Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Second Exodus, Part 4.

After the nation of Israel made their exodus out of Egypt, they began grumbled and complained about the leadership of Moses under God, not long after they had passed through the Red Sea. (Exodus 16)

They turned away from God because they soon forgot how severe their oppression was in Egypt, plus the stunning impact of each miracle quickly wore off. Psalm 78:11-20 And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness. And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?"

They freely and frequently grumbled and complained about the leadership of Moses and God. What was God’s reaction? Psalm 78:21 Therefore the LORD heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel, Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation.

God had promised the forefathers of the children of Israel a large amount of land (Canaan) to be divided among the nation of Israel. The generation of the Jewish people, which escaped from Egypt, under the leadership of Moses, themselves would have inherited this “promised land” had it not been for their revolt against Moses and God. (The entire account is included in the Bible, Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.)

God provided and cared for His people by giving them food, water, and shelter; He even prevented their clothes and shoes from wearing out. He gave them chance after chance to turn toward, love, and obey Him. God repeatedly forgave the children of Israel for their transgressions against Him, as Moses pleaded with Him to do. However, as a result of their insurrection and disobedience, God caused them to wander aimlessly around the desert for 40 years (Numbers. 14:34,35).

This meant that none of the people who had witnessed the appearance of God on Mount Sinai (see “God’s descent upon Mount Sinai”), as well as all of His other miracles on their behalf throughout the years, would not be allowed to enter the “promised land” on the other side of the Jordan River. In fact, anyone age twenty or older who had grumbled and complained against God would die in the desert (Numbers. 14:27-29).

During the second exodus many within the nation of Israel were leaving the leadership of Moses for the leadership of Christ and the new covenant. Act 2:39-41 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

And there were others who grumbled and complained about the leadership of Christ under God. Luke 6:2-4 And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” But Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he went into the house of God, took and ate the Showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?” And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

In fact, not only did these Jews hate Jesus, they said Jesus was working by the power of Satan. Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, "No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons."

They like their forefather soon forgot how severe their oppression was under sin, plus the stunning impact of each miracle Jesus did quickly wore off. As a result of their resistance and disobedience. What was God’s reaction? A time knows as "Jacob's trouble."

The phrase "the time of Jacob's trouble" is a quote from Jeremiah 30:7 which says, "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it" (KJV). Jeremiah labeled it ‘Jacob's trouble´ and said it would be unique in all history. That time of trouble is depicted by Jesus own words as unique in all history. Matthew 24 :21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. The only time period that fits this description is the 3 ½ years of Great Tribulation in the first century.

Because God greatly loved His people, He sent to them numerous prophets with strong warnings that, unless they repented of their rebellion and disobedience against Him, catastrophic things would occur to the nation in its future. Some of these prophets are (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi) wrote books which are included in the Old Testament of the Bible.

The time of Jacob's trouble took place during the 3 ½ years of trouble which the Jewish people passed through when the Roman armies, under Titus, destroyed Jerusalem and wrought havoc throughout Palestine. Luke's prophecy uses different language to describe the same time and events (Luke 21:20-24). It come as a destruction from the Almighty.

It was a time of great famine and death and Cannibalism on the earth in the siege of Roman. Deuteronomy 28:57 And toward her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for lack of all things secretly in the siege and distress, with which your enemy shall distress you in your gates.

The number taken captive during the time of Jacob's trouble was 97,000 and the number of those who perished during the siege at 1,100.000. The number who perished in the whole time are reckoned at the total of 1,337,490 and the number of prisoners at 101,700; but even these estimates do not include all the multitudes who, throughout the whole country, perished of famine and disease. God causes Jacob's descendants to be greatly troubled because of their sins.

The Jewish people in Christ, generation themselves would have inherited the “promised land” had it not been for their revolt against Christ leadership under God. Matthew 8:11-12 "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. "But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

At the end of Jacob's trouble Jesus reassures the elect. Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

Jeremiah promises that Jacob will be saved out of his trouble. Even though that "day" is great, and like nothing they have seen before, it would not be the end of Jacob. "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it" Jeremiah 30:7 (KJV).