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Sunday, February 7 2016
Zephaniah 2: The National Home Coming
"The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the Earth do bring their glory and honour into it"
Humans were created as citizens of the only country (i.e. the territory occupied by a nation) and the only nation (i.e. a people descended from a common ancestor), that existed on Earth in the beginning - the Kingdom of God. When they chose to rebel against the LORD (see also The Prophecy To The Birthplace Of Rebellion and The Idolatry Of Rebellion; also The Spirit Of Traitors), they were exiled, from which they devised their own countries, with their own politics and their own religions (see also The Politics And Religion Of The Lost Ten Tribes and Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).
The first foreign (i.e. a word that literally means "far reign") countries were created by the descendants of Cain, Seth and the other children of Adam and Eve (see From Adam To Noah).
"4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 4:18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech." (Genesis 4:16-18 KJV)
All of those first man-made countries ceased to exist at the time of the Flood (see Why Did The Flood Happen?). Humanity then began again from only eight people, the immediate family of Noah, of the line of Seth (although the ancestry of Noah's wife and daughters-in-law is not stated). They soon became rebels again, with the infamous tower of Babel (see The Tower Of Babel). From that came the scattering into the many nations, countries and languages of the present-day world.
"11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." (Genesis 11:8-9 KJV)
"Israel" was created from people of the "world" (see Israel's Neighborhood Roots) as a living prophecy of the coming restoration of the Kingdom of God (see When Will The Prophecy Of Israel Be Fulfilled?). Just as the Israelites (who were created from Babylonians, Syrians, Canaanites, Jordanians, Egyptians and many others; see The Origin Of Israelites And Jews) were called to obey the terms and conditions of admission into the eternal Kingdom of God, all nations will in due time be given the same opportunity (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Micah 4:1-3 KJV)
There is no favoritism with the LORD. The LORD's love and acceptance was offered to all nations who repent and truly obey Him, including Israel, just as His Wrath was delivered to all nations that defied Him, including Israel.
"2:1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; 2:2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.
Fact Finder: What empires had, and will yet have, a direct involvement in Biblical history and prophecy?
This Day In History, February 7
457: Leo I became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire (the East Roman Empire). The Byzantine Empire was the Greek-speaking extension of the Roman Empire during the eras of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It faded away as the power of the German Empire grew (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1301: King Edward I of England revived the title of Prince of Wales and bestowed it on Edward of Caernarvon, who later became Edward II.
1550: Giovanni Maria del Monte was elected Pope Julius III (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).
1668: The Netherlands, England and Sweden signed a pact against Louis XIV of France.
1783: The Spanish and French Siege of Gibraltar was lifted after 4 years.
1792: Austria and Prussia (an area of Germany, not to be confused with Russia) formed an alliance against France (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1807: The Battle of Eylau. Napoleon fought a fierce but indecisive battle against Russian and Prussian forces.
1867: The British North America Act, to create the Dominion of Canada, was introduced in the House of Lords by the Earl of Carnarvon.
1878: Pope Pius IX died. His nearly 32 year pontificate was the longest in the history of the Roman Catholic church. He was the inventor of the anti-Biblical dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" in 1854 (see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary? and Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).
1904: The biggest fire in the U.S. since the great Chicago Fire of 1871 broke out in Baltimore. It destroyed over 2,500 buildings.
1913: The Ottomans (a centuries-long ruling dynasty in Turkey; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire and see the study Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration) lost 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.
1926: Average wage for common labour in U.S.: 54 cents per hour.
1935: The game Monopoly was invented.
1944: During the Second World War (1939-1945), German forces in Anzio, Italy launched a counteroffensive during the allied forces "Operation Shingle" (see also Anzio).
1962: As a face-saving gesture after the failed CIA-backed "Bay of Pigs" invasion (April 17 1961), the U.S. banned all Cuban imports and exports.
1976: Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs set a National Hockey League record by scoring 10 points in a single game.
1986: It rained sardines in Ipswich, Australia. Scientists speculated that a violent storm caused updrafts that lifted the fish out of shallow waters and took them into the atmosphere.
1986: President Jean-Claude Duvalier fled the Caribbean nation of Haiti, thereby ending 28 years of his family rule.
1990: The Soviet communist party under Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to surrender monopoly on political power after 70 years.
1992: European Community ministers formally signed the Maastricht Treaty of European Union (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1999: Crown Prince Abdullah became the King of Jordan following the death of his father, King Hussein (see also The Israel Of East Jordan).
2009: Bushfires in Victoria left 173 people dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia's history.