Yes many will say the king is coming to set up His kingdom but scripture states Jesus is King and that His kingdom already came near. The good news of God’s promise to David means we will be able to see this Kingdom come near once again by turning from our wicked ways. Mark 1:14 “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” We still have opportunity to believe the good news so the kingdom can still come near. Yes God promised the kingdom but our own disobedience changes things. God will never take His love away but when God hides his face from us, because of our disobedience, we then become powerless and desolate, which is the state the church is in presently. Our enemies defeat us and all the curses found in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 are released on us. Take the time to read these chapters.
We see this in Psalm 89. We continue from yesterday. Psalm 89:38 “But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one. 39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust. 40 You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins. 41 All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors. 42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice. 43 Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle. 44 You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground. 45 You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. 46 How long, LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? 47 Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity! 48 Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave? 49 Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David? 50 Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations, 51 the taunts with which your enemies, LORD, have mocked, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one. 52 Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.” It is at this point you should be thinking, God’s description of himself is far different than the description the church has given. The church has been unfaithful in its teachings concerning the attributes of God.
Yesterday we read Isaiah 54:8 “In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.” So yes, God’s people went into captivity and yes God hid His face. 2 Kings 21:14 “I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies.” 2 Chronicles 36:20 “He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power.” You can read what happened when the Assyrians attack the land. People died and there was only a remnant left. 2 Kings 18:32 “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ 33 Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 35 Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” This teaching that God is love no matter what is dangerous. Instead of warning people to turn from their sins, this only promotes further attack from the enemy. Jeremiah 23:16 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.” 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.” Lamentations 2:14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.”
So here we are captives once again because of disobedience but there is good news. Because of God’s promise to David, the remnant will be saved. Here is an example of this. 2 Chronicles 22:10 “When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah.” It appeared that she was successful and the land felt her wrath. For six years Joash had been hidden in the temple while Athaliah ruled the land. Then we saw the promise of God fulfilled. 2 Chronicles 23:3 “Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son shall reign, as the Lord promised concerning the descendants of David. 21 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.”
We also see this when talking about our enemies. Ezekiel 39:21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. 22 From that day forward the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.” Ezekiel continues with this good news. Ezekiel 39:25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Isaiah 43:6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.”
So because of God’s promise to David there will always be a remnant. The sad part of that statement is that because of disobedience there is only a remnant left. Isaiah 10:20 “In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. 22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. 23 The Lord, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land. 24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the LORD Almighty, says: “My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. 25 Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.” Isaiah 12:1 “In that day you will say: “I will praise you, LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 In that day you will say: “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
There is good news for us who have turned back to God’s word. Please bear in mind that I am not talking about being a better Baptist, Catholic or Methodist… You will have to turn away from these wicked ways. Jesus said He was the way. There is only one way! We have hope as we wait. Jeremiah 23:3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.” Isaiah 11:16 “There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.” 2 Kings 19:30 “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.” 2 Kings 19:31 “For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Just as the Old Testament shows us what happens when we disobey, it also shows us what happens when we turn back.
So we thank God for His promise to David and because we have turned from our wicked ways we have great hope that God will raise of His remnant once again. We pray Ezra 9:15 “Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.” So as Habakkuk said Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Just a reminder, that our Sundays will be focused on the book of Esther. Please read before Sunday.