Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know-
Not till then – how much I owe.
“God hath had it much on His heart, from all eternity, to glorify His dear and only begotten Son; and there are some special seasons that He appoints to that end, wherein He comes forth with Omnipotent power to fulfill His promise and oath to Him: and these times are times of remarkable pouring out of His Spirit, to advance His kingdom; such a day is a day of His power.” – Jonathan Edwards
“Since that day I have spent thirty-two years, a changeable man, in a changing world, but John 3:16 has never changed and never will. All those years have only served to endear to me my blessed Saviour and His Holy Word. His unchanging LOVE, unchanging WORD and all-atoning BLOOD is where I rest today”.
from the book ‘Seen and Heard’
(which I miraculously found on my own bookcase, having no idea of how it came to be there)
The Altar & The Throne
Isaiah saw God’s Throne of holiness.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.” Isaiah 6:1-3
In the presence of the awesome holiness of God, Isaiah’s sinfulness was utterly exposed. He stood naked before a Holy God.
“ So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5
In the presence of God, our true state is exposed, just as Hebrews 4:13 says:
“And no creature is hidden from His sight but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.”
Where we once considered ourselves as pretty ok or good enough, in the light of the glory of God, we see ourselves as we really are: sinful, sinners and deserving of hell. I had this experience myself when I met the Lord. For six months afterwards I felt the weight of my sin and sinfulness. No matter how often I repented I couldn’t get rid of it.
In this place Death is certain, there is no way we can stand before a holy God. Yet it is here that the Altar comes into operation.
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs
from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.” Isaiah 6:6, 7
“The throne, in all its wonderful power, moves by way of the altar”. T Austin Sparks
Grace works only through the shed blood of the cross (ie. altar)
“ But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:11-14
It is on the basis of the shed blood of Christ that we can now come in to God’s presence, and there is no other way. After carrying my guilt for six months the Holy Spirit showed me that it is through the shed blood of Christ that my sins are forgiven and my guilt removed. Once I received that revelation I knew I was forgiven and ‘the burden of my heart rolled away’.
Because of the shed blood of our Saviour, the throne of judgement becomes the throne of grace to all who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“ Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16
There were three items contained in the Ark: the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded and the unbroken tables of the Law.
These items reveal not only Christ’s work, but also His very Personhood.
The Golden Pot of Manna: reveals Christ as Prophet
The Manna in the wilderness was sent from heaven to feed God’s people. Christ Himself is the true Bread of heaven, sent to feed the world.
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:32, 33
He not only is the Bread of Life, but He also gives bread ie. The Word of God, to others as Prophet.
Aaron’s Rod that Budded: reveals Christ as Priest
As Aaron went in before God on behalf of the people, so too Christ our Great High Priest, goes before the Father on our behalf.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14
Just as Aaron presented the blood of the atonement before God and sprinkled it on the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle of Moses, so too has Christ, as our Priest, presented His blood before the Father in heaven and sprinkled it on the mercy seat there before God. (see John 20:17 & Revelation 11:19)
Aaron’s rod budded and blossomed as proof that God had chosen him as High Priest in Israel (see Numbers 17). The life which sprang from his dead rod is a picture of the resurrected Christ Himself. Christ’s resurrection proves He is God’s chosen priest on behalf of sinful humanity.
These were the two unbroken tables of Law. The first two were broken by Moses when he found the people in the sin of idolatry. These are a picture of humanity’s constant breaking of God’s law.
However the second set of tables were not broken, representing the one Man who never broke God’s law – Christ. These tables of law were constantly in the midst of Israel as the standard God required. This is a picture of Christ as the holy standard. He is the law-giver and the law-keeper. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Yet these tables of Law were under the blood. The blood-stained mercy seat was above the Law and it was through the blood that God beheld the Law.
As we consider the timeless truths contained in the Tabernacle of Moses, let us be reminded that the way is open now in to the Holy of Holies for every believer in Christ. No longer do we have to stay outside in the outer court, we are welcome to enter into the place of fellowship and commune with God around His table. But let’s not stop even there, let us go on into that most intimate place with the Lord, the place of worship in the Holy of Holies.
“ Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, …” Hebrews 4:16
Because of the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, we are able to approach a high and holy God, the God of Israel and know that He is delighted with us when we come to worship Him. Let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, let us seek Him and spend time with Him, because the way through the Veil has been made at the expense of the Son of God’s life. This is no trifling matter, but one of great importance and privilege. Let us not squander so great a privilege but go in to the presence of the King and meet with Him there at the Mercy Seat.
Blessings in Christ,
Jacob’s life in the Old Testament is a picture of dispensational truth. As we know, his life was far from perfect, yet God still used it to teach us some eternal truths about God’s program for both Israel and the Church.
Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed. The New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament. And the New is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure.
God’s Program: Israel & The Church
God made a covenant with Abraham:
“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:15-18
Then the covenant was confirmed to Isaac and Jacob
Abraham —› Isaac —›
(God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel”). Israel had 12 sons, which became the 12 tribes of Israel: Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Isaachar, Judah, Levi, Mannaseh, Naphtali, Rueben, Simeon, Zebulun
God’s promises were made to Israel
Sometimes the Church forgets that the New Covenant was made to Israel & Judah:
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34 (emphasis mine)
But Israel rejected their Messiah, as prophesied in Isaiah 53, so God turned to the Gentiles
““And now the Lord says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, So that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, And My God shall be My strength), Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ” Isaiah 49:5, 6
So now the Gentiles are being brought in to the New Covenant that God made with Israel. As Gentiles we are as branches from a wild olive tree, being grafted in to the Jewish olive tree, ie the New Covenant that God made with the House of Judah and Israel. We are grafted in by faith in the Messiah Christ Jesus. (see Romans 11:16-24). By faith He is making “one new man”, that is His Bride/the Church, from both Jew and Gentile believers.
“He is For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Ephesians 2:14-16
However God has not finished with Israel “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Jer 31:3
Which leads to …
Jacob & His Two Wives
Jacob here is a picture of Jesus Christ:
|The Type : Jacob||The Anti-Type : Christ Jesus|
|Jacob chosen by God, even though 2nd born son||Christ is the Second Adam|
|Esau forfeited his birthright, it passed to Jacob||Adam forfeited his birthright. God sent the second Man who is to receive the birthright of the firstborn Son of God: ie the dominion of the earth|
|Jacob was hated by his brother Esau||Christ was hated by His brethren|
|He was driven in to exile in a far country||Jesus left His Father’s house and came to earth|
|Jacob was treated badly in a far country, became as a servant
|Christ came as a bond-servant in human form and was crucified|
|He married a bride in a far country||Christ purchased His bride with His shed blood in the far country ie the earth|
|Then returned to claim his possession / inheritance||Christ will come again to claim His possession/ inheritance, the earth|
Jacob chose Rachel first. He laboured for her. But at the end of his labour he didn’t receive her, he received a different bride, Leah.
He then served 7 more years for Rachel.
But second bride Leah was fruitful and bore Jacob many children. Rachel was barren: until she cried out to God in distress.
Jacob chose Rachel first but she was set aside for a time while Leah bore many children and took her place.
Rachel = Israel
Leah = the Church
Israel today is barren and the Church is fulfilling the purposes of God. However when the Church is taken up in the rapture, then the Lord will deal with Israel again, in the Tribulation. It is when Israel cries out to God in distress that she will too become fruitful and many will turn to Jehovah through the instrument of Israel.
“…that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Israel); for this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins’.” Romans 11:25-27
“Old-fashioned” but never-ending
“Old-fashioned” but never-failing
“Old fashioned” but ever speaking
Give me the old-fashioned power of the blood, that old rugged cross and the exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord and there’s nothing that can stand in my way as a blood-bought child of God.
The old fashioned power of the Blood of Jesus Christ is still there on the mercy seat in Heaven before the Father. It has never been removed, it has never lost its power and it never will.
But the devil doesn’t want the Church to know the power of the blood. In particular there has been a sustained effort to cover it up over these last few decades. So let’s have a look at it.
What power does the Blood have?
What gives the Blood its power?
And how can we experience the Blood’s full power in our lives?
The Power of the Blood of Jesus
“ and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
“ in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,”
What Gives the Blood its Power?
Like the old hymn says “There’s power, power wonder-working power in the Blood of the Lamb”…
The Blood of the Lamb surely has power even now. We can testify to its power to cast demons out of people, save people and set them free..
But it is the power of the blood of the Lamb.
Not a mighty warrior, a conquering superhero, but a Lamb. A lamb has a meek and humble disposition. A lamb doesn’t fight. A lamb is led to the slaughter quietly, a lamb doesn’t protest.
It is the power of the blood of the Lamb
“So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev 7:14
Jesus became the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world. He was the final Lamb in fulfilment of all those thousands of lambs in the Old Covenant that were killed on the altar for man’s sin.
He literally became the physical Lamb as an atonement, but it was more than that.
He was also the Lamb in disposition. Jesus was meek and unresisting. In total submission to the Father He allowed man to do whatever they wanted to Him and He didn’t fight back, He didn’t resist, nor protest. He yielded the whole time, even to death.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2:8
“He’s not merely the Lamb because He died on the cross, but He died on the cross because He’s the Lamb.” Roy Hession
Hebrews 9:14 says “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God…”
Truly Christ was so humble that He offered Himself to God as the Lamb, willing to do whatever the Father wanted.
It was because of this disposition of utter self-denial, of the complete surrender of the Lamb and of His deep humility that God exalted Him and gave Him the Name above every name.
So we see how valuable this disposition is to God. This was the disposition He was after when He created Adam. But Adam rebelled against his Creator and took the path of Self instead. Thus all mankind has followed Adam down this path of Self and rejected submission to our Creator and God. This is the essence of sin: self and pride.
But God found that disposition in one Man: the Man Christ Jesus.
And His shed blood is the ultimate expression of this humility.
“It was because the shedding of His blood so supremely expressed this disposition that it is so utterly precious to God and so all-availing for man and his sin” Roy Hession
Just as the shed blood’s power comes from the Lamb’s disposition, so too in our own lives, the power of the blood becomes available to us as we follow the Lamb and partake of His divine nature.
Just as He submitted fully to the Father’s will and yielded up His life to Him, so we too can know the full power of the Blood as we submit to the Father, willingly and quietly obeying His will, laying down our own wants, desires, rights and ambitions. As we offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him, He fills us with His Spirit and the disposition of the Lamb becomes ours.
Lord, help us to truly submit to You. To lay down our life for you as You lay down Your life for us. As we do, fill us with your Spirit and may the fruits of the Spirit, such as meekness, gentleness truly become evident in our lives. We thank you for becoming the Lamb who took away our sins, may we become lambs now and follow You wherever you go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
*Based on teaching from Roy Hession’s book “The Calvary Road”
The Table of Shewbread
In the golden, glowing place of fellowship with God – the Holy Place – is a Table. The Table is laden with bread. It is a place of provision, a place of communion, a place where the priest meets with God and eats the bread in His presence. This is the Table of Shewbread.
No longer in the bright glare of the sun in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle of Moses, now we are in the room of gold. The Golden Lampstand is the only source of light here and casts the glow from its seven lamps over the Altar of Incense and the Table of Shewbread.
The Purpose of the Table
A table is a place to eat and to fellowship with others. A place to gather around to commune and to break bread together. In fact, tables hold great significance in life. The table is the place where family comes together to eat and to share in each others’ lives. Studies have been conducted demonstrating that children from families who eat together 4 or more times a week do better academically and emotionally. This is because around the table we are united, we communicate and we bond with each other. It is a place of security and stability for children and adults alike.
In the Tabernacle it is no different: the Table of Shewbread is the place where the priests were to gather together to eat the Bread of the Presence as one, in God’s presence. Remember the Table is in the Holy Place and the Holy Place is the place of Fellowship.
The Table – a Picture of Christ Jesus
The Table was made of acacia wood, overlaid with pure gold.
Once again this reflects the dual nature of Christ, the God-Man: the incorruptible acacia wood, His sinless humanity; and the pure gold, His deity.
The table was the same height as the Brazen Altar’s grate in the Outer Court and the Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place – 1 ½ cubits. We begin at the Judgment seat (the Brazen Altar: cross) so that we may come to the Table for fellowship with God and His Priests on the basis of the shed blood of the Mercy Seat.
The Table carries the bread – just as Jesus bears His people:
“He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom…” Isaiah 40:11
The Table had a gold moulding around the edge measuring one hand’s breadth with a gold crown on top.
The crown speaks of His Kingship. He is the King of Kings.
The gold moulding speaks of the protection of His people, a golden enclosure surrounds them. It measures one hands’ breadth: He holds His people in His hand.
The Bread – a Picture of Christ Jesus
The Shewbread, or Bread of the Presence, also points to Jesus Christ.
“Shew” means to “tell forth” or “declare”. Thus the Shewbread “tells forth” or bears witness to God’s Son, Jesus. See Jesus was never an after-thought nor Plan B, because God’s first plan didn’t work. No, Jesus was always God’s plan of redemption to a fallen world, (See Genesis 3:15). He is the only One, the Only Way and He has always been so. Thus the Old Covenant in the Old Testament tells forth of Him.
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– in the scroll of the book it is written of Me– to do Your will, O God.'” Hebrews 10:7
12 is the number that is used consistently in the Bible for Israel. It is also the number for Apostolic fullness and Governance (think of the 12 apostles and the 24 (12×2) thrones in Revelation 4:4.
How the bread was made – a process of death and suffering
Bread was made from fine flour. The flour was made from harvested wheat. The wheat had been alive and growing, but then the wheat was harvested and died in order to be ground to fine flour to become bread. This foreshadows Jesus’ suffering and death. Jesus was alive, but He suffered and was crushed under the weight of bearing the sin of the world. He died and by His death He gives life to the world.
The bread was unleavened = Jesus’ sinless nature
The bread was baked in fire. It was an offering to the Lord by fire: this also speaks of the sufferings of Christ and His obedience unto death.
The bread was perforated = Jesus was pierced and wounded
Frankincense was placed on each row of bread
Leviticus 24:7 “ And you shall put pure frankincense on each row…”
Incense always speaks of prayer and intercession. Remember the Altar of Incense was the place of intercession. So frankincense sprinkled over the Shewbread speaks of Jesus’ life of prayer and Intercession.
The Bread of Life
Of course Jesus Himself refers to Himself as the “Bread of Life” – John 6:32-35 & John 6:48-51
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry…” John 6:35
Jesus is the living bread – all who eat of Him will never die because He is life. Shewbread in its physical form was a picture of Him being the true, spiritual Bread of Life. Manna was also a picture of Him. The Manna and the Shewbread were simply shadows – He is the reality. He is the divine Bread sent from Heaven to provide the answer to sin, to provide life to us, to sustain us, to keep us, to fill us.
God has provided for us eternal bread. Those priests whom ate the Shewbread in the Tabernacle are now dead. So are those Israelites whom ate the Manna in the wilderness. But those who eat of Jesus will never die. He says
“Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:49-51
Just as the priests ate the Bread in the presence of God at the Table, so we too need to eat of Jesus regularly in God’s presence. This is not the Catholic false doctrine of the Eucharist – no – it is by eating of the Word of God in the light of the revelation of the Holy Spirit (the Golden Candlestick).
So we see that:
We are to daily eat the bread of the Word of God which reveals Jesus to us. Now we have the written Word which reveals to us the Living Word. The Shewbread was replaced regularly – we have to come to the Word of God regularly for fresh bread. The Shewbread was covered in Frankincense, and we need to come to the Word of God in prayer.
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
There were also bowls, cups and pitchers on the Table of Shewbread. They were made of pure gold.
With the Shewbread the priests were commanded to offer a drink offering to the Lord – wine from the gold cups, pitchers.
This is a picture of Jesus’ shed blood being poured out for us.
So we see the Priests breaking the bread and eating it and pouring out the wine in the presence of God, in unity and as a witness to Christ.
“ And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:19,20
Of course this reminds us of New Covenant communion. This is where we gather around the Lord’s Table and eat the break and drink the cup to “shew forth the Lord’s death till He comes.”
1 Corinthians 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you do shew forth the Lord’s death till He comes…”
Communion is the place where New Covenant believers gather together in the unity of the Holy Spirit in the presence of God and remember the Lord’s death. Once again we see those words “shew forth”. Communion is also a witness, a testimony, to what Jesus has done and that He is coming back soon. Praise the Lord!
The Table of Shewbread Also Points to You and Me
Now the Ministry of the Old Covenant priests reflect our ministry as New Covenant believers:
“Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I hope and pray to God that I will have the courage to stand up for the real Jesus of the New Testament, regardless of whom I offend” AW Tozer
From the blog http://www.abideinchrist.com/messages/lev25v25.html
The “nearest kinsman” or “kinsman redeemer” is a “Goel”. The word means to redeem, receive or buy back.
What is a Kinsman-Redeemer?
Provision was made in the Law of Moses for the poor person who was forced to sell part of his property or himself into slavery. His nearest of kin could step in and “buy back” what his relative was forced to sell (Leviticus 25:48f). The kinsman redeemer was a rich benefactor, or person who frees the debtor by paying the ransom price. “If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold” (Leviticus 25:25; cf. Ruth 4:4, 6).
The nearest of kin had the responsibility of redeeming his kinsman’s lost opportunities. If a person was forced into slavery, his redeemer purchased his freedom. When debt threatened to overwhelm him, the kinsman stepped in to redeem his homestead and let the family live. If a family member died without an heir the kinsman gave his name by marrying the widow and rearing a son to hand down his name (Deuteronomy 25:5; Genesis 38:8; Ruth 3-4). When death came at the hands of another man the redeemer acted as the avenger of blood and pursued the killer (Numbers 35:12-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-3).
“Goel” was used of things consecrated to God (Leviticus 27:13“31), of God as redeeming man (Exodus 6:6; Isaiah 43:1; 44:22; 48:20; 49:7), and those redeemed by God (Isaiah 35:9; 51:10; Job 19:25). The right of redemption and the office belonged to the nearest kinsman, or “near of kin, near relative” (Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 3:12; 4:1, 6, 8, etc.). Yahweh is the great Kinsman of His people. When their liberty was lost in Egypt, He rescued them from bondage. “I am the LORD . . . I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments” (Exodus 6:6).
“Goel” in the Bible
The ancient patriarch Job complained that no one came to redeem him! His faith is seen reaching out and proclaiming that Yahweh will provide His Goel! “As for me, I know that my redeemer (kinsman) lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (Job 19:25). Job’s hope looked to the coming Messiah. He affirmed his faith that his redeemer will come to the earth.
One of the most beautiful passages where the word Goel is found is in the life of Naomi in the book of Ruth. The book of Ruth is a story about Naomi’s Goel. Naomi was the poorest person in Israel, but her kinsman was the richest man in Israel. Because of the death of her husband and two sons, she and her daughter-in-laws lost all income and their homestead. Naomi was living in a foreign land and sensed the loss of her homeland and relatives. She became bitter. The secret of all her daughter-in-law Ruth had was in union with Boaz. The nearer kinsman had the first right to the property and Boaz came next after him. If Ruth’s closer relative would not redeem or purchase it, Boaz was prepared to do so. The man who was nearest of kin agreed to redeem the piece of land until he found out there was a young widow involved. He graciously backed out! That left Boaz as the rightful nearest of kin who had the privilege of redeeming her land and her with it. The Moabitess and the Jew became one. Boaz was nearest of kin to her deceased husband (Ruth 2:1). He was able to redeem by paying the price of redemption (2:1), and he was willing to redeem the land (4:4). That is what makes this epic so beautiful.
Four things were required in order for a kinsman to redeem:
Jesus Christ is my Goel.
2. Jesus has the power to redeem me. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). He assumed our debt and paid it with His life. Cf. Hebrews 1:2-3).
3. Jesus is willing to redeem me. Jesus Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14; cf. 1 John 1:7; 2:2; Hebrews 10:12; 4:16; 2:17). Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus is referring to His voluntary, sacrificial, vicarious, and obedient payment to effect the release of slaves or captives from bondage. “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father” (John 10:17-18).
4. Jesus has paid the price in full and I have received my redemption. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The invitation is still open. Jesus is the sinner’s nearest kinsman. It is our responsibility to lie at the feel of our Goel, and say, “Cover me with your blood and grace” (cf. Ruth 3:9). “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). “I have believed,” is in the perfect tense in the Greek text. Paul is saying, “I have believed and my faith is a firmly settled conviction.” God is keeping guard over him. “Persuaded” is also in perfect tense, therefore Paul had come to a settled persuasion regarding the matter and was fixed in an permanent position. You could not move him. There are some things of which I am absolutely sure.
Our redemption is precious. Our salvation has been purchased at a great and personal cost because the Lord Jesus gave Himself for our sins in order to deliver us from them. Our forgiveness is based on the ransom price of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us” (Ephesians 1:7). The redemption work of Jesus Christ delivers believers from the slavery to sin. The means of redemption is the substitutionary death of Christ as a sacrifice for our sin. It is “through His blood” which is the ransom payment (cf. Eph. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Only the death of Christ completely satisfied Godâ€™s justice (Rom. 3:24-25).
Go back to ancient Israel in the time of the Judges. Can’t you see Naomi holding her grandson in her arms? Her neighbors said, “A son has been born to Naomi!” They named him Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David (4:17), of the lineage of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). God had redeemed her.
The words of Naomi’s friends are a fitting reminder of God’s grace in our lives. “Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer (or closest relative) today, and may his name become famous in Israel” (Ruth 4:14).
I didn’t want to go street preaching today. I actually couldn’t think of
anything less I’d rather do. I felt so oppressed, almost like I had been drugged. I had to go though, if only to show Metro-man that he hadn’t won and pushed us out of the area by calling the police on us last time. I wondered though if this may be the last time I went in.
This is how my brain was working this morning. Oh God, I’m going strictly in obedience to You and the vision You gave me. Please give me some encouragement. I can’t do it without You.
….I can never do it without You….
My friends, I am here to tell you that God is a God of encouragement. He knows when we need it.
My tactic when I get into the city (after prayer together) is always to immediately begin to preach. This is because if I wait and consider the people I will be preaching to, there is a danger I will chicken out altogether.
So I preached the gospel. The full gospel. And the oppression I’d felt all morning was immediately broken.
God one by one sent other Christians to us to encourage us. One guy was a homeless man called Tony who lives by faith. I tell you what this guy was full of the Holy Spirit and knew the Bible inside out. He said this morning he prayed that he could somehow preach the gospel.
There’s the microphone, I said.
Tony preached. He shared that he was a former drug addict and murderer (of the heart) but Jesus had found him and pulled him out. It was amazing.
Another young guy with a guitar came and encouraged us. He is also a street-preacher/singer.
Then another guy came over to us. He was a vision impaired man in a scooter who sings gospel songs on the bridge. He said that nobody preaches the whole counsel of God anymore and was encouraged himself that we were actually preaching repentance from sin, hell, God’s coming judgment as well as the gospel of Christ and the love of God.
Well then he got on the microphone and preached too. Then off he went and came back and blessed us with McDonalds for lunch for all of us.
God certainly provides for His children.
God used a homeless man, a blind man and a young man to bless and encourage us today. And I believe that they in turn were also blessed. God is good God. So very, very good. We must always remember that. He is faithful, ever faithful and He always, always, always honours the preaching of His Word.
Needless to say, that is NOT the last time I will be going to the streets. I am back baby.
The lines from this old Christmas carol was the theme God gave me to preach on today:
“Hark the Herald Angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King!’
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinner reconciled”
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
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