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Monday, December 3 2012
As The Sand That Is On The Sea Shore
After Abraham's near-sacrifice of his Messianic-line son Isaac (Abraham had many other sons; see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates), the LORD (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God to understand Who "the LORD God" was and is) promised Abraham that "I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore."
"22:15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22:15-18 KJV)
Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel" (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel), was aware of, and continued the awaiting of the delivery of the promise of the LORD that "I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude."
"32:9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast showed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands [see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria]. 32:11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children [see A Biography Of Jacob: Peace With Esau]. 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude." (Genesis 32:9-12 KJV)
Centuries later, after entering their promised land, the people of Israel "were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude." Was that the fulfillment of the great promise made to Abraham?
"4:20 Judah and Israel [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah] were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry. 4:21 And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life." (1 Kings 4:20-21 KJV)
It is obvious that "as the sand which is by the sea in multitude" was, then, a term for a large number of people. The same term was even used for Solomon's great wisdom - "wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore."
"4:29 And God gave Solomon [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon] wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. 4:30 And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt." (1 Kings 4:29-30 KJV)
But Solomon corrupted his wisdom, so that "though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return." The LORD divided Israel into "Israel" and "Judah" because of Solomon's idolatry; they then fell separately when each of the two kingdoms became even more corrupt.
"10:22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Back To Babylon and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah; also Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes]: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. 10:23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.
The result of their fall was "Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas."
"15:5 For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in"
Was that the end? Did the LORD deliver the promise that He made to Abraham, and then the people of Israel squandered it?
King David was dead in the time of Jeremiah, when this prophecy as written. But notice that the prophecy describes an even greater fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to King David, who were key ancestors of the Messiah: "As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me."
"33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.
Hosea also wrote of it, describing a time when Israel and Judah would be reunited - "the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered."
"1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. 1:11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel." (Hosea 1:10-11 KJV)
"Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham"
As we've read, the prophecy is very plain that Israel and Judah are going to be restored (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant). But Abraham never broke the Covenant, nor was Abraham an Israelite or a Jew - Israelites and Jews were the descendants of Abraham, who did not yet exist in Abraham's time. What about the rest of humanity, including Abraham, who are not Israelite or Jew? "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith."
"9:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 9:25 As he saith also in Osee,
Salvation is not limited to any race of humans (see What Did The Messiah Say About Gentiles? and The Joppa Lessons Of Jonah And Peter). The Messiah made that very clear with His "3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." (Matthew 3:9 KJV). All, who like Abraham obey the Way of the LORD ("14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 KJV) will be granted salvation. The non-Israelite Abraham himself, in his own time, understood that the "sand which is by the sea shore" promise to him would not be fulfilled by a mere human kingdom of any one people. He "died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
"11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went [see A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan]. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Fact Finder: How has salvation always been about the people, the "spiritual Israel," who repented and obeyed the LORD?
This Day In History, December 3
1170: Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, returned to Britain after six years of exile in France. He was killed on December 29 by soldiers sent by his former ally King Henry II.
1586: Sir Thomas Herriot introduced potatoes to England, from Columbia.
1621: Italian astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei (who the "infallible" Pope threatened to burn at the stake for correctly teaching that the earth orbits the sun, not the sun orbits the earth as the Pope incorrectly proclaimed; see also No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible) perfected the telescope (see also Parabolic Prophecies).
1762: France transferred to Spain all territory west of the Mississippi - known as Upper Louisiana.
1800: During the War of The Second Coalition, 60,000 French under Moreau defeated 70,000 Austrians under Archduke John at the Battle of Hohenlinden in upper Bavaria.
1910: The neon lamp, developed by French physicist George Claude, was displayed for the first time at the Paris Motor show.
1912: An armistice was signed by Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, ending the First Balkan War.
1917: The Quebec Bridge opened over the St. Lawrence River. At nearly 1 kilometer in length, it is the world's longest cantilever span.
1917: The U.S. declared war on Austria-Hungary during the First World War, 8 months after the U.S. declared war on Germany, and 3 years and 4 months after the war in Europe began (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1931: The Statute of Westminster was passed, under which British dominions gained complete legislative independence.
1967: A team of surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christian Barnard, performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived for 18 days.
1970: British Trade Commissioner James Cross was released by the Front de Liberation du Quebec ("FLQ") terrorists in Montreal. Cross was kidnapped in October along with Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte (Laporte was murdered). The FLQ sought to remove Quebec from Canada by means of violent revolution (see also Violence); the majority of the people of Quebec however democratically and peacefully chose for themselves to remain Canadian through repeated referendums in which Quebec voters, not criminals, decided the future of Quebec.
1984: Over 2,500 people were killed and thousands injured when deadly gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India.
1997: In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121 countries signed The Ottawa Treaty. It outlawed the manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines. The U.S., communist China and Russia refused to participate in the treaty.