but he was popular with the people. He only reigned three months before the king of Egypt deposed him. He was succeeded by his older brother. You can read a longer version of Jehoahaz’s story in 2 Kings 24:31-34.

 

October 9, 2012 – Relevant

The election is only weeks away and the discussions are rampant. Some see their candidate as a Savior and others think they are all evil. I was reminded again of an important issue in choosing a candidate.

Genesis 26:4, “…and by your Offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed…”

Isaac’s children became the Jewish nation. A candidate’s opinion of Israel is very important.

Why?

Numbers 24:9, “…Blessed [of God] is he who blesses you [who prays and contributes to your welfare] and cursed [of God] is he who curses you [who in word, thought, or deed would bring harm upon you].”

America has been blessed. If we turn away from Israel we will be bringing the curse of God down upon ourselves.

September 4, 2012 – Relevant

There is so much political unrest in the world. At times we wonder if God even sees it. He not only sees He knows who will come into power before it happens.

Daniel 7:2, “Daniel said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heavens [political and social agitations] were stirring up the great sea [the nations of the world].”

The political and social agitations of the nations are felt in heaven. And He knows who will be ruler next:

7:4 – The first (great beast) was Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar.

7:5 – The second was the Medo-Persian Empire.

7:6 – Another one was the Grecian Empire of Alexander the Great.

7:6 – The four heads were the generals who ruled the four districts after his death.

7:7 – The fourth beast was the Roman Empire.

7:24 – The ten horns are ten kings of the Roman Empire.

God already knows who will be elected in November. That does not mean I do not need to vote, but whatever the outcome, God is still in control.