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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

HIS WAY

Many times in life I've tried to dance around the laws of God, thinking that I was different in some way. Surely He understood and would make exceptions for me.



If I would have instead paid attention to His ways as revealed in the Bible much pain and suffering would have been avoided. The Children of Israel are our example. The Apostle Paul says what is recorded in scripture is an example of God and His ways.



The Book of Deuteronomy records God's blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. These spiritual laws are irreversible and written in stone. Nothing will change them. Like me, the Children of Israel tried to make skirt around the issue and make things happen of their own power, skill and will.



Several of the curses of operating in this fashion were that the heavens above would become brass and the earth beneath would be iron. My prayers would not be heard or answered and whatever I sowed into the earth would not produce fruit.
I would flee from my enemies seven ways and be removed from the land into foreign kingdoms that I do not know. There would never be any settling down or place of happiness. Enemies would arise during this troublesome journey and I would not be able to stand, fight and be successful; I would just flee. This is what happened to Israel during their troublesome history in the Bible and in recent history.



For a few examples of this fulfillment of the curse for disobedience; in A.D. 70, as we know, General Titus of the Roman Legion burned and sacked the Temple. In fulfilment of Christ's prophecy, not one stone was left upon the other. The only remaining relic of that great Temple is the outer wall, called the Western or Wailing Wall.



Most Jews were removed from the land and sent to nations that they did not know, and they served other gods. They fled from before their enemies more than seven ways. Still, like many, they made valiant attempts to resettle the land and cause things to return to normal. But, all attempts to circumvent and reverse the words of God will always fail. It is an exercise in futility.



Still, many attempts were made to reverse the rulings from the heavens. In 135 A.D. according to Dio Cassius, 50 fortified cities and 985 villages in Judea were razed to the ground and destroyed. Some 600,000 Jews were killed in the battles. The entire city of Jerusalem was ploughed under and a heathen statue sat on what was once the Temple.



Still, for an additional 200 years, although Israel was renamed Syria-Palestinia, when it looked like they may once again become established in the land in some manner, after the Roman Empire imploded, a new ruler named Constantine the Great established anti Jewish laws. Jews were excluded from teaching, holding any office, or the ability to own property. They were forbidden intermarriage with non-Jews and no new Synagogues were allowed.



After hundreds of years of valiant attempts by Jews, the laws of blessing and curses were not reversed. Under Constantine the Great, the first Christian Ruler of the Roman Empire, Jews who refused baptism could suffer the loss of property, torture or death. (365-439 A.D.)



In 624 A.D. the remaining Jews in Israel ( now called Syria-Palestinia) formed an alliance with the Persians and were successful in battle. There were possibly 150-200 thousand Jews left of an original 1 million. Then, the Persians betrayed the Jews and left them at the mercy of the Byzantines. Then, the Crusaders almost liquidated the entire Jewish population in their effort to Christianize Jerusalem, while they were fighting the Arabs (Muslims).



Jews who had escaped the turmoil over the past 2000 years were persecuted in the lands to which they fled. There were pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, the Inquisition's in Europe, and finally the Holocaust of the 1930' and 1940's. God's word will never be circumvented. His judgments are sure.



As tragic as the results of disobedience are in severity and long lasting results; the blessings for obedience are just as sure. Blessings are also written in the heavens. God's thoughts toward Israel and all who obey Him are good. This way also does not change. It is as sure as the judgments. We have a record of the judgment; now for the promises for repenting and obeying. Here are just a few-



The earth will once again see and know that we are a special and chosen people; separate from the world and called by the Name of God. As we strive to obey, our enemies will flee from before us and we will be blessed when we go in, and when we come out. Blessing will overtake us as we live for and obey Him.



He has determined from the foundations of the earth and heavens to have a holy people; not a holy people to ourselves, but a people to and for Him. A people from which He can display His pleasure and goodwill to the lost and dying. It is the way He has chosen to reveal Himself to the nations. We live, act and breathe to bring Him pleasure, not pleasure for ourselves.



As the Apostle says, "I am dead in Christ, nevertheless, I live, and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God."



He desires to set His children high above all of the nations of the earth. Blessings will come to us and overtake us. He longs to do good to not only Israel and His children, but to all tribes and tongues who obey His commandments.



But, He will not change His ways. The history of the Children of Israel are the example given. All attempts to "dance around" the issue are futile.



As the final struggle between His kingdom and the kingdoms of the world come to a climax, His time to favor Zion has come; both physical Zion and spiritual. Both together operating as one, in One.



As we walk in obedience, the earth will once again see and know that we are a special and chosen people, called by the Name of the LORD.

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