This a bible class that was prepared for a bible study group on Isaiah 34 & 35… reproduced here in the hope others may find it useful.
Good evening Brethren and Sisters. This evening we have a couple of delightful chapters, offering abounding incite into the exiting events of the next few years which we can see unfolding before our eyes. At the time of writing this, Russia was taking over Crimea… in response to what the Russians describe as “the west pushing at them”. We read in Daniel:
Dan 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
Our brother John Thomas wrote of these events in detail in 1848, 165 years ago, 100 years before the declaration of the State of Israel. His understanding was based on bible prophecies written more that two and a half thousand years ago.
Isaiah is concerned with the building up and restoration of the garden of Eden. Over time the leaders of the nation, the spiritual builders set up by our loving father, turned away from his ways and instead set about building themselves up in the ways of the lusts of the flesh and in the process oppressing those who they should have been tenderly leading. These leaders had to be removed by Yahweh at the hand of the Asyran armies, and replaced by new husbandmen that incorage fruit in the people and abundant growth in the nation.
This process is repeated time and again in little cycles within a few generations, and also bigger cycles of millenia, most notably the Asyrio-Babylonian invasion in Isaiah’s time, the Roman invasion in the time of Christ, and the Gogian invasion at Christ’s soon return. The prophercies of Isaiah’s time are often reapplied to the time of Christ and quoted in the new testiment, yet they are also ultimatly applicable to our day and our Lord’s return. So we must ask ourselves, where is our part in these events? It is pointless to consider these things unless we take stock of these words in a very personal way, learning what will soon happen, and endevor to prepare ourselves for what we will be called upon to do.
Very soon our wait will be over, very soon our lord will be here… can you imagine it brethren and sisters… and then what? We will leave all our worldly possessions behind, cast them away to rot and rust back to the ground whence they came from? Overjoyed with the long awaited sweet tender voice of our beloved, longing to be strengthened by those words “well done thou good and faithful servant”. And perhaps, after the pattern of marriage under the law of Moses, getting used to living married life together for a year, becoming used to immortal bodies and the spirit power invested in us. Sitting at the feet of our lord, being “cheered” by his words; walking with him and helping him organise his new kingdom, for there is much preporation needed over the following millennium before he finally hands it over to his father (1 Cor 15:24).
There is much talk amongst all denominations about what will happen to US after this life; whether WE will be accepted or rejected at the judgement seat; how nice it will be for US to be in the kingdom. Yet surely our focus should not be on ourselves… we are certainly not going to be sat down eating and drinking for a thousand years doing nothing! There is a great immutable work do be done, a work declared and demonstrated to us from the beginning to the end of scripture, in our fathers actions to us and the fathers of old – tending the garden of Yahweh, as beautifully foretold to all Adam-kind in the record of the literal 6 days of creation.
This is the hope of Israel, our hope, our fathers work, our Lord’s word, OUR work, and the knowlage of work we must pass on to all those wanting to understand this world we live in and be part of the new heavens and earth to come. We can waste all our time wondering and worrying, “will we be part of the kingdom or not?!”. Perhaps a better use of our time and mental energy would be to ask the question, “are we preparing ourselves to do our Father’s work, both NOW and when Christ returns?”.
And this work is the focus of our two chapters this evening… the purging out of all oposition to the reign of Messiah, in chapter 34, and the building up of people of Yahweh in Chapter 35.
Christ’s body from the Abraham dust, styled ‘Yahweh Elohim’, or those with ‘the Name’ inscribed in their foreheads, who have the character of their father; and the inevitable overpowering of all opposition to this work. Once the “first fruit’s” have been harvested, the bride of Christ, the whole harvest is gleaned. This is realised in the national purging and restoration of the flock of Israel, and the judgements on the nations who gather to ultimately oppose this marvellous restoration (Psa 2).
Chapter 34: Purging of the flock
Our first chapter opens with the words,
Isa 34:1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it.
קִרְבוּ גוֹיִם לִשְׁמֹעַ וּלְאֻמִּים הַקְשִׁיבוּ תִּשְׁמַע הָאָרֶץ וּמְלֹאָהּ תֵּבֵל וְכָל־צֶאֱצָאֶֽיהָ׃
These words are infused with meaning. The command “come near” Qorvu קרבו draws on the foundation of the law of Moses, “if any man bring an offering unto Yahweh” (Lev 1:2), or more literally, “if any man approach with an approaching” (the root words are the same). The very sacrifices themselves were living patterns of how we can approach to our father.
Let us imagine we are taking our sacrifice to the door of the tabernacle, and place our hand on it’s fury head, we identify ourselves with it, this is US. And as that animal is slain before our eyes, cut open and the inward parts checked for blemish by the priest, we are reminded very graphically that we too must purify our inward parts before we will be acceptable as a “sweet savour unto Yahweh”.
Imagine presenting your best lamb before the priest and finding it rejected because of an internal blemish. A life wasted for lack of preparation. So too are the lives of those who stand before Christ without cleansing their inward parts, their minds.
Just as our sacrificial lamb is a pattern of how we should prepare ourselves, our greatest example is Christ, our “passover lamb” (1 Cor 5:7). He is the ultimate sacrificial lamb demonstrating through his whole life how we should approach his father, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man can comeCompare Acts 7:31 with Exo 3:5 to find the Heb-Grk word link to the father but by me” (John 16:16). We eat his flesh and drink his blood, in that we are becoming like him and our work is his work.
Nations & Peoples: Political and Religious
So this great command “come near” Qorvu קרבו, is the call of the gospel to all “nations” and “peoples”. Why nations and peoples Goyim ulumim גוים ולאמים? The word Goy גוי describes a body of people, hence a political organisationOther word links Goy/Gav – rod for the back (Prov 10:13) – Christ’s sceptor (Gen 49:10). Whereas the word Am אם describes a group bound together, in a matrimonial sense, to a husband. And so describes the relationships of peoples to their gods.
The call then goes out from the one true political and religious body (that of Yahweh Elohim) to all other political and religious bodies. Come and purge yourselves, submit to Christ “kiss the son, lest he be angry” (Psa 2), and become part of the only righteous political and religious body, the kingdom of Christ. A body formed from the Abrahamic dust and bound unto Christ as his bride.
To hear and to harken
The commandment is clear, all who approach must both “hear” and “harken”! These two Hebrew words are first used together when Samuel addresses Saul’s disobedience in preserving the sheep and the oxen (for sacrifice) after destroying the Amalekites against direct instruction from Yahweh.
1 Sam 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל הַחֵפֶץ לַֽיהוָה בְּעֹלוֹת וּזְבָחִים כִּשְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹל יְהוָה הִנֵּה שְׁמֹעַ מִזֶּבַח טוֹב לְהַקְשִׁיב מֵחֵלֶב אֵילִֽים׃
Our father’s desire is that we… read, and hear his words, and keep those things which are written therein (Apoc 1:3). The sacrifices are a very explicit learning aid to demonstrate what we must do in preparing our minds for our father. The sacrifices had no power to save, except we listen and harken unto the message they are teaching. So is the sacrifice of Christ to us, if we do not follow his example and give our lives up as sacrifices to our Father.
In the next few verses of our chapter we read…
Isa 34:2 For the indignation of Yahweh is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.:3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
כִּי קֶצֶף לַֽיהוָה עַל־כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם וְחֵמָה עַל־כָּל־צְבָאָם הֶחֱרִימָם נְתָנָם לַטָּֽבַח׃וְחַלְלֵיהֶם יֻשְׁלָכוּ וּפִגְרֵיהֶם יַעֲלֶה בָאְשָׁם וְנָמַסּוּ הָרִים מִדָּמָֽם׃
Now when will this all happen, and what is being referred to here? We must always remember when interpreting Isaiah, that it is “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isa 1:1). Therefore these visions were to show the political and religious state of Judah and specifically Jerusalem. They detail the events surrounding the 4 waves of Assyrian invasions in the times of these four kings, one per king. (2 kings 15:19, 29, 17:3, 18:9) In fact, in the very next chapter after our two that we are looking at tonight, we have the Assyrian invasion and siege of Jerusalem in the time of Hezekiah! I would suggest that this is not a coincidence, and that events of this vision relate to this invasion. I would suggest that there are two applications to this prophecy, firstly in the time of the prophet (showing that his words were indeed true words of prophecy); secondly in our day, the time of the end, the time of the latter day Assyrian, and the day of our Messiah’s return.
This would mean that the nations described in this verse are predominantly the nations destroyed in the Assyrian invasion, the nations round about Israel in that epoch. Those nations which had boasted in their own armies, and their “gods” which they worshipped. Those nations who had set themselves up as mountains, which they believed could not be removed… yet they melted in the fervent heat of the sword of Yahweh.
Two Mountains: King of the North & King of the South
It’s importaint to see how these things described and played out in Isaiah’s day, now relate to ours. There are two super powers of the day, Egypt and Assyria, which were constantly feuding with each other. They are used by Yahweh at various points in history to shape Israel, which was placed right in the middle.
These two domains, the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom are described throughout scripture in various prophecies. When occupied by the Greeks they described as two brazen mountains, and Daniel 11 foretells in intricate detail the continuing wars between the two regions, right until Messiah returns and Michael stands for his people.
As the Assyrians overflowed and poured down into Egypt, plundering it and returned to pillage Israel besieging Jerusalem only to be destroyed by the Angel of Yahweh, so will it be with the latter day Assyrian: Gog and his army. Both these mountains of Brass will “dissolve”.
Host of Heaven dissolved
Moving quickly on to verse 4 and the first part of verse 5, the focus changes slightly to the removing of the Heavens. With this we are brought back to the very reason for this invasion, the Heavens are the Jewish leaders of the day as we see in Hebrews 1 which we will look at later. However, first if we look back in Isaiah we see how our chapters today conclude six prophetic woes on the state of the nation:
- 28:1 – Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim
- 29:1 – Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt!
- 29:15 – Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Yahweh
- 30:1 – Woe to the rebellious children, saith Yahweh
- 31:1 – Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help
- 33:1 – Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled
These are primarily not about the nations around… each of these a lamentation are about the Ecclesia of the day the kingdom of Israel, it’s leaders and their followers. Despite Hezekiah’s leadership in Jerusalem, the northern tribes had corrupted themselves. Gone was the justice and equity of a law established by a loving father, Ail Shaday אל שדי; gone was the wisdom and nurturing of a priesthood typical of the saints of Christ’s reign.
All that is left is to bring down the mighty Assyrian armies as locusts to ravage the land, freeing a righteous remnant from the oppression of their corrupt leaders. And in the words of Hebrews 1:
Heb 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Yahweh had laid the foundations of the Earth, the kingdom of Israel. He had formed the mosaic heavens with his hands, in the scribing of the law in the tablets and dictating to Moses how to order the leadership of the people – that they may be leading lights, to give light to the earth by examples to those around, preserving understanding and knowledge by their lips (Gen 1:15, Mal 2:7). Yet instead, Yahweh proclaims in the opening Chapter of Isaiah, that they were
Isa 1:6 “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”
מִכַּף־רֶגֶל וְעַד־רֹאשׁ אֵֽין־בּוֹ מְתֹם פֶּצַע וְחַבּוּרָה וּמַכָּה טְרִיָּה לֹא־זֹרוּ וְלֹא חֻבָּשׁוּ וְלֹא רֻכְּכָה בַּשָּֽׁמֶן׃
Therefore, heavens were to be replaced by “other labours” who bring forth the fruit of the spirit in those they tend.
42 Jesus saith unto them, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”
43 “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
44 “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
Brethren and Sisters, are we giving the light that we should? Are we encouraging the fruit of the spirit in ourselves and those around us?
In the time of Isaiah, the leaders were replaced by the faithful remnant of the Babylonian exile… yet they quickly became as bad as those before them. In the time of Christ, the leaders were denounced for “making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered” (Mark 7:13). After a 40 year period of oportunity to repent, they were removed by the Romans in AD 70 and replaced with the apostles and their followers. In our day the jewish leaders are just the same, striving for the respect and honor of their peers, while violently insisting on traditions which miss the point of the nurturing laws of our Father. Ultimately they too will be replaced with the imortal stars of Abraham. And the revived Vine of Israel which had perished being unfruitful, a fig cursed by Christ, will then be blessed and will bring forth fruit in abundance as “hands full of corn on the mountain tops”.
In verse 5 we are introduced to the sword of Yahweh. The sword depicts judgement, but more than that, it talks of the priesthood and self examination by dividing between what is good and evil.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of body and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We see this in the very first sword mentioned in scripture:
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cheruvim even a flaming sword which turned every way, to preserve the way of the tree of the lives
וַיְגָרֶשׁ אֶת־הָֽאָדָם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן מִקֶּדֶם לְגַן־עֵדֶן אֶת־הַכְּרֻבִים וְאֵת לַהַט הַחֶרֶב הַמִּתְהַפֶּכֶת לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־דֶּרֶךְ עֵץ הַֽחַיִּֽים׃
Contary to what it says in the AV, the Hebrew says that the Cheruvim ARE a flaming sword. And so the Cheruvim are the sword of Yahweh, placed at the enterence of the garden of Eden which will be restored, and their purpose in scripture is always to preserve the way of return.
In the next few verses over in the following chapter 4 and verse 3, Cain brings his offereing unto Yahweh. Where would that have been? Well I would suggest that their perception would be that Yahweh resides in the garden of Eden where they spoke faces to faces with the Angels. And that the Cheruvim would have been the visible ambasidor to Yahweh on earth at that time. So it is likely then that this is where the offerings would have been brought and presented, and the sacrifice officiated by the priestly Cheruvim.
Now this adds a lot more meaning to these passages. The Cheruvim preserving the approach to the garden, cutting up the sacrifices to check for spot and blemish (Lev 1:6,12). Simbolising the ultimate goal of “descerning the thoughts and intents of the hearts” of those who seek to enter in. Barring those who like Cain, try to enter in by the strength of their own hand.
Now with this in mind, please come to Ezkiel 1 where we find the vision of the Cheruvim coming down from the north. Remember, this is a force who’s role is preservation of the way to the kingdom of Yahweh, the garden of Eden (in the 7th day of Heb 4:4).
Ezk 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of Elohim.
וַיְהִי ׀ בִּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה בָּֽרְבִיעִי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ וַאֲנִי בְתֽוֹךְ־הַגּוֹלָה עַל־נְהַר־כְּבָר נִפְתְּחוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וָאֶרְאֶה מַרְאוֹת אֱלֹהִֽים׃
4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
וָאֵרֶא וְהִנֵּה רוּחַ סְעָרָה בָּאָה מִן־הַצָּפוֹן עָנָן גָּדוֹל וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת וְנֹגַֽהּ לוֹ סָבִיב וּמִתּוֹכָהּ כְּעֵין הַחַשְׁמַל
Here we see the flaming sword in action! Moving out of the north and marching southwards. By comparing Ezk 43:3 which says the vision seen by the river Chevar was the coming “to destroy THE city:”, and Ezk 33:21 which says “one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, ‘THE city is smitten’”, we see that Ezkiel 1 symbolises the destruction of Jerusalem by the babylonian army from the north.
We also see this by considering Jer 46:13 – 47:7, which describes the Babylonian conquest against Egypt. In which Israel is engulfed as “waters rising up out of the north” (Jer 47:2), and the invasion is described as being by “the sword of Yahweh” (:6).
This is the fulfillment of the smiting of the Heavens in Isa 34:5 which we have been looking at… for the preservation of The Truth.
Very soon another whirlwind will come forth from the north, a wind we are now seeing starting to stir – Gog and his Russian confederacy as described in Ezk 38.
As verse 5 continues, there is a second side to this prophecy… the sword shall “come down upon Idumea”, or Edom, the decendants of Esau. This commences a section spanning the remainder of the chapter; verses 5-8 the military campain, and verses 9-17 the resulting desolation.
Lets breifly look at what this military campain is, before looking at our second chapter. Why Edom, and not other nations? We understand this when reading Obadiah.
Ob :10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
מֵחֲמַס אָחִיךָ יַעֲקֹב תְּכַסְּךָ בוּשָׁה וְנִכְרַתָּ לְעוֹלָֽם׃
11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.
בְּיוֹם עֲמָֽדְךָ מִנֶּגֶד בְּיוֹם שְׁבוֹת זָרִים חֵילוֹ וְנָכְרִים בָּאוּ שערו * וְעַל־יְרוּשָׁלִַם יַדּוּ גוֹרָל גַּם־אַתָּה כְּאַחַד מֵהֶֽם׃
12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.
וְאַל־תֵּרֶא בְיוֹם־אָחִיךָ בְּיוֹם נָכְרוֹ וְאַל־תִּשְׂמַח לִבְנֵֽי־יְהוּדָה בְּיוֹם אָבְדָם וְאַל־תַּגְדֵּל פִּיךָ בְּיוֹם צָרָֽה׃
13 Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
אַל־תָּבוֹא בְשַֽׁעַר־עַמִּי בְּיוֹם אֵידָם אַל־תֵּרֶא גַם־אַתָּה בְּרָעָתוֹ בְּיוֹם אֵידוֹ וְאַל־תִּשְׁלַחְנָה בְחֵילוֹ בְּיוֹם אֵידֽוֹ׃
14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.
וְאַֽל־תַּעֲמֹד עַל־הַפֶּרֶק לְהַכְרִית אֶת־פְּלִיטָיו וְאַל־תַּסְגֵּר שְׂרִידָיו בְּיוֹם צָרָֽה׃
15 For the day of Yahweh is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
כִּֽי־קָרוֹב יוֹם־יְהוָה עַל־כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ יֵעָשֶׂה לָּךְ גְּמֻלְךָ יָשׁוּב בְּרֹאשֶֽׁךָ׃
The spirit of the Edomites, the children of Esau, of which we read in Obadiah is alive and kicking in the peoples around Israel this day. Ironically, the hebrew word violence is Hamas, the name of the promanant terror organisation in the Gaza strip right now. One of many splinter groups set up for the purpose of destroying the Jewish state, a people who teach their preschool children that murdering jews is a great honor. I could site countless unsavoury accounts of hatred against Israel, but surfice to say that anyone looking with an unbiased view can plainly see the spirit of the words of Obadiah plainly manifest in the words and actions of the Arab nations around Israel. It is not inconsevable that when the Gogian army (of Ezk 38) decends on Israel, that these Arab organisations will act in the spirit Edomites before them and fly upon the Jews in their distress, taking every posible advantage of them.
It is for this reason that those people will be judged by the sword of Yahweh, for the Violence against their brother Jacob, the descendents of Jacob, the Jews in the land of Israel. For “blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.” (Num 35:33).
Isaiah 63:1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
מִי־זֶ֣ה ׀ בָּ֣א מֵאֱד֗וֹם חֲמ֤וּץ בְּגָדִים֙ מִבָּצְרָ֔ה זֶ֚ה הָד֣וּר בִּלְבוּשׁ֔וֹ צֹעֶ֖ה בְּרֹ֣ב כֹּח֑וֹ אֲנִ֛י מְדַבֵּ֥ר בִּצְדָקָ֖ה רַ֥ב לְהוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
מַדּ֥וּעַ אָדֹ֖ם לִלְבוּשֶׁ֑ךָ וּבְגָדֶ֖יךָ כְּדֹרֵ֥ךְ בְּגַֽת׃
I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
פּוּרָ֣ה ׀ דָּרַ֣כְתִּי לְבַדִּ֗י וּמֵֽעַמִּים֙ אֵֽין־אִ֣ישׁ אִתִּ֔י וְאֶדְרְכֵ֣ם בְּאַפִּ֔י וְאֶרְמְסֵ֖ם בַּחֲמָתִ֑י וְיֵ֤ז נִצְחָם֙ עַל־בְּגָדַ֔י וְכָל־מַלְבּוּשַׁ֖י אֶגְאָֽלְתִּי׃
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
כִּ֛י י֥וֹם נָקָ֖ם בְּלִבִּ֑י וּשְׁנַ֥ת גְּאוּלַ֖י בָּֽאָה׃
Back in our chapter Isaiah 34 and the sixth verse, there is a greater emphasis on the sacrificial aspect of the “day of vengence”. Linking in with the calling of the first verse, to approach the Father in the way typified in the sacrifices of Leviticus. The fat and the blood, or the energy and the life force dedicated to Yahweh.
The remaining verses in Chapter 34 talk of the drying up of the prosperity of Edom. With, verse 9, the streams of the edomite doctrine turned to pitch. Verse 10 – 17 the land laid waste and inhabited by wild animals.
Chapter 35 – deserts bloom
Chapter 35 is bursting with life, restoring the land of Israel, the people and the garden of eden with the tree of the lives, the Immanuel in it’s midst. The scene opens in “the wilderness”, literally in the Hebrew a “place of thought”. This is the name of the book of ‘numbers’, BaMidbar or “in the wilderness”. A book starting in the wilderness at the foot of Mt.Sinai where the the tabernacle of Yahweh’s dwelling was erected and placed in the midst of the camp.
Deut 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the little man of his eye.
11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
12 So Yahweh alone did lead him, and there was no strange EL with him (Immanuel).
And that day will be repeated again soon with the work of Elijah shepherding Israel through the wilderness, again to establish a priestly order to teach the people and take them back into the land of promise with Christ as their king.
Micah 7:12 In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.
13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.
14 Shepheard thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things.
And in this wilderness there will be a great purging out and restoration. A gentle leading as a shepherd and a protecting as an eagle overshadows her young. Despite the waywardness of human nature over the last few thousand years our father is still patient with those who he is taking to himself. We should endeavour to develop our characters and become long suffering and merciful to others, that we may be forgiven our faults (Luke 6:37). “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7,8). Let us take the time to talk to each other, taking the opportunity to learn to build up each other in meekness. This is the Character of our Father, to show true love, without it we will not be recognised by christ at his return, we will be of no use at all for his work in the millennium.
With love demonstrated though the outworking of the life giving principals of our fathers words, we can help our lord when he returns. We can be part of the restoration of the kingdom of Israel under Christ. And the deserts will be glad in him, in the words of his doctrine :
Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise Yahweh, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto Yahweh; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee
What a joyous time it shall be! A time when the “glory of Yahweh” shall be seen – all will see the glory of living lives after the wisdom of our heavenly father. All shall see the excellency of the Elohim, this time those mighty-ones are not the angels, but the immortalised saints, living examples of what it is to live in righteousness without the shackles of human nature.
Verse 3, the weak and feeble strengthened and protected from the Edomite like oppressors saying “be strong, fear not”. Yahweh Elohim will come soon, with the day of vengeance we looked at in chapter 34 and verse 8. With the oppressors subdued, the Israelites may live in true peace and safety, enjoying the plenty of the land after the watering from the living waters of the anointed son of David.
1 Kings 10:8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
9 Blessed be Yahweh thy Elohim, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because Yahweh loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.
It would be lovely to consider more of these verses, however we would need several bible classes to consider even a small portion of the wonders in this chapter. I hope you will be encouraged to follow up some of the themes and thoughts we have been considering tonight, that we may each encourage one another to prepare ourselves in the few hours that remain.
The time ahead is going to be a time, yes, of great destruction… but most importantly a time of great building up. Adam was formed of the dust to minister to the plants growing in the dust of the garden, and it is no different for the second Adam and those who wish to be part of his body. It will be a time of planting and watering, a time of nurishing, a nurturing of all who come to bow themselves before Christ. Are we preparing ourselves now by absorbing his word and practicing his preceps, learning to pass on the tender precepts that have been entrusted to us?
Let that day soon come…
Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of Yahweh shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.