Here is a challenge

Streuobstwiese im Westerwald   Toad Lily

Here is a challenge.

In our daily Posts we have tried to present interesting current connections between the Bible and things we know are happening today or are still in the future. So this challenge is something to which we can relate because scientists claim they can solve the problems we face. In Jeremiah 33:20 we read: “Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; 21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. 22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.” All we need to do to meet this challenge is: when it is heading into night we make it go to daylight again, or if that is too hard then when it is heading into day then just make it go back into night. That is: have twenty four hours of day or twenty four hours of night instead of twelve hour periods of one or the other, and God will reverse his plan to deliver Israel from exile and plant them in the land of Palestine.

Or if we can number the host of heaven or the sand of the sea shore then that would be a feat of scientific mastery that will cause God to relent and change his plan.

It goes on to explain the challenge and in the next verse 23 “Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. 25 Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; 26 Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.” That spells out the issue with more detail. It is because everyone claimed God had already cast off the two houses of Israel, and he plans to forget his promise to Abraham that God issues this challenge. We need to ask the scientists to do this for us, and Israel will no longer exist to cause all the disruption in the Middle East.

Day and night have been consistent in recorded history, and since we cannot change the ordinances of heaven to make it rain when we want it, we need to concede we cannot do it. This means Israel will be delivered and return to the land promised to them.

Land of Sinim

ビジネスマン コンピューター   Chinese terracotta army - Xian

2. In Isaiah 49:12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. Where is the land of Sinim? It is China. “Sin” is thought to be the Latinized version of the Chinese Qin Dynasty of 221 BC. Commentators agree, in Isaiah it is meant to convey the furtherest country to which you can go. It is fitting that in a book referring to preaching to Gentiles that the last country to be evangelized is mentioned here. Because of the closed society it was not possible to even travel to China. But this has opened now, and ecclesias appear in a few places.

If I use the expression “Sino” most people will immediately picture modern China, for this is the description they give of themselves. We have heard the expression “Sino-Soviet” referring the China and Russia in a joint venture of one sort or another. What is interesting about China is they have been a society closed to Western Religious influence until recent times.

Here is a time when Gentiles (non Jews) come from far, who are joyful that they are people of God and he intends to show mercy to them. It is a time also when Israel claim God has forsaken them. Their charge is God has forgotten them. In the next verse he tells them he is unable to forget them, for the same reason a mother cannot forget her sucking child.

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. There is every reason to be happy. Mountains are called on because they have always been there, so they span time. It is not just Israel. It is all the world that gets to rejoice.

14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Verse fourteen does capture Israel’s reaction to the change. They did not like it. It is ironic that in the days of Samuel they wanted the change. They wanted a king. They wanted to be like the nations. They did not want to be ruled by judges who manage the law. So God introduces a change, and they feel left out. This record will be used in much the same way as Judges. It will be used to show them their own scriptures spell it out plainly, and they just did not read it.

 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. A women, as unlikely as that might be, may forget, but God will not forget. So their complaint is wrong. God did not forget Israel.

 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me. No matter what God does, he can not forget Israel. Any change must include them.

 17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. God is telling them it will all flow to their benefit. They have not been left out. Their position is enhanced. These new people will applaud thee, as those who were first chosen.

 18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, [and] come to thee. [As] I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them [on thee], as a bride [doeth]. If they are an ornament that the Jews will wear, then Israel are exalted above them. That is the point. Israel is in a position to celebrate as well.

 

The King’s mowings

Red modern combine sheep herd, Mala Fatra, Slovakia

3. In Amos 7:1 it tells us: “Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.” The king’s mowings draw attention to the taxation systems and it is mentioned for that reason. Israel’s tax system is much the same as other democratic countries in our world. There is an accelerated depreciation of 100% on equipment and machinery purchased for industry, building, agriculture and tourism. The point is: once Internal Revenue has their portion, the grasshoppers get the rest. How sad is that? Amos appealed to God on Jacob’s behalf saying, “I beseech thee, by whom shall Jacob arise? For he is small, and God repented of it. Amos is a prophet of the last days and we have an insight into God’s view of their behavior in that day.

Palaces

tribunal de Nîmes, France   Karnataka High Court, Bangalore, India

4. In Amos 1:3 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron.” The three transgressions of Damascus were in 1948, 1967 and 1973, and there would appear to be a future event. Gilead is the Golan Heights. One hundred and forty Israelis were killed and many more injured between 1949 and 1967. During the Six-Day War the shelling intensified. Israel captured the Golan Heights on 6th to the 10th of June 1967. Those who fled have not been allowed to return. The First Kibutz was founded in 1967 and by 2004 there were thirty four settlements. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Syrian Forces overran much of the Southern Golan before being pushed back by an Israeli counterattack.

This is not the usual interpretation of these words. There is usually a reference to past transgressions. There are no end of transgressions to choose from, many more than four. So we take the time line signals and start from a date and count from there. We have identified three and await the fourth. But that changes the whole prophecy. It turns it into a latter-day prophecy. We do not have many of those.

Convincing many is not the point. The prudent will act like they did when a prophecy was told. They will see if it fits what has already been said. They will store it away as a possible source of good information and wait.

 4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad. This occurred in 1982. Hazael and Ben-Hadad were notable kings of Syria in the days of Elisha. Much detail of that period is given on Syria then. About the Palaces, of the eight places mentioned seven have palaces. Israel is the one that does not. Because of the conflict in Iraq we came to know the unelected despots who control these lands today have many palaces. The United States soldiers occupied Saddam Hussien’s palaces while they were looking for him. Yasser Arafat had palaces. His wife lived in one in Paris. King Hussien of Jordan has many. Palaces are a feature of dictators under threat in the land today. They move around and wherever they go they have the comfort of a palace. So it is not interested in Benhadad at all. It uses him as a prop in the story line.

Ephraim is an unwise son

Ahnenforschung Erbe mother feeding baby boy. isolated on white

5. The ten tribes of Israel were known as Ephraim so the two divisions are Judah and Ephraim. This story about Ephraim is an unwise son commences in Hosea 13:12, having criticized Ephraim for many faults and failures Hosea says:

12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid. The sense is; his sin is complete as if there is nothing more to be said. God could do no more for Ephraim. 13 The sorrows of a travailing woman will come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children. Other versions read: “the pangs of child birth come for him, but he is an unwise son; for now he does not present himself at the mouth of the womb.” Can you imagine this? There is the conception, and two hundred and eighty days gestation known as the pregnancy, where the child lives in comfort and safety in the mother’s belly. What would you say of a son, who was so satisfied with life in the womb that he rejected the call to come to the birth? You would say he is an unwise son. The thing that makes us say this is a superior knowledge of what life is outside his mother’s belly, and of course the knowledge the child has no choice to stay in the womb. It is a case of come to the birth or perish where you are.

This is an overwhelming idea. Picture the anxiety of the mother and father, who have lived every moment with the child, and now the pangs of childbirth have been sent to summon him, but he refuses. If only he were to put in the effort to present himself at the mouth of the womb his sorrow would be over and he would begin to know a life so different and full of wonder that he could have never known before. His life of nine months was for this purpose, and beyond the mouth of the womb there are pleasures for ever more. What an incredible image this is. Can we use this illustration as a measure of the change? Can it be that this difference that could not have been known to the unborn, represents some gauge of what is in store for those who emerge from this present world into the glories of the world to come. But he is an unwise son. What an understatement. You become agitated at the thought of such an incredible situation. How can a person be made to understand that you cannot compare life in the confines of the womb with life in the world outside, just as you cannot compare life today with the one to come.

Surely this is not the intent of the image. It is too much to grasp. How can you compare what is not known, for we have no experience of life in the kingdom age? We do now. Is this what Paul found when he had visions of which it is not lawful for man to utter? Is it the point that Hosea is making? Well listen to this.

14 Shall I ransom them from the power of the grave; Shall I redeem them from death: O death, where are thy plagues; O grave, where is thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

We are talking about the resurrection of the dead. Clearly the image of childbirth is valid. The concept is so stark, so compelling we have to digest it slowly. Paul was aware of it. There could be no better use of the idea than the one made by him in 1st Corinthians chapter 15:55. Having described the resurrection of the dead throughout the whole of chapter fifteen, he draws attention to Hosea by quoting this verse. That is staggering?

In this I have told you all you need to know about the kingdom of God.

Baal

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Everyone who reads their Bible knows that worshiping Baal is opposite to worshiping God. Many stories make it clear that God does not tolerate Baal worshipers. In the days of Jehu these people were gathered together in one place for what they thought was a celebration to Baal, and everyone present was asked to ensure worshipers of God were exposed and excluded from the meeting. Jehu told his men to surround the meeting place to make sure nobody escaped, and then told his men to slaughter them all. Immediately after this he marched on Ahab and Jezabel and had them slain, and we are informed that the dogs licked up the blood of Jezabel after she was thrown from the upper room. Now, it was this same Jezabel the Queen, married to Ahab king of Israel, who had four hundred Prophets of Baal that Elijah slew on Mount Carmel when it was made clear to Israel that Baal had no power to deliver, and the God of Elijah was the only true God.

You can say this is all a bit gruesome and we prefer to talk of pleasant things. But the events on Mount Carmel are important and Israel decided they would not worship Baal any more because he had no power to do anything. Elijah fled from the wrath of Jezabel, for she was going to take her revenge on him for exposing her religion to ridicule, but she could not find him. 1st Kings 21:1-19.

It is important to realize that Israel preferred to worship Baal more than the God of Israel, because Baal gave them more of the things they wanted. Elijah proved beyond doubt that Baal had no power to give them anything, and they believed he had the power to give them everything. And the confusion springs from understanding what the worship of Baal involves. Baal was “The Possessor” and if you followed in the way of Baal it meant the one in possession of the goods, or the property, or the shares in the company, or the gold and diamond bullion, could rely on the enforcement agencies in the nation to recognize their possession of the goods as nine tenths of the Law. So the Law favored the possessor nine times more than it favored the one who was not in possession.

This means anyone with a complaint against the one with the goods in his or her possession, had to work nine times harder to convince the Law Enforcers of their right to be heard. It was a system that allowed accumulation of enormous wealth in the hands of the few, and few rights to the individual who had little. Just take the example given of Naboth who had a vineyard next door to Ahab’s Palace. Ahab wanted the land possessed by Naboth for a garden of herbs. The vineyard was Naboth’s inheritance given to him by God, and possession of this land always reverted to Naboth and his family at the year of release. So his family could never loose ownership for a long period according to the law of God. Naboth said he would not sell the land or swap the land for some other, because it was his inheritance and belonged to his family from his fathers.

Ahab sulked about this, and Jezabel heard of it. She told Ahab he was the king, and as the king he could have anything he wanted. She then arranged for Naboth to be charged with a crime of blasphemy, of which he was innocent, and prosecuted him in her Court of Law. She could do this because her husband was the king. She then arranged for his sons and family members to be slain so nobody could lay claim to the property. She then said to Ahab, “arise and take possession of the vineyard because Naboth is dead. So Ahab realizing that nothing could now prevent his plan, arose and took possession.

Elijah then appeared to Ahab and said: “Have you killed and also taken possession,” in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick your blood.

So the story of Naboth illustrates what it means to worship Baal. If you want something another has possession of, you use your power and the Law to make this possession change to yourself. This way you, as the possessor of power can have anything you want.

Does this remind us of anything we can recognize today. The world works like this, whether it is Eastern or Western Social Systems, even a Communist System works this way. Those who have the power possess the wealth of the nation. It is the worship of Baal and everyone loves to have it so. The Banks possess everything, and an individual struggles to survive. Those who have the power are corrupt, and arrange for the few to hold all the wealth and power. Possession is nine tenths of the law, and the many pay all the taxation.

Church Organizations can sexually abuse their orphans and charges, and the Law will prevent the individual from calling them to account. The Vatican is the most wealthy and influential organization in the world, and it claims to worship the God of Israel. We need to rethink all of this.

Hierarchy

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By Travis

The message of Jesus has advice to believers on this question of hierarchy. It is not unlike the worship of Baal. They go hand in hand. Jesus was at odds with the leaders of the nation. This is because God was at odds with the leaders of the nation. God did not speak to them and had not spoken for four hundred years. Jesus name was Emanuel which means “God with us.” We believe God was with Jesus and he was not with the leaders of Israel.

This brings us to the subject of hierarchy in the community. We are told not to be Lords over God’s heritage, and that can only mean we do not have rulers and governors. Jesus rebuked them for calling him “master” even though he admitted he was their master. He just did not act like a Lord over them, but was as a servant.

Nobody has power to enforce anything. If you make rules you need to get agreement from all parties expected to abide by those rules. Since we do not have the authority to enforce we must convince. If we cannot convince we must stop leading people and become a follower. Jesus is our leader and what he would do in any situation is what we will uphold. If we feel like striking someone to make them comply we should stop and think it through. We have no right to strike anyone even if they strike us first.

How does this work out in reality? The leaders must practice to answer and convince others to agree it is what Jesus would support. If we cite the rule book and insist a person obey, our argument must have plausible reasons attached. If we cannot explain the reason for the rule to them it cannot apply. If the rule is out of date then update it. But get it right, because you cannot enforce.

Nations enforce through their Armed forces. Governments enforce through their Police force. There are boundless rules and regulations upheld by Legislators and Judges, but the community of believers have one ruler and that is Jesus Christ. If you want them to disregard his commandments you will need a strong argument and they will more likely disregard your strong argument, because he is their leader.

There is not one religious organization in the earth that does not have a Governing Body that makes the rules and enforces them. Much of the Courts time is spent adjudicating disputes on these rules. Who is right and how do we know they are right. The plumb line is put against the Lord Jesus Christ, and if it does not line up, it is rejected.

Magnetic shield

Magnetic shield –

Job 37:18 “Hast thou with him spread out the sky, [which is] strong, [and] as a molten looking glass?” A magnetic shield is a protection that breaks meteors to pieces and deflects radiation back into the stratosphere like a mirror. A looking glass is a mirror. They were made of polished bronze in Job’s time. The surface was always hard and highly polished. Much of the radiated heat and ultraviolet light is reflected away by this shield. If it were not, then disastrous damage would result. The existance and significance of this means nothing to Job, but it means something to us because we know by our research that the shield is a necessary part of the barrier we need against assault from outer space. By mentioning it, God issues his challenge directly at the scientists who know of it.

Earth's magnetic field

Lightning

Lightning over small town

38. Lightning –

Job 26:30 “Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.” The lightning involves the release of atoms from the cloud caused by turbulence and friction. Lightning is only one inch wide but twenty million volts and ten thousand amps and hotter than the surface of the sun. The cloud sends out a trickle of a charge, a plasma filament toward earth, that travels one hundred meters and then pools for a fraction of a second, then sends another for a similar distance which pools and builds. When it reaches one hundred meters from the ground the earth sends a plasma filament to make contact and then the strike is initiated. The flow of electrons is from the cloud to the earth but the discharge starts from the earth and the light therefore seems to go back to the cloud. Men have been researching lightning for two hundred years and are no closer to answering the questions it poses.

The energy produced is so intense the light can penetrate the darkness at the bottom of the sea. So the depth is made aware of the intensity of the event. The noise involves the flash breaking the sound barrier which is eleven hundred and twenty five feet per second, or twelve hundred and thirty six kilometers an hour.

It suggests a spectacle on a grand scale. It is a parable. The rain begins to fall softly. The clouds build up and become more-dense. You see a flash of lightning that sends a finger pointing down at the earth. Seconds later there is the most frightening noise. It sends terror in all who do not know of it. And everyone takes notice.

 

Stormy sea

The wind

Sailing ship

40. The wind –

Job 28:25 “To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.” Three hundred years ago it was confirmed scientifically that air and wind have weight. At the same time the study of hydrodynamics gave insights into ship design and hydraulic systems. It was not until, the late nineteenth century that Aerodynamics and Hydrodynamics combined into the discipline of fluid dynamics. In this verse of Job we are told that they should combine, because they are part of the same. Scientists were wise enough to draw that conclusion, finally.

The weight of clouds can reach astonishing proportions. For example, a cumulonimbus cloud, commonly known as the thundercloud, can contain up to three hundred thousand tons of water. The global weight of air and water are in critical balance. If these were much different than they are, then life as we know it would not survive.