Home » Posts tagged 'Israel'
Tag Archives: Israel
“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”
DAY 2: JULY 24
GENESIS 29 – EXODUS 4:31
- The primary themes of moving/leaving to survive, obedience to God, and having a personal relationship with God continue in this reading. Another theme has also blossomed here, which is the God-given right to deceive, if the deception means the godly survival of the one doing the deceiving. We saw this seed planted already in Day 1’s reading with Abraham passing off his wife Sarah as his sister to ensure their survival among the non-Hebrews, but it really takes off in the reading today. Deception abounds, though not all of it is blessed and encouraged by God.
- When learning the 10 Commandments after I was born-again, I was intrigued that God commands us not to bear false witness; he doesn’t command us not to lie, although many people misconstrue the Commandment as being not to lie. So lying, in and of itself, is not a sin if it’s used for godly purposes. God gives his children leeway to lie if lying saves their butt and furthers his plan. We’ll see more of this as the readings proceed.
- I love the story of Joseph! How he had to cheerfully endure injustice after injustice (that is, test after test) in order to end up in a position of authority that would ultimately enable him to save what would later become the 12 tribes of Israel is classic God (as in “the Lord moves in mysterious way, his wonders to perform”). It’s also a good lesson for us on how to deal with adversity (patient endurance), knowing that God is always in control and his plan is on track, even though it may not look that way while you’re in the midst of it.
- Joseph’s love for his brothers brings me to tears every time. I cry when he cries. Joseph weeping over his brothers reminds me of Jesus weeping with Martha and Mary over the death of their brother Lazarus, even though Jesus secretly knows that Lazarus will be brought back to life shortly. The depth of Joseph’s love and compassion for his brothers’ suffering is intensely moving. He knows he has to make them suffer for what they did to him, but it hurts him to do it. He isn’t punishing them out of hatred or revenge; he is just doing what has to be done, all the while loving them.
- As with many of the main Bible figures (our spiritual forefathers), most of the offspring of Jacob (Israel) were problem children. They were not like their father. In fact, in their younger years, some of them were downright nasty. Nonetheless, we can see during their interchanges with Joseph in Egypt that they had become godlier with age. But their father’s final blessing of them before his death reveals their core characters, and not all of them are admirable.
- Note in particular Israel’s blessing of Judah, Jesus’ tribe. This is one of the early messianic prophecies.
- Even so, warts and all, the twelve sons of Jacobs are the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel and remain so to this day.
- I like that scripture shows the warts and weaknesses as well as the strengths. It humanizes the people being portrayed. It gives them an immediacy that overcomes the thousands of years and different cultures that separate us. These people are our spiritual kinfolk. They served the same God we now serve. They spoke with the same God we now speak with. And they love the same God we love. This makes them our spiritual brethren, and it’s good that we get to know them through scripture. If and when we make it to Heaven, we’ll get to know them in person.
- Really looking forward to getting deeper into the Exodus in tomorrow’s reading! Love the “rod of God” that became symbolic of Moses and is still used out of context today for other far less godly purposes.
- Never a dull moment in the Bible!
By the way, you’re welcome to post your own reflections of the day’s reading in the comment section. If you’ve posted it elsewhere, just copy and paste it here. One of the glories of God’s Word is that we all see different things in it at different times, depending on what’s going in our own lives and what we need to learn.
What jumped out at you in this reading? What did you see this time that you hadn’t noticed before?
Feel free to let us know! Share it with us below.
BIBLE READ-THROUGH SCHEDULE ON PDF:
The state of Israel is not the Holy Land.
I’ll repeat that in bold in case some of you missed it: THE STATE OF ISRAEL IS NOT THE HOLY LAND.
I mention this because, again and again, I see so-called Christian groups pledging their support for Israel and for Jewish causes, and all I can think is: Oy vey!
Jesus told us that his kingdom is not of this world. If his kingdom is not of this world, then Israel cannot be the Holy Land. No place on Earth can be the Holy Land.
Jesus also tells us that only God is good and that only God is holy, so where God’s spirit is – THAT is holy ground.
The night before he was crucified, Jesus told his disciples that he and God would come to live with them. This is the very definition of being born again and being a follower of Jesus. You are not born again or a follower of Jesus unless Jesus and God are living with you, through the presence of God’s spirit.
People who are not born again do not have God’s spirit with them. Countries, of course, cannot be born again.
I am born again, which means that God and Jesus are constantly with me, so where I am is holy ground. I am not holy; only God is holy, but his presence in me and around me makes me holy ground.
All born-agains are holy ground.
In contrast, the geopolitical state of Israel is the last thing from holy ground. Just because Jesus walked there when he was in human form doesn’t make it holy. Just because God chose to reveal himself to the Jews in Old Testament times doesn’t make it holy, either.
We need to discredit the claim that a geopolitical state or a people are “holy” or somehow favored by God. No people and no country are favored by God, not even born-agains. Since the dawn of New Testament times, God has revealed himself equally to all people by writing his laws on their hearts, not on stone tablets hidden away in an ark. We are all equally able to access God’s truth if we choose to.
The Israel that was prophesied in the Old Testament is Jesus’ kingdom that has been established since Jesus walked the earth. It’s a spiritual state, not a geopolitical one. We are citizens of the spiritual state of Israel, if we are born-again followers of Jesus. We are the true Jews, not the fake ones of the synagogue of Satan that Jesus warned us about.
We are Israel.
So if you want to pledge your support for Israel and the Jewish cause, pray for yourself and your fellow born-agains. If you want to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, walk over to a mirror and wave to yourself. Maybe even take a foot selfie. If you’re born again, where you are is holy ground.
The geopolitical state of Israel is just another messed-up war-mongering country steeped in blood and motivated by revenge, and there ain’t nothin’ holy about that.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain [Samaria], nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Father’s spirit is the wall of fire around
Father’s spirit is the glory that’s inside me
So where I stand is holy ground
Where I sit, holy ground
Where I lie at night, holy ground
And I claim it in the name of Jesus!
It doesn’t matter where I go
God is always with me, so
where I am now is holy ground.
Be not afraid, for I am with you.
Be not afraid, for I am with you.