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Chapter 7 - Israel - God's tool of intervention

God's plan for the reconciliation of the world lost in sin required Jesus to be put to death and raised again (in this way all of the sins of everyone could be placed on him and paid for). However, since the reconciliation was to be through those who trusted (had faith) in Jesus, a mechanism had to be established through which people could come to know and understand what God had done. This mechanism would be a nation called out to serve God, keep his word, and serve as the means by which the people of the world could hear about the salvation that was offered through Jesus (the Messiah).

To build this nation God selected one man, Abraham;

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. - Genesis 15:5-7

The land that was to be given for the nation that would be Israel was occupied by people who were following a false religion which practice included infanticide. There is a process of accumulating the penalty for evil until it reaches a point of judgment. The people in the land that the nation of Israel would take required an additional 400 years to accumulate enough evil so that as a result of judgment they would be completely exterminated (similar to the penalty of the flood).

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. - Genesis 15:13-16

It is interesting to note that during the 400 years for the evil of the people of Canaan to come to fullness, the descendants of Abraham would be multiplying in adversity in Egypt. God had Moses lead the people out of Egypt. The Israelites were supposed to exterminate the people of Canaan. Instead, they saw the comforts that could be obtained from keeping some of the inhabitants as slaves.

Satan attempted to keep Moses from being born;

And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. - Exodus 1:16

As God did not allow Satan to kill Moses, Satan was then able to get the Israelites to disobey God using his tactic of the appeal of a life of ease facilitated by keeping some of those who were to be exterminated to serve as slaves instead. Through this Satan was able to inject false religion into the nation of Israel attempting to frustrate God's plan of reconciliation.

Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. - Joshua 9:23

And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. - Judges 3:5-7

God sent many prophets to tell the people of Israel that they needed to reject their false religions, but few were interested in the words that came from God. The nation split in two and the northern tribes were plundered by the Assyrians. Some refugees escaped to the southern kingdom (Judah). However, Judah was also not interested in giving up false religion.

The practice of false religion was finally removed from the nation of Judah (which contained the remnant of Israel) when it was taken captive to the city of Babylon for 70 years. A little over 400 years later Jesus was born. Again Satan tried to kill him as he done with Moses.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. - Matthew 2:16

Even though Israel had been purged of idolatry because of their time in captivity, they still as a nation had no interest in Jesus and the promised kingdom and new covenant. Some of this disinterest could be attributed the influence of Greek philosophy in what is called Hellenization (Greek influence). This influence has come down to us today as secularism which is often called the absence of religion but might rather be called the worship of man in general and self in particular. It is with the guiding of man to worship his own intellect that Satan's false religions perhaps gained the most ground.

There is a time coming when a remnant of Israel will joyfully receive Jesus at his return. However, they will have to go through extreme difficulty first.


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