Saturday, October 17, 2020

Hath Israel No Sons?

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

The Ammonites, and others, are the focus of Jehovah’s wrath in chapter 49 of Jeremiah. The modern Heshemite Kingdom of Jordan lies to the east of Israel, just across the Jordan River. Its Capitol is Ammon. The name Heshemite comes from the Royal Family’s name, Heshim. The family line goes back thousands of years, and includes the Prophet Muhammad in the 6th century, and before! This extended Arab family has ruled over the Countries of Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia at one time, and continues to rule. King Abdullah, and Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan have a peaceful, if controlled relationship with Israel, but it wasn’t always so.

The Ancient Ammonites were perennial enemies with the Israelites, and occupied the land of Gilead, near Mt. Gilead. The Ammonites eventually established their own kingdom, north of the Moabite land in the Thirteenth Century. It is the land of Gilead. It was a land for grazing, and the Tribes of Reuben and Gad had many cattle. The ancient City of Rabbath-Ammon was an Israelite city. In truth, the Heshims were squatters on Israelite soil. As we read in Genesis 15 today, all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates was given to Abraham and to his seed. It was part of the Abrahamic Covenant.

All that land is referred to as “the Levant.” There we find many countries today. The Israelites never received all the land they were given by God, because of their disobedience. They were to be conquerors over the heathen tribes, and purge the land of its idolatry, making the land a Holy Land in which God was served. In obedience, God would go before them, but in disobedience, they fought alone.

Instead of God’s plan, they chose their own, and the Nation-State of Israel today is but a fraction of what God gave them. They’ve been persecuted and under severe judgment ever since. And the nations that occupy the majority of the Levant today are among Israel’s staunchest enemies who now have their own Prophet, their own faith, and their own god.

Islam did not exist until 500 years after the diaspora of 70 A.D., so although Israel could not have adopted anything from Islam, they did adopt the idolatrous practices those of the heathen pagan cultures around them.

The leaven of sin will cause even the chosen dough to rise and be unclean.

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”  1 Corinthians 5:6

Today's Audio Message: "Hath Israel No Sons?"

As we look at the first part of Jeremiah 49, we see more of the judgments being poured out on the nations surrounding Israel. This chapter contains the poetic oracles against Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, and Elam. God declares to kingdoms, tribes and cities, those who have set themselves against Him will be called to accountability. These lands are part of the covenant promise that God had given to Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 15:18-21). God had chosen Abraham and his seed, and this land to be a holy people and set apart for Him. Yet because of disobedience and rebellion, the children of Israel had become corrupted by pagan nations. Their enemies would rejoice in their ruin, and take part in their destruction. These enemies are nations who would not submit to God’s authority but exalted themselves over him. As always, God will have the last say!

First up - the Ammonites. 
They were related to the Israelites, being the descendants of Ben-ammi, the son of Lot by his younger daughter. Yet they were hardened enemies to Israel.  They exalted in the miseries of Judah.  They Ammonites had cruel animosity towards them, and they made great show of inappropriate celebration of the sufferings of their brethren.  Their lack of decency marked their depraved nature.  Ezekiel 25:1-7 tells us they stomped their feet and clapped their hands in great delight over Judah's misery. When the King of Assyria invaded them, desolated their land and took them captive, they rejoiced. When Judah was conquered and carried into exile to Babylon, they triumphed in their national ruin. They rejoiced in the desecration of God's temple, blaspheming the Lord God. "Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished" (Proverbs 17:5).

Next up - the Edomites. These are the descendants of Esau who dwelt in the land south of the territory of Moab. These people had a long history of antagonism with the Israelites that date back to the days of Jacob and Esau. Their sins included revenge. Revenge is an act of passion, it is wicked, cruel and malignant; vengeance is an act of justice, it is righteous and majestic and belongs to God. Edom exercised vindictive revenge upon the house of Judah. When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, the Edomites joined them taking active part in the plunder of the city and slaughter of the Jews. Their cruelty is declared in the 37th Psalm. The Edomites hated the Jews and rejoiced in revenging themselves upon them. Paul writes, "Render to no man evil for evil...Avenge not yourselves, beloved…Vengeance is Mine; I will repay saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:17, 19-21).


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