Posts filed under ‘Judaism’
It cannot be stressed enough that just as the Israelites were expected to eschew evil and live lives that extolled the virtues of holiness before a holy God, Christians are to do the same thing. We are to flee from all sinful desires and endeavor to live holy lives (in His strength), from the time we receive salvation to the very moment He takes us home to be with Him in eternity. Of course, it is impossible for the Christian to live a perfectly sinless life because of the inherent sin nature within us. Sinless perfection is something that will only become reality for the Christian when the sin nature is excised from us and that will not occur until we pass through the door of death.
Exodus teaches us that against all odds, God’s purposes are accomplished, whether anyone likes it or not. It may take time to unroll but it will be seen and God will be victorious. Exodus also teaches us that we can participate in God’s victories through faith; our ability to take God at His Word and simply follow Him. Yet, no one can do this perfectly. The best we can do is submit ourselves to Him on a daily basis and when we do fall, get up quickly, admit/confess our sin and once again, move on with Him.
If we look at the gospels alone, it seems clear enough that Jesus did not go out of His way to take on Satan. He didn’t avoid him and certainly knew Satan was there. Jesus understood evil existed in society and Satan was the primary cause of it, coupling with fallen individuals who would allow him to gain access into their lives in whatever form. Jesus also seemed to understand that He was not going to be able to eradicate evil from society at that time because of God’s main purpose for allowing it to exist in the first place. As I’ve stated repeatedly in past articles, God allows Satan and evil to continue to exist because of the coming head-to-head battle that will occur (and end in the blink of an eye), between God and Satan. It never has been a contest and will not be a contest at the coming point in the future when Jesus physically returns to this planet and destroys Antichrist, who will be at that time, the physical embodiment and representation of all that is evil in one person (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2).
Genesis is the book of “beginnings,” which is the translation of the Hebrew Bereshith. The Septuagint version uses “Genesis,” which means generation of origination. It is the first book of the Penteteuch, or “five scrolls.” Genesis represents the first written words of God to humanity. In it, we begin to see God’s power and His plan once it becomes clear that humanity chose (as did Lucifer/Satan), to rebel against God’s plan. As we move through God’s Word, the reasons why God gave some of His creatures free will becomes clear even though it meant that they would ultimately rebel, causing God to put into place a system of redemption whereby people could embrace salvation and reject hell. This choice exists today and yet, few take it.
Together, the 37 individual books make up the entire Old Testament of the English Bible. In order to appreciate the chronological history of the Hebrew nation (prior to even becoming the Hebrew nation), until the Inter-testamental period, it is important to gain a solid understanding of each of these eleven chronological books; their themes, the period they cover and how they connect. Once these are understood, then the blanks can be filled in so to speak with the complementary, wisdom and prophetic books.
In the Old Testament, we learn how God began to unveil His plan of redemption by creating a special and peculiar people He would later call Israel. This specially created nation was intended to be a “light” or witness to the rest of the world of God’s goodness and justice. It was to be attractive enough so that people from other nations would want to join themselves to Israel so that they too, could become part of the “covenant” people that God had created. While we know that this did not work itself out as was ideally intended (because of Israel’s consistent and continued failure), God’s plan of redemption continued, moving onward.
There is one huge difference between the persecution that God allowed in the past and the coming Tribulation/Great Tribulation of the future. The coming Tribulation is all about God pouring out His wrath on humanity for their continued rejection of Him and their constant rebellion and proliferation of evil. Just as it was in the days of Noah and just as it was in the days of Lot, God poured out His wrath then on a rebellious and disobedient society that refused to bow the knee to Almighty God. Those events foreshadowed the final pouring out of God’s wrath throughout the globe in what I believe is the near future and is called the Tribulation/Great Tribulation.