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Wednesday, July 22 2015
Isaiah 34: The First And Last Nation
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last ... But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city"
The English-language word "nation" originated from a Latin word, natio, that meant birth. Throughout the history of humanity, some families grew populous and became a "nation" - many people of related birth. A nation can exist without a country because country refers to sovereign territory - the place, not the people.
Israel is a prime Biblical example of both a "nation" and a "country." When the LORD changed Jacob's name to Israel (see The Origin Of Israel), his "Jacobite" children (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and The Syrian Connection) became known as Israelites, as a matter of their birth, their nation. They then grew from a family of about 70 people when they entered Egypt (see The First Census Of Israel), to a multitude, by 400 years later, in which military-age males alone totaled over 600,000 (see The Egypt Connection and The First Sinai Census). But they were still yet only a nation - they didn't have a country until they entered the land that the LORD promised to the descendants of the Messianic line of Abraham.
The Holy Bible exists, such as it does, because humans became sinners. If they didn't, there would have been practically (i.e. purposefully) nothing between the beginning of Genesis, when humans were created, and the yet-future end of Revelation, when the Father comes to Earth. There would have been no man-made nations, including the Messianic nation of Israel because no Saviour would have been required to get people back home again.
The first humans were created as a nation whose country was the Kingdom of God. The LORD was their King (see The Christian Universe), His Law was their Constitution (see When Did The Ten Commandments Begin?). But they committed treason and rebelled against their King and so were exiled from the country, the-then borderless Earth, in which they thereafter divided into competing and warring nations.
In order to restore humanity to the founding nation, the genesis of everyone, the LORD provided Himself as the means for the reconciliation (The LORD God Our Saviour). That is what the Holy Bible has been about from the beginning, and how it will end, with a resumption of the beginning, made right again (see Which Way Is Right And Left?) - native-born citizens of a sinless Kingdom. Notice that the Tree of Life is found at the beginning, and at the end, of the Holy Bible (see Which Tree Will You Pick Fruit From?):
"3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." (Genesis 3:23-24 KJV)
The LORD's true people throughout time understood that no matter where they happened to be physically born, or where they happened to live their physical lives, they were not truly home - yet (see also What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"11:13 These all 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. 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:13-16 KJV)
The admonitions that the LORD declared, through His prophets, to the "nations" were a declaration to them that they will all return home in their due time (see The Declaration Of Repentance).
"34:1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. 34:2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. 34:3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
This Day In History, July 22
838: The Battle of Anzen. Byzantine emperor Theophilos was defeated by the Abbasids (an Islamic caliphate who built their capital in Baghdad, Iraq).
1099: During the First Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), Godfrey of Bouillon was proclaimed the first "Defender of the Holy Sepulchre of The Kingdom of Jerusalem" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1298: During the Wars of Scottish Independence, King Edward I used bowmen and cavalry to defeat William Wallace's Scots at Falkirk.
1456: The Siege of Belgrade during the Ottoman Wars in Europe. John Hunyadi, Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary, defeated Mehmet II of the Ottoman Empire.
1499: The Battle of Dornach. Swiss forces defeated the Imperial army of Emperor Maximilian I.
1515: The Congress of Vienna settled disputes between Poland and the Holy Roman Empire (which was actually German; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) and the succession to the Hungarian throne.
1587: A second group of English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.
1620: A small congregation of English "Separatists," led by John Robinson, began their journey to the New World. Today, this historic group of religious refugees has come to be known as the "Pilgrims" (see The Pilgrims; also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1691: The Anglo-Dutch army defeated the French at Aghrim, India.
1706: The Acts of Union were agreed upon by commissioners from the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. The agreement led to the creation of the United Kingdom.
1739: Ottoman Turks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) defeated troops of the Holy Roman Empire at Crocyka, Yugoslavia and threatened Belgrade.
1812: During the Napoleonic Wars (during the War of 1812-14 with the U.S., Britain was at the same time fighting a much larger war with Napoleon's French Empire in Europe), the Battle of Salamanca: British forces under the command of Arthur Wellesley defeated French the army near Salamanca, Spain.
1847: To escape religious persecution in the U.S., the first large group of Mormons entered the Salt Lake Valley, in what was still Mexican territory. Mormon leader Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City, Utah, soon after.
1934: "Public Enemy No. 1" criminal John Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.
1938: The Third Reich issued special identity cards for Jewish Germans (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1946: A "Zionist" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism) terrorist organization, known as the Irgun, blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem that housed the British Army Headquarters (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace to understand how the present-day state of "Israel" became an independent nation because Britain freed them from centuries of occupation by the Ottoman Empire). About 700 pounds of high explosives demolished one wing of the hotel, killing 91 people were - 41 Arabs, 28 British, 17 Jews and 5 other nationalities. Irgun leader Menachem Begin (a future Prime Minister of Israel who signed the Camp David Accord) later claimed that the homicides were not intended and that sufficient advance warning by telephone had been given.
1948: The people of Newfoundland (at the time, a British colony) voted in a referendum to join Canada.
1950: King Leopold III returned to Belgium after six years in exile.
1981: Mehmet Ali Agca, 23, was sentenced to life in prison for the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in May of that year.
1999: The cremated ashes of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette were scattered in the waters off Martha's Vineyard where their bodies had been recovered from the crash site the day before, 3 days after their plane, piloted by Kennedy, crashed into the ocean on July 16.