Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Tag Archives: Judaism

TTE Advent Calendar Day Four – December 4th

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TTE Advent Calendar Day Four – Dec 4th

The LORD shall be from the line of Abraham

Thank you for reading our fourth installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.

In the last few days we have looked at the claims of the Messiah Jesus Christ and certain prophecies that show him to be the Messiah that was foretold in the Old Testament. In previous blog articles we looked at the claims that he would be born of a woman, born in Bethlehem and also born of a virgin. Today we look at the claim that he would be from the line of Abraham.

This is foretold in the Old Testament in the book of Genesis chapter twelve; lets read from verse one…

Genesis 12:1 (ESV) Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

God makes a promise to Abram (as he was known then) and God is truth. Can you imagine being Abram, with a name that means “father of many” and here he was advanced in years with no children. (God, in Genesis 17 changes his name to Abraham “father of many nations”) Such was the man’s doubt that his wife Sarai and he did not initially believe when they were promised a son. They tried to do Gods work for them and Sarai gave her Egyptian maidservant Hagar (Genesis 16) and another nation was born through Ismael. (I will touch on this in a few minutes)

I have always been blessed by the story of Abram/Abraham, he had to literally be told to go by God and leave his father’s house. He was at least in his 8th decade (verse 4) when he was told this. He was to go with his wife to a land that was to be shown to him. At this point he still resided in Ur of the Chaldees.

Talk about the ultimate mission’s trip! God says “go but I am not telling you where!” for me that is the ultimate leap of faith. Would you do likewise?

He is told “I will make you a great nation” not just a big family but a great nation. God promises that the name of Abraham will be great. Today we still talk about Abraham in three of the religions of the world.

Judaism talks of Abraham as the father of the faith, and through him came the children of Israel. This is also addressed in many of the epistles as the Jews had faith in their status as Abraham’s children above all else.

Christianity recognizes that the Messiah came through Abraham (the point of this article) It does not discount the Jewish history but sees it fulfilled through Jesus of Nazareth.

Islam sees Abraham as the father of their faith also, but through the lineage of Ishmael. (Remember that other people)

Abraham is a big deal as you can see. We read “and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” and this is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to heaven; he will bless both the Jews who believe and also the Gentiles. The Gentiles shall be justified by faith. We read that in Galatians 3:8-9…

Galatians 3:8 (ESV) And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

God speaks to Abraham for the second time

Genesis 22:15 (ESV) And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Abraham waits so long for a son, he was 100 years old. Imagine waiting for 25 years on a promise. He watches the boy grow into a young boy and he is asked of God to sacrifice his son. I can’t imagine this in my wildest of dreams but look at the faith of a man who will trust God in the face of a direction I am sure he did not want to do and a path he cannot see the way out of. I have to say that I doubt I would do likewise.

Isaac appears in this story like a sacrifice and God knew the heart of Abraham and knew that he would follow God and his promises. In that same way we see the fathers heart and i know God was thinking ahead to the time where he would offer his own son as a sacrifice to end all sacrifices.

Confirmation in the New Testament

God confirms this to us in the first verse of the first book of the New Testament through the pen of Matthew.

Matthew 1:1 (ESV) The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

That is how important that this is true and accurate. People who cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the bible will cast doubts on the following categories…

1) Genesis
2) Prophecies
3) genealogies

In all three areas the Bible has proven itself time after time. In many cases historians verify the biblical account by such means as archaeology and historical evidence to back up the claims of the Bible. In many cases these scientists have no theological reason to prove the bible correct.

God in his wisdom decided to take the time to insert this genealogy into Matthew’s gospel in order to validate this prophecy. We also see further validation of this in the Epistle to the Roman church.

Paul’s validation of the gospel of Jesus

Simply being being a “Son of Abraham” is not enough to get you into heaven. Look at what Paul writes to the church In Rome…

Romans 9:1 (ESV) I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

That is heavy stuff huh? Paul would accursed himself in order to save his brothers. That is the heart of an evangelist.

Just like Paul’s brethren, you too can be in communion with Christ.  My prayer is this article is the beginning of a new life in Jesus. I hope that you are challenged by this apologetic article and begin to examine the claims of the prophecies of the messiah. 

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.
TGBTG
TTE

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Have a blessed Shavuot all my Jewish friends

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Today is Shavuot in the Hebrew calendar and I wish to convey special greetings to any Jewish readers looking in today. I like this observance due to two parts of the modern observance; the five parts of the observance are as follows:

    1. Akdamut, the reading of a liturgical poem during Shavuot morning synagogue services

    2. Chalav (milk), the consumption of dairy products like milk and cheese

    3. Ruth, the reading of the Book of Ruth at morning services (outside Israel: on the second day)

    4. Yerek, the decoration of homes and synagogues with greenery

    5. Torah, engaging in all-night Torah study.

I identify with the reading of the book of Ruth and the study of the scriptures, (who couldn’t do with some quality time in the word of God?) not being Jewish myself my understanding of the festival is based on what I have read up on about this date in the calendar. If we have any readers who have experienced the festival then please fill in any blanks I have missed.

I love the book of Ruth, Ruth dealing with her own grief of losing her husband, has the option to go back to her own family and be cared for as a widow, instead she chooses to love her mother in law and align herself with her stating

 

“But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 ESV)

 

Talk about choosing the less trodden path, she aligns herself with Naomi who couldn’t offer her a husband to give an heir to carry on the family name and she chose Naomi, her place she was headed (Bethlehem) and her religion, serving the one true God. She was a proselyte to the Jewish faith.

The story goes that she finds her “kinsmen redeemer” an honorable man called Boaz, he favored and protected her when she was providing for Naomi, Ruth goes to Boaz and stake a claim on the threshing floor, Boaz is honest and states that he must also settle a matter with a man who was a closer relation than he, (3:11-13) Boaz obviously loves Ruth with the zeal that he pursues her. He redeems Ruth (4:1-12) in the custom of the day and then fulfills his promise and marries Ruth (4:13-17)

This is a vital story in the history of the children of Israel as Boaz was King David’s great grandfather and vital to Christians as through the line of David we got our redeemer Jesus of Nazareth. (Matthew 1, Luke 1) I love this redemption story and I remember where I was without my redeemer.

I love this as Boaz shows his love for Ruth in the same way that God showed his love for us. Boaz pursued Ruth, made sure that he did everything correctly and honorably, he then redeemed her in love. God showed his love for us in verse 8 of the fifth chapter of Romans

…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (ESV)

I pray that regardless of where you are today, that you need a redeemer if you are still in your sins. It is no coincidence that you are reading this and I pray that you answer the stirring in your heart. That redeemer is Jesus Christ. Jesus said in the Gospel of John

John 14:1 (ESV) “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me

There is one way to heaven, by committing your life to Jesus Christ.

I pray that you are blessed and please leave any comments below
TTE