Seven Men Named Before Birth #5

Friday, August 6, 2021

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV).

Who are the seven noteworthy men in Scripture named before their births?

As we have seen now, in each of these situations, man’s sinful flesh is at work but God’s faithfulness overcomes it. Abraham (and especially) Sarah schemed to have a child their way (through Hagar) instead of God’s way (through Sarah). Then, Hagar was punished because of the ensuing domestic conflict; regardless, God blessed Abraham’s child through Hagar, Ishmael, for the LORD “heard” (took notice) of her dire predicament.

When joyous Abraham and skeptical Sarah finally did have a son, Isaac was appropriately named because of the “laughter.” The Abrahamic Covenant now had an heir. Although King David had illicit relations with Bathsheba, and that resulting child died, the LORD was faithful in giving them another son, Solomon, whose alternate name Jedidiah meant “beloved of JEHOVAH.” It was through this boy that God would achieve the Davidic Covenant: a son of David would reign over Israel forever. King Jeroboam of the Northern Kingdom was a pagan idolater; he caused the 10 northern tribes to stumble in heathenism. A son of David, King Josiah, destroyed Jeroboam’s religious system and instituted spirituality “founded of JEHOVAH.”

Though idolatrous Israel deserved her Babylonian Captivity, the LORD used Cyrus King of Persia to “possess the furnace” (overthrow Babylon), thereby freeing the Jews and letting them return to the Promised Land. Father God sent John the Baptist to announce the entrance of His Son: He had not forgotten His covenants with Israel, but would “favor” them according to His grace and fulfill those promises despite the nation’s rank unbelief. Finally, Jesus Christ Himself took upon human flesh, to shed His blood and become “JEHOVAH-Saviour”—first and foremost of Israel, but ultimately for the whole world!

One final note worthy of our consideration. Looking at the list another way, we can read the following message: “Being heard of God results in laughter, JEHOVAH has beloved and founded, the furnace/oppressor is possessed/conquered, for JEHOVAH is gracious and Saviour.” These are certainly descriptive of Jesus Christ’s ministry—what He will do especially for Israel.

Seven Men Named Before Birth #4

Thursday, August 5, 2021

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV).

Who are the seven noteworthy men in Scripture named before their births?

After Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, the LORD addressed Satan the serpent: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). One day, a Man would be born to completely destroy Satan’s work in creation, a Man who would reverse the ruin and take care of the sin Adam invited into the world. It would take 4,000 long years to establish His bloodline—but He would come!

Throughout the numerous centuries of the Old Testament Scriptures, Israel’s Prophets foretold of that coming Messiah/Christ, that “Anointed One,” who would fulfill all the LORD’S promises to her: “Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Remember, however, sinful Israel—like the nations or Gentiles around her—began to increasingly oppose the Creator’s will. Thus began the 400 years of God’s silence. With John the Baptist’s ministry, God again speaks to stubborn Israel: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness,…” (Mark 1:1-4).

Some 700 years following Isaiah’s prophecy, the angel told Joseph concerning his wife Mary: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS [“JEHOVAH-Saviour”]: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:21-23). God Himself was made flesh, able to shed His blood for man’s sins.

Now, we summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

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Seven Men Named Before Birth #3

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV).

Who are the seven noteworthy men in Scripture named before their births?

As per the fifth course of chastisement in the Law of Moses, the idolatrous nation Israel was removed from the Land of Canaan via Gentile deportations and captivities (Leviticus 26:27-46). In the case of Judah, the Southern Kingdom, Babylon was its home for 70 years, circa 606–536 B.C. (Jeremiah 25:11,12; Jeremiah 29:10,11;  2 Chronicles 36:20,21). However, before Babylon thrice invaded and ultimately conquered Jerusalem, God promised a deliverer who would defeat/possess Babylon and grant the Israelites permission to return to the Promised Land and rebuild Jerusalem and its Temple.

“That saith of Cyrus [“possess the furnace,” King of Persia], He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;…” (Isaiah 44:28–45:1). Some 150 years after Isaiah, Cyrus—also called “Darius the Median”—fulfilled this prophecy concerning him (cf. Daniel 5:30,31; Daniel 9:1,2; 2 Chronicles 36:22,23; Ezra 1:1-3).

During the ministries of the Old Testament prophets, Israel repeatedly disregarded God’s messengers and remained in unbelief. Thus, the LORD warned He would eventually stop sending preachers to Israel (Amos 8:11-14). With Malachi’s ministry concluding, the Hebrew Bible was closed circa 400 B.C. No Scriptures were written either. (This is how we know the Apocryphal books are forgeries!) Finally, after four centuries of silence, God spoke to Israel again through John the Baptist’s ministry: “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John [the Baptist, “favored of JEHOVAH”] (Luke 1:13). Even after all this time, God in His grace still favors ungrateful Israel, and will still fulfill the covenants He promised them!

Now, the last man on our list, the greatest Man, the God-Man….

Seven Men Named Before Birth #2

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV).

Who are the seven noteworthy men in Scripture named before their births?

Hagar, Sarah’s slave girl, really had no choice in the matter of serving as her mistress’ surrogate. Abraham fathered a child by her. When animosity arose between the two women, Abraham evicted pregnant Hagar, after which time God informed her it was His will that the unborn child be named “Ishmael” (Hebrew, “God hears”); God has heard Hagar’s situation and pities her and her boy (Genesis 16:11). By the time of chapter 17, Abraham and Sarah are now 13 years older. Sarah, aged 90, is still barren. Upon learning God will give him a son through Sarah, 99-year-old Abraham falls on his face and laughs—rejoicing not scoffing (verse 17). As verse 19 relays to us, God directs Abraham to call this son “Isaac” (Hebrew, “laughter”), the beginning of the nation Israel.

Over 1,000 years later, King David reigns over Israel. In 2 Samuel chapter 11, he has that infamous affair with a married woman, Bathsheba, and arranges her husband’s murder to cover up the resultant pregnancy. David marries Bathsheba. The LORD, in chapter 12, sends the Prophet Nathan to condemn David for his wickedness: furthermore, the king learns his newborn baby will die, which he does. David and Bathsheba subsequently have another child, Solomon, “and the LORD loved him” (verse 24). Verse 25 tells us God had already chosen a name: “Jedediah” (Hebrew, “beloved of JEHOVAH”).

After King Solomon’s death, with the kingdoms of Israel (north) and Judah (south) divided, his servant (Jeroboam) and his son (Rehoboam) head internal civil wars (1 Kings chapters 11–13). While both pagan idolaters, Jeroboam is the worse; he establishes heathen religion in those northern 10 tribes. In chapter 13, while King Jeroboam is engaged in idolatry, God’s prophet warns him: a descendant of David will be born, “Josiah” (Hebrew, “founded of JEHOVAH”), and this man will bring extensive religious reform in Israel (verses 1-3). Some 350 years later, King Josiah invades the northern kingdom and destroys Jeroboam’s shrines (2 Kings 23:15-20).

Now, just three men remain on our list….

Seven Men Named Before Birth #1

Monday, August 2, 2021

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1 KJV).

Who are the seven noteworthy men in Scripture named before their births?

“And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael [“God will hear”]; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction” (Genesis 16:11). “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac [“laughter”]: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him” (Genesis 17:19). “And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah [“beloved of JEHOVAH,” another name for Solomon], because of the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:25).

“And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah [“founded of JEHOVAH”] by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee” (1 Kings 13:2). “That saith of Cyrus [“possess the furnace,” King of Persia], He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;…” (Isaiah 44:28–45:1).

“But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John [the Baptist, “favored of JEHOVAH”] (Luke 1:13). “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS [“JEHOVAH-Saviour”]: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Let us study the accomplishments of these seven men, that we may better appreciate their good names….

Proverbial Prophecy #5

Friday, June 18, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Circa 970 B.C., the Holy Spirit moved Solomon to write Proverbs: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men… and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five…. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:29-32,34).

Unfortunately, decades later, Solomon abandoned God’s wisdom and followed Satan’s wisdom. This present evil world system led him to apostasy (pagan idolatry): “But king Solomon loved many strange [foreign/Gentile/heathen] women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love…. Then did Solomon build an high place [shrine] for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods (1 Kings 11:1,2,7,8).

Dying and disappointed, Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes. Like the Antichrist’s followers yet future, Solomon replaced the one true God with idols—philosophy, wealth, romance, entertainment, et cetera. As Christ said in Matthew 7:24-27 and Luke 6:47-49, Israel can be the wise man (Proverbs) or the foolish man (Ecclesiastes). Likewise, in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, we can be the wise man (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon) or the foolish man (non-Pauline).

Proverbial Prophecy #4

Thursday, June 17, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

The first chapter of Proverbs closes with: “[31] Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. [32] For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. [33] But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Unbelieving Israel will reap what she has sown!

In addition to foretelling the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, John the Baptist notified them of the outpouring of wrath. They could accept his water baptism and the subsequent Holy Ghost baptism, or the fire baptism would consume them: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11). As we know, Israel rejected Messiah and demanded His crucifixion. Therefore, the Antichrist will now enter and deceive them: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43).

The Antichrist will be under the Devil’s control, endowed with satanic wisdom, a brilliant philosopher like this world has never seen: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23). The Antichrist will use the wisdom of this world—condemned in 1 Corinthians chapters 1–3—to mislead Israel. Proverbs is God’s wisdom for Israel’s believing remnant, that they survive the deception resulting from the Antichrist’s whorish religious system (Revelation 17:1-18). Hence, Proverbs repeatedly warns against uniting with the “strange woman” (2:16; 5:3,20; 6:24; 7:5; 20:16; 23:27; 27:13).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Proverbial Prophecy #3

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Resume reading the first chapter of Proverbs: “[20] Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: [21] She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, [22] How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? [23] Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Here foretold is John the Baptist’s ministry to Israel: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). For centuries, the Jewish people have not been listening to the LORD’S prophets; thus, a change in mind is necessary. They need to think Divine thoughts to prepare for Messiah’s arrival.

As per Proverbs 1:23, John the Baptist also preached of the impending outpouring of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11; fulfilled in Acts chapter 2; cf. Joel 2:28,29). Alas, King Solomon writing in Proverbs foresaw Israel’s nonstop rejection of Messiah—Matthew through John, and early Acts. Therefore, the LORD wrote through Solomon: “[24] Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; [25] But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: [26] I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; [27] When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. [28] Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: [29] For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: [30] They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.”

Divine wrath and judgment now loom over apostate, unbelieving Israel….

Proverbial Prophecy #2

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Keep reading: “[10] My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. [11] If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: [12] Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: [13] We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: [14] Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: [15] My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: [16] For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. [17] Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. [18] And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. [19] So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.”

Jesus told this parable (Matthew chapter 21): “[33]…There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: [34] And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. [35] And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. [36] Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. [37] But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. [38] But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. [39] And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.”

Had Israel believed Proverbs, they would not have conspired to kill Messiah Jesus….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are ‘curious arts?’

Proverbial Prophecy #1

Monday, June 14, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Courtesy of shallow religious tradition, Proverbs is usually viewed as nothing more than a collection of assorted, interesting, witty expressions to be haphazardly applied for daily Christian living. Moreover, we are often advised to read through the Book of Proverbs over the course of one month (31 chapters roughly corresponding to 30 days). While non-Pauline Bible Books do frequently contain transdispensational or interdispensational concepts—facts that pertain to more than one or even all dispensations—we should exercise great caution when reaching outside of Romans through Philemon to find God’s will for us, His words to and about us.

The key to understanding the Book of Proverbs is chapter 1, for it establishes the context of all 31 chapters. Contrary to popular belief, Proverbs is actually not about the Dispensation of Grace at all: it has absolutely nothing to do with us the Church the Body of Christ. When we look at its opening chapter, we begin to see how Proverbs is God’s wisdom for the nation Israel as she experiences the end times. Read today’s Scripture again, and then its subsequent verses: “[5] A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: [6] To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. [7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. [8] My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: [9] For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

As mounting deception infiltrates Israel during her program’s last days, God has provided her with profound insight so as to protect herself. Let us continue reading the chapter to see just how specific Proverbs is in guiding Israel into Divine revelation….