X-Nupop-Charset: English Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:18:16 +0100 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: ChrExp, The Scriptures opened, 64 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Genesis 49:10 - The arrival of Shiloh 2. Isaiah 25:9 - We waited for the LORD saving us 3. Philippians 2:8 - Christ's obedience even unto death 1. Genesis 49:10 - The arrival of Shiloh ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly reading: Vayehi: Genesis 47:28-50:26 Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Jacob, before he dies, blessed his sons. When he comes to Judah, he has a rich blessing for this son. "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk." Genesis 49:8-12. In the middle of this blessing, we find a most important prophecy. Jacob prophecies about Shiloh, that is the Messiah. The holy patriarch Jacob, when laying on his death-bed, saw in the far future, through the influences of God's Spirit, the coming of the Messiah. The future coming of this blessed Person, the Messiah, was Jacob's consolation on his death-bed. Through faith, and enlightened and inspired by God's Spirit, he saw the Messiah, coming forth from his son Judah. "Judah, Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise". From you, my son Judah, will the Messiah spring. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Jacob saw, before he died, that the sceptre should not depart from Judah until Shiloh come. The sceptre, that is the ruling power. The ruling power will not depart from Judah until Shiloh come. Until the Messiah come, Judah will have some government. Until the Messiah come, a lawgiver will not depart from between Judah's feet. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. It is clear that the sceptre has departed from Judah for ages. So Shiloh has already come ages ago. That is clear, and we all know that Jesus Christ is this Messiah. He came from the tribe of Judah, and after His coming and departure, not only the sceptre had departed from Judah, but the entire city Jerusalem was destroyed. Judah is scattered throughout the world, and has no ruling power at all. That Judah is no longer ruling, for ages, is a proof too clear for the fact that the Messiah has already come, then that any one should doubt. But yet, there are objections. Because some people think that the Messiah has not yet come, they try to twist this verse. Instead of carefully listening to this verse, and then coming to the conclusion that the Messiah must have come already, they rather choose to distort this text. Objection. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah" is what is written in the first part of the verse. In other words, the sceptre - the right to rule - belongs to Judah, no matter what impostor sits on the throne (and there have been a number, such as Herod and Agrippas, in Jesus' time); they cannot be regarded as legitimate kings, because the sceptre will not be taken away from Judah. Answer. "The sceptre belongs to Judah" means that Judah is actually governing. But this objection changes this meaning into "Judah has the right to rule". From the sceptre meaning "he rules" they change it into "he has the right to rule". This is, of course, a clever fabrication to evade a prophecy too clear. They then mean that, though Judah is no longer ruling for about 2000 years, yet the sceptre has not departed, because the right to rule still belongs to Judah. But this is false. The sceptre does mean that one rules. When Judah has the sceptre, it can use it, and show its ruling power. So, we maintain that the sceptre has for ages departed from Judah, and that therefore the Messiah has come ages ago. And our Messiah, that is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The next verses prove that the sceptre doesn't only mean the right to rule, but also the ruling power itself. One that has the sceptre, can carry out his ruling power. Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. The sceptre here smites the corners of Moab, and destroys all the children of Sheth. A clear execution of ruling power. Esther 4:11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. Esther 5:2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Esther 8:4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, The king here, having the sceptre, is king in power; he has to might to kill or let alive. Psalm 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. God not only has the right to rule, but He is King always and ever. Isaiah 14:5 The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. When God has broken the sceptre of the rulers, that means that they no longer rule. The sceptre is broken, and they are robbed of their ruling power. The sceptre here means their actual ruling. Ezekiel 19:11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. Here the sceptre is "of them that bare rule" (not: that have the right to rule; but: that bare rule). Amos 1:5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD. Amos 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD. The person that here "holds the sceptre" is one that has the power; not only the right to the power. The sceptre then means the ruling power, in effect, and that will not be taken away from Judah until the Messiah come. How much comfort could the people that now deny the Messiah, have, when they stop twisting God's Word, and subject themselves, together with all their objections, to God, Who sent His Son Jesus. Jacob, in the last moments of his life, had great consolation when he saw, at a distance, the coming of Shiloh, the Messiah. How much more comfort will we have, readers, when we look back to the Messiah, that came when the ruling power began to depart from Judah. How much will we be comforted when Jesus came in our life and heart, and said: "Here am I. Believe in Me, and I will give you everlasting life. Give up your resistance against Me, and I will be your Saviour forever". The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until the Messiah come. Then the sceptre will be in the hands of the Messiah, a descendant of Judah. So, until the coming of the Messiah, the sceptre will be in Judah. And after the coming of the Messiah, the sceptre will be handled by the Messiah, one of the seed of David and of Judah. So, in fact, the ruling power will remain with Judah, but in the hands of Jesus Christ. He is the King forever, and He will once come back to judge the whole earth. Reader, what will your judgement be? The Judge will give His subjects everlasting life, but will throw His enemies into the lake that burns of fire and brimstone. The coming of the Messiah: a terrible thought for His enemies, but a very consoling and comforting one, both for Jacob on his death-bed and for all the other subjects of Jesus Christ. 2. Isaiah 25:9 - We waited for the LORD saving us ---------------------------------------------------------------------- And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. The church of the Old Testament rejoices in her God. Everybody of that church says: "O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built." God has done wondrous things. The city Babel is destroyed, through the mighty hand of God. Babel has become a heap instead of a proud and splendid city. God has judged His people, and has destroyed them that oppressed Israel. Because of this all, the church says: "Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low." No matter how highly the enemy boasts of itself, but God will bring him in the dust. And God will protect the poor and the needy, in the time of their oppression. The people rejoiced in their deliverance from the enemy in Babylon, but they at the same moment saw that a still greater deliverance was at hand. At this moment, Israel rejoices in her deliverance from the Babylonians, but in the future, they say, not only Israel will rejoice, but all people. The salvation of God is going to stretch itself out over the whole world! Seeing that future redemption of all people at a distance, the church of the Old Testament says: "And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it." Until now all heathens are blind in their idolatry, but then, the LORD will take away the vail that is spread over the face and the minds of all nations. They will behold the glory of God with uncovered face and minds. They will see and embrace their Deliverer, the Lord of hosts. "And it shall be said in that day:" Which day? It shall be said in that day, wherein the LORD will swallow up death in victory, and when the LORD God will wipe away all tears from off all faces, and when He will destroy the covering which blinded all nations. In that day, the day of God, it shall be said: "Lo, this is our God." This is our God, namely Jesus Christ. When He comes, the Word will be spread throughout the world, and the bright light of that truth will devour all blindness of the people. Through Christ death will be swallowed up in victory, and the tears of all them that subject themselves to Him will be wiped away from off their faces. The church of the Old Testament, which is the same as the present one, will, when they see the Messiah, say: "We have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." With great longings the people have waited for the coming of the Messiah. See this in the present Jews. Not a few of them greatly long to the coming of the Messiah. Though it were better they finally accepted Jesus, yet, in their great longings we see how much the church of the Old Testament longed to their Redeemer. "We have waited for Him, and He will save us", they say. The higher the distress, with the more zeal they await the future redemption. If the enemies increase in number, then also the longing to the Redeemer becomes stronger. But when Christ came in the flesh, all them that saw in Him the Redeemer, could say: "This is the LORD. We have waited for Him", but now we no longer wait for Him. Now we see Him. This is the LORD. He will save us. We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. 3. Philippians 2:8 - Christ's obedience even unto death ---------------------------------------------------------------------- And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Christ was God, but became man. Who, besides Him, has ever done that? Christ was the King of kings, but He became a servant? Has there ever been any king on earth, that has done this voluntarily? Is there any king that voluntarily humbles himself, lays off his royal honour, power and might, and becomes a humble servant? Yet Christ did so. He dwelt in the heavenly glory, together with His Father, but He decided to humble Himself, leave that pleasant place above, and become a man on this earth down. Herein we see the great love Christ had for His people. He came on earth to save them that were given over unto destruction. He, being in the form of God, and being equal with God, made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. He did so, because He loved them that were given to Him. Christ Jesus, in His great love, denied Himself, and came on earth, leaving that heavenly abode, that pleasant place. Also among men we have some examples of people, who out of love, forsake all they have, and go out to rescue the lost. But they do so for their friends, their children, or their family, or any other group. Yet, with Christ it was different. He not did so for His friends, but for His enemies! Ever heard of one among men that lays off his life for enemies? Yet Christ did so. He loved us, while we were yet enemies of Him, and hateful against God and men. To save such people, haters of Christ, God came down from heaven, and took upon Himself the form of a man. Christ humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. The painful death of the cross, He underwent for us. In doing so He was obedient to His Father. Because of our sins, death was required. Out of love, Christ underwent that for us. God required death, and Jesus was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Out of love, He bore the pain of the nailing down His hands and feet on the cross. He bore the reproach of all the ungodly. They ridiculed Him; laughed at Him while He hung there. He bore this all because He was obedient and He loved His elect. To save them, He underwent all this. This all was not only a result of Christ's love towards us, but first of all because of God's love towards us. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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-064.txt .