Month 7:9, Week 2:1 (Rishon/Pesach), Year:Day 5940:186 AM|
TESHUVAH 38/39, 2Exodus 1/40
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 2 October 2014
Last Call of the Prophets
Continued from Part 37
A Prophetic Obligation
"Surely Yahweh-Elohim does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel (plan) to His servants the nevi'im (prophets)" (Amos 3:7, NASB)
On this last day of teshuvah (repentance) in the current creation calendar cycle we look at an important promise that Yahweh makes generally concerning prophetic revelation. The context is a Yahweh's demand for social justice and righteousness and because this was fundamentallty lacking He was going to judge His unfaithful, disobedient, covenant-breaking people. There is a price to pay for continually dishonouring and disobeying El Elyon (the Most High). The people had deceived themselves into believing that all that was required of them was that they peform the mandatory religious rites and rituals of the Old Covenant, and that thereafter they could pretty much do as they liked, as paganism taught. Without any real sort of committment to Yahweh's moral and ethical Torah, they disregarded the divinely expected standards of conduct that bound those claiming to be Israel. Amos condemned all who made themselves rich and powerful at the expense of others. Those who had acquired expensive homes by cheating, perverting justice and crushing the poor would, the navi (prophet) said), lose everything
As in Amos' Day, So Today
Though today's passage is one I have known well since I first became a believer, because it was often cited by a church I once belonged to in order to bolster their claim that they possessed bona fide nevi'im (prophets) - they didn't - I did not realise until yesterday, when Yahweh brought it to my attention as I sought a davar (word) for today's message, that it had a special relevance to our own time. Why? Because then, as today, Yahweh's imminent judgment would not be a mere punative blow to warn, as had happend to Israel and Judah many times previously, but would lead to almost total destruction. Then, as now, Yahweh would uproot His people calling themselves after His Name by the hands of a pagan nation. And yet, a way out was offered, as it always is, if the people would make teshuvah (repent). There would be tiqveh (hope) if the people would now "hate evil, [and] love good; [and] maintain justice in the courts" - for then "perhaps Yahweh-Elohim Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph" (Amos 5:15, NIV). Can anyone doubt or deny that the injustice and wickedness that abounded then is exactly the same today?
The Unthinkable is Going to Happen to the Nations
This, then, is a message to the "remnant of Joseph", and in particular to the Josephite nations of Great Britain (Ephraim), the United States (West Manasseh) and Germany (East Manasseh), and their immediate national relatives (like Canada, Austria, Australia, etc.). What none of these nations seem to realise is that the 'unthinkable' is going to happen to them unless there is a proper making of teshuvah (repentance). And as Joseph is the prince of all Israel in the New Covenant, this message extends to all who name the Name of Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus). Then, as now, there would be an uprooting of believers, and are we not seeing this happen on a massive scale in the Middle East already? Christianity in Syria and Iraq is being exterminated. Do those outside the Middle East suppose that the same cannot happen to them? What is presently far off for most is coming frighteningly near, to the very doorsteps of those who felt safe.
A Calling to Account
Of course, the Elohim (God) of Israel then, as now, is the Elohim (God) of all nations, so the message pertains to them too. Yahweh governs all nations, bringing them into existence (Amos 9:7) and calling them to account (Amos 1:3-2:3). Furthermore, then, as today, He uses one nation against another to execute His purposes (Amos 6:14). He is the Sovereign Master and King ruling the entire Cosmos (Amos 4:1-3; 5:8; 9:5-6), and because He is Sovereign, then, as now, He holds the history and destiny of all peoples and of the world in His mighty Hand.
Yahweh's Plan Has to Be Revealed and Declared
If Israel, ancient as well as Messianic, and the nations generally are to know that Yahweh is also the Elohim (God) of their future, and Master over all, and that He has a purpose and concerns, then His "plan" or "counsel" must be revealed through "His servants the nevi'im (prophets)" otherwise He cannot act. Yahweh's judgments must be announced through His nevi'im (prophets) ahead of time so that the nations and people can know that it is Yahweh making the judgments and no one else. It has to be done. So long as there is a proclamation and a record thereof, made in His behalf by the nevi'im (prophets), then the nations and the peoples can be brought to account and they will have no excuse - they will be unable to claim that they were ignorant of the purposes of the Most High or that they were not forewarned.
The Claim of Elohim on All Believers
Believers in particular, no matter what their denomination, no matter how correct or false their doctrines and practics may be, have an exclusive claim made on them by Yahweh through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and He is jealous and angry when they give their hearts to other gods. Every talmid (disciple), real or pretending, has to know that once the profession of emunah (faith) has been made, however sincere or insincere, that Yahweh has a claim on them in the moral and ethical sphere, at the very least. Christians and Messianics are Yahweh's unique witnesses in the world, each according to their sphere of knowledge and understanding, however perfect or imperfect (like the nevi'im/prophets themselves) they may be.
A Preface to Yom haKippurim
I am giving this as a preface to whatever may be given this Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonements) that commences at sundown this evening and lasts until sundown the following day. The nevi'im (prophets) must wait on the Davar Elohim (Word of God) and then deliver it, come what may. We exist in such a time as the ones that the nevi'im (prophets) like Amos and Jeremiah lived, and painful though it is to say, the vast majority will not make teshuvah (repent) because they refuse to forsake their evil ways. Therefore the appeal is made, in the last resort, to the remant - the overcomers - who, though yet imperfect, nevertheless earnestly aspire to the perfection to which they have been called, as we talked about yesterday.
The Davar Elohim (Word of God) has now been spoken over many years and finally the "great and terrible day of Yahweh", in this prophetic cycle at least, has almost arrived - it is but hours away. And so I make this last appeal, while the hours are still pregnant with the possibility of genuine teshuvah (repentance) being made, that all of us now do so. And may El Elyon (the Most High) have mercy on us all. Amen.
Continued in Part 39