Return, LORD! #1

Thursday, November 19, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

The Berean Bible student understands “rise up” is an imprecation for JEHOVAH God to enter the Promised Land and thoroughly cleanse it of all its ungodly inhabitants. In Moses’ day, it was the pagan Gentiles, whose horrific lifestyles are described in Leviticus chapter 18. The LORD’S purpose in forming Israel was to put her, His nation, in that Holy Land, that they do His will and not follow their pagan neighbors (note especially Leviticus 18:24-30).

Yet, Israel repeatedly ignored God’s warnings to remain separate. She joined those false religions, becoming so polluted with erroneous thinking that she sided with the Gentiles against the LORD! By the time Jesus Christ came, He called them “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6; Matthew 15:24). They were so far gone, unable to be His kingdom of priests. Actually, Jesus declared point-blank in John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil!”

Our completed Bible canon provides the full layout. Moses’ words in today’s Scripture not only apply to idolatrous Gentiles, but in the future, it will also be true of idol-worshipping Jews. Whether Jew or Gentile, all idolaters hate Jesus Christ. As Peter forewarned in Acts 3:19-23 (cf. Moses’ warning in Deuteronomy 18:18,19), Jews who refused to hear Jesus Christ’s words will be “destroyed from among the people.”

The Prophet Zephaniah foretold 600 B.C.: “[1:18] Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. [2:1] Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation [Israel] not desired; [2:2] Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you.”

Now, the LORD will “return” to Israel!