Not only are the words of Jehovah refined seven times, but so is the individual who absorbs the truth of those words—he is refined seven times to bring forth a righteous character.
Posts Tagged ‘ sodom and gomorrah ’
By his questions in verse 1, David implied that God saw the trouble but purposely stood afar off and did not intervene. In subsequent verses, David continued to pursue this theme, which troubled him for the moment. However, as the Psalms progressed, David developed and matured in understanding.
In verses 1-3, Hosea was prophesying that the bulk of the ten tribes would be taken as captives to Assyria, and some would flee to Egypt, where they would be ferreted out and punished. This was the literal, or natural, lesson. In addition, there is the spiritual lesson of the professed Church of Christ going astray into Papacy and the ways of the world. Paganism came into the Church and defiled it. In antitype, the more numerous ten-tribe kingdom pictures Catholicism; the two-tribe kingdom represents Protestantism.
Why were the children of Heth so solicitous to please Abraham by answering his request? (1) This incident took place in Hebron, where Abraham had dwelled and was told that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed and that Sarah would bear a son, Isaac. (2) Abraham lived in Mamre in Hebron at the time he went to rescue Lot (Gen. 13:18; 14:1-16). Hence Abraham was known in the area, and now the children of Heth called him a “mighty prince among us”; that is, they had a healthy respect for Abraham. The ancients viewed Abraham as a mighty warrior. Abraham had accompanied the 318 men who went to rescue Lot. Tradition says that his father, Terah, had been a warrior too.
Abram had the better attitude. When he gave Lot the liberty of first choice of the land, Lot should have declined and let Abram, the senior, make the selection. However, Lot looked to see what appeared best and then chose the fertile plain of Jordan that was “well watered every where.” This incident occurred before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and, therefore, before the Dead Sea existed. Water was there as well as cities that no longer exist because they are under the Dead Sea. “Lot chose … all the plain of Jordan”; that is, he wanted the entire plain.
Rabbah’s being burned with fire and becoming a desolate heap had a past fulfillment, but in regard to the future fulfillment of Psalm 83, these terms indicate that Israel’s strike on its Arab neighbors will be decisive. Is there a suggestion here that nuclear power might be used?
In the antitype, Edom pictures Christendom. Just as Esau sold his birthright, the Abrahamic promise, so Catholicism was a golden cup in the hand of the Lord but lost the stewardship because of improper use. True spiritual Israelites inherit the stewardship. Esau (Christendom) will be stripped. In the type, the people tried to hide in rocks and caves, but they were searched out. “He is not” means extinction. Accordingly, the beast and the false prophet will go into Second Death (permanent extinction).
The NIV reads, “I will settle them in their homes.” God will settle the Holy Remnant in His own way in the homes He will make for them, for when the Kingdom is established, the contemporary generation of Jews will go back to Israel first. The Jews who come forth from the tomb throughout the Kingdom will comprise the second phase of the regathering that takes place after Jacob’s Trouble, for they will come forth in the various lands where they lived previously. As they go back to Israel, God will settle them as He did the Holy Remnant—in His way in the homes that He will make for them, for each man will have his own vine and fig tree.
Ezekiel’s face and forehead were made strong and harder than flint against the Israelites’ faces so that he would “fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks.” This suggests that the Israelites’ faces and foreheads were also hard (they were upset, angry, and displeased), but God made Ezekiel’s face and forehead even harder—like adamantine stone (such as the diamond) and thus harder than flint. He would be stern and unyielding in matters of principle, and in the message he had to discharge, he would not be cowed or affected in the least by the reaction of the people.
Flint is inflexible. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel had strong messages. In fact, all of the prophets had strong messages. Consider Ezra, for example. He must have been a forceful character to make the Israelites separate permanently, with no communication, from their heathen wives and children.
The prophets had to be so much in tune with God’s will and thinking that when they were told to give a message, it would be given with the proper spirit, inflection, and emotion. For instance, if the message was one of indignation and judgment, the prophet had to genuinely thunder. “Offer a sacrifice … with leaven” was delivered in a truly sarcastic tone. So was “proclaim and publish the free offerings”! Not only were those offerings not free, but they were extorted from the common people, who then bragged about their supposed freewill offerings. Their attitude was the exact opposite of Matthew 6:1, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them.” The right hand is not to know what the left hand is doing.
Chapters 2 and 3 focus on the judgment of Nineveh not as a picture of a flagrant enemy of God but as a picture of Christendom, the supposed Church of God. Thus these two chapters are a completely different perspective. The destruction of antitypical Babylon, Christendom, will be much like the destruction of Nineveh. As we proceed, we will see similar analogies with regard to the fall of Nineveh (or Assyria) and mystic Babylon. Just as Rome is the center of Christendom, so Nineveh was the capital of Assyria.