Immagini della pagina

have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward."

* “ Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me, the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with, it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (Isai. 1: 2, 13). “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter” (Isai. 56: 10). A great part of the book of Jeremiah, 600 years before Christ, consists of accusations against the church in his day, and denounces the judgments of God upon them for their idolatries. Jer. 1: 14, 16; 2: 8. “ The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so " (Jer. 5: 31). The prophet Ezekiel is sent by the Lord to deliver the same messages to Israel, “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their


fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiff-hearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God" (Ezek. 2: 3). “And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak my words unto them.

* But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me" (Ezek. 3: 4-7). “Her priests have violated my law.” “Her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken" (Ezek. 22: 26, 28). The accusations made against the ancient church are applicable to the greater part of the church of the present day.

THE JEWS. SINCE God called Abraham, nearly four thousand years ago, his descendants through Isaac and Jacob have been God's chosen people. Their preservation to the present day has been a perpetual miracle. For nearly two thousand years before Christ came, they were the only people of God in the world. His visible church; chosen, delivered, guided, protected by Him; and possessing His word. All the messages of God to the human race; all the revelations of God; of Himself, of His law, of His plan of salvation, were made to the Jews. All the writers of the Bible, the Old Testament and the New, all the prophets, all the apostles, were Jews. And Christ Himself was a Jew. As Christ said to the woman of Samaria, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4: 22).

While the children of Israel were yet in the wilderness, before they entered into the promised land, Moses told them of the blessings which would come upon them if they obeyed the LORD, and of the curses which should come upon them, if they did not observe all His commandments and statutes. He said unto them : “Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store, Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out" (Deut. 28: 15). After specifying many other judgments that the Lord should send upon them, he says : "And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee."

“ And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest" (Deut. 28 : 37, 64). Six hundred years before Christ came, Jeremiah wrote, “And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them” (Jer. 24: 9). “And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, among all the nations whither I have driven them; because they have not hearkened to My words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord " (Jer. 29: 18). The Lord then adds, “ I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee : though I make a full end of all nations, whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished (Jer. 30: II; 46 : 28). In accordance with His Word, God has been making a “full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee."

The nations that made captives of the Jews have passed away: and the prophecies concerning them have been literally fulfilled. “Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrows Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation” (Isa. 13: 19; 14: 22, 47). Nineveh described as much larger than Babylon, after suffering the judgments of God; the angel of the Lord having in one night destroyed a hundred and four score and five thousand" (Isa. 37 : 36). " Nineveh is laid waste (Nahum 3: 7). The destruction of Babylon and Nineveh and the state in which their ruins have continued, according to prophecy, is more wonderful than their first growth and grandeur. For more than two thousand years, the prophecies in the Word of God concerning Egypt have been fulfilling. During all that time Egypt has been as she is now," without a native prince," and "the basest of kingdoms” (Ezek. 29 : 15 ; 30 : 13). The

« IndietroContinua »