Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24- Promises About The Land

November 24, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Ezekiel 47:1-48:35; 1 Peter 2:11-3:7;
Psalm 119:49-64; Proverbs 28:12-13

Therefore it is, I say, that the Enchanted ground is placed 
so nigh to the land Beulah and so near the end their race. 
~John Bunyan in Pilgrim's Progress

Ezekiel 47:1-48:35

And so we come to the end of the visions of Ezekiel. It should not surprise us that God makes promises about the land. Didn't this story start in a garden?  Was paradise not lost? Now God comes full circle as the land is watered by a great river that nourishes trees that line the stream. The water allows new crops to be harvested every month.  Fruit is abundant in the trees. Sounds like Eden to me! Think back to the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis chapter 2. The Garden had four rivers that flowed from it. They were the Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers.  These springs watered the surface of the ground prior to rain occurring on the earth. Now, we see the earth restored to this type of fertility. The fruit from the trees provides food and the leaves provide healing to the people on earth at this time during the millennial reign. We have a description very similar to this in Revelation 22 in describing the river of life in the new heavens and the new earth.  Perhaps God intends to have an earthly shadow of an eternal reality during the millennial kingdom on earth.

As the land is restored, the water of this great river that runs under the Temple also runs to the Dead Sea and purifies the waters of the Dead Sea making it a useful body of water for fishing. Abundance is throughout the kingdom. The land of Israel (the Promised Land ) is divided among the twelve tribes of Israel, and they will finally inhabit the whole land promised to Abraham.

Finally, the name of the land will be "The Lord Is There."  Indeed, God will dwell with man on earth as He did in the Garden of Eden. God will redeem man and the land. God will restore the earth.

1 Peter 2:11-3:7

Peter reminds the Church that they are really foreigners on this earth. Heaven is our new country. But, while on earth we must be mindful of our behavior as a witness to unbelievers. We are to accept earthly  governmental authorities. Godly lives will silence critics. Be free in that you are God's slaves. Do you realize that slavery to God is true freedom? Freedom from what?  It is freedom from sin and death.

Suffering in our various circumstances is what Christ has actually called us to. Follow in his footsteps. He did not retaliate when he was insulted. He did not get even when he suffered. He left his case in God's hands. He is the Shepherd, who is the Guardian of our souls.

With this in mind, wives can submit to the authority of their husbands. Even ungodly husbands can be influenced by godly wives. Behavior can convert the unbeliever.  Women should focus on inward, rather than outward beauty. Note that Peter is talking to women in Asia Minor where goddess worship and temple prostitution is the norm. This area was filled with the worship of Artemis, Aphrodite, and the like.

Husbands are encouraged to honor their wives and treat them with understanding. Although physically weaker, Peter reminds the men that God considers women equal partners in faith.  Men are warned that if they do not treat women equally, their prayers will not be heard. Indeed, Christianity is revolutionary for women!! Peter is encouraging women to be looked upon with respect, rather than as the chattel and temple prostitutes they were back in this day.

Are you surprised at Peter's words?  They are similar to Paul's words to the Ephesians.

Psalm 119:49-64

On the psalmist's pilgrimage through life, God's principles have been the music of his life. How beautiful. Is God's Word the music of your life?

Proverbs 28:12-13

If wicked people are in charge, the people go into hiding.  This has been true throughout the history of the world.

What are you learning?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

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