Sunday, January 16, 2011

The terrible famine within the city of Jerusalem.

WARNING this status gives very graphic in details as recorded in history on the judgement of unbelieving Israel.

Back ground leading up to the terrible famine within the city of Jerusalem. The historical setting around AD 30, Jesus had been arrested and led to Pilate then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands. (John 1:1-3)

Pilate found no fault in Him. When the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him." The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God."

Pilate goes back an questions Jesus. But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate says do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?" Jesus answers "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."

Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, (you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar)." vs. 12. The Jews used the threat of tell Caesar of Pilate let Jesus go. Pilate heard (that threat) and brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.

It was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And Pilate said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" But the Jews cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!" (John 1-19) it is interesting to note Jesus said, "But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' (Luke 19:14)

This was not the first time Israel rejected God and refuse to let Hin reign over them. Samuel was a good man and king, yet his sons are corrupt. The elders of the tribes come to Samuel and request a king. Their reason is that Samuel is too old and his sons are corrupt ( Samuel 8:3). This displeased both Samuel and the Lord (vs. 6). Samuel had been working hard at leading Israel for a long time and been a good king. Suddenly, the leaders of the tribes come and ask for a king.

Why was this such a big deal, you might ask. First, the Israelites were using the failure of certain men as an excuse for rejecting the system of government God had ordained. God had established a minimal government over Israel with His own person as the sovereignty behind it. What the Israelites should have asked for was someone else to judge Israel. What they said, in effect, was, the government God has set up does not work.

The real motive of the people the comes out in this passage. (vs. 5). "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."

God has spoken through Samuel the prophet to tell the people of Israel that a king is going to be expensive - both financially and in terms of lost freedom. 1Samuel 8:10-17 There will come a time, God says in vs. 18, when you will "cry out for relief from the king." But then it will be too late.

The LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 1 Samuel 8:7.

With this back ground of Israel in mind lest go back to the trial of Jesus but this time we will continue from the book of Luke. Jesus has just been given over to be crucified. There were women mourning his impending death. Jesus turning unto them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:28), In Luke 21:23 Jesus says, "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and (wrath upon this people).

What do Jesus mean by these above verses? God speaking through the prophet.

Jeremiah foretells of the coming result of a direct judgment of God upon unbelieving Israel. Lamentations 4 6-11 The punishment of the iniquity of the (daughter of my people) Is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, Which was overthrown in a moment, (With no hand to help her)! Her Nazirites were brighter than snow And whiter than milk; They were more ruddy in body than rubies, Like sapphire in their appearance. Now their appearance is blacker than soot; (They go unrecognized in the streets); Their (skin clings to their bones), It has become as dry as wood. Those slain by the sword are better off Than (those who die of hunger); For these pine away, Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field. The hands of the compassionate (women Have cooked their own children); They (became food for them) In the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Notice the consequence was going to be the punishment of the iniquity of the (daughters of God’s people) and there was going to be cannibalism! vs. 11

The prophet Ezekiel. Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgment among you and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds. (Ezekiel 5:10)

The historical fulfilment. One women who had lost everything but her baby to blood-thirsty Jews, then killed her baby son, “and then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed.” When the seditious men smelled “the horrid scent of this food, they threatened her, that they would cut her throat immediately if she did not show then what food she had gotten ready. She replied, that she had saved a very fine portion of it for them and uncovered what was left of her son. She said this is my own son and he was killed by my own doing. Come eat of this food; I have eaten of it myself. The men left, trembling and frightened and the all the city came under distress when they heard about it. (Josephus pp. 443-444.) Of course, we know that hundreds of thousands died from starvation during Titus’ final siege of Jerusalem.

All this occurred in Jesus’ contemporaries.