Archive for December, 2007



Messiah’s Date of Appearance

THURSDAY

God has revealed through the prophets to expect a God-Man savior, that this Savior will be born in Bethlehem and will be born of a virgin. It only remains to know when He will appear. God has revealed with pinpoint accuracy when the Savior would enter Jerusalem to die in Daniel 9:25, 26. It will take a week of devo’s to unpack these verses to show how precise was our God in the warning of this momentous event (and I will around the time of the celebration of the Resurrection). But for now, understand that God’s people knew when He was coming to enter Jerusalem, and therefore, knew the time ABOUT when He would be born. They were on a Messiah watch.

NAU Daniel 9:25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

 
NIV Daniel 9:25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree {25 Or word} to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, {25 Or an anointed one; also in verse 26} the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. {26 Or off and will have no one; or off, but not for himself} The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

 
KJV Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. {be built…: Heb. return and be built} {wall: or, breach, or, ditch} {troublous: Heb. strait of} 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. {but…: or, and shall have nothing} {desolations…: or, it shall be cut off by desolations}

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The Virgin Birth

WEDNESDAY

 
Not long after Micah prophecied where the Messiah would be born, God revealed how the God-Man would enter the world – through a virgin birth.

 
NAU Isaiah 7:14
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

 
NIV Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you {14 The Hebrew is plural.} a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and {14 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and he or and they} will call him Immanuel. {14 Immanuel means God with us.}

 
KJV Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. {shall call: or, thou, O virgin, shalt call}

 
The Hebrew word for ‘virgin’ is almah and can also mean a young woman of child bearing age. Some scholars, in an attempt to disprove the virgin birth of Jesus have focused on the latter meaning of the word rather than the former. However, there are two strong indications why ‘almah’ should be interpreted as virgin rather than a young woman of child bearing age. First, of the nine uses of ‘almah’ in the Hebrew Scriptures, eight refer to virgins. Second, and most convincingly, the Greek word used to translate ‘almah’ in Mat 1:23 can mean ONLY virgin!

 
NAU Matthew 1:23
“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

 
NIV Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” {23 Isaiah 7:14} –which means, “God with us.”

 
KJV Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. {they…: or, his name shall be called}

 
God indeed is with us in the Incarnation.

Prophecied Birthplace

TUESDAY


God prepared His people for the Anointed One (Messiah or Christ) with 350 prophecies stretching over 4,000 years. About 700 BC, God through the prophet Micah, identified the place where the Incarnate Messiah would be born – in Bethlehem, a small village within 4 miles of Jerusalem. His people now know to expect a God-Man savior and where He would be born.


NAU Micah 5:2
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”


NIV Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans {2 Or rulers} of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins {2 Hebrew goings out} are from of old, from ancient times.” {2 Or from days of eternity}


KJV Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. {everlasting: Heb. the days of eternity}


But how and when will He come. The answer will come on Wednesday and Thursday !

INCARNATION – 1st Promise

MONDAY

With Christmas rapidly approaching, it is only appropriate that we look at the mysterious work of God that made possible our salvation – The Incarnation of Jesus the Christ. We cannot begin to explain the mystery of the Incarnation, we can only marvel at its occurrence. The God-Man, Jesus, 100% God and 100% man fused together into one, continues to be difficult for man to comprehend. It took six church councils (beginning with Nicea in 325AD and ending at the third council of Constantinople in 681AD) to describe the nature of the Incarnation. Without the Incarnation, man would continue to be hopelessly separated from God because man on his own is incapable of accomplishing the righteousness necessary to enter into the presence of God. It took the work of God in the form of a God-man to do what man cannot do. This week we will look at the promise by God of the Incarnation and work forward to the event we attempt to celebrate at this time of the year.


The promise of the Incarnation begins in Genesis. God has created a man (Adam) and a woman (Eve); put them in charge of His creation with one rule by which to live life. When the woman and the man violated His standard, God responded with discipline against the guilty parties. But in His discipline, He provided a promise for the ultimate solution to the human dilemma. The promise is found in Genesis 3:15. The English reads:


NAU Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”


NIV Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring {15 Or seed} and hers; he will crush {15 Or strike} your head, and you will strike his heel.”


KJV Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


This is the only reference where ‘seed’ is identified with a woman and is introduced in the promise of salvation as coming through the woman in contrast to the man. What is interesting is how Eve understood this salvation. Her understanding is found in Genesis 4 immediately following the promise in Genesis 3. When she gives birth to Cain, she literally says in the Hebrew, “I have gotten a man YHWH!”  But look how the verse is translated in the English:


NAU Genesis 4:1
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a man-child with the help of the LORD.”


NIV Genesis 4:1 Adam {1 Or The man} lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. {1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for brought forth or acquired.} She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth {1 Or have acquired} a man.”


KJV Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. {Cain: that is Gotten, or, Acquired}


A more proper way of understanding the Hebrew phrase is as the promise of the God-Man later identified as Messiah. While Eve’s theology is correct, her application is incorrect. That she realized her mistaken application is seen in the next verse when she names her second born son Abel which means ‘vanity’ – a statement of application correction by Eve.

The rest of the week will be spent briefly tracing a few of the 350 promises of God leading to the Incarnation event that began with the Genesis 3:15 promise.

Fear Results in God’s Protection

FRIDAY


And finally, the fear of the Lord results in blessing from God:


NAU Psalm 31:19 How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!


NIV Psalm 31:19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.


KJV Psalm 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

 

NAU Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.

NIV Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

KJV Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.


NAU Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.

NIV Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

KJV Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

Fear Results in Blessings

THURSDAY

A proper ‘fear of the Lord’ results in salvation:

NAU Psalm 85:9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.

NIV Psalm 85:9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

KJV Psalm 85:9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

 

In limitless love:

 
NAU Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

 
NIV Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

 
KJV Psalm 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. {as…: Heb. according to the height of the heaven}

 
And in tender treatment from God:

 
NAU Psalm 103:17 But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,

 
NIV Psalm 103:17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children–

 
KJV Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Fear Brings Enlightenment

 WEDNESDAY

The remainder of the week will be spent looking at some of the Benefits of Fearing the Lord. Today, we will see that the Fear of the Lord enlightens the mind:

 
NAU Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.

NIV Psalm 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

KJV Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. {and…: or, and his covenant to make them know it}

 
The fear of the Lord also teaches us NOT to sin:

 
NAU Proverbs 16:6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

NIV Proverbs 16:6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.

KJV Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.