Friday, July 31, 2015

God Will Regather Judah

Jeremiah 23:1-8

“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.  Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

The word pastor means shepherd.  The shepherd’s job is to keep the sheep together so for their protection, since sheep are ill prepared for self-protection and tend to forget how to get home.  .  It also makes it easier to be sure they are getting healthy food and the care they need.     Shepherds who deliberately scatter the sheep obviously have no concern for the sheep, putting them at risk for being lost or killed, and not making sure they have food or water.  

God had placed the prophets, priests, and Levites to serve as shepherds to Israel just as he has placed the pastors, teachers, and other church leaders in the modern church.  Because they had deliberately led his people away from God, sometimes forcing them out, and have not been concerned to check up on them, He had cursed them and was going to make them suffer the consequences of treating His people so.

“And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:3-4)

God will round up his people from all the countries they have been driven to, and bring them back to their homes and causing them to flourish.  He will set up leaders that will teach them as they should.  They will no longer fear losing their salvation or being excommunicated because they will be taught the things they need to know. 

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

Revelation 20:4-9 describes a one thousand year period during which Christ will reign in Jerusalem beginning with the destruction of the Antichrist’s power.  “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.   But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

Isaiah 4, 11, 27, and 65 all give descriptions of what things will be like during that thousand year period of Christ’s reign here on earth.  During that time Israel will prosper under His rule like no country in history.  They will turn to God like never before. 

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” (Jeremiah 23:7-8)

In the past Israel has always looked back and praised the Lord for bringing them out of Egypt.  In that day the focus will change and they will be praising God for having rebuilt Israel, recovering them from among their enemies around the world and giving them back their own land.  Their understanding and worship will be based on their own experience, rather than tradition.  

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