Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Tried and Trying Word

Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect: The word of Jehovah is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in him.”
The Word of God is tried. “Tried” in the Hebrew is a metal smelting term referring to a metal being heated to purify it and being formed to its use under that heat and pressure. Thus when Scripture says that the Word of God is tried, it means that every Word that God gives will be tested in a fire of trial and like true metal the heat will not destroy it, but will rather purify it and strengthen it.
Not only is the Word of God itself tried, but it is also a trying Word. Psalm 105:17-19 speaks concerning Joseph, “He sent a man before them; Joseph was sold for a servant: His feet they hurt with fetters: He was laid in chains of iron, Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of Jehovah tried him.” God’s Word is tried within itself and by its own inherent nature will not fail, the test cannot destroy the Word. His Word, however, also tries us even as it did Joseph. If we are given a promise by God we will be tried to see if we are worthy to enter into it. The Word of Jehovah tried Joseph and he was found prepared, so in due time he entered into all God had promised him.

Others like the first generation of the Exodus were tried, but not found worthy. The Word was true, but only two of that generation were tried and found worthy. For them the Word not only came to pass, but 40 years later they had the same strength and vigor they had felt at the first opportunity to enter in (Joshua 14:9-12).

The entrance of sin into humanity began when Eve tested and found true, but at her own peril the Word of the Lord, “In the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” Her path to that choice began when the serpent questioned the validity of the Word, “Has God really said…?” The Word remained true in spite of her and Adam’s disobedience, it was tried and remained, but they were tried by it and found wanting.

Solomon is dedicating the temple and thus ushering Israel into the first partial fulfillment of what God has in store for it as a nation, a pinnacle from which there was a rapid decline, could look at the preceding history from the Exodus up to his day and say, “Blessed be Jehovah, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant.” God’s Word and His promises will try us, but if we believe and obey His Word, then we will be found worthy to enter into what He has promised. May God find us faithful! Amen.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bringing Forth Christ – Part 12 – Zerubbabel

The last one I would like to look at in this series is Zerubbabel. I should note here, since I have neglected to do so before in this series, that from Solomon on the ones mentioned here were not actual ancestors of Christ, but rather of His step-father Joseph. It seems that Christ’s descent through Mary is given in Luke’s genealogy and Joseph’s in Matthew’s. Christ’s physical descent could not have been from Matthew’s line, because it contains Jehoiachin who was written as childless by God in the sense that none of his descendants would ever rule again as kings (Jer. 22:24-30).
This is part of the prophetic challenge for which Christ was the solution. The Messiah was both David’s Son and David’s Lord simultaneously (Mark 12:35-37). If the genealogy found in Luke relates to Mary rather than Joseph, than Christ is in a very true sense a Son of David, and yet not in the line which God had removed from reigning – Jeconiah’s. However His step-father Joseph was of Jeconiah’s line, thus giving Him a legal title as heir, more legal than any other claimant of the son’s of David would have. Because of the virgin birth He would not have fallen under the proscription of Jeremiah, and yet still would have been heir of the heritage of the family.
Coming back to Zerubbabel, he is seen as a type of Christ in his restorative work in that he restored the Jews to their land after their captivity in Bablyon, and rebuilt the temple of the Lord. Christ when He returns will restore the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6-8), but even now He raises up living temple’s to God in the spirits of all true believers which had been destroyed through Adam’s fall.
Because of a similarity of office there is also a similarity of title – the Branch – with some of the prophecy being specific to Zerubbabel and some of it clearly going beyond him to a greater Branch (Zech. 3:8; 6:12-13). The obstacles which Zerubbabel faced were removed by the anointing, specifically the anointing of the seven spirits of the Lord, upon him. Christ also was anointed without measure with the same seven fold anointing (Zech. 3:8; 4:6-10; Rev. 5:6; Isa. 11:1-2). This is the anointing that will restore all things promised before by the prophets (Acts 3:21). It is because of His having this anointing that Jesus is termed the Christ, and as He was anointed above His companions. This anointing flows from the head – Christ, down to every part of His body, and it breaks every yoke (Psa. 133; Isa. 10:27). Praise His holy Name!