One verse answer (Israel and the Promised Land)

Settling every Bible based question or studying every Bible based topic can hardly be resolved with a single verse every time, but there are times when a single verse is so clear and concise in what is being said, the point cannot be missed by any honest Bible student.

For example, take the question and topic of Israel’s perpetual right to territory based on the promise made to Abraham. This subject has created or heavily contributed to many fanciful doctrines including premillenialism and has led to numerous debates. More often than not, the issue comes down to whether or not God kept the word he gave to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-15; Hebrews 11:9). But there is no question as to whether or not God has kept his word. Joshua 21:45 says, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Not a word of God failed to come to pass. Israel received the good things of God … even the land given according to promise. The context of Joshua 21:43-45 shows this to be true. But Israel became more obsessed with being a physical nation than a spiritual people, and through the pride and desire to be a physical nation and physical descendant of Abraham they failed to be the spiritual nation and spiritual descendant of Abraham that made their covenant with God what it was (Deuteronomy 6:1-4; Matthew 3:9; Galatians 3:26-29, 4:22-31; John 8:31-47; Acts 3:19-23).

God kept his word with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but Israel, as a nation, failed to keep their word with God and thus forfeited their right to the promise made to Abraham. Such a position has nothing to do with “gentile arrogance” or prejudice against the nation of Israel (Romans 11:18-23). It is simply an answer to a complex spiritual issue than can be made easier to understand with the help and clarity of a single verse.

#biblical-covenants, #one-verse-answer, #promised-land


10-30-2017 Promise To Return Israelites To Land

When Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, Israelites were “carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah” (2 Chronicles 36:20-21 NKJV). “For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10 NKJV). At the end of those 70 years, “the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” (Ezra 1:1 NKJV), to return them “to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city” (Ezra 2:1 NKJV). To say God’s promise to return Israelites to that land wasn’t fulfilled for 1900 years makes God a liar; their past return a myth; and God’s word meaningless!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#israelites, #promised-land


4-20-2017 God Has No Future Land Promise

There is no prophecy of Scripture about the Jews returning to their Promised Land that has not already been fulfilled!  Jerusalem was destroyed in the Old Testament, it was “to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years” (2 Chronicles 36:21 NKJV).  God used Babylonians to remove His people for 70 years.  That time ended, “in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing” (2 Chronicles 36:22 NKJV).  No New Testament prophecy promises the Jews that land, again.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#jews, #promised-land, #prophecy


(#192) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:28-Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 28:28: “When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.”

It is a moral world turned upside-down when wickedness rules. It was when “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5) that God destroyed the entire earth with a flood of water, preserving only the life in Noah’s ark (Genesis 7:11-24; 1 Peter 3:18-22).

God promised to drive out the wicked inhabitants of the land He Promised to the Israelites with this explanation: “Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is  because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you” (Deuteronomy 9:4). When the Israelites became wicked, He drove them out of that land and then returned them after 70 years. “Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation” (Jeremiah 25:12); “’They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,’ says the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place'” (Jeremiah 27:22). This restoration to that land has already occurred (2 Chronicles 36:15-23; Ezra 1:1-11; Nehemiah 8:1-18)!

Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will see that wickedness is once again destroyed: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39; Acts 17:30-31).

Before Solomon, David had recognized this truth: “The wicked prowl on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Psalm 12:8).

Other proverbs state this, even from the other side: “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12); “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2); “When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall” (Proverbs 29:16).

When the wicked rule, the righteous want no part of that administration, and “hide.” However, the righteous must let their voices continue to pray to God for relief, and continue to teach righteousness to all who will hear. Paul reminded the Thessalonians “that our coming to you was not in vain. But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict. For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit. But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:1-4), and to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:7).

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so” (Psalm 107:2), and pray “that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #god, #promised-land, #proverbs, #restoration-of-israel, #righteous, #righteousness, #second-coming-of-jesus-christ, #wicked, #wickedness

Israel’s land survey

I purchased a house last year, and the seller split his larger property into two lots, selling me the smaller of the two. To make this happen, the property had to be surveyed, and a description had to be drawn up specifying the exact locations of the borders. I could describe the borders in one sentence, but the surveyors have to be much more precise. The document they created describes in very technical language the latitude, longitude, angles, curves, etc. from corner to corner of the property, and is quite lengthy. The precision is a result not only of the desire to establish a clear understanding between buyer and seller, but to prevent future disagreements about the exact locations of the border.

When the children of Israel conquered the land of Canaan, there were twelve tribes. The conquered land had to be divvied up between them. I used to read Joshua 13-21 with dread, trudging through the city names and border descriptions with only the purpose of getting through it. Not so anymore. As I struggle to pronounce dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of city and village names, I think of the towns, cities, suburbs, metropolises, counties, and states in my own country and the different climates, accents, histories, cultures, landscapes, laws, traditions, products, arts, disciplines, stereotypes, etc. peculiar to each one. I imagine what conversations may have sounded like in ancient Israel. Did the young Issacharians in Tabor ever complain about how there was nothing to do in their town? Did they long for the day when their parents considered them big enough to go with big brother and his friends to Shahazumah where they could fish or swim in the Jordan River (I may be misrepresenting the geography here). Which one of the cities on the Great Sea did people vacation to the most (think of Myrtle Beach or Gulf Shores)? Were Manassehites arrogant like Texans because of the size of their inheritance? Was there trash talk among the tribes about whose land was, as we sometimes say, “God’s country”?

These 9 chapters are a testimony of the Israelites’ desire for accuracy, understanding, and peace between the tribes. We are given the bare details, but they open up speculation about what life was like as they settled into their new territories. God’s current people have not yet crossed their Jordan. We, too, will settle a new territory one day, but I don’t think we’ll be as concerned about borderlines as they were.

#book-of-joshua, #borderlines, #children-of-israel, #christianity, #heaven, #jordan-river, #land-of-canaan, #land-survey, #old-testament, #promised-land, #tribes-of-israel


Psalm 105

Vs. 1-6 remind God’s people to keep their focus on God;

Vs. 7-15 remind them of His provision for their fathers;

Vs. 16-23 remind them of how He got them into Egypt;

Vs. 24-38 remind them of how He got them out of Egypt;

Vs. 39-45 remind them of His original plan to get them into the Promised Land.

Psalm 105:1-15 is quoted in 1 Chronicles 16:7-22 where it is attributed to David who gave it to “Asaph and his brethren to thank the LORD.” It recounts the history of Israel recorded in the inspired Bible Books of Genesis-Joshua. The lesson is that this history is part of remembering “His marvelous works which He has done,” in other words, preaching the Bible to strengthen our faith.

Verses 1-6: The Bible is all about God and His dealings with mankind, Psalm 104 starts at “the beginning,” and Psalm 105 takes it from there to the Israelites settled in their Promised Land. “His name” (verse 1) is behind “His deeds; His “wondrous works” cause singing and rejoicing (verses 2-3); security is found in “His strength” (verse 4); faith is based upon “His marvelous works,” “His wonders,” and His “judgments” (verse 5); surely Israelites should have learned to obey Him (verse 6).

Verses 7-15: God made “judgments” “in all the earth” (verse 7); so certainly He “remembered His covenant forever,” which is “a thousand generations” (verse 8); “He made with Abraham” (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:15-18), “oath to Isaac” (Genesis 26:3-5), “Jacob for a statute” (Genesis 28:13-15; 35:9-15) for “an everlasting covenant” (verses 9-10). This promised them “the land of Canaan” (verse 11) when they were few in number and not native to it (verse 12; Genesis 34:30). Verse 13 covers the time in Genesis 12-36, while verses 14-15 include incidents showing God’s protection as written in: Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-18; 21:22-34.

Verses 16-23: The story of Joseph (verses 16-23) is detailed from Genesis 37:1-36; 38:1-50:26.

Verses 24-38: Verses 24-25 condenses the narrative in Exodus 1:1-22; verses 26-36 covers the plagues that released the Israelites in Exodus 2:1-12:30; verses 37-38 recaps Exodus 12:31-36 and the desire of Egyptians to let them go with some of their silver and gold.

Verses 39-45: Verse 39 is in Exodus 13:21; verse 40 is in Exodus 16:1-36; verse 41 is in Exodus 17:1-7. God led Israel, though they murmured and complained about their situation, He kept “His holy promise” (verse 42), and delivered them “with joy” and “gladness” (verse 43). They conquered the Land of Canaan (verse 44; Book of Joshua), to give them opportunity to “keep His laws” (verse 45).

Thought: This narrative in Psalm 105 leaves out the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17-15:21), their lack of faith by sending 12 spies into the land first and their consequent 40-year wilderness wandering (Numbers 13:1-14:38), or their failed attempt to attack anyway (Numbers 14:39-45). Psalm 105 emphasizes God’s plan, provision, and protection for Israel in keeping His part of the covenant, rather than dwelling upon Israel’s disregard for their part of the covenant. After all, faith in God is worthy of praise and strengthening to a believer’s faith, instead of hovering over the example of failure of the Israelites.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #israelites, #promised-land