March 30, 2023, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags:

The people are now in the promised land, they have been through many iterations, of following GOD, and then following the gods of the neighbors. For 400 years they had what was called Judges, although they were actually the leaders of the people and would also act as Judges in some instances. The people finally decide they want to be like other nations around them so they want a king, forgetting that GOD is their King as well as their God. They split between north and south. The South King is the line of David, Solomon’s son Rehoboam, but it is only Judah and Benjamin, the rest of the tribes have gone with Jeroboam and they have gone the way of sin in that they are worshipping the gods of their neighbors. Jeroboam actually sets up an idol for them to worship.

Chapter 5

After roughly 2000 years from Abraham we come to a time when Israel is under the control of the Roman Empire. It has been a time of many 2nd chances for the people of Israel, the tribes split after the reign of Solomon and there was Judah in Jerusalem and there was the Northern Kingdom which was the rest of the people they built the city of Samaria which became the capital of the Northern Kingdom called Israel. In 792 BC the sinfulness of the people of the Northern Kingdom had become so great that God allowed the Kingdom of Assyria to destroy the Northern Kingdom and most of the people were sent into exile in different places within the Assyrian Empire.

Around 586 BC the Southern Kingdom, Judah falls to the Babylonians and the people are sent into captivity in Babylon. After 70 years of captivity, the Jewish people in Babylon are given their freedom and go to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. I should say that a group is allowed to go to Jerusalem, a second group goes a few years later, and the two groups finally get the job done. Many of their countrymen come back to the land and they begin to live again in the promised land. Over the next 600-700 years, there are many wars and many years of peace. All of which allows the people to again plunge into sin. If you read the prophets, you see how they continually call the people to repentance, and well, they do not repent, or they give half hearted allegiance to God.

There is much pain and suffering during this time period and God finally has had enough of all this and they are conquered by Alexander the Great, who dies a short time later and his generals split up the land. The general Ptolemy who rules Egypt, fights and wins control of the area called Palestine, which includes Israel. This takes place about 331 BC, then the Seleucids who ruled the Syrian area defeat Ptolemaic forces and they begin to rule all of that area which includes Israel. There is a revolt and the Seleucid forces are routed and Judah is again ruled by Israelites for a brief period.

Rome under Pompey in about 63 BC conquers the area including Israel and they are then under the rule of Rome for the next period of time. Sin runs rampant, even the priesthood becomes corrupt as the Roman forces tighten their grip on the people, then Rome gives Herod the Great the Kingship over Israel in 34 BC. Sometime between 6 and 4 BC, there is a birth in a stable in Bethlehem. Jesus the Christ is born.

When you read the stories about the birth, you can see that God does not go to the corrupt governing bodies, no priests are notified of the birth, just a group of shepherds. Now shepherds were the on the extreme low end of the social life of Israel, only women and animals were lower on that structure than shepherds, and sometimes the shepherds might be seen as being on the very bottom rung of that ladder. Yet God made the announcement to those men as they kept watch over their flocks in the fields around Bethlehem.

Now these days when you see those manger scenes at Christmas time, you see the Shepherds and the Wise Men from the East. However if you read the story you see that these wise men arrived about 2 years after the birth. Mat 2:16-18 NKJV Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. (17) Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: (18) “A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, LAMENTATION, WEEPING, AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN, REFUSING TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY ARE NO MORE.”

So the King of Kings has been born in Bethlehem, but there is only a short lived joy then the child is whisked off to safety and all the children 2 years old and younger are killed so that the King would be killed. One day there shall be joy in Israel, when the King of Kings returns to rescue those who are His own.

Jesus is taken to Egypt, only to return to Israel after the death of Herod the Great. Then the family returns not to Bethlehem but rather to Nazareth, to take up life in that place from which they had gone to Bethlehem to be counted in order to be taxed. Jesus now grows up in Nazareth, probably learning the trade of carpentry from his step-Father Joseph. At about 30 years of age, Jesus begins his ministry as becomes a Rabbi, he attracts a group of followers and teaches them as he goes about the country side, preaching, teaching, and healing the sick. We read that Jesus rids people of disease, and of demon possession. His ministry goes on for about 3 years, then one of his own people, turns him over to the authorities.

His disciples are scattered, only one of them is present for the crucifixion and when it is over he with Jesus’ mother and other women watch as the body is taken down, carefully wrapped and spices are spread on the body, then he is carried to the tomb and placed inside. A huge stone is then rolled into place so no one can steal the body and of course the High Priest being sure that the disciples will try to steal his body so they can claim that he is risen from the dead. There are guards placed at the tomb to insure no one will try to steal the body.

Yet on the third day, the stone is rolled away, and the body is not in the tomb, many witnesses see the risen Christ and after Pentecost a few weeks later, the disciples begin to preach and teach with power. Another new beginning, in just 300 years or so, they have even the Roman Empire turning to Jesus. Of course that is another story for another day.

Comments Off on Kings

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: