Isaiah 49-51, Psalm 119: 65-96
The following numbers I got from a book by David Jeremiah called Agents of the Apocalypse, chapter 8, The Victor. As we continue to read a series of prophecies concerning Jesus’ first coming, realize the number of references to His second coming (1845 references) outnumber those to His first coming by a factor of 8:1. His second coming is emphasized in 17 books of the Old Testament, and 23/27 books of the New Testament. In fact 7 of every 10 chapters in the New Testament mention His return. Jesus Himself referred to His return 21x. In fact the only subject mentioned more than His return in the New Testament is salvation. I hope numbers don’t bore you, but the significance of this is since the approximately 300 prophecies surrounding Jesus’ first coming all came true, we can be sure that the prophecies are accurate concerning His 2nd coming also. Read the description of Jesus in Isaiah 50:6, written over 700 years before their fulfillment, “I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.” Now read their fulfillment in Matthew 26:67, “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,”; 27:26, “Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.”; and 27:30, “Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.”
It is interesting that many in the Church (the church at large not ours) believe that God is done with Israel, and that the Church now represents Israel. This is a view which leads to anti-semitism. God’s covenant with Abraham is unilateral and unconditional, and God will not rescind on His covenant. This is spoken of in Genesis 12 and later in Genesis in another covenant where the borders of Israel are given. All Scripture is true. A whole lot of Scripture would have to be ignored to believe that Israel is no longer relevant to God, including Romans 9-11. In Revelation 7, we see the Jewish people coming to faith in Jesus in astounding numbers including the naming of 144000 witnesses by tribe. May we pray for Jerusalem and share with them unashamedly our love of God and our Savior.
Whether it be Israel in chapter 50, or us now, many state that they feel abandoned by God, questioning whether he is real or whether he really cares. Chuck Smith says, “If you feel far from God, guess who moved?” God desires a relationship with us. He desires fellowship with us. So much that He sent His Son to establish this relationship. When we consider what Jesus did and accomplished for us, out of love, can we really ever doubt Him, no matter what we are going through. If we ever find ourselves drifting, or our love getting cold, I pray that we return to where we were when we first fell in love with Him. We need to get back into serious study of His Word, back into serious prayer (not a monologue, but waiting to hear from Him), back into serious worship, back into true fellowship, and make ourselves available to serve Him. He is immutable, He doesn’t change, we do.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: