Foundational Frameworks Part 47B The Messiah & The Kingdom of God

Foundational Frameworks Part 47B The Messiah & The Kingdom of God

This was a message that had been promised, explained, and (in a way through the time of David and Solomon) demonstrated so that any confusion surrounding the issue would be minimal if one would only pay attention to what had already been revealed. This was a promise that was made to the Jewish people and this is exactly the focus of ministry that is seen in the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew…

Foundational Framework Part 47 - Messiah & The Kingdom of God Part 1

The term “Messiah” is not a designation that many people would use when describing Jesus. However, this particular office is highlighted in the Gospel accounts. The “hope” of Israel that was promoted by the prophets in the Old Testament was that of the coming Messiah, the One who would be the Deliverer. We may often think of Jesus as Savior, King, Prophet, or even our great High Priest, but rarely do we first choose “Messiah” as our first description of Jesus. Because this is such a prominent but overlooked designation, we must examine the word “Messiah” and consider its implications when He appears on the scene of the New Testament…

Foundational Frameworks Part 46 - The Sufficiency of the King

The call to “have dominion” was mandated to Adam and Eve and they were to rule over the Earth as God’s “Theocratic Administrators.”[2]This is found in the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1:26-28. However, in Genesis 3 the Fall of Mankind occurs, leaving Adam and Eve, and everyone who would come from their gene pool, in a state of separation from God in our trespasses and sins (Gen 3:1-7; Eph 2:1-2). The entire human race is depraved, having no way to rectify their sinful situation or their horrible eternal destination in and of themselves. The human race is unable to remedy its unregenerate condition before a holy God…

Foundational Framework Part 44 - The Word Part 2

The Word, the Life, and the Light are all used to capture the essence and significance of God’s reintroduction into the world in a manifested form. “The Word” speaks to both Jews and Greeks and their philosophical understandings regarding life, existence, order, and rational thought. “The Life” is eternal life, always existing within the Trinity before time began. “The Light” brings attention to Truth in a world that is saturated with darkness…

Foundational Framework Part 43 - The Word

TRUTH IS A PERSON, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

John 1:1-5. It is no coincidence that the beginning of John’s Gospel account and the first words of the book of Genesis are the same. If one were to consider it carefully, we would actually conclude that John 1:1 comes before Genesis 1:1 in regards to the chronological record. With Genesis, Moses begins with a point in history, being the initial creation over six days’ time…

Are You Seeking God?

The Bible is unparalleled in its contents, ability, and sufficiency.
2 Timothy 3:16-17.
            -Contents, because it is Truth, inspired by God Himself.
            -Ability, being useful & advantageous to us in:
                        +Teaching: Doctrine, What we need to know.
                        +Reproof: Conviction, How we are wrong.
                        +Correction: Alignment, Setting us straight.
                        +Training: Instruction, Forward in a new direction.
            -Sufficient, God’s Word makes us “adequate”- “thoroughly furnished, qualified to perform a function, well-fitted, complete, capable, able to meet all demands.” This is living life rightly!!!

The Bible must be received if it is to effect change in our lives
How do we get the Word of God within us?

Deuteronomy 6:4-9. All of life is to be conducted by God’s Word. It must get into the heart so that religious legalism is avoided.

James 1:21-22. We must… 1. set aside evil fleshly things (1:21a) and 2. humbly accept what He has already instilled in us (1:21b).
By so doing, we are able to rescue our lives (souls) from worthless living (1:21c; see also 1:19-20).
-We are cautioned to be “doers” and not just “hearers.” To hear the Word apart from doing the Word is to self-deceive.

Ephesians 5:17-21 & Colossians 3:16-17. To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the Word. The result is godly living, with spiritual motives, thankfulness, and joy! The attitude changes!

Psalm 119:10-11. We benefit from the Word of God in not sinning against God when we “store it up” in our hearts.
Q: Are we seeking God in His Word with all of our heart?
We can start today!

Foundational Framework Part 40 - Losing Sight of the Lord

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.
The glory of God is the centerpiece and goal of all existence.
God’s glory is maximally realized in the promised, coming Kingdom.

The details surrounding King David’s reign are worth studying, but for the sake of our overall goal they will not be covered. With the sins of adultery and murder that takes place regarding Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:1-12:23) great disruption and anguish follows David’s reign until the end. I am sure that we are able to look back at choices that we have made that only had ourselves at the center, altering our lives for less than what could have been. This is the power of sin and the consequences that accompany it. For David, the kingdom was never the same.

Due to this egregious sin, the child that was conceived dies (2 Sam 12:15-23). However, a bright moment of grace comes from this terrible instance in the birth of Solomon by Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:24-25). “Solomon” comes from the Hebrew word for “peace” (shalom). The text tells us that Solomon was loved by YHWH, who sent a message by Nathan the prophet that He would name him “Jedidiah” meaning “beloved by YHWH.” Though we do not see a reoccurrence of “Jedidiah,” it has been explained that “it is possible that Jedidiah was his given name, and Solomon was his throne name. It was not unusual in the ancient Near East for kings to reign under a different name than their given name.”[1] It is not until the book of 1 Kings that we see the account of Solomon unfold, finding him anointed as king of Israel to succeed his father David (1 Kgs 1:39). On his deathbed, David gives a final exhortation to his son.

1 Kings 2:1-4. Any time that someone is close to death in the Scriptures, their parting words hold an emotional weight that might otherwise be absent (See 2 Tim 4:6-8; 2 Pet 1:12-15; 3:1-2). It is in these times that the Holy Spirit speaks to people in such a way that leaves an undeniable impression. David’s final recorded words to Solomon call upon him to keep the Law of Moses. David, as evidenced in his personal writings (ex. Psalm 1), understands that fellowship/intimacy with YHWH is the key to a successful and blessed reign as Israel’s king and that the times where this was not valued had resulted in great personal loss and grief. An interesting reason for keeping the Law of Moses is stated in v.4: “so that the Lord may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’”

This may cause confusion since our previous examination of the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:8-16; Psa 89:1-37) repeatedly provided the assurance that David’s house, kingdom, and throne would be established by YHWH “forever.” All concerns are quickly resolved when we think about the disciplinary emphasis that the Lord included in these promises (2 Sam 7:14-15; Psa 89:30-37). YHWH does not excuse sin. It is completely abhorrent to Him and must be brought to justice. This pronouncement is no different than what has been seen with the Abrahamic Covenant in respect to the children of Israel after the Exodus and whether or not they entered the Land of Canaan. “Though the covenant is unconditional with respect to its ultimate goal of bringing in the Messiah from the line of David, each individual king must heed God’s Word from the heart if he would experience the blessing of God.”[2] Responsibility yielding blessing was before each successive king, but the overall plan would find its fulfillment because of the certainty of YHWH’s promise.

1 Kings 2:5-9 finds David calling upon Solomon to tie up the loose ends that he had left undone at his death. As king, righteousness was to be upheld, and sins of treason were to be brought to justice. While Solomon’s reign is known as a reign of peace (and there is a noticeable absence of war), this is largely because of David’s commitment to conquering opposing forces (2 Sam 4:1-12; 8:1-15; 10:1-19).

1 Kings 3:1-15. Verse 1 is troubling and profound. At the time of Moses’ return to Egypt, Pharaoh was the ruler of all of the known world and Egypt was considered the world’s singular superpower, having no rival. In the time of Solomon, the daughter of Pharaoh was given in marriage. This is profound because of the prominence that Israel had attained in the world’s political arena, previously being Egypt’s slaves, but it is troubling for two reasons:

First, Solomon’s marriage to this woman is stated as forming an “alliance” with Egypt. One cannot help but to question why, seeing that YHWH is the Protector and Defender of Israel. Second, the guidelines that would have been handwritten by the king from Deuteronomy 17:17 would have specified that he was not to take many wives unto himself at risk of having his heart turned. This is especially true in being married to a foreigner who may have no appreciation for YHWH’s relationship with Israel. The mention of “high places” (1 Kgs 3:2-4) showed that pagan worship was still active in some sense, with verse 2 specifying that the worship of YHWH was taking place in them. These “high places” were formerly used for Baal worship (Num 22:41, along with other idols- Lev 26:30) and were initially commanded to be torn down by YHWH when the Israelites crossed over the Jordan (Num 33:52; Deut 33:29). It was later the great conviction that the reading of the Law gave to King Josiah that he began cleansing the land of false idols and graven images, even tearing down the places of worship in the high places (2 Kgs 23:15).

The text is clear, Solomon loved YHWH (3:3) even though he still sacrificed at the high places (3:4). The devotion of the heart is right, but the careful manner in which one was to follow the words of the Lord were off. In His grace, YHWH calls out to Solomon in a dream, giving him the opportunity to ask something of Him (3:5). In humility of heart, and with complete understanding of who YHWH is and His relationship with David, Solomon asks for wisdom (discernment) because he recognizes his inadequacies in being a suitable judge over God’s people Israel (3:6-9). This is pleasing to Adonai (notice the change- v.10, 15). Because of his unselfish request, Solomon is granted all of the things that he did not selfishly ask for, which placed him in a category altogether different.

1 Kings 4:29-34. This passage demonstrates the fulfillment of God’s promise to Solomon and the influence that he exercised which attracted nations and their kings. Solomon is credited with great works, both in wisdom and song; some of which are contained in the Bible as the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. We also see in 4:33 that Solomon had understanding in botany and zoology and that his wisdom drew a great and varied audience (4:34).

Solomon was privileged to build a Temple for YHWH, which the details surrounding this are recorded from 1 Kings 5:1-6:38 and 7:13-51. The finest materials and the most skilled laborers were commissioned for the job. Of particular note is 1 Kings 8:5-11. With the completion of the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant was brought in to take up residence in the Holy of holies. YHWH is pleased with this, and the shekinah (meaning “to dwell”) glory of YHWH fills the Temple (v.10-11).

The pronouncement to Israel and the prayer of dedication found in 1 Kings 8:12-53 are worth reading, especially for devotional purposes.

1 Kings 8:54-61. This pronouncement draws attention to Solomon’s posture, but more importantly to the emphasis placed on the fulfillment of God’s Word, just as YHWH had spoken. Verse 58 calls on YHWH to move the hearts of Israel toward Him, which is seen by keeping what God has spoken in the Law. The reason for this plea is so that the nations of the earth would know that YHWH is superior over all, greater than any other god (8:60). The call is then made to the people to devote their hearts to YHWH, committing themselves to keeping His ways.

We need to pause and let this verse linger in our minds. The language here communicates that the people were to let their hearts be “complete with” YHWH, being “intact” and “undivided” in their commitment to Him. Obeying YHWH was of critical importance. Israel’s relationship and intimacy with YHWH was a witness to the nations, speaking of His goodness and grace, as well as His standards that fostered a fellowship between the Creator and His people (Deut 4:6-9). Remember, no other nation had this kind of relationship with their god.

1 Kings 9:4-9. As before, the Lord reiterates His promise, along with His approval of the Temple (9:1-3), but in v.4 the call to faithfulness is made to Solomon again, encouraging him with blessings for faithfulness and with cursing for unfaithfulness (Deut 29:23-27). YHWH is aware that no one is beyond falling away due to the sin nature. The mention of serving other “gods” is seen in v.6 & 9 as the reason that cursing would come. YHWH would not only cast Israel out of the land but would also have the Temple demolished, become a mockery in comparison to its shining glory (9:8a). The ideas of the Temple becoming a “byword,” a “proverb,” and something that people would “hiss” at in astonishment brings the ideas of shame and humiliation to mind (9:8). This would not be misconstrued by the nations as the Lord’s inability to bring Israel into the Land as Moses pleaded with Him before (Num 14:15-16). Instead, the responsibility for such calamity falls squarely on the shoulders of Israel and their chasing after and serving other gods (9:8-9). Despite these warnings and the clear communication of the consequences, the unthinkable occurs.

a. This passage is painful. Solomon, the wisest man on the face of the earth, the man whom the Lord God allowed to build a house for His name when David did not receive this privilege, fell to other gods by way of the many women that he had surrounded himself with, both as wives and as concubines (11:1-2). We are told that Solomon “loved” these women, but also that he “held fast” to these in love. Being the king, and having for himself a handwritten copy of the Law, it would seem ridiculously out of sorts that this should be the world’s wisest man’s folly in life, being led to sacrifice to other gods and to have abandoned his faithfulness to YHWH (See Deut 17:14-20).

In v.2, the author of 1 Kings reminds us that YHWH had previously warned against the intermarriage of Israel with these pagan nations, of which we find recorded in Exodus 23:31-33; 34:12-16; and Deuteronomy 7:3. As was previously told, these women “turned his heart away” when he was old (11:3-4). We are told that “his heart was not wholly devoted” to YHWH, which stings when we consider that the same word used for “wholly devoted” was previously observed in 8:61 as the exhortation that Solomon gave to Israel after the completion of the Temple. What adds to the shame of this occurrence is that the gods that Solomon chased after are mentioned by name. Ashtoreth of the Sidonians is a fertility goddess that was previously worshipped by Israel in Judges 2:13 and 10:6. Milcom and Molech in v.7 are both mentioned as deities of Ammon and are largely considered one and the same. Both names are a derivative of the Hebrew word melek which means “king.” What is frightening about worshipping Molech is that the ritual commonly surrounding him was child sacrifice (2 Kgs 23:10; 2 Chr 28:3; 33:6; Jer 7:31; 19:5–6; 32:35)! With Solomon, this practice is not mentioned at all, but with the verse references given, we can understand how this redirection toward foreign deities could have served to open the doors of later rebellion against YHWH. The last god mentioned is Chemosh of Moab (Num 21:29) who also had some ties to child sacrifice as seen in 2 Kings 3:27. His name means “subdue” and he was believed to be revered by the Ammonites as well. It is said in 11:7 that Solomon “built a high place for Chemosh” and for Molech, and offerings were made (11:8).

Solomon’s lust for women had led him into grave disobedience. First Kings 11:9-10 show this plainly. Solomon’s heart had turned away. In v.11-13 YHWH speaks of the consequences for Solomon’s infidelity, just as He had promised previously in 9:6-9. The Lord is clear, the kingdom will be taken away from Solomon, but not during his lifetime “for David’s sake,” which is mentioned twice and “for the sake of Jerusalem” being mentioned once. David’s faithfulness and love for YHWH went a long way in protecting Solomon, his son.

The kingdom of Israel is divided, with Judah (and Benjamin) to the south and Israel (being the other ten tribes) to the north. This occurs in 1 Kings 11:14-13:34 with Solomon’s son Rehoboam as king over Judah and Jeroboam as king over Israel. These accounts are worth investing great time in to see the progression of sin that stemmed from Solomon’s folly.

1 Kings 11:6 sums up the situation, “Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done.” We must follow the Lord fully! Being “complete with YHWH,” intact with Him, and undivided. None of us are beyond falling away. Sin, left unchecked, will entice our flesh to act against the truth of God’s Word, whether it is sex, money, power, or notoriety. Sin brings death!

[1] John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), 2 Sa 12:25.

[2] R. D. Patterson and Hermann J. Austel, “1, 2 Kings,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988), p. 34–35.

Foundational Framework Part 39 - A King to Reign Forever

FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 39

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.
The glory of God is the centerpiece and goal of all existence.
God’s glory is maximally realized in the promised, coming Kingdom.

When we speak of kings and kingdoms, we are always speaking of eternal matters. The descriptions that we have in Scripture with relation to Satan and heavenly beings always speak of thrones, rulership, earthly leaders, and/or crowns in some capacity (Ezek 28:12-26; John 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; 11:13-15; Eph 2:2; Eph 6:11; 2 Thess 2:3-4). This concept of ruling and reigning is found throughout the Bible because it is the chief end to which God is working all of history so that His Son will be glorified in ruling over the nations of the earth (Psa 2). Building towards this glorious end, we have the man David as a significant turning point in the history of God’s plan for a future, glorious kingdom!

David is known for two main things in popular Christianity. On the devotional side, he is known as “a man after God’s heart.” This is seen in 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22. On the side of disgrace and sin, David is known for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her faithful husband Uriah the Hittite (2 Sam 11:1-12:23). While his sin is particularly heinous, we will focus on his heart toward the Lord and the Lord’s promises made to David. This is seen in 2 Samuel 7:8-16 and Psalm 89.

2 Samuel 7:8-16. At the beginning of this chapter, David is disturbed that he lives in a finely-built house with materials of superior quality while the Ark of the Covenant sat in a tent outside (7:1-3). However, the Lord speaks to Nathan the prophet in replying to David, telling him that He is not in need of a house. But it is David’s heart in the matter, his desire to care for YHWH, the love that he wanted to show YHWH, that turns the tables of history with David, seeing that YHWH establishes David’s house and kingdom forever. Notice some of the specifics of this passage.

In the same way that YHWH took Saul from a meager existence and elevated him to king (1 Sam 15:17), so YHWH does the same for David (2 Sam 7:8). YHWH recounts His constant presence in David’s life and begins to unfold the blessings that He has in store for him (v.9). This involves the establishment of Israel in the land (v.10), which is in keeping with the promise given to Abram in Genesis 12:2. The specifics in v.10 obviously point to a future time because there is the promise of Israel not being disturbed and that the wicked would not afflict them “as formerly.” Verse 11 elaborates that the “former time” being spoken of was the time of the Judges (hence the importance of having read through Judges), with the declaration of “rest” from all your enemies.

YHWH then states that He will build a house for David (v.11b)! This “house” (bayit- “house, temple, dwelling place, family, dynasty”) will be a house of people, descendants that will reign (v.12). Many have concluded that the offspring mentioned in v.12 is Jesus, but v. 13-14 show that the person in mind is Solomon, seeing that he builds the temple for YHWH (1 Kings 6:1-38) and that he was chastised by the LORD for his rebellion (1 Kings 11:11-13). Jesus did not build the temple, nor did He sin and need chastisement. YHWH then notes in v.15 that His hesed (“loyal love”) would not depart from Solomon, contrasting this relationship with that of Saul. If Saul is a picture of a kingdom sustained by works, Solomon is a picture of a kingdom sustained by grace.

In v. 16, “forever” is the word used to describe David’s house and kingdom, meaning that it is sure and certain because the Word of YHWH has stated it (v.13). In fact, YHWH goes to great lengths in the Scriptures to reiterate the incontrovertible and indisputable fact of David’s descendant reigning on the throne of Israel and his Kingdom having no end (2 Sam 23:1-5; Psa 89:33-37; Jer 33:14-26). This covenant, like the Abrahamic Covenant, is unconditional in nature, meaning that human failure does not negate its ultimate fulfillment because it is based on YHWH’s Word and not one’s actions. It is possible for human disobedience to hinder the fulfillment of an unconditional promise made by YHWH as seen in Numbers 13 & 14, but this does not mean that the promise will not be fulfilled at a later time by YHWH.

The three main elements mentioned in v.16 are: 1) house, 2) kingdom, and 3) throne. As we have already seen, “house” refers to David’s progeny (v.11b). This is a blood line, being established by YHWH. The “kingdom” would be those in David’s line who had the right to rule over Israel. No one else had legal claim to royalty. This was to be a regal, family-ran ministry of humility and servanthood unto Israel (Deut 17:14-20). The “throne” deals with a literal place of ruling in which David’s descendants were to reign. Jerusalem is the place of this reign. It alone is the center of the universe. No other place is sufficient for ruling, nor has the Lord made such promises to any other people.

The astute Bible student will immediately notice the connection to the Lord Jesus Christ in these designations. Bergen notes that, “Three of Jesus’ claims concerning himself allude to this verse. First, Jesus claimed he would build a temple (cf. Matt 26:61; 27:40; Mark 14:58; 15:29; John 2:19–22). Second, he claimed to possess an eternal throne (cf. Matt 19:28–29). Finally, he claimed to possess an imperishable kingdom (cf. Luke 22:29–30; John 18:36).”[1]

2 Samuel 7:18-29. This passage is David’s prayer-response to what we have just read, which is commonly known as the Davidic Covenant. Of significant observation is the use of “LORD” (YHWH), “God” (Elohim), and “Lord GOD” (Adonai YHWH, meaning “Master, Self-existent One”). The reverence given as a response in prayer is humble and tender, revealing to us the type of man that David was. His transition to “Adonai YHWH” shows the high reverence that he placed upon YHWH and His promise, which he uses eight times in this prayer. In this prayer-response, one will do well to notice the celestial connections made in v.22, 23b, & 26-27.

In His grace, the Holy Spirit has seen fit to give us a complementary passage in Psalms that aids in our study of 2 Samuel 7:8-16.

Psalm 89:1-37. Before reading this Psalm, it is vital that we are acutely aware of the significance of God’s name “YHWH” when it is used in Scripture. This name communicates the understanding that He alone is self-existent and needs nothing else to survive, endure, be, or continue. YHWH alone is completely self-sufficient and the uncaused Cause of history. All else is His creation. This fact stands in awesome opposition to the divine council in the heavenlies, described here as the “assembly of the holy ones” (v.5), those “in the skies” (v.6a), the “sons of the mighty” (v.6b), the “council of the holy ones” (v.7a), and “those who are around Him” (v.7b). The repetition of YHWH’s name is important. Joseph Alexander explains, “The divine name here used implies that what makes him so terrible is his infinite power. The angels are again called holy ones, but furthermore described as the privy council, the confidential intimates, of God himself… Yet even to these, as being endlessly superior, he is and ought to be an object of adoring fear.”[2]

From v.5 to v.18 is a praise unfolding to the superiority of YHWH and the rule that He has because He is the Owner of all things. If the heart does not jump for joy in reading this section, your jumper is broken!

The term “Rahab” in v.10 is a difficult one, commonly understood as “Egypt” (Psa 87:4) but also as “Leviathan” (Isa 51:9). Ross explains that “’Rahab,’ representing Egypt (cf. Isa. 30:7), was probably the name of a powerful demonic force thought to be behind that nation.”[3] With the mention of the divine council in v.5-8, the possibility of “Rahab” being the name of the demon over Egypt (v.10), and a possible reference to the “godly ones” in v.19 being the divine council (or possibly the prophet Nathan), one can see that the covenant made with David has some serious implications as far as the heavenly realm is concerned. More on this in a moment.

In v.17b & 24b, the use of the word “horn” may seem odd but is seen as trumpets, flasks, on the corners of the altars, and can even be understood as the peak of a hill, all speaking in a literal sense. This word is also used to express someone’s kingdom, strength, or honor when understood in a figurative-literal sense.

The Lord is clear in verses 30-37 that David’s son’s disobedience will not negate the promise of YHWH’s Word toward David. The covenant with David’s house does not excuse sin and all sin will be punished. The covenant with David is such that YHWH cannot lie about it (v.33-37). He is faithful to the uttermost in everything that He has spoken.

Two things are certain in reading through this Psalm. First, YHWH has a solidified plan with the house of David that has been sealed in the Davidic Covenant. Second, this covenant rests solely on YHWH’s “loyal love” (hesed- “lovingkindness”) and His faithfulness. Even the disobedience of David’s line cannot negate the promise of YHWH.

The prophecies spoken forth so far concerning the Messiah have been nothing short of damning to Satan and the fallen angels. In Genesis 3:15, the “seed of the woman” is spoken of as crushing the head of the serpent. In Genesis 12:1-3, Abram is promised a Land and worldwide blessing, but it is the Seed, being the Lord Jesus Christ, that would come forward, even though Abram and Sarai were beyond producing offspring. Genesis 49:10 speaks of the privileged position of Judah, from which the scepter of rule will never depart. The obedience of all people will one day be directed to the tribe of Judah.

These prophecies are promises resting on the character of God that await their fulfillment in history. Each step that God takes in revealing more about the eventual triumph of the coming King and the establishment of His glorious Kingdom on earth to rule with a rod of iron (Psa 2) is a threat to the father of lies, the enemy, the murderer, Satan (Col 2:13-15). It is a declaration of victory to the divine council, much of which are demonic spirits overseeing the nations and ruling them in corruption and injustice despite YHWH’s rebukes of them (See Psa 82).

For YHWH to extend such a blessed promise to David is monumental. It is David’s faithfulness that brought him such a privilege in YHWH’s plan for the ages, and it would be through David’s lineage that Christ the Lord would enter into this world, both by blood and by heritage as the only One possessing the right to be the King over Israel.

The message of triumph is: CHRIST WILL BE KING! YHWH’s WORD STANDS FIRM! Victory is as certain as God Himself!

[1] Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, Vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), p. 340.

[2] Joseph Addison Alexander, The Psalms: Translated and Explained, The Classic Commentary Library (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1964), p. 371.

[3] Allen P. Ross, “Psalms,” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, Vol. 1 (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1985), p. 857.

Foundational Framework. Part 38 - The Failure of the King

FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 38

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.
The glory of God is the centerpiece and goal of all existence.
God’s glory is maximally realized in the promised, coming Kingdom.

We would often like to think that if we simply had more revelation of God, or if He would just appear to us in a tangible way then we would sin less, love more, forsake the flesh, and live godly lives until our dying day. YHWH has gone out of His way to reveal Himself to Israel in astounding ways, and yet their stubborn hearts were constantly keeping them from following Him fully. Sadly, many have determined that His Word is not enough.

Israel had succumbed to the pinnacle thought of fleshly devices: the conviction that a human being will be able to provide the prosperity, security, and freedom that only God alone promises. With this request, Samuel the prophet warned the people of the ramifications of such a government, causing the enslavement of the people to the wishes of their king, surrendering a portion of their properties (both land and livestock), the taxing of their livelihood to support an earthly regime, and even the distortion of the family structure as their sons and daughters would be removed from the family business and placed into the king’s service (1 Sam 8:10-17). Having previously been freed from such a system, one would figure that Israel’s perspective of a monarchy would have been colored by cruelty, wishing instead to live as truly free people with YHWH as King. In sin, Israel cried out for a king “like all the nations.”

In the Law, YHWH included a proviso regarding the desire for a king.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20. To assume the throne of Israel is to lead in humility. At least this is how the office was designed by YHWH. Though Israel had set YHWH aside, He did not do likewise to them. In His omniscience, YHWH understood the whims of the human heart, even that of Israel’s, and what would happen after their settlement in the Land of Canaan. Clough notes that the “Israelite kingship was to submit to the authority of the Law (Deut. 17:14-20). God’s Law, not a human king, was the ultimate authority. The Creator-creature two-level view of reality had to be respected. Kingship was not supposed to be some midpoint between man and God on a continuous scale of being.”[1] Instead, the king would be subservient to YHWH’s Law, instilling in him a knowledge of the truth by which he would both govern and be held accountable. The Law called for specifications to be met that would ensure this.

First, the king would be chosen by YHWH and not through a political process (v.15a). This would root out any issues of favoritism or any corruption that usually accompanies an electoral process.
Second, the king would be one who was an Israelite national and not a foreigner (v.15b). This would safeguard against reckless decisions that did not consider the history and personal care of the Jewish people. Third, the king was not to collect a great amount of horses, nor was he to send a delegation to Egypt for the purpose of securing a great amount of horses (v.16). The accumulation of horses would be the basis for a military presence to fight battles, which is what Samuel warns the people of in 1 Samuel 8:11. For Israel, victory is not something secured by having more soldiers than the nations that opposed them but in YHWH who solely provides. Even the presence of “many horses” would give a pseudo-security to the people of Israel. Israel’s king was to have none of this.

Fourth, the king was not to have a multiplicity of wives and the reason for such a command is quickly given in 17:17a- “his heart will turn away.” The more women that were in the mix, the more directions that the king’s heart would be taken. The clearest example is in the reign of King Solomon who was the wisest man in the world, and yet was so easily led astray by his multiple wives to serve, worship, and sacrifice to other gods (1 Kings 11:1-8).
Fifth, the king was not to be wealthy (17:17b). This speaks against everything that history has ever seen in the rulers of the world. However, riches provide nothing but false assurance. Proverbs 11:28 is clear, “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.” Money has never brought peace, and unless it is managed wisely by one who gives liberally it becomes a snare (Matt 6:24; 1 Tim 6:10; Heb 13:5).

Finally, the king was to copy by hand the first five books of the Old Testament (17:18). This was to be done before the Levitical Priests so that they could “check his work,” making sure that accuracy was maintained and all questions were clarified and answered. The text is clear that the king was not to make the laws but was to know those given by YHWH and was to enforce them because they are truth. Legislation was not the king’s business. This was not simply a rote exercise, but the textbook by which the king was to conduct his reign. He was to keep it with him (17:19a), he was to read it continually for the rest of his life (17:19b), with such efforts giving way to a healthy fear of YHWH (17:19c), and a careful consideration of all matters being conducted according to the Law’s contents (17:19d). This constant meditation would cultivate humility within the king (17:20a) so that he would not view himself as superior, placing all reverence and authority before YHWH and not himself. Maintaining this course would ensure a long legacy for that line of kings (17:20b).

The first chosen human king of Israel was Saul, a man said to be taller and more handsome than any other man in Israel (1 Sam 9:2). Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin and the Lord called upon Samuel the prophet to anoint him (1 Sam 9:16-17). The language that YHWH uses is intentional: Saul was the “prince” that was to be anointed and he would “rule” over YHWH’s people (1 Sam 9:16-17). YHWH does not relinquish His position as the King of Israel but does delegate responsibility to one that He has personally chosen for the task at hand. Samuel anoints Saul making him the ruler over YHWH’s possession Israel (1 Sam 10:1). This is solidified by the prediction of YHWH’s Spirit coming upon Saul and changing him into “another man” (10:6) and the fulfillment of that prophecy in 10:10. However, Saul shied away from the spotlight, hiding behind a pile of bags when the time came to publicly recognize him as God’s chosen ruler of Israel (10:20-24).

While the beginning of Saul’s reign was full of triumphant victories and careful decisions, such an approach began to wane in chapter 14. The details of Saul’s foolish choices are worth examining but the events of 1 Samuel 15 is really the turning point in Saul’s reign.

1 Samuel 15:1-29. Samuel’s conversation with Saul is pointed to say the least. Samuel begins by stating that Samuel had anointed Saul as the king over Israel by the Lord’s Word. That exact same Word was going to be communicated to Saul, calling for his obedience to whatever is commanded. Saul was anointed because Samuel obeyed God’s Word. In the same way, Saul was to obey the Word of the Lord. Samuel draws attention to the opposition of the Amalekites against Israel from Exodus 17:8-16. This incident is famous for the need to uphold Moses’ arms to secure the victory for Israel.

With verse 3, the call is for harem, for Israel to utterly “destroy” the Amalekites, leaving nothing alive. As mentioned before, the Lord is certainly gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast (loyal) love (Psa 145:8), but He is also a just God who knows the most intimate thoughts of the heart. His pronouncement against the Amalekites is not without cause, nor should we conclude that they are an “innocent” people. Every single person who has ever lived deserves death. That is the only thing that we have earned in our time on Earth. The freely-offered gospel of salvation is the grace of God toward the destitute and undeserving. If YHWH has called for Israel to exterminate the Amalekites, we must trust His Word in the matter, as well as His reasons for such a pronouncement. He alone is the Judge of all.

Saul assembles 210,000 men to handle the command, moving forward in obedience to YHWH’s word (v.4-5). The Kenites were descendants of Midian who resided just south of Judah. Saul notes their kindness (in contrast to that of the Amalekites) shown to Israel as they were traveling to the Land of Canaan. Saul shows them mercy, allowing for them to evacuate the area because of the ensuing calamity. Everything in the text so far directs us to believe that Saul has every intention of carrying out YHWH’s word without reservation.

In their conquest, the entire territory of Ishmael was covered (v.7; see Gen 25:18). All was destroyed… except Agag, the king of the Amalekites. In fact, not only was he spared, but Israel took the best of their livestock for themselves (v.9) in direct opposition to what YHWH had commanded in 15:3. The text notes that attention was given to the valuable and the worthless, with the first being kept and the other being destroyed. This was a critical mistake. Saul was not called to observations and assessments of value, he was called to obedience. Not only this, but v.9 gives us an indication that it was a group effort, seeing that “the people” were right in the thick of these decisions.

In verses 10-11 we find YHWH’s heart-response to what Saul had done telling Samuel that He “regrets” that He has made Saul the king. A comment like this really creates problems for people who think that the Lord is not personal, or that He has so planned out history in such a way where individuals do not have the ability to exercise personal freedom. YHWH is intensely personal and He has emotions, especially in relation to our obedience or disobedience. The regret being expressed is not in the fact that God chose Saul, but in the way that Saul has handled his position as king.

We must remember that election is not a doctrine that determines who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. The Scriptures never use this term in that way. However, election by God is unto a task, mission, or vocation that is to be fulfilled. With 1 Samuel 15 and YHWH’s remarks in v.11 we have an example where the election of God did not work out, just as we see in Romans 9:32. In both instances, it was not YHWH’s election of the person or people that was wrong, but the unbelief of those elected in fulfilling what God had provided for and commanded of them. Saul’s personal responsibility is still intact, and he failed miserably. For this, Samuel is grieved.

To make matters worse, Saul has erected a monument to himself in Carmel (v.12). The man who once hid behind the baggage has now promoted himself through idolatry.

1 Samuel 15:13-21 holds the confrontation between Samuel and Saul. When asked about the campaign against the Amalekites, Saul is oblivious to his error, stating that he has carried out God’s command (v.13). As the words leave his lips, you can hear the sheep and cattle in the background. In verses 15 and 21 Saul refers back to the actions of “the people” as the responsible party for bringing back the spoils. Saul even tries to rationalize these actions by stating that the motive was for the purpose of sacrificing the best that the Amalekites had to YHWH (v.15 and 21). The king had rationalized that worshiping YHWH through sacrifices was somehow separate from obeying Him. Samuel then reveals his conversation with YHWH to Saul (v.16-19). The Lord had taken Saul from being no one to being the ruler of Israel. The command before him was to lead a campaign of harem (used in v.18 and 20 by both men) against the Amalekites as YHWH’s disciplinary tool of judgment. Instead, remnants of the Amalekites remained, including Agag the king (v.20). Verse 19 drives the point home: partial obedience is evil because it is ultimately total disobedience.

1 Samuel 15:22-23. Samuel’s response to Saul’s rationale for his actions should be memorized for our own benefit. YHWH desires obedience over sacrifice. Good intentions and rationalizing sin are evil. Rebellion against His commands is the equivalent to witchcraft in YHWH’s eyes. In v. 23, the word “insubordination” is used. This means “self-will.” It is the pride that comes with living the “self-life,” which is a life lived in one’s desires and not for God. It is corrupt satisfaction. It is sin.

Because Saul had rejected God’s Word, YHWH was removing him as king.

1 Samuel 15:24-26. The reason for Saul’s disobedience is revealed.

First, he feared the people instead of fearing YHWH. This is why the observation of the Law of God was to put the fear of YHWH into people, so that they would not fear anyone else (Deut 17:19c). Saul’s installation was by divine election, not by human politics. He, like we, serve an audience of One.

Second, Saul heeded the voice of the people. Peer pressure had taken precedence over the Word of God. Reasoning through the benefits of keeping the best of the spoil seemed good and right, except that the Lord had commanded otherwise. Only His Word matters.

The remainder of Saul’s time as Israel’s king is a slippery slope downward, finding him tormented by spirits (1 Sam 16:14), paranoid of losing control (1 Sam 18:10-12), commanding the slaughter of the priests of YHWH (1 Sam 22:18), misinterpreting God’s will (1 Sam 23:7), and even consulting a medium for guidance (1 Sam 28:7-14).

Ultimately, Saul ended his life by dying upon his own sword (1 Samuel 31:4).

[1] Charles A. Clough, A Biblical Framework for Worship and Obedience in an Age of Global Deception, Part III (www.bibleframeworkministries.org), p. 101.

Foundational FRAMEWORK. PART 37 - The Cry for a King

Foundational Truths:

  • The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
  • God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
  • Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
  • Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
  • God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.
  • The glory of God is the centerpiece and goal of all existence.
  • God’s glory is maximally realized in the promised, coming Kingdom.
  • While it may seem daunting, the best place to start with this lesson is to spend a couple of days reading through the book of Judges. A good place to break in your reading would be with the completion of chapter 10. What makes the book of Judges so interesting is that sin makes it necessary in the canon of Scripture. Let’s explain.

In Deuteronomy, Moses told Israel to “utterly destroy” the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. This is seen most clearly in Deuteronomy 20:16-20. The word used for “utterly destroy” in v.17 is harem which is literally understood “putting these people under a ban.” The word means “ban, devote, exterminate.”[1] This is a difficult teaching for many who come upon it for the first time and it is often used as an argument against YHWH, deeming Him as heartless, reckless, and even evil for bringing such a command against these groups of people. The reason for such a harsh pronouncement is two-fold.

First, if everything that YHWH creates is good and if what He creates is consistent with His character, for Him to make such a pronouncement is to conclude that their sin is so great that this is the only suitable solution to their sin being brought to justice. Being finite human beings, we are not intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of the people of Canaan, their deeds, their worship, their sacrifices, etc. What we do know is that YHWH makes a judgment call against them and that He will only do those things that are consistent with His character. Therefore, it is not wise to presume that He has responded harshly or in injustice for the

people of Canaan, but that their time of grace and their failure to respond to His revelation had run its course.

The second reason for this pronouncement is like the first, but distinct.

Deuteronomy 7:1-6. YHWH warns the children of Israel to abstain from any relationship with the people who inhabited the land of Canaan. The reason for this is given in v.4 being that their culture, beliefs, and practices would lead the Israelites astray, which would cause the anger of YHWH to burn against them, leading to their destruction. Instead, they were to deal decisively with the people (harem is used in v.2), allowing for YHWH to be the warrior God against them while destroying every thing that would constitute their pagan practices (v.5). Sin is like leaven, eventually working its way through an entire batch of dough (1 Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9). The entirety of the leaven must be cleaned out in order for the batch to remain unleavened, so it is with the inhabitants of Canaan. The people of Israel are a “chosen” people, carrying out YHWH’s mission to reach the world. They had been set apart due to the loyal love of YHWH (v.7-8). They were to be holy unto the Lord, undefiled.

When we come to the book of Joshua, the command to go forth in the confidence of the Lord’s provision is clear (Josh 1:1-9). All is well in entering the land as the Israelites began to conquer (Josh 6:1-24) and dealing decisively with any sin that hindered their success (Josh 7). But in chapter 9 of Joshua, a critical mistake is made.

Joshua 9:1-18. With the news of Israel’s victories in Jericho and Ai, the inhabitants of Canaan prepared for battle (v.1-2). The Gibeonites took a different approach, posing as wanderers and foreigners from a distant land. In deceiving Joshua, they were able to secure a covenant with Israel that prevented them from being utterly destroyed. The critical mistake is seen in 9:14 where they did not “ask for the counsel (literally- “mouth”) of YHWH.” Failing to seek the Lord in this matter caused their failure in securing all that YHWH had commanded them to inherit. The result is that the Gibeonites became slaves to the Israelites, leaving their culture, pagan worship, and false gods intact to corrupt Israel. The book of Judges is an extension of this critical moment of disobedience.

When the children of Israel begin settling in the land that is their inheritance, there are inhabitants that are left from the previous people

When the children of Israel begin settling in the land that is their inheritance, there are inhabitants that are left from the previous people groups due to Israel’s failure to follow the Lord fully. This leads to a cyclical pattern in their existence, being simply understood as:
1) a devotion to YHWH while a leader was in place,
2) the death of the leader,
3) the people stray into idolatry,
4) YHWH brings Israel into captivity to another people,
5) the people eventually cry out for rescue,
6) YHWH raises up a judge to deliver them and steer them back to Him.

Judges 2:1-23. The children of Israel failed to obey the Lord in conquering the land. After Joshua’s death (as well as those who were alongside him who witnessed the great works of the Lord) the people went astray (v.11-13). This caused YHWH’s hand to be against them. Due to the constant compounding of their sin with disobedience and idols, v. 21-23 reveals that the nations that were not utterly destroyed would now serve as a means of testing Israel’s faithfulness to YHWH.

With the book of Judges, there are some pertinent points that need to be emphasized for our study in order to give a frame of reference for what we will see in the proceeding books of the New Testament, as well as understanding the attitude of the Jews regarding the Kingdom, and the culmination of the New Testament in pointing to the coming Kingdom, especially as it is lined out in the book of Revelation.

The first interesting point in Judges is the involvement of the Godhead throughout the book. The Holy Spirit is seen in 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; and 15:14. In each of these instances with the exception of 13:25 we are told that the Spirit “came upon” (or “clothed”) the person in question. This is consistent with how the Spirit operated in relation to humans in the Old Testament (See 1 Sam 11:6; 16:14; Psa 51:11). The “angel of the LORD” is mentioned in Judges 19 times, signifying the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ and Him being acknowledged as God by those that He encounters (See Judg 13:1-23; especially v.22).

The second significant theme is the desire of the people of Israel to have a human king. In Judges 8:22-23, the men of Israel call upon Gideon to become their king, and not only this, but in their exuberance due to his victory, they even call upon Gideon to have his son rule after him, calling for a dynasty to take place among the Jews. Gideon refuses, pointing the

people back to YHWH as their king. Sadly, Gideon is corrupted by idols as seen in 8:27.

The third point of significance is the “rest” that was enjoyed each time the people of Israel turned back to YHWH at the deliverance of the judge sent to her. In 3:11, 30; 5:31; and 8:28, we are told that “the land had rest” for a certain period of years, which was usually however long that particular judge lived. It is interesting that the focus is on the land of Canaan and what the disobedience of the Israelites did to the land once they had settled upon it.

A final point that is noteworthy in the book of Judges is the remark of the absence of a king, which led to the foolishness and disobedience of the people. This is not seen until the latter part of the book, in 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; and 21:25. Israel needed to be ruled over. They needed a king. These remarks are what lead us to 1 Samuel 8.

1 Samuel 8:1-22. This chapter is tragic. Samuel the prophet is the last judge. When his sons were found unsuitable to rule the people, they cried out for a king “like all the nations” (v.5). YHWH tells Samuel something profound, “they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them” (v.7). YHWH is Israel’s King, but He was a king that the people did not want. They desired a king “like all the nations.” Clearly this is a request made in unbelief.

Samuel warns the people about how their lifestyles and economy will change due to this request. Note the cost of having a human king:
1) The drafting of soldiers and personnel (v.11-13),
2) The loss of personal property (v.14)),
3) Taxed one-tenth to feed the king’s army (v.15),
4) Confiscation of private help (v.16),
5) Taxed an additional tenth in livestock (v.17a)
6) Personal enslavement to the king’s purposes (v.17b)

This decision would cost Israel in hired servants, family members, finances, personal property, and personal freedom.

What is ironic about this request is that Israel is rejecting a theocratic kingdom in which YHWH reigns over them. All that Israel desired the Lord could do apart from the need of a human king.

Upon reasoning with the people, Samuel’s list of consequences is disregarded, with the people persisting that they desired to be like the other nations around them. This defeats their calling to be a holy people that were to be set apart from the nations (Deut 7:6).

To make matters worse, but also in revealing the disconnect in Israel’s thinking, the people see a human king as one who will “go out before us and fight our battles” (v.20).

The extent of this insanity is unfathomable, seeing that YHWH states that He “will fight for you” (Exod 14:14), that He alone threw the Egyptians into confusion (Exod 14:25), that He alone is their warrior (Exod 15:3), that YHWH would fight on their behalf (Deut 1:30; 3:22; Josh 23:10), that He alone is the One who fights and saves His people (Deut 20:4); that He alone is the One that is with Israel wherever they go (Josh 1:9); that through Israel, YHWH would be known to the world as mighty, that the fear of YHWH would be known in Israel forever (Josh 4:23-24), and that YHWH alone is the one who gives kings into the hands of His people (Josh 8:1). To ask for a human king who is far less, much less than YHWH God the Creator of the world, is nothing short of a remarkable act of treason.

This leaves an important question before us today that needs to be answered:

Is God enough, or do our hearts covet more?
Is His Word given to us sufficient, or do we need something else?
What is keeping us from leaning wholly into our great God and Savior?

 

 BDAG, p. 355.

 

Foundational Framework Part 36

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.
The glory of God is the centerpiece and goal of all existence.
God’s glory is maximally realized in the promised, coming Kingdom.

A prevalent theme in the Scriptures is that of “inheritance,” where, in the Old Testament, the Lord is looking to give a promised piece of land to the smallest of all the peoples in the world, Israel. In the New Testament, an inheritance is promised to those believers who persevere in holding fast to Christ, being understood as a reward to be earned by faithfulness and good deeds in accordance with the Word of God. YHWH, the Creator, the God of the Bible, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a giver.

While Israel’s inheritance is earthly in nature, the inheritance offered to the Church is one that is heavenly. In both instances, each people group has been sufficiently provided for, extravagantly blessed, and has before them a life which they are to steward according to what they have been given. The Lord God has eliminated all excuses for one not receiving the inheritance offered to them, refusing to violate the free-will of each person. In the end, the things of this world, personal apathy and slothfulness, and neglect or misuse of the plenteous resources that have been supplied will be the only reasons that one will not inherit what has been offered. YHWH desires His children to have success. Regardless if the focus is on Israel or the Church, He desires them to take possession of the inheritance that awaits each of them.

The word “inheritance” is used in the Old Testament over 230 times and occurs in the New Testament around 35 times. This concept is significant in Scripture, for with it comes the conversation of “heirs” (Isa 65:9; Rom 8:17), “sons” and “firstborn sons” (Exod 4:22; Matt 5:45),  “rewards” (2 Sam 22:21; Matt 6:6), “ruling and reigning” (Isa 24:23; 32:1; 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 5:10; 22:5), judgment (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10), and being partners

 (partakers, companions) with Christ (Heb 1:9; 3:14). Reading Deuteronomy, the words “possess” and “possession” are used 66 times, with the Hebrew word “yerusha” meaning “to take possession, to be an heir, to inherit” (Deut 1:8, 21, 39; 2:5, 9, 12, 19, 24, 31, for example). In Deuteronomy, this word is interchangeable with “inheritance”.

In Scripture, there are actually two types of inheritance regarding both the Israelites and the believer in Christ.

The first type of inheritance is unconditional in nature, being something that the Christian receives at the moment that one believes in Jesus Christ. This inheritance is what is understood as “eternal life” in the Scriptures (John 3:16; 5:24; Gal 4:7). For Israel, this inheritance is YHWH Himself, as found in Psalms 16:5 and 119:57. Both are immediate for each respective group when faith is exercised (Gen 15:6; John 3:16).

The second inheritance is conditional in nature, meaning that obeying by faith (“walking by faith”) is the requirement to receiving it. This can be seen in Colossians 2:6 which says, “as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” “Receiving” is the unconditional inheritance, while the conditional inheritance requires the believer to “walk in Him.” For the Israelites, the conditional inheritance is their resting in the land that was promised to them. Numbers 14:28-30 shows the Lord’s perspective on the failure of the first generation to trust His promises and to move forward in possessing the Promised Land. “As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.”

Caleb and Joshua remained faithful to the Lord’s Word in this trying situation. Therefore, they are granted inheritance of the land. Those who walked in unbelief died in the wilderness.

This Jewish understanding of the kingdom and the inheritance being earthly in nature is seen also in Acts 1:6 where the disciples ask Jesus if it was at this time that the Lord would be restoring the kingdom to Israel. The intentional use of “restoring” tells us that the Jewish mindset of

these early Christians was that of Israel’s former glory when David and Solomon reigned upon the throne of Israel.

This chart from James S. Hollandsworth may prove helpful.

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As with any passage of Scripture that we are looking to interpret, context determines the meaning.

Another summary passage that explains both inheritances can be seen in Romans 8:16-17. It reads, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Notice the emphasized portions. The Spirit of God testifies that believers are children of God. This is a fact that requires nothing of us but believing in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. The logical conclusion that the Apostle Paul draws is that IF we are children of God, then we ARE heirs of God. To be one is to automatically be the other. There are no contingencies in this matter. To be justified is to be God’s child, and to be God’s child is to be an “heir of God.” This is most important because it reflects the exact type of relationship that was put forth in the Old Testament when it spoke of YHWH being the inheritance (or portion) of the Israelites (Deut 18:2; Josh 18:7; Psa 16:5; 119:57; Lam 3:24). The

children of Israel did nothing to receive YHWH as their inheritance (portion), it is simply because of His love for them (Deut 7:7-8).

However, the second part of Romans 8:17 entails the second inheritance. If we are automatically “heirs of God” we also have the opportunity to be “fellow heirs with Christ,” but such a designation comes with a requirement, namely that of suffering with Christ, or experiencing suffering because we are holding fast to Him and His Word. When speaking of the second inheritance there will always be a contingent factor present, which is seen in the phrase “if indeed we suffer with Him.” The reason for this is found in the emphasized words “so that.” Being glorified with Christ is the culmination of our salvation. Having suffered with Christ, we are qualified to be glorified “with Him,” IF we have suffered for His Name’s sake.

When we talk about or read through passages in the New Testament that exhort the church to obedience, walking by faith, and good works, we are not simply subscribing to a “this-is-what-we-ought-to-do” existence that is without meaning or significance. Embracing the commands of Scripture and living out the New Life that Christ makes possible has monumental value in eternity to come, bringing greater degrees of glory to God! The more a saint lives this New Life in obedience, the more that God’s Word is promoted as trustworthy and sure, the more that He is glorified in the obedience of His children!

For our purposes in the chronological approach of God’s Word, we look to Israel’s historical example regarding the second inheritance.

With the failure of the first generation to trust YHWH in moving forward in inheriting the land, the opportunity was postponed (Num 14:28-33). After wandering for 40 years, the book of Deuteronomy finds Moses and the children of Israel standing on the edge of the Promised Land. This is the 2nd generation, for all that were 20-years-old and older had passed away due to their rebellion (Num 14:29). Only Moses was left to die before the 2nd generation of Israelites could crossover into the land to possess it (Num 20:9-12). Moses’ charge throughout the book of Deuteronomy is that they remain faithful, knowing the Word of God as revealed in the Law and doing all that it commanded them. Some passages to elaborate on the specifics would be helpful.

Deuteronomy 1:8. The command is to go in and “possess” (inherit) the land that was promised to them.

Deuteronomy 4:37-40. What motivates the faithfulness and blessing of God toward Israel is His love! Not only does He fight for Israel, but He has promised an inheritance to them, being the Land of Canaan. They are told in v.39 to “take it to your heart” that YHWH is the only true God and that by keeping His statutes and commandments, they would live long in the land, prospering there, even unto the times of their children.

Deuteronomy 6:1-3. This passage occurs right before the Shema[2] setting the stage for what Israel was about to receive. The people would be taught doctrine and were expected to implement it in their daily lives. This was meant to leave a legacy, directing the family structure and lifestyle into successive generations that fostered a culture of obedience to YHWH, with the entire nation walking in fellowship with Him. The emphasis is found again in v.3 on the importance of listening to what Moses was teaching them and to apply it. Doing so would bring blessing.

As mentioned in previous lessons, these historical events in Israel’s life are vivid pictures of the spiritual realities of the Christian life.

With the death of Moses (Deut 34:5) comes the command for Joshua to assume command in leading the Lord’s people. The exhortations of the Lord toward Joshua hold some valuable secondary applications for us today in regards to receiving the inheritance.[3]

Joshua 1:1-9. The command is given to Joshua to lead the people in crossing over the Jordan River (1:2). YHWH understands that this is a difficult assignment, and the people of Israel have just come off hearing Moses reiterate to them the failure of their fathers in inheriting the land forty years prior when the opportunity was given to them. For Israel, Moses was a symbol of leadership and stability. With Moses’ passing comes a void to be filled but also a new era; one which finds the second generation learning from their predecessors’ mistakes and trusting the Lord in moving forward.

Three times in the passage YHWH encourages Joshua, telling him to “be strong and courageous” (1:6,7,9). Two of those times, the fact that YHWH is with him is communicated to reinforce the command (1:6,9), while the exhortation in 1:7 is one that calls for the keeping of the Law so that he will prosper in the land. The application for the Christian is that the Lord our God is always with us, even more so in the Church Age because the Holy Spirit indwells the believer in Christ (John 14:17; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13-14). We have no need to fear, since the Spirit that we received is not a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). Too often fear has crippled the believer, shutting his or her mouth, and stifling the flames that would otherwise compel us to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These things need not be so because God is with us. Therefore, let us be strong and courageous so that we can move forward in sound obedience.

The inheritance before Joshua is specified in 1:4, noting the boundaries of south, north, east, and west. This is the same designation of land as seen in Genesis 15:18-21. What God had promised years before was coming to fruition in Joshua’s time.

Undoubtedly, the most familiar exhortation in this passage comes from 1:7 where YHWH tells Joshua to “be careful to do according to the law” exactly what it says to do. In taking the land, Israel was to be a beacon of righteousness to the pagan nations around her (Deut 4:6-8). This beacon can only shine forth if Israel is walking in fellowship with YHWH. So it is with the Christian today. While we are not saved by obedience, our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone gives way to a new way of living before the world. This is the New Life, walking in love, operating in joy, confident at every turn because our hope is reserved in heaven, not earth. Such living causes us to inherit the wondrous riches and positions of ruling and reigning alongside Christ (Rev 20:4). Our lives on earth are a time of stewardship. How will you spend it? Jesus states, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” Are we ready?

[1] James S. Hollandsworth, “Two Inheritances,” at http://kingdompreparation.com/2014/09/two-inheritances, accessed 10 April 2018.

[2] Shema means “Hear, O Israel.”

[3] Secondary application is how one who is not part of the originally-intended audience should respond to a command or moral teaching.

Foundational Framework Part 35 - Failure to Inherit

 

  • Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
  • God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.
  • Man is a responsible agent, held to a moral standard.
  • Sin originates within a person, separating us from God.
  • God declares one righteous by faith alone, apart from works.

What is the grand purpose of all history and existence? Many people would point to the salvation of the lost, but this is actually only one piece of the total pie that YHWH will accomplish in history. The grand purpose for all of history and existence is God’s glory! The salvation of men and women is one of many things that contribute unto this end. Ryrie explains, writing, “Scripture is not man-centered as though salvation were the main theme, but it is God-centered because His glory is the center. The Bible itself clearly teaches that salvation, important and wonderful as it is, is not an end in itself but is rather a means to the end of glorifying God (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14).”[1] That being said, the establishment of a literal, earthly, political theocracy in which Christ Jesus reigns supreme is the pinnacle of glory unto God, “when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Cor 15:24b-25). If this is God’s mission in history, and if He has communicated this fact to us in the Scriptures, it should be our driving mission as well, for no purpose is greater than God receiving maximum glory all of the time for eternity!

In Daniel 7:13-14 the thesis statement of the Bible is recorded. The goal of all history and existence is that Jesus Christ would be glorified in establishing His kingdom on Earth, exercising an “everlasting dominion.”

God’s desire is that men and women would have a ruling capacity upon the Earth alongside Christ in this future time. This is first found in Genesis 1:26-28. We are told that God made man and woman in His image, after His likeness, as rulers over the fish, birds, cattle, and

creeping things, being fruitful and filling the earth, subduing it, and ruling over it. Some translations use the term “have dominion” (ESV, KJV, NKJV, Darby). The idea is that man was to dominate the creation in alignment with His Creator. McClain notes, “In the Genesis account of the creation of man, the very first of the divine injunctions laid upon him was regal in character… Thus among other important likenesses to his Creator, man was given a limited sovereignty in relation to the earth.”[2]

Only man and woman were created in His image and likeness. This cannot be said about any other creature that the Lord has made. This creative act was before the Fall of man, making it a pure and holy calling. YHWH was operating with man in a sinless, unmodified environment. Also, this establishes human beings as superior to all other forms of life in creation. Thus, from the very first chapter in Genesis we have YHWH sharing His ruling responsibilities with men and women, establishing a kingdom of rule on Earth.

With the introduction of sin into the human race (Gen 3:1-7), the right to rule was forfeited by Adam and Eve and the mantle was taken up by Satan and his demonic forces (Psa 82:2-7; John 14:30; 2 Cor 4:4). The “kingdom on earth” became a playground for sinful exploits and satanic deceptions as the human rulers of this world were swayed into flesh-patterns of decision-making that satisfied the wisdom of man rather than being in alignment with the holy council of the Creator God by His Word (Gen 6:1-4; Rom 1:18-32). The propensity is toward godlessness.

In Genesis 9:1b, YHWH commands Noah and his descendants to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth. What is noticeably missing from this command is that the call to “have dominion” is absent, showing that this right was forfeited in the Fall.

YHWH is serious about real estate. Every kingdom needs a place in which to reside. For the Jews, this land is in the Middle East, between Egypt and Iraq. With the call of Abraham and the promises that were made to him, we see that “land” is guaranteed to him and his descendants (Gen 12:1d, 7). This is restated again and again (Gen 15:7-21; 17:8) also being communicated to Isaac (Gen 26:3) and Jacob (Gen 28:13). Even by going

into Egypt, Jacob is told that YHWH would “make you a great nation there” (Gen 46:3).

YHWH’s affection for Israel is seen in the Exodus time, calling them His people (Exod 3:10), His son, and His firstborn (Exod 4:22). All of these are terms of personal possession, as well as terms used for those who would be heirs of what was to come.

It is clear that the revelation of Scripture thus far (and throughout the rest of the Old and New Testaments) points to the Lord’s fulfillment of the dominion command with progressive revelation working toward the future coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

The greatest way that YHWH is glorified through people is when they trust His Word and walk forward in obedience. Such obedience causes them to inherit a place of regal responsibility in the coming Kingdom of Christ. In the history of Israel, who are looking forward to the Messiah who will “restore the Kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6), inheritance is conditioned upon obedience. This historical event sets up a perfect picture for the Church Age saint in what it is to “trust YHWH fully” so that he or she will receive an inheritance.

Numbers 13:1-16. YHWH calls upon Moses to send out spies made up from the leaders of each of the twelve tribes to see what the Promised Land looked like since they were being led to inherit it. By selecting leaders, these men already understood the pressures and responsibilities that came with leadership. Some have equated the sending of spies as an act of unbelief by Israel, but this is proven false in Deut 1:21-23. The Israelites wished to plot out a way to go up to the land and see the cities that were to be taken first (Deut 1:22b). We are told that this request pleased Moses (Deut 1:23).

Verses 4-16 give a detailed account of the men selected for this mission. Of particular note is Caleb in v.6 (whose name means “faithful” and is a derivative of the Hebrew for “dog”), and Hoshea (whose name means “salvation, deliverance”) in v. 8, also called Joshua in v.16 (actually “Jehoshua” meaning “YHWH is salvation”), Moses’ 2nd in command.

Numbers 13:17-25. Repeatedly, we have the Land of Canaan referred to as a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exod 3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev

20:24). Was it true? This expedition served in answering many questions about what they were to expect.

o   What is the caliber and number of men that they would be fighting?

o   What places are best for habitation?

o   What is the estimated time of initial survival?

o   What battle strategies need to be considered?

o   What will be required to overcome the structures that they are living in?

o   Is the land abundant or scarce for food and supplies?

This was not haphazard operation. The Israelites sought to be prepared and their surveying the land is in keeping with wisdom.

The journey of the spies is impressive. In the course of 40 days (13:25), the spies journeyed from the Wilderness of Zin, which is the southwestern curve of the Mediterranean Sea, up through the main land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, to the northern point of Rehob located in Lebo-Hamath which is southern Syria (13:21). Just 3 miles north of Hebron, the spies cut down a massive cluster of grapes in the valley of Eshcol to bring back as evidence of the land’s abundance. The length of this journey is roughly 480 miles round trip!

Numbers 13:26-33. When the spies returned, they gave a report to Moses, Aaron, and the congregation of Israel. The land was bursting with abundance just as YHWH had said (13:27)! However, the spies also spoke of the opposition that lay in wait for them. This report was exactly what Moses asked of them (compare the questions of 13:18-20 to the report in 13:27-29). Everything in the spies’ report in 13:27-29 is true. Details are given as to the people and their locations. “The Semitic Amorites and Jebusites lived in the hill country, along with some of the non-Semitic Hittites who had migrated into the region from eastern Anatolia. The term Amorite can refer in general to a number of the inhabitants of the Levant, including those in areas known today as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine.”[3]

Obviously, such a report, no matter how truthful, would cause anxiety among Israel. We must keep in mind that the Israelites are not warriors, or fighters, or generals, but are men and women who had just come out of a slave mentality and who, apart from the Living God, would not be alive at this moment in history. Caleb, who was one of the twelve spies (13:6) brought the people to a hush and immediately called them to walk forward in what YHWH had already told them. YHWH’s promises served as Caleb’s confidence. Caleb demonstrates an excellent leadership principle in v. 30: Clear direction is most needed in a troubled time.

The response from the other spies (being 10 of them because Joshua was siding with Caleb-14:6) showed that they had allowed their present circumstances to overshadow the eternal promises of YHWH. Verse 32 seems to communicate that the 10 spies gave a bad report, seeking to persuade Israel to disobedience. Verses 32-33 also communicates that embellishments were conveyed, telling the people that the land “devours” its inhabitants, that those who live there are overpowering and enormous in size, making the Israelites seem like grasshoppers in their wake. This description is nothing short of elaborate and dramatic for the purpose of stirring up fear in the people.

The mention of the Nephilim in v. 33 has caused some debate. The Nephilim were last mentioned in Genesis 6 as the result of demons cohabitating with human women. While many have written saying that this is impossible, the passages they cite do not serve in giving an explanation of improbability. However, if we simply take God’s Word for what it says and understand that He is telling us the truth about things that we would not otherwise know, we see that this event brought about the great judgment of the Flood!

With the Flood being global, and the Nephilim being mentioned, one would draw the conclusion that the Nephilim perished in the Flood. This is a correct understanding. The reason for their name resurfacing in this situation is because the sons of Anak (13:22, 33) were actual giants that lived in the land (much like Goliath later). The Israelites, knowing their Genesis history, would be further led to not enter the land if the 10 spies used the word “Nephilim” to strike fear in the people. Thus, it is not that the Nephilim survived the flood, but that their name was used for the purpose of persuasion.

Numbers 14:1-5. The Israelites’ response is one of anguish, letting their emotions run the train right off the tracks. In reading v.2-4, it is evident that their responses are thoughtless and careless, disregarding the goodness that YHWH had showed them in setting them free from slavery and providing for them in the desert. Notice the list:

o   It would have been better to have died in Egypt (14:2b)

o   It would have been better to have died in the wilderness (14:2b)

o   What is God doing? Why has He brought us here to kill us? (14:3a)

o   Our wives and children will be taken from us (14:3b)

o   Egypt held a better future for us (14:3c)

o   Let’s get rid of Moses and go back to slavery (14:4)

It is both astonishing and sad. And, it’s not too far off base from how we respond when the emotions are running high and the eternal character of God is questioned because of our present circumstances. The report of the spies had eclipsed the promises of God. Let it sink in for a moment: the Israelites are crying out that slavery in Egypt is a better future than being with YHWH.

Moses and Aaron’s response to the situation is one that is unexpected, but definitely right: They fell on their faces before the Lord, submitting themselves to YHWH before the people.

Numbers 14:6-10. Joshua and Caleb, the two spies that were trusting in the promises of God to them, tore their clothes in disgust at this incident. They pleaded with the people to not lose sight of what God could do in bringing them into the land. One important point communicated in v.8 is the statement, “if the LORD is pleased with us.” Caleb and Joshua knew that the covenant that they had received in Exodus 19 and 20 was conditional and that YHWH was not obligated to bring that particular generation of Israelites into the Land that He had promised them. They continued pleading with the people, “do not rebel against the LORD” (14:9), noting that the people of the land will be the Israelites’ prey, easily devoured because YHWH fights for them!

It is difficult for 2 men to reason with a million or so disgruntled and discouraged people. The response that they received was carnal, calling for their stoning. This is a very possible response in our lives when one’s

 emotions are running the show, the person is not thinking soberly, and truth is asserted to try and bring stability to the situation.

YHWH, in His glory, then appears before the people.

Numbers 14:11-19. YHWH’s response is one of obvious frustration. From v.11, the chief problem in their ranks was unbelief, even though numerous signs had been given to convince them otherwise. YHWH’s anger is understandable, but the response given is in the form of a test for Moses. Does Moses still trust in YHWH? What if YHWH were to wipe out all of the Israelites and start over with Moses? Should this be the way that YHWH deals with unfaithfulness and unbelief? Taking another step that seems unnatural, Moses steps forward. “Moses interceded for Israel to protect the Lord’s reputation with the Egyptians, who would charge the Lord with inability to complete His deliverance of Israel and thus deny His power. Second, the Lord’s loyal love was the basis on which the Lord could forgive His people.”[4]

There are two things that are intriguing in this passage. First, the central point is YHWH keeping His Word, which Moses appeals to in v.16. This is exactly the response that YHWH wants from us every time. God’s Word is paramount and what He has said about a matter, subject, or situation is always right regardless of what the world, politicians, scholars, or fellow Christians may say. Second, this appeal comes to a close with Moses referring to God as Adonai (“Master” v.17). Moses then recites Exodus 20:4-5 to YHWH, praying back His Word to Him and focusing in on His “chesed,” His loyal love for His chosen people Israel.

Numbers 14:20-23. YHWH pardons Israel’s sin. Sin is deserving of death, but YHWH graciously lets them live. The Lord then states clearly that His glory will fill the earth (14:21). This is God’s specific goal for the Israelites, that they would bring great glory to God so as to illuminate the whole planet to His goodness and grace (Deut 4:6-8). YHWH notes that the Israelites had put Him to the test ten times and for so doing, they would not be the ones who inherited the Promised Land. You may say, “but didn’t YHWH forgive their sin and pardon them?” To that, the

Scriptures say, “Yes.” But this pardon resulted in their not dying. This does not mean that there were no consequences for their actions. Because of their unbelief, they would not inherit the Land. YHWH’s seeks to accomplish His promise by bringing the people into the Land to inherit it fully, and He will do so in keeping with His Word (Gen 12:1-3).

Numbers 14:24-35. The Lord notes that Caleb was different. What set Caleb apart was that 1) he had a “different spirit,” with the word for “different” meaning “another” spirit, being contrasted to the people, and 2) he had “followed Me fully,” showing that faithfulness in God’s promises is what gained Caleb his inheritance in the Land.

Starting in 14:25, new directions are given and the children are to go back into the wilderness. There, they would die over a period of 40 years, one year for each of the days that the spies were in the land receiving validation of all that YHWH had promised them (14:33-34).

A harsh lesson to learn is that Moses, Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua were free of guilt in this situation, but because of the disobedience of the people, they still had to lead them through the forty years of wilderness. The unbelief of the Israelites costs these four men and their families dearly, even though they were faithful. 

Numbers 14:36-38. The consequences for the instigators of this travesty were not spared. While they were not responsible for the responses of the Israelites, they were the “tempters” that led them into unbelief. These men “died by a plague before the LORD” (14:37), which means that they dropped dead right before the people. The text then re-emphasizes the fact that Joshua and Caleb would inherit the land.

This passage is a real-life, historical event that communicates an important theological truth to the Church Age saint.

  • The Israelites were “passed over” by applying the blood, being saved from physical death (Exod 12:13). The Church is saved from spiritual death when they apply the blood of Jesus Christ, which can only be applied by faith (Rom 3:23-26; Eph 2:8-9).
  • It is not until after their deliverance (“salvation”) that the Israelites were given instructions on how to live (Exod 20:1-20). 
  • They were fully accepted before this, demonstrating that their obedience was not contingent on their standing before God (Exod 3:10). The Church is justified before God by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Eph 2:8-9). It is not until after one is born from above that they are to be discipled (taught) in all that Christ has commanded (Matt 28:19). Any condition of works or obedience beforehand is not in keeping with the Old Testament picture being painted.
  • Upon receiving instructions, the expectation was for the Israelites to apply what they had learned, having voluntarily agreed to be in a covenant relationship with YHWH (Exod 19:8). Upon receiving instructions, the Christian is to move forward in applying those instructions, having been given a new capacity, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, in living a new life (Heb 5:11-6:3). Believing and obeying are two separate things, properly represented by the terms “justification” and “sanctification” (Col 2:6).
  • Unbelief kept the Israelites from inheriting the Land that they were promised, meaning that YHWH would have to fulfill this promise (for the promise is certain) with another generation of Israelites. This blatant rebellion, despite all of the evidence and provision that had set them up for success, was judged by YHWH ending in the eventual death of all who rebelled against Him (Num 13-14). The Israelites, instead of enjoying the abundance that waited for them in the Promised Land, would wander in the wilderness to the end of their days (Num 14:33-34). The Israelites were never cast out of the family of God, for they were believers in God (Exod 14:31). However, they were disciplined because of their disobedience and rebellion, and did not inherit the Land.
  • For the Church, walking with the Lord (Eph 4:1), loving one another (John 13:34-35), and considering another better than ourselves (Phil 2:3) are all applications of the doctrines that we have been taught. Failure to live this new life will result in believers in Christ not inheriting the future coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ on Earth (1 Cor 3:15; 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5).
  • The concept of “inheriting the Kingdom” is not the equivalent to Heaven. If one believes in Christ, their eternal destiny is already locked up securely in their permanent relationship with the Father (Eph 1:13). However, one’s fellowship with the Father is a different story. Fellowship is cultivated by obeying what Christ has commanded (John 14-16). In fact, a love for God is evidenced in the obedience of the Christian, and no other way. Inheriting the Kingdom is the same as having a rich entrance into the coming Kingdom of Christ. This would be contingent on the Christian being a co-heir with Christ in the Kingdom, meaning that they were given a favorable reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10). This often entails suffering for His Name’s sake (Matt 5:3, 10-12, 19-20; 6:4, 6, 18 Rom 8:17; 2 Tim 2:12). It is by rebellion, pride, and self-promotion that we lose out on the opportunity to reign with Christ (Matt 6:1-2, 5, 16, 23-24; 7:21-23, 26-27).
  • Will you trust the Lord for your daily life, direction, and decisions? There is no greater place, that yields no greater reward and accomplishes no greater glory for God, than being in the center of God’s will all of the time. This end is inseparable from knowing, trusting, and doing His Word.

 

[1] Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Dispensationalism, Rev. and expanded. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1995), p. 48.

[2] Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom: An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God (Chicago: Moody Press, 1968), p. 42-43.

[3] R. Dennis Cole, Numbers, Vol. 3B, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), p. 223.

[4] John MacArthur Jr., ed., The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville, TN: Word Pub., 1997), p. 217.