Return, LORD! #3

Saturday, November 21, 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?

Historically, as Israel approached the Promised Land under Moses, every time the Ark of the Covenant was lifted, Moses told JEHOVAH to “rise up” and cleanse His land of His enemies, that His people enter and dwell in His kingdom. Every time the Ark “rested,” placed on the ground, Moses called God to “return” to Israel.

The Berean Bible student notices “rest” in today’s Scripture. When describing God’s earthly kingdom, the writer of the book of Hebrews repeatedly called it God’s “rest” (3:7-19; 4:1-13). Chapter 3 warns Israel (future from us) not to repeat the mistakes their ancestors made under Moses (cf. Psalm 95). They are to be faithful to God’s Word to them—Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, early Acts, and particularly Hebrews through Revelation. They are not to join the Antichrist’s false religion as ancient Israel did with heathen religions. Had Israel been faithful to JEHOVAH, they would have entered the Promised Land under Moses. They are to be faithful to enter God’s “rest” under Jesus Christ. Repeatedly, the future mirrors the past. The Bible’s Author knew the end from the beginning!

Almost 500 years after Moses, David was cognizant of JEHOVAH God dwelling with Israel. His capital city was Jerusalem, specifically a hill called “Zion.” In light of David seeking to build the Temple in Jerusalem, a permanent place for the Ark of the Covenant to “rest,” the Holy Spirit penned Psalm 132: “[4] I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, [5] Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. [8] Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. [13] For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. [14] This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.”

Jesus Christ will “rise” and “return” to Israel so she can enter His “rest!”