Monthly Archives: June 2019

Genealogies And Why they are Important

1 Chronicles 1-7 are very important to Jewish history and property rights. Many times Christians come to genealogical records and just skip over all the unpronounceable names. Here in our reading we are privileged to read the multiple records of Judah/Israel ancestries. Genesis is broken-down into various “Record books” of lineage. I just did the 23 and Me genealogy test to find out more about my ancestry. Some people are afraid to do such a thing for fear of what they might find out about their relatives. The capturing of Israel/Judah history speaks to the authenticity of the Bible. If man were writing the Bible we would have left out a lot of the negative shenanigans of the people and cleaned it up to make us look favorable. The writer of 1/2 Chronicles has been attributed to Ezra, the scribe. All of the names and lineages begin with Adam and include the Patriarchal Fathers like Noah, Seth, Abraham, Isaac and Israel [Jacob]. We are given the lines of Isaac and Ishmael and the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s second wife. Quickly the writer delves into the 12 sons of Jacob and their ancestors. We are given extensive accounting of King David’s line, to include his many wives and children. There is a method to all the names; in that the writer is getting to a point of identifying the ancestry line of Jesus Christ. This line can be found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. It becomes obvious to the reader that the line from Judah is most important; for from that line will come the Messiah.

A question I am sure everyone asks while reading the myriad of names is WHY are they so important? Well, 1 Chronicles gives us the historical line from creation to Abraham, then through Jacob’s son’s then through David’s line. The Messianic Line; the line of Promise and perpetual covenant. David was promised that there would always be one of his line on the throne of Judah. Jesus being the final King to sit upon the throne  – as He becomes the Lion of Judah. While there is prophetic and Messianic connections there is one more point that makes the lineage connections important.

With the deportation of all the nobles, craftsmen and skilled people to Babylon and only the poorest of people left remaining; how can the Jews [as they are now called] reestablish their inheritance in the Promise Land when they return? In other words who is rightful owner of the property, what tribe do they belong to and what authority do they have to inhabit the Land? The problem comes when “rightful” owners had to prove their ancestry and inheritance lines. During the 70 years of deportation and exile, the left behind people inter-married with the Assyrian “imported” people. Understanding the rightful owner had to prove purity of line. Ezra condemned the inter-marrying that occurred; not on racial basis, but spiritual lines. [Ezra 9]

The extensive details of who begat who was the litmus test to proving ones line and right to the land upon returning from Babylon. If you could not prove you lineage, you forfeited any claim to the Promised Land. So what does all this mean for us today? While there is growing interest in where we came from, as Believers the ability to prove our lineage/ancestry enables us to know Where we are going.

We are [those by faith in Jesus Christ] now the Sons of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus. There will be a similar requirement of identification. It is found in Revelation 20:11-15. In this verification of lineage; those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter into an inheritance of Eternal Life in the New Jerusalem. Those whose names are missing, will be cast out of the Hold City and exiled to Gehenna Hell. Our heavenly ancestry avails us to all rights and privileges of the King – King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Jesus Christ the Son of God who died and gave Himself for me.

It is interesting to know where one came from; but more important to know where was is bound! There are many I am sure that think that because they hang around with heirs of Salvation, that they get to come along, but sadly, only those whom the King recognizes as His will obtain the unsearchable riches of God.

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Judah Cast from Yahweh’s Presence

2 Kings 24-25; the end of the road for Judah. Fallen is Samaria and Israel – the Northern Kingdom [Lost 10 tribes]; a 150 later noting has been learned by Judah. Assyria and Egypt had been fighting for control of the “Promised Land” – somehow through pay-offs and treaties Judah was able to live in relative peace. Kings like Uzziah and Hezekiah who did right in the eyes of the Lord extended their existence. Judah was not without sin; but God was faithful to keep His covenant that he made with David even though Judah deserved the same judgment as Israel for their idolatrous ways. I think that Israel/Judah felt they were exempt from the judgment of God that He displayed on the Canaanite tribes. However, Israel and Judah followed the sins, iniquities, transgressions and abominations of the nations God had expelled out of the “inheritance” of Israel.  This is not the first or the last time that arrogance and pride will cause Judah/Israel to be led into captivity. Jeremiah and so many other prophetic voices warned Israel and Judah to repent and return to the ways of the Lord. Jeremiah preaches 50 years, yet all he gain was deaf ears to his message.

After faithful King Josiah is killed, there is a series of kings with a very limited reign and influence. The world power shifts at this point from Egypt and Assyria to Babylon, more specifically to King Nebuchadnezzar. Because Judah persisted in rebellion and idol worship, God allowed Babylon to come to power and lead them [Judah] into captivity and make the Promise Land desolate except for the poorest of people. The Promise Land laid waste!!!!!!!   Why?  Easy answer Judah and Israel left God for gods – But I think that the Promise Land had become so polluted, God and to “Purge” the land of the people and idols so He could restore it again under Ezra and Nehemiah. Sometimes I think that there needs to be a purging of the Church Body before God can do His work in the lives of the Remnant.

An undertone is how God is Merciful even in His judgment. There were three deportations by Babylon – the land was stripped of all the royalty, educated, skilled and craftsmen. Judah was also allowed to continue [return] to worship Yahweh. The exile of Judah was prescribed and implemented under the Hand of God. Jeremiah told Judah “don’t resist the Babylonians, but go into the land, build houses and live among your captive masters. Isaiah 45-66 is called the Post-Exilic chapters of Isaiah or better known as Deutro-Isaiah. Many prophets foretold of the return of God’s people after 70 years in exile.

As bad as it was in the destruction and deportation of Judah, the siege of Jerusalem and the starvation of the people; God was still merciful in that He did not destroy all the people, but left a remnant. We may be looking at a similar situation here in our own USA; the condition of the Church is deplorable; the Gospel has been polluted; we worship our worship not God in our services. I truly believe God is not pleased with the Bride! But there is a remnant that hold to the Truth of God’s Word, it will be the Remnant that God will use – like the Church in Sardis there are those who have not “soiled their garments.” We the Church today must take heed to the warning given to Strengthen what remains, to Hold fast to the Truth.

Years ago America thought it was invincible from attack from an enemy on its own shores – thinking that the distance was too far for the enemy to attack unnoticed – then Pearl Harbor happened and took away the arrogance and pride of invincibility. God is doing a great work among many other “pagan” nations. The Chinese and the Muslim countries are experiencing great numbers of converts to Christ. Yet here in America the church is dying and has gone into apostasy in much of the land.

Will America be restored? Will there be a revival? Will the Church heed the warnings of Israel and Judah? Will America have to Fall before it returns to the Lord? All questions we must answer personally and collectively.

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Boy King acts Like a Man

2 Kings 22-23 is the account of Josiah the 8 year old king of Judah and how he grows into a man of God. When we left off Kings Hezekiah was sick and asked the Lord to heal him and extend his life. God hears his prayers and grants him 15 more years to live. The are not productive years, for he acts foolish during those years with prideful boasting of the riches in the Temple. He also has a son names Manasseh, the most wicked immoral king Judah ever had. He worshipped the god Molech and makes Judah sin by throwing their sons into the fire to appease Molech. Now it makes you wonder sometimes, if it would have been better for Hezekiah to have died earlier instead of getting a longer life? We would not have had Manasseh or Amon the two wicked idolatrous kings rule over Judah; but then again we would have had Josiah as king either. Amon doesn’t reign very long as king, I suppose the people got tired of all the idolatry. Anyway Josiah becomes king at 8 years old. At 18 we read that he tells all the money collected in the Temple tax from the people to be used to restore and repair the dilapidated Temple of Solomon. Incidentally; Jeremiah begins his prophetic ministry during this time. [See Jeremiah 1]

A sad commentary happens when the priest Hilkiah tells Shaphan the scribe that he has found the “book of the Law” in the ruins of the Temple. Now before you get to thinking too far in advance – the Temple had not been attacked by outsiders, but had been neglected by the people of God. I have seen this happen in my time as pastor, where the Church facility had become a disgrace to the Lord and the public because it had not been cared for properly. Some may be saying right now that the Church isn’t the building – sure but it is the place of worship and people come to it to worship – what statement does your church facilities say about your commitment to God? The community does notice such things. The sad thing here is the Temple [Church] is in ruins from neglect, yet there was plenty of money to do what was necessary – in fact they didn’t even keep strict accounting of what was spent! Back to the Book of the Law, most likely it is the Book of Deuteronomy. When it is read Josiah tears his clothes in sorrow and repentence.

I have an outline for you here:

Remember, read, repent, restore and reform.

This is what happened when Josiah heard the Word of God. It sound like it could be a prescription for revitalization and revival.  Josiah this child King will bring glory back to the House of the Lord, and begin tearing down the “high places” that his grandfather and father built and maintained. It is said that Josiah did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. Josiah had to tear down the high places that even Solomon built for Ashtoreth and Baal. The reason they were built  was Solomon married many foreign women as a means to keep peace on his borders; but the result was apostasy for Judah.

Josiah does extensive reforms during his short time as king [31 years]; the problem was that it was a result of Josiah coming under convictions and repentance not the people. For as soon as Josiah dies [because of an ill-advised war] the people and priesthood return to idolatry with Baal.

In chapter 23:21 a very confusing statement – Josiah commands that the Passover be reinstituted, for it had not been observed since the time of the Judges. What is the world? That’s over 500 years of failure to remember what God did miraculously at the Red Sea and Egypt? Scripture also tells us that Josiah removes the “mediums, spiritisms, teraphim, idols and all the abominations.” How low Judah had fallen; yet we cannot say much because if we look at our own churches and nation, we will be indicted for our idolatry – oh that we would remember the Word of the Lord, Read it and Repent of our sins, begin to restore the glory of God back to His place of worship and institute Reforms for the Church and the Community. Sadly, Josiah was the las king to have favorable comments from the Lord about him.

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