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Saturday, June 8 2013
Escape From Babylon
"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God"
Abraham was born in Ur Of The Chaldees, in what is today Iraq. It was the area where human civilization began again after the flood (see The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq), in a lush area of Mesopotamia, which means "between the rivers" i.e. the Tigris and the Euphrates. Everywhere away from Babylon was regarded as uncivilized wilderness. But it was nevertheless "Babylon"; despite its beauty, it was an idolatrous place that was built by man, not by the LORD. And so it was that the LORD told Abraham to leave it all behind him.
"12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country [see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees], and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3 KJV)
Abraham obeyed the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ - see The Kingdom Of The LORD God). Abraham never looked back because he had faith in God's promise.
"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. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob [see Camped Out In Canaan], 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." (Hebrews 11:8-10 KJV)
Abraham was also given a prophecy about an exodus that his descendants would make - not out of Ur, but out of Egypt.
"15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance [see also Jacob's Mummy]." (Genesis 15:13-14 KJV)
"Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God"
The Israelites entered Egypt after the death of Abraham, in the time of Abraham's grandson Jacob - who the LORD renamed as Israel (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?).
"46:26 All the souls [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?] that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six; 46:27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten." (Genesis 46:26-27 KJV)
The Israelites were settled in a rich part of Egypt where they prospered greatly for most of the next four centuries.
"47:11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 47:12 And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families." (Genesis 47:11-12 KJV)
The people of Israel prospered so much that they grew from a mere family of about seventy people into a powerful nation within Egypt - so powerful that a later Pharaoh began to fear them. Hence the reason that the Israelites began to be oppressed (see The River Of Moses):
"1:6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 1:9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land." (Exodus 1:6-10 KJV)
By the time of the Exodus, the Israelites weren't thinking of going home to Israel; they regarded the Exodus as leaving home in Egypt (they had by that time been born in Egypt for four centuries). The failure of the adults of the Exodus to reach the promised land (see A Journey Without A Destination), even as they were about to enter it ("wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land") was because they were unable to stop looking back to their slavery to the political and religious system that they had been brainwashed into thinking themselves as being a part of ("let us return into Egypt").
"14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Coming "out of the world" isn't merely a matter of geography (just as it actually wasn't in the time of Abraham or the Exodus either - see Milk and Honey). It's a matter of never "looking back" after repentance has begun.
"2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Peter 2:20-22 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) What happened to Lot's wife after she had been saved out of Sodom? (b) Where is the spiritual Babylon that we must come out of today?
This Day In History, June 8
68: The Roman Senate proclaimed Galba as the 6th Roman Emperor. He reigned 68-69 (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
452: Italy was invaded by Attila the Hun.
632: Muhammad, the founder of Islam, died at age 62 (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
793: Vikings attacked the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria, beginning the Scandinavian invasion of England.
1042: Hardicanute, King of England and Denmark, died. He was succeeded in England by Edward the Confessor and in Denmark by Magnus, King of Norway.
1536: The Ten Articles of Religion were published by the English clergy, in support of Henry VIII's Declaration of Supremacy after breaking with the Roman Catholic church.
1663: The Battle of Ameixial in Portugal during the Portuguese war of liberation from Spain; it was victorious for the Portuguese. This was the first in a series of battles that led to the Spanish-Portuguese Treaty of Lisbon and Portugal's independence from Spain.
1783: The Laki volcano in Iceland began 8 months of eruptions that killed over 9,000 people.
1794: The French Revolution's new state religion, the "Cult of the Supreme Being," began with festivals across the country.
1949: George Orwell's 1984 was published.
1963: Egypt became the first Arab country to use chemical weapons when its aircraft dropped mustard gas bombs on Yemeni civilians in the village of Sadah near the Saudi border.
1967: Day 4 of the "6 Day War." On the Egyptian front, Israeli forces were to eventually destroy or capture over 800 Egyptian tanks - exceeding the level of destruction that the British and Canadians inflicted on Nazi armor at al-Alamein 25 years earlier (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1968: James Earl Ray, wanted for the assassination of Martin Luther King, was arrested in London.
1969: The CBS network pulled "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" because of their refusal to stop their political jokes; their program was replaced by the "politically-correct" show "Hee Haw."
1969: Spain closed its frontier with Gibraltar, hoping to cripple its economy, after Britain's refusal to hand over the colony to Spain.
1986: Despite persistent allegations he had been involved in Nazi wartime atrocities, Kurt Waldheim was elected President of Austria.
1972: The date of the infamous Vietnam War photograph of a naked little girl, whose clothes had been burned off by a U.S. napalm bomb that incinerated her village, running down a road with other screaming children. Phan Thi Kim Phuc later moved to Canada and now lives in Toronto.
1996: China carried out a nuclear explosion at the Lop Nor test site in northwestern Xinjiang with a blast that rocked the remote region.
2007: New South Wales, Australia, was hit by the worst storms and flooding in over three decades.