Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jerusalem: God’s Cup of Trembling

“Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.” Isaiah 51:17 KJV

There is no other place on earth that is as troublesome as the city of Jerusalem. It seems that every nation and every religion has something to prove when it comes to possessing the land that God promised to the lineage of Abraham through his son Isaac. Everybody wants a stake in this game of chance with God. It seems beyond human reasoning that if any other than Israel has possession of Jerusalem then their religion must be the true one, or is this way of thinking for naught? This is believed by the Muslims and Christians of today. In the beginning it wasn’t this way. In the writings of the Old Testament prophets, the lands appointed by the Creator of the Earth and Universe, Jehovah God, states emphatically that the lands of Israel are the sole possession of the sons and daughters of the lineage of father Abraham. The LORD God fulfilled a promise to Abraham and Sarah by giving them a son for an heir. But before we get ahead of ourselves be it known that in Sarah’s mind and heart this was just another empty promise along with the knowledge that she was already ninety years old. Before Isaac was born by none other than a miraculous conception considering the age of Sarah, determined and distraught, grew impatient and instructed Abraham to have a child by her handmaid Hagar. Out of this union that wasn’t supposed to be, came the curse of the ages. The lineage of Ishmael does have a vital part to play in the grand scheme of things. {They own the richest and largest oil producing regions of the world}. Hagar bare Ishmael to Abraham but God instructed Abraham that none other than the one God chose would be the heir to the lands of Israel. God chose Isaac that was given to Sarah after her impatience proved to be a disaster of the ages. On a personal note, I think that this maneuver of Sarah was of satanic origin in a futile attempt to thwart the royal bloodline that would produce the prophesied Messiah. There can only be one heir and Isaac was it of God’s own choosing.

“Now Sarai, Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? And whither wilt thou go?” And she said, “I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.” And the angel of the LORD said unto her, “Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.” And the angel of the LORD said unto her, “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.” 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; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, “Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.” Genesis 16:1-16

In Bible typology the land of Egypt represents the ways of the world at large. It has been speculated that Hagar was an Egyptian that was Sarah’s handmaid given to her when they were in Egypt. As the story goes, Pharaoh favored Sarah and intended on taking her as his wife until the fact came out that Sarah was already married to Abraham. With this news of beguiling nature, Pharaoh dismissed Abraham, Sarah, and gave possessions to them including Hagar to hasten their departure from Egypt. This particular episode of Abraham and Sarah’s travels are certainly true enough but it can be seen the Scripture disputes this train of thought by disclosing that Hagar was added to the family by way of Canaan, yet another worldly outpost of satanic origin. This was none other than another futile attempt of satanic origin to destroy the royal bloodline of the coming Messiah. God had a plan to preserve the promise He presented to Abraham but was interrupted by an impatient wife of her own choosing. Sarah’s poor decision only proves that anyone who cannot learn to wait on the LORD will most invariably pass on through the ages the sins of the heart. We all bare the sin guilt of our forefathers beginning from Adam and Eve. This self-proclaimed heir we have with us today, the rejected Ishmael, was the seed that started a holy war in the family of Abraham.  In my opinion, I feel that introduction of Ishmael instigated the beginning of the “cup of trembling”, the original family feud. We are living with that legacy today with the internal fighting noticed daily on the news. None other than Jews no matter of the nationality of today and still, many others lay claim to this land and are willing to die for it. That Day of Decision is soon approaching and all will be settled, once and for all times at the Second Coming of Christ.

“Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:…” Isaiah 51:22 KJV

The name Jerusalem means, “in pursuit of peace”, and of which it is anything but peace. I feel the reason for this is because the city is used and pursued by those who have no legal or spiritual claim on it. Too many lives have been lost in holding on to this furnace of God and many more are slated to give their life for it according to the prophecies of the Bible. For centuries any people or nation who had a desire to push their influence on to the city of David has done so from the kings of France and popes of Italy, to the kings and queens of Great Briton and now the presidents of the United States, to the least and everyone in between. Whether we like or not is irrelevant, we all have a stake in the welfare of this City of God that is called by many names. If not by supporting it with diplomacy and weapons of mass destruction to a spiritual connection through the family ties of the Kingdom of God. Yes, Jerusalem is most definitely a major part of the Kingdom of God. It is most assuredly the most talked about and swooned over city on the face of this earth. The LORD God Jehovah has this city as His special interest because this city was the corner stone of all civilizations that was to represent the LORD God Himself.

As it stands right now, Jerusalem is a divided city with many interests in diverse cultures. The time will come and very soon when God will drive out the special interest religions and re-establish the original theocracy ruling with the LORD JESUS the Son of Jehovah God sitting on the throne of David ruling with a rod of iron. The King of Peace, ruling with a rod of iron, intriguing.

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalm 2:1-12 KJV

I see Jerusalem as a very strange place because of the many different religions represented there. One can only see that this is only religion because of the warring nature of the occupiers of the grand and glorious city. If the City of God was truly the city of the living God Jehovah would it not stand to reason that all differences and arms would be laid down and set aside? But to this day, people and surrounding elements are armed to the teeth and lying in wait for an opportunity to overrun Jerusalem once again. Maybe we do not understand why this is happening but there are valid reasons for this unsettling nervousness in the land of Israel. There is a record of Jehovah’s problem with His beloved city and the prophet Ezekiel has recorded God’s very words of disdain and disgust of the sins and iniquities committed by the House of Jacob.

God’s case against Jerusalem

“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, And say, “Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD. But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with diver’s colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them, And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them. My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD. Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood. And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD;) That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee and high place in every street. Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to everyone that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms. Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbors’, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger. Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way. Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast insatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied. Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman; In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire; But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband! They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary. Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them; Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them roundabout against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy. And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more. So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations. Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, as is the mother, so is her daughter. Thou art thy mother's daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which loathed their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite. And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done. Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters. When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them: That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them. When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride, Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about. Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD. For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 16:1-63 KJV

After taking into account of all the accusations and indictments of Jehovah God against His people, we can get a mental picture of what is taking place in the City of God and surrounding areas of Israel. It is because God feels He has been betrayed of His love and benevolence of Jerusalem, His personal property and investment of generations. Yet they make the poor choices to play around as a harlot would on the very source of their wealth and prosperity. The Law of Sowing and Reaping is in full effect. God uses the analogy of an unfaithful wife derelict of her vows and covenant with the very one who came to her when no one wanted her, a no body and a castaway. God established her and nurtured her to the point she became over indulgent and wantonness of more and more worldly pleasures to the point of self destruction. One of the most damming indictments against Jerusalem was the fact that she turned her affections from Jehovah God to the wood stock idols of neighboring countries such as the Canaanites and Philistines. These wicked neighbors had this practice of throwing their children alive into the fires of heathen idol gods as a sacrifice.  This is how low Jerusalem and all the lands of Israel became over time. Guilty of turning their backs against their loving benefactor, Jerusalem now dependant on other countries promising her love and trinkets of passion only to lead her to destruction of her dubious and deceitful consorts. This is what has become of a comely and beautiful City of David, pulled from pillar to post betwixt and between the many who desire to lay with her for her favors. Just as a once loving wife that could fulfill her spouses every desire, Jerusalem became the unfaithful spouse of Jehovah God. The LORD God in His jealousy and disdain is becoming indolent yet patiently awaiting the moment to make His move against the whoremonger nations. Pleading constant promises of redemption, Jehovah God is acting like anyone would who has experienced the loss of affection of a spouse and is suffering from a broken heart.

“Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! Add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munitions and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.” Isaiah 29:1-8 KJV

How many times in the history of this tumultuous city has the LORD God threatened and delivered punishment on Jerusalem is confirmed by the accounting of historical data compiled over centuries. It seems evident that Jerusalem has a nasty habit of getting things right and in order with their God Jehovah just to backslide and rebel to the point of being overrun once again by their old enemies of renown. And such as it is with anyone who resides in this body of flesh, having the best of intensions but lacking the power to be consistent and faithful. This is running like a broken record only to be repeated until divine intervention deems it necessary to bring it to a stop, which brings this story of shipwreck to our personal lives. We are all in need of this divine intervention. It will be our only hope of survival in the Millennial Reign of Christ if we are to continue to live in this wicked, sinful, adulterous world. 

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