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Eze. 22: 30
NET ©

“I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.”

Standing in the gap, like Moses had done: “So he said he would destroy them — had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them” (Psa 106:23)… (Jeremiah had been told no longer to pray for them: Jer 11:14.)

The Babylonians would come in and destroy Jerusalem.

Jesus was the Servant who could stand in the gap. No man was ever sufficient.

It is amazing how many prophecies are fulfilled and foreshadows of Christ in the OT. I love reading the OT just for that purpose.

Intertestamental period: Silent Years

I want stress something that has been bothering me the past few months. It has bothered me primary because it was real to me. I essential was a part of the problem. I could say I was a victim, which is partly true, but I don’t like to complain.

The problem is this: today’s Christians are not studying the Bible in historical context enough. The root problem is probably deeper, today’s Christians aren’t studying the Word of God enough in general.

I wonder how many Christians under the age of 25 could correctly associate each book of the Bible with its general time frame in history (I’ll even be nice and say: give or take a century.)

I hope I am wrong, but I think America’s young Christians might be failing.

I say all that a I am finishing up my Intro to OT and NT classes this semester, I started them in the summer semester. No one had ever informed me about the Intertestamental period. I had been trained (and trained well) in Sunday school classes, generally about all the big names (Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon…I could even name some of the kings like Ahab, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah, etc…and I knew about all the major prophets…In fact I even knew where all these names fit into history on a general basis.)

Then after the Babylonian exile and the return from exiles during the Persian rule….that is where the Sunday school lessons are not enough. (At least for me!) I did not really know what happened next in history. I have learned a lot in my intro to OT and NT classes!

All I knew was that the NT started and John the Baptist is preparing the Way for Jesus. Malichi was a nice bridge foreseeing John the Baptist and Jesus. But what about these silent years?

This “intertestamental period” is also known as the 400 silent years. History lessons of 8th Century till Christ’s life and death are important, but a lot of times this time period is forgotten about. I think that it is forgotten, many times becuase it is not addressed in the Bible very much. And becuase nothing wirtten from this time period is in the Biblical canon. The story goes, “if it is not in the Bible then it must not be important.”

I have a problem with this line of thinking for quite a few reasons. First it is addressed in the Bible. Second the Bible is ultimate truth, but there is truth outside of the Bible, history. The Bible lines up with history, furthermore showing God’s soverighty. Finally, just becuase something is not mentioned/addressed in the Bible directly, does not mean something is not important.

The book from the Bible that helped me the most to look into this period is Daniel. Daniel is propbaly one of the most difficult reads, but it does address the “silent years” through prophetic visions! While they are hard to read and understand we can still glean a lot about history from them. What is wonderful is that the visions line up with real history!

Anyways, I wanted to list some resources that address the “silent years:”
Timeline
Pictoral resource
Summary text of period
More in-depht readings:
Ray Stedman
George Kirkpatrick

Free will or Soverign God in relation to righteous Prophets

In the Prophets there is a point at which God says “no more! That is it! I am going to punish you…I gave you the chance!”

There are times where the faithful and righteous followers of God intervened through prayer and God listened…God gave his people another chance.

Then there are times when God refuses to listen to even the righteous when the his people have broken the “threshold” (if it where). Then it is all God, no matter what the righteous followers do or say.

Of course the argument could go for or against either side…ultimately a Sovereign God is going to punish them eventually or ultimately the people were going to choice to sin and life a lifestyle of disobedience.

But I want to look at both sides of the argument and say that in the Sovereignty of God and in the responsibility of man –there is a balance! Through-out Scripture and in real life…

Sure Calvinists and Arminists can fight all they want but I want to look deeper and see that both sides have a point. Look at Scripture and see the balance.

Prophetic art

Prophetic art is not an optional extra to the message, but essential to it!This type of language was designed to shock people out of our complacency!

The people of the day were ignoring the teachings and sermons of the prophet so the only way to get their attention was to use more poetic speech. While we can still see some of these literary devices in the prophets that we read today in the English translations, there are even more play on words, meter, and devices that we cannot see or understand in the original texts!

This is a really cool area of study if you ever have the time or interest in it. Check it out!

Another amazing OT passage, Christians today forget!

“He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.”

This is Isaiah 59:17!

Christians forget that and only recall later in Eph. 6 when Paul applies the Warrior aspect of our faith to us personally.

But what is important to remember is that The Lord is a Warrior…I think that we, Christians today, forget this. It is still true tody!

Check out Ex. 15:3, Isa. 42:13

Here is a cool document I found that shows how God, The Divine Warrior applies today and in the New Testament

beautiful feet

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Check this out!:

Isa 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Christians can (and do) commonly quote the passage in Romans 10:15 when Paul says “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
But what people often forget is that this was a quotation from the OT prophet Isaiah!

Isn’t this spectacular!

A lot of times we miss the quotations of the OT in the NT. And the integration of the meaning of the texts is something awesome to thing about!!

Social justice

I have written blog posts about this previously but
today it seems even more real and more concerning!
I am going to be blogging more about this in the future as well,
the topic:
social justice.
Why has it been so real to me recently?
I have been reading the prophets a lot recently!
It is not just in Amos, although there it is prevalent!
Just read in Isaiah, Micah, Malachi – social justice is a foundational point to all of the prophets and the ideas are not just limited to the prophets!
In fact the prophets were only building on the foundations of the Mosaic and Deuteronomic law!
Which also speaks about fighting for justice!

God is a God of justice, love and compassion.

I will be posting more later to build on this but I wanted to stress the idea in this post that OT stresses the importance of fighing for social justice.

In later posts I will address these questions:

Does the NT also address social justice/issues the same way?
How does this relate to us today in modern world?
Why should you care?
What social justices should we be concerned for/ fighting for?
How does this relate to Dominion theology and what are the concerns (pros and cons?)
How does this relate to our political stance?
Should a conservative and/or liberal Christian work together for social justice?
How does fighting for social justice relate to post-modern society?
How does it relate to the emergin and emergnat churches? Should we be concerned?
Can we take stands for social justice and not loose our foundational, essential theology?