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Archive for America

Japheth is Still Dwelling in the Tents of Shem

YHWH is the living God, and He is the Divine Architect of all human history. In fact, He declared the way history will end, from the very beginning (Isa. 46:8-10). Let’s connect some dots today. Noah’s prophetic glimpse of “Blessed be the LORD God of Shem” points to the founding of the Jewish nation – the coming of Messiah – Christ’s death and resurrection – and the delivery and spread of the gospel – and the promise of Christ’s coming kingdom (Gen. 9:26). The prophecy of Japheth’s dwelling in the tents of Shem – another small glimpse – points to the many ways that Japheth will help Shem accomplish his goals. Both prophecies (Shem and Japheth) are still alive and active (Gen. 9:27). In our last post we left Israel in God’s woodshed – smelling the smoke of their burning temple, battered, scattered and struggling under His fifth cycle of discipline (Lev. 26:33). Israel may have forgotten God, but God will never forget her – never.

Assisted by a pair of Japheth’s feet (Greece and Rome) stepping into the tent of Shem, the Jews had sufficient help to get Jesus Christ to the cross and to an empty tomb. These same countries assisted in giving the gospel the inertia necessary to move throughout the ancient world. For their part in rejecting and killing the Messiah, God allowed Satan to destroy the Jews along with their magnificent temple leaving them hated and homeless in Satan’s world. No people on the earth have been persecuted like the Jews. As the Jews began to disperse throughout the world, the truth of the gospel was turning the world upside down. Satan slowed this move by ramming paganism like a battering ram headlong into the growing church – confusing the gospel and silencing its voice.

During the medieval age of darkness, the public gospel was plunged into a sea of religious confusion for one-thousand years (476-1453). Japheth once again put his foot into Shem’s flailing tent – coming to the rescue. The public gospel amazingly reappeared in Germany – ground zero of Japheth’s homeland. Amazing! This should come as no surprise to the reader by now. The fires of the gospel of God’s grace quickly burned from Germany through England and the surrounding countries of Scotland, Wales, France, and Spain. The gospel, standing on the backs of many martyrs, found its way to the outer banks of America. God’s truth will never be chained.

I believe that there are two amazing reasons that God raised up America, and both are connected to Shem and Japheth, and Abraham’s cursing and blessing promise (Gen. 9; Gen. 12). The first reason is to be used of God to give the Jews a homeland. Six decades ago, on December 6, 1916, Great Britain’s prime minister David Lloyd Jones introduced the Balfour Declaration. Jones believed that the Jews deserved a homeland. The declaration was designed to restore Israel to their God-promised land of Palestine. Through a series of absolutely incredible historical events – all having to happen in mysterious yet miraculous ways – the document was written and signed off as a small part of British foreign policy (Japheth’s toe in Shem’s tent). Prime Minister Jones knew that is was not yet a done deal. It needed some special help. On October 6, 1917, president Woodrow Wilson signed the declaration, putting the powerful political clout of the USA behind the plan. It was not a popular political move for Wilson, but he did it for the Jews. Japheth strikes once more! Prime Minister Jones said that in his opinion the Balfour Declaration would have never passed without that single signature. It passed through the United Nations in 1922, and on May 14, 1948 Israel became a nation again.

Almost every president in American history from that time until now, has stood with Israel. This country has provided the financial support and military technology necessary to keep a democratic presence in the Middle East. This has been done at some peril, making the USA a target for terrorism. In my opinion based on God’s blessing and cursing promise to Abraham, God began to make America great in the eyes of the world – in this patriot’s opinion “the greatest.” Paul’s words also silently echo in the back of my mind: “I say then, have they [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall isriches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness” (Rom. 11:11-12). The full story of Israel is yet to be told.

The other reason that this country has prospered greatly is also connected to Japheth. God opened a huge window for the movement of God’s powerful gospel of grace around the modern world. Because of our freedom to publicly practice religion, the gospel breeze just keeps blowing through this window. God raised up seminaries and Christian colleges, training thousands upon thousands of missionaries who are being equipped and sent to every language group on this planet. Wow! The gospel has burned hot here for years and years. But alas, the window is slowly being shut. We now live in a generation that has forgotten Joseph. Blessings!

 

The Fountain Head of Grace

God has given us the great privilege to have been born and raised in arguably the greatest nation on this earth – the United States of America. It is my view that my homeland is greater than Greece, the mighty Roman Empire, and even Babylon, in their prime. As incredible as this may sound, one of the strangest incidents in Scripture holds the key for the founding of this country.  I speak of Ham’s involvement with Noah, his drunken father recorded in Genesis 9.  Noah gave a prophecy which I believe holds the key to all of human history – but in particular to the history of the United States of America. This history is fleshed out in the identity and dispersion of the seventy nations which are the product of Noah’s three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth (Gen. 10-11). Understanding who these nations were and where many of them ended up is crucial in the formation of world history.

 

Bible students have spent much time focused on the meaning and purpose of the words “cursed be Canaan” – and rightly so. But this attention has lessened the impact of two other parts of the prophecy. “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem.May God enlarge Japheth and may he dwell in the tents of Shem” (Gen. 9:26-27).  Here is the basis for the genealogical line of the Lord Jesus Christ and the people who will be used of God to bring Him into the world and to help Him achieve His purpose. Zero in on the words, “Blessed be YHWH, the Elohim (the living creator God) of Shem.” In order to understand this more clearly, we must go back to the fountainhead spring – the original source for God’s water of life.

 

Remember that this water of life stream began with Abel, who brought to God the right sacrifice of blood. Both brothers, Cain and Abel realized that God had covered their parents with animal skins (Gen. 3:21). This had to stick in their memories. These skins covered the couple’s fig leaf clothing and clearly marked God’s way back to the garden. The boys obviously knew that these coverings had been taken from animals who had been killed. When it was time for the boys to sacrifice to God, Abel seized on that event and brought a blood offering. Cain brought an offering of the work of his own hands. The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain, and his. Cain became very angry (Gen. 4:3-5)! But why? They both had the same info. The answer is clear!  Cain rebelled. Cain knew what God required, yet he rebelled. He had probably reasoned in his heart, “I will bring my own sacrifice.” Do the words “I will be like God” ring a bell? God gave Cain a window of time to make things right. God told Cain that sin was at the door ready to consume him, but he must conquer it (Gen. 3:7). Conquering it meant bringing the right offering. But Cain would not! Cain’s rejection caused him to be furious with God, and his seething anger and crushed pride drove him to kill his bother Abel.

 

There was much more to the scene than meets the eye. John said that “Cain was of the wicked one” (1 Jn. 3:12). Satan was the force behind Cain’s rebellious offering. Jesus called Abel a prophet. Prophets speak for God though it is never recorded that Abel said anything.  Abel spoke through his offering. He made the right sacrifice (Matt. 23:35; Heb. 11:4).  Amazing! God was not shocked. He simply moved around Cain and plugged His stream of living water into Seth (God’s appointed one), Adam’s third son (Gen. 4:25).  The living water then flowed from Seth’s generation to Enosh (weak, no power in self). It was through Seth’s people and the people of Enosh that people began to call upon the Lord before the flood (Gen. 4:26; 1 Cor. 1:26-31).  The water kept flowing to the generation of Mahalalel (praise of God) and then through Cainan (deplorable) to the generation of Jared (decent). Jared’s name reminds us that God will always have a people throughout all of human history.

 

No matter how dark life gets, God always reserves for Himself a people (1 Kings 19:18). God’s line moved through Enoch (to put trust in God) who walked with God and was not, because God took him (Gen. 5:23-24).  Jude wrote that Enoch preached against the sin that was moving quickly to take over the world (Jude 14-15).  God may have removed Enoch from the earth in order to spare his life. This is a beautiful picture of the Rapture that will keep believers from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10; Rev. 3:10).  Methuselah means “when he’s dead, it [the flood] will come.” God passed the living water to Noah (Gen. 4:25-5:21). Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat and Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their families stepped off on dry land (Gen. 8:18).  The first thing that Noah did was to build an altar and offer a sacrifice to God. Noah knew without question Who had miraculously spared him and his family. And he paused to give glory to Him. This is always a good idea! More to come. Blessings!