Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 08:29:34 +-100 Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 61 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Genesis 40:23 - Forgetfulness of the favoured 2. Isaiah 2:1-4 - The Kingdom of Christ 3. Romans 16:20 - God bruises Satan 1. Genesis 40:23 - Forgetfulness of the favoured ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly reading: Gen. 37-40 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him. Genesis 40:23 The story of Joseph in prison is well known. The LORD was with him and made all prosperous what he did. The chief of the prison saw that, and he set Joseph over all the captives. In that function, Joseph had contact with all. One day the chief butler and the chief baker had dreamt. They told their dream to Joseph, who explained and interpreted them. All what he had foresaid them came to pass. The chief baker was hanged, but the chief butler was restored to his butlership again, and he gave the cup in Pharaoh's hand. Joseph had asked him, "But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon." (Genesis 40:14,15) But after the chief butler was freed, he did not keep his word. As our text says, "Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him." The chief butler forgat Joseph, who had explained and interpreted his dream. Perhaps he was again so busy in his work for Pharaoh, that he entirely forgat Joseph. Being busy all the day, he did not remember that dark prison, but forgat it. Were it only that chief butler, that forgat his benefactor! But the world is full of such people. Job, when it went evil with him, was forgotten through his best friends. "My kinsmen have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me," Job 19:14. And also Solomon can tell us of these things. He says, "There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard." (Ecclesiastes 9:14-16) It was great ingratitude of that city, and of Job's friends, and of that chief butler, to forget their friends and benefactors. But that is common in this world. How is it with us? Are we better than that chief butler? Are we better than the friends of Job? Are we better then the ungrateful inhabitants of that city? How is it with us? When we have been ill, and God has again given us the strength and health, aren't we always forgetting him? Who is there that, after he is healed, thanks God? Aren't we often, if not always, forgetting God? Who gives us food, clothes, the Word, a house, work, friends, and all we need? Isn't God our Benefactor. Yet few, acknowledge Him to be so. Few, show their thankfulness. And if somebody does a short hurried prayer, to thank God, that is of course no real thank. It is but a ceremony; our heart isn't in it. The chief butler forgat Joseph. And God did govern also that. It was His will that Joseph stayed for two full years in that prison. Did this time, during which Joseph was imprisoned, have any benefits for him? Yes, it was very advantageous for him. The Psalm says us that there was a great advantage. "Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him," Psalms 105:19. Joseph had God's word that his family would bow down before him. He had dreamt that twice. But after that dream, the fulfilment seemed not to come. And when he was sold into Egypt, and at last thrown into prison, the fulfilment seemed to become impossible. Yet, Joseph knew that it was God's word. His believed in God, and believed that His word would once become reality. But when? And why had God thrown him in prison? Why had God allowed that he was slandered? All these question will have raised up in Joseph's mind. Where was his God? And where was the fulfilment of His word. That is what the Psalm tells us. "Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him," Psalms 105:19. Joseph was tried by the word of God. Having the promise, but not seeing the fulfilment, it was a trial for his faith. What God true? Hadn't He said it? Why did He not fulfil His words? The word of God tried Joseph. He learned, through the delay, to trust God on His word, without seeing it. That is the real faith. Seeing nothing, but yet trusting God. Joseph's faith was tried, until the word came. When the word came, there was put an end to this trial. God appeared to be a God of truth, doing what He has said. To try the faith of Joseph, God made the chief butler to forget his promise. And to try the faith of His children, God brings them in sometimes severe evils. To try the faith of Job, God allowed Satan to attack him. And when at the end the faith was tried, they saw that God was a true God, fulfilling His promises. Through that trial, their faith was strengthened. They experienced that God was true. From that former experience, when in a next trial, they could have hope on God. Remembering God's former deliverance, they could in the new trial hope again on Him. That is what Paul says. "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:3-5) 2. Isaiah 2:1-4 - The Kingdom of Christ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Here follows the word that Isaiah saw. Through a vision he saw a picture of teaching, exaltation and peace in the last days, as we read in the following verses. He saw these things concerning Judah and Jerusalem. These were at present involved in many and great sins, like those of Sodom and Gomorrah. We read that in the previous chapter. In that same chapter, we also read of their recovery. "And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgement, and her converts with righteousness." (Isaiah 1:26,27) So, Isaiah's vision in this second chapter is a confirmation of the one in the first chapter. God did not speak only once, but He repeated the same things that they might be more sure. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. The prophet begins with "and it shall come to pass in the last days". Nobody is doubting that these "last days" are the days of the Messiah. And it shall come to pass in the days of the Messiah, says the prophet. The restoration of Israel and of the church among them, depended on the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed, the Christ. It was through Him that the decayed house of Israel would be restored to the true worship of God. And it shall come to pass in the days of the Messiah, "that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains". This mountain of the LORD'S house it mount Zion, whereon the temple was built. Isaiah does not prophesy of the establishment of the temple itself, but of the mountain whereon it was built. That mountain "shall be exalted above the hills". Not that mount Zion, a hill not so very high", would be lifted up above the other hills, but the prophet does speak here of the glory of that mount. When Christ sets foot on that mountain, and when His doctrine begins to become public, then that mountain is established and set above the hills. The doctrine of the Messiah will be so exalted, that it can be seen and heard by everybody and everywhere. Not only will the mount be exalted, but also "all nations shall flow unto it". When the kingdom of Christ will be enlarged by the preaching of His heavenly doctrine, many that have heard it will agree with that. They will become the followers of true doctrine. That is what is meant by "all nations shall flow unto it." Looking back we know that the very Person of Christ has been on that mount. They have beheld His glory, and have heard His words. In His time on earth, there was only the beginning of His kingdom. But after His ascension, His followers have spread His word also among the heathens. Many nations did flow unto that truth. When they heard the message of life, they obeyed. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. When many people shall have heard of the message of God, preached through the followers of Christ, they shall consider it and say, one to another, "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob". We have heard of that God through the preaching of the Word, and we want to serve Him. The God of Jacob, that is the only true God. Let's ascend Zion and go up to the house of Jacob's God. He is also our God. Why are they going up to the mountain of the LORD? It is, because they wish to receive instruction of Him. Let us go to the house of the God of Jacob, they say, "and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." They come willingly, and with the end to be taught through God. In this respect they differ much from many present people, who are unwilling, and even when they come to God, bring with them their own thoughts. The people whereof Isaiah is speaking, however, have a ready ear for God's doctrine. Putting aside all own thoughts, they ascend mount Zion, enter the house of the LORD, and set themselves among His disciples to receive the doctrine of salvation. The prophet continues with, "for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." This prophecy was accomplished when the Gospel was first preached in Jerusalem, and then went out from there into the rest of the world. Both the instruction and the Word of the LORD went forth from Jerusalem, when many of the first Christians went out to preach through all the world. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. God is the Judge. He will judge among the nations, and He will rebuke many people. Through the law, which goes out of Jerusalem, and through the Lord's Word, the people will be convinced of their sins. The law acts as a sharp rebuker, for it forbids sinning. Through that rebuke, the people will acknowledge their sins, and turn back to God. And when they are rebuked, "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks". The fruit of the preaching of the Gospel is that they will become peaceful. The Gospel of peace will be preached among many nations, and when they subject themselves, after having been rebuked sharply, they become peaceful. They put off their former enmity, and become peaceful men. Formerly, everyone killed everyone, but now they will do good one to another. The prophet Isaiah foretells here the spread of the gospel, beginning from Jerusalem, and continuing until the ends of the earth. Jesus, just before His ascension, commanded His followers to do so. Listen to His words: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Isaiah also foretells us of the peace there will be. And if all, to whom the Gospel has come, had obeyed Christ, then there would have been no war. But since many confess Jesus with their mouth, and deny Him with their hands, the vision of Isaiah is not yet fulfilled completely. We expect a still greater fulfilment, even a perfect one. Not on this earth, but in heaven. There all will be perfected, which is now confused and defective. 3. Romans 16:20 - God bruises Satan ---------------------------------------------------------------------- And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. Romans 16:20 Peter once wrote, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) And having told us that Satan is looking for prey among us, he continues with, "Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." (1 Peter 5:9) We are commanded to resist our enemy, the devil. We cannot resist him in own strength, but we should do so through faith. But since our faith daily fails, we will fall in the hands of our devouring enemy, were it not that God is our supreme King. When our faith fails, and when Satan tries to jump upon us to devour, then we have still our God. As the text says, "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." This enemy will be bruised, so that he no longer is able to attack us. Yes, this is the work of the God of peace. To bruise the enemies under our feet, and to make peace then. The enemy sought war and destruction, trouble and death, but the God of peace will bruise him shortly under your feet. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- firstname.lastname@example.org "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" Institute Practical Bible-education Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html Written by Teus Benschop -- email@example.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-061.txt .