Friday April 13, 2018
Title: Ruth: 3:10-13; A community without lies. The God who cannot lie; the Christian who cannot lie.
Tanak: acronym for Torah, Nevi’im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). It is the OT as originally put together.
The Old Testament is divided into three parts originally: The Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim. Together they are called the Tanak.
These are all put together in a divinely inspired way. Their rearrangement and division as you find the in your Bible was done in the church age and has done a disservice to God’s revelation.
We start with the Torah:
Man and woman rule the earth for God. They fail. Their children fail. The seed of the woman is promised. We need a new kind of human.
It begins with the Garden of Eden. Man and woman were to rule the earth, populate it, and all under the great blessings of God. Would they depend completely on God or would they venture to know things like good and evil within themselves. The serpent deceives them and they eat. They are banished and cursed and, but it is prophesied, the Adamic Covenant, that the seed of the woman would bruise the serpent on the head.
The progeny of Adam and Eve go from bad to worse until the flood has to be brought to bear and another covenant is made with Noah. To this point in our revelation we learn that God chose to rule the world through humans and then humans became the problem. This all sets us up for the continued promise of the seed of the woman who would defeat the serpent - a new kind of human who actually could rule the world.
Our first new kind of human: Abraham. Fail! Exile to Egypt. Unbreakable covenant made - seed of Abraham.
This leads us to our first new kind of humanity, Abraham. He is called from a pagan world to worship the one God and he is promised blessing and a new land, somewhat like the promise of the Garden of Eden. He is promised an enormous family and a land flowing with mild and honey. But Abraham doesn’t turn out to be the kind of new man that was needed. He was a faithful man at times, but he was also found to be weak in faith, a liar, afraid, and sexually compromised. Maybe his sons will be better? No, they lie and cheat more than Abraham did and almost kill each other and if it isn’t for the intervention of God, they would have. Adam and woman ended up cursed and banished. Abraham’s family ends up as slaves in Egypt. However, a new and unshakeable covenant was given to Abraham. Through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed and this seed would permanently establish this people as rulers of the world.
Next new type of man: Moses (great leader; prophet, priest, and king) and a covenant nation (people given a holy Law). Fail! Death in the desert.
Our next new type of humanity is Moses. He is a great man, wise, faithful, humble, and willing to lead, well, okay, he has to be pushed a bit and he’s really skeptical, but give him a break, he finally agrees to lead and manages to find some real courage.
Moses is used by God to bring Israel together as a nation. Moses leads them into a covenant relationship with God that is based on 613 commands in which they are to be holy as God is holy, the Mosaic Law. Now our new kind of human is one who is a great leader, Moses, and a people who will follow divine laws and be holy. Together they will rule God’s earth.
The leader Moses is called a prophet, priest, and even a king as he is their one leader. But the people fail miserably and die in the desert and even Moses fails badly and is not even allowed into the Promised Land. The end of the Torah laments that since then no prophet had risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.
This closes the Torah and we move into the Nevi’im.
Nevi’im: comprised of Joshua, Judges, 1&2 Samuel, and 1&2 Kings as well as 15 prophetical books.
Next new man: leader (Judge or king) in the PL with material blessing from God.
It begins with Joshua who looks very promising as our new man. He is just like Moses, and perhaps better, and he lives and rules in the Promised Land with all the material blessings of God. However, Joshua fails and the people fail badly.
The new man might come in the form of a judge, but the judges turn out terribly, final one being Samson. Maybe the new man will come in the form of a king, but the kings that arise in Israel are almost all dreadful.
But there is a new bright spot in this time, and with it comes another unbreakable covenant.
Next new man: David - faithful warrior, poet, lover of God. Fail! Exile to Babylon.
His son will sit on the throne of Israel forever.
The bright spot is David. This has to be our new man. He is courageous and faithful. He defeats a giant. He’s a warrior and a poet. This is the type of man we’re looking for who’s going to be able to rule the world. But David can’t live up to our hopes for him. He fails miserably and even loses the kingdom for a time. Yet a promise is made to him. His son will sit on the throne of Israel forever. This son is certainly not Solomon or any of the other kings of Judah since the whole nation will end up in exile in Babylon.
Throughout all of this there is the constant promise of a future hope, that God would fulfill the promise made to Abraham and David.
This moves to the prophetic scrolls of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel as well as the 12 minor prophets.
Prophetic scrolls: reminder of past failure, warning of future judgment, constant promise of a future and a hope - New Covenant, New Jerusalem, and a New Man given by God.
These prophets refer back to Israel’s history, they warn Israel of the consequences of not being faithful to God, the great day of the Lord, and worshipping Him, and they all repeat and repeat the promise of the future hope. Yet, the promise of this future hope is made more clear and detailed. God was going to purify Israel and He was going to create a new Israel. He was going to give to them a New Covenant, not like the old one that they broke, but one that they couldn’t break. And, most importantly, God was going to provide the King. This new King was going to be like Moses, He was going to be called David, and He was going to be a prophet and priest to them as well as the Gentile nations. This new King is identified as the One who was going to bring God’s blessings, as promised to Abraham, to the entire world. The Nevi’im ends with a promise of One who would be born in Bethlehem and that He would be provided by a forerunner who would announce Him, a man by the name of Elijah, but whom we know as John the Baptist.
Ketuvim: wisdom books - failure. Ruth and Daniel - hope. Chronicles - reminder of all of it and left open for a Man of God to reveal Himself.
This moves us to the Ketuvim. The Psalms open with the new King. The wisdom scroll of Proverbs leads the mind back to the way of the Mosaic Law and what man should be in wisdom by trusting God, but then that is followed by Ecclesiastes and Job that show that even the best of us tried it and failed. And then Daniel reveals the future world as well as a bit more of the new King who is called the Ancient of Days and who would rule forever, but also that Israel’s sins would be fully and finally dealt with. And then it all ends with Chronicles, a summary of the history of Israel from David onward. A repetition of the brief times of good and the plentiful times of bad, and it ends the Tanak with the words of Cyrus, king of Persia, of all people.
2CH 36:23 “Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!”
None of the so-called new men lived up to anything that would make for a ruler of God’s earth. Some were definitely better than others, but all failed. The OT ends with this sentence, given by a pagan unbeliever who was anointed by God with a special purpose.
The new man candidates: Abraham, Moses, David, Israel under Law.
The new surroundings: wilderness, Egypt, PL with many blessings.
The new titles: prophets, priests, judges, kings.
Take any combination of the three categories and we find nothing but failure to be the man or people who can rule God’s world.
As we continue to look at the world of people in our study of truthfulness and the eradication of all lies, we see the thread of God’s revelation of man in the OT. In every kind of man from Adam to Abraham to Moses to David, no one stood the test.
Whether it was being alone in the paradise of the Garden, to being alone in the wilderness, to being a nation led by a great leader in the wilderness or in the Promised Land, no one person, or people, or nation stood the test.
Whether it was before the Mosaic Law or with the Mosaic Law, or whether there was prophets, priests, and kings, or whether there were miracles and great material blessings, no one stood the test.
And then One came, at the proper time, who could stand the test, and openly did so, and openly revealed on His cross, the consequences of man’s sin, the love of God, and the ends to which that love would go to restore mankind to rule the world that God desired. In fact, the Lord’s deliverance restored to us much more than the rulership of the world. He gave us His glory, His love, His truth, and rulership over a new heaven and a new earth.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
PSA 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
PSA 40:2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
PSA 40:3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the Lord.
PSA 40:4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
PSA 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.
PSA 40:6 Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened; Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required.
PSA 40:7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me;
PSA 40:8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart."
PSA 40:9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;
This is why the old man and the old world (the lie) are not options for any new man in Christ. What Abraham, Moses, and David could not do, Jesus did. What Abraham, Moses, and David could not be, every person in Christ is.
Every believer is a new creature in Christ and they are each participants in the New Covenant through the blood of Christ. We are not to look to, admire, or try to fellowship with a people and a world who could not get it right under any circumstance for thousands of years.
ACT 17:22 And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus [Mars’ Hill] and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.
ACT 17:23 "For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.
ACT 17:24 "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
ACT 17:25 neither is He served by human hands [carved from stone: did Paul gesture towards a statue?], as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things;
ACT 17:26 and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation,
ACT 17:27 that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
ACT 17:28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His offspring.' (Aratus)
ACT 17:29 "Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
ACT 17:30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent,
Judgment in wrath was not brought to bear on Athens as it had on other nations. Athens had its setbacks, most recently at the hands of the Romans, but much of the city was restored and its schools preserved. This doesn’t mean that ignorance was okay for a time, but likely refers to God’s dealings with nations.
Ignorance always has its own repercussions and these are never stopped by God, but God is patient, holding off wrath so that men may come to repentance, while openly revealing His wrath towards sin upon the cross of Christ.
The cross brought the consequence of sin out into the open. The times of ignorance have passed because Christ has been preached everywhere. All come to hear of the consequence of sin since all hear of the death of Christ. In this way, a fantastic way, sin has been brought out into the open, its consequence and its cost. Even the Father had to turn away from Jesus as He bore the penalty of the sins of the world.
“The blood (for forgiveness) and the water (for cleansing) followed man’s spear of hate thrust into the Redeemer’s side.” [William Newell, Romans]
Yet to all men comes the message that a final day of judgment will come through a Man who has been appointed and who has furnished proof through His resurrection.
ACT 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness [righteousness is the standard] through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
ACT 17:32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer [to jest or to mock], but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this."
Paul’s wonderful, poignant, and historical appeal to the gospel through a masterful understanding of man’s conscience, his desire, and the culture he makes through that desire, fell pretty much completely flat. When some of them heard of resurrection they mocked Paul openly, which was the custom on the Areopagus when something heard was deemed absurd. The others left mildly amused and said they would be back again to the hill to hear Paul if he was still there.
ACT 17:33 So Paul went out of their midst.
ACT 17:34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite [high ranking Athenian man, member of the Areopagus] and a woman named Damaris and others with them.