“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; . . . with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation,” Isaiah 12:2, 3.
In his best moment, man is still a cup of dirt mixed with water. Add Jesus and man is a light bearer. Without Jesus, man realizes how vulnerable he is; therefore, he must search his entire lifetime for security and safety. Ecclesiastes 3:11 states, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart.”
Jesus entered into the world offering eternity with the Creator, and man must choose. Shall I surrender that which I cannot keep to gain that which I cannot lose? The lost man made in God’s image wants to control his own destiny. He will do everything he can to create his eternity on earth. All the while, every evidence tells him nothing on earth is permanent. Isaiah 12:3 tells us to trust in Him and we can have joy drinking from the wells of salvation.
In his quest to determine his own destiny, lost man’s mind devised a system whereby he could believe that he created his own self as he struggled up the chain of evolution and, thus, eliminate the Creator or a system of justice by which he will be judged. In his confusion he has made himself very complicated. God simply says repent, believe, confess and ask and all the glories of Heaven are yours. Jesus does not just cause our salvation, He is our salvation.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him (John3:36).
Tag Archives: Jehovah
The last verse of Ezekiel reveals one more “Jehovah-compound” (Eze_48:35). The Hebrew shāmmāh (H8033) indicates a place “there” (Job_39:30; Gen_2:8). Where is God? He is there in Jerusalem.
Scripture actually speaks of three “Jerusalems”: First, of course, was (and is) historic Jerusalem. It (not the city of Rome) is the Holy City (Neh_11:1; Isa_52:1; Dan_9:24; Mat_4:5; Mat_27:53; Rev_11:2).
Second, the Millennial Jerusalem, the restored city where Jesus will rule for 1,000 years. It will have twelve gates, three on each side, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel, and a circumference of “eighteen thousand measures” (Eze_48:28-35), almost thirty-seven miles (in contrast to about four miles in the first century AD, according to Josephus, the leading Jewish historian of that day). What will its greatest feature be? “The name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there” (Eze_48:35). So holy will the city be that even its name will be changed to reflect it.
This foreshadows the third and final Jerusalem, the New (or Holy) Jerusalem, the capital city of the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21), the dwelling place of God’s people forever. While some teachers spiritualize much of the Bible’s prophetic passages, ending up with arbitrary speculation, the plain language of Scripture should be our authority. This city will descend out of heaven, its captivating beauty likened to a bride in the eyes the groom (Rev_21:2). This is not some ethereal, mystical city, rather a real one with foundations, walls, gates, and dimensions. It is a massive cube, in fact (Rev_21:16), not a pyramid, as some speculate—pyramids have been associated with paganism since the days of Babylon. With a “furlong” (Greek stadion, G4712) being about 607 feet, the walls are 1,380 miles in each direction, roughly the area from the West Coast to the middle of Kansas and from Canada to Mexico. With foundation stones made of precious gems (Rev_21:18-20) and 1,200-mile high gates, each made of a single flat pearl (Rev_21:21), human language still falls short in describing that city.
Greatest of all, God’s glory will emanate from that city, illuminating the entire recreated universe (Rev_21:23; Rev_22:5) in unfathomable colors from the transparent gold and gems of the city’s structure. Further, we will actually be enabled to see that blazing glory of God’s face (Rev_22:4). Oh, the Lord will, indeed, be there and so shall we!
Scriptures for Study: Read Rev_21:1 to Rev_22:5 and rejoice in what is to come.
Because of His perfect, absolute righteousness, God is also called by two names that speak of His judgment upon unrighteousness. We find the first, for example, in Jer_51:56, where He is called Jehovah Gemûlāh. The prophet foretells that God will come “upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.” The Hebrew gemûlāh (H1578)—a derivative of gāmal (H1580), “to deal, to recompense, to ripen”—speaks of full repayment for what is deserved.
There are many instances of this word (and other derivatives) that speak of recompense, both of judgment and blessing. Used positively, for example, when David was fleeing from Absalom, Barzillai provided him with supplies (2Sa_19:32), and David returned the favor (2Sa_19:36). It is even used to speak of benefits God has given (Psa_103:2). At times, the positive and negative are actually contrasted, as in the Virtuous Woman, who “will do [gāmal] him [her husband] good and not evil all the days of her life” (Pro_31:12).
It is the negative, however, that is truly sobering. The instance here in our text speaks of God’s retribution on His enemies, as does Isa_59:18 : “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.” The psalmist calls upon this God of Recompense to “give [the wicked] according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert [gemûl]” (Psa_28:4).
We cannot help but make special note of Psa_94:2 : “Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward [gemûl] to the proud.” As we will observe in a future study, pride is never used in a positive way of man in Scripture. Here we read of, in fact, its costliness; God will recompense it, judging it as harshly as He did the Babylonians. How this should show us what a serious sin pride is!
Scriptures for Study: On the positive side, what does Psa_116:12 command? On the negative side, what does Isa_3:9 warn?
What a glorious “Jehovah-compound” we consider today! Jer_23:5-6 declares, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The LORD Our Righteousness.” This verse is a messianic prophecy. The background of it appears in 2Ki_24:8-17. Upon his father Jehoiakim’s death, Jehoiachin took the throne of Judah at a mere eighteen years of age, but sadly, like his father, “did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD” (2Ki_24:9). After Jehoiachin had been on the throne for only three months, however, the Babylonians invaded, destroying Jerusalem and taking the people into captivity, just as Jeremiah had foretold (Jer_1:14-15; Jer_5:15; Jer_6:22-26).
The most devastating result of the deportation of Jehoiachin (also called “Coniah” and “Jeconiah”) was the ending of the Davidic dynasty (Jer_22:24-26; Jer_22:30). It is in Jer_23:5-6, however, that Jeremiah declares that God promises to raise up David again in the form of “a righteous Branch” and “a King,” and this is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Further, and most significant of all, the name of this coming King would be THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Appearing some 117 times (most often in Psalms and Isaiah), the Hebrew noun sedeq (H6664), which forms the basis of sidqēnû, primarily speaks of that which conforms to a moral, ethical standard, or norm, and is often connected to the term justice (Psa_119:106; Isa_58:2). Because of their fallen nature, men do not want a moral or ethical standard, as illustrated by Israel’s own repeated rebellion, which caused their captivity. Why are many people today fighting to remove the Ten Commandments from the courtroom? It is simply because with God’s moral and ethical standard plastered on the wall, men are condemned before court is even in session.
God is not only righteous in Himself—He lives up to His own perfect moral and ethical standard—but He also produces righteousness in those He saves through Christ. While many in pulpits today go out of their way to avoid mentioning sin, salvation is about sin and righteousness, that is, our sin and Christ’s righteousness, which saves us from our sin.
Scriptures for Study: Read that great description of the coming Messiah in Isa_11:1-11, which speaks not only of His first coming but His second as well.
Psalms 23 is another great psalm of comfort, to many readers the greatest of all, for in it we find another “Jehovah-compound,” the LORD Is My Shepherd. The Hebrew behind shepherd (rō‘iy, or rō‘eh, H7462) is one of many words that have a truly ancient history. It goes all the way back to the Akkadian (re‘û) (an extinct Semitic language that existed in Assyria and Babylon), and is then subsequently found in Phoenician, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Arabic.
Appearing some 170 times in the OT, rō‘iy pictures the simplicity of ancient civilization. Shepherding was the most common occupation throughout ancient Palestine, and this common, ordinary word simply refers to the feeding of domestic animals. Such a mundane word, however, was transformed by biblical usage. It was used to describe the true function of the leaders of God’s people. A true leader is not a despot or dictator who not only drives his sheep but sometimes even slaughters them. Rather, a true leader is a shepherd who leads, tends, feeds, and protects his sheep at the risk of his own life.
Our Lord, of course, is the Great Shepherd. As Charles Spurgeon writes in his The Treasury of David, “What condescension is this, that the Infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a Shepherd!” Think of it! God descended and assumed one of the lowliest occupations in the ancient world. Likewise, the true function of the king of Israel was to be a shepherd (2Sa_5:2; 2Sa_7:7; Jer_3:15), as was that of other leaders, although at times they did it badly (Jer_2:8; Jer_22:22; Eze_34:2-3; Eze_34:8; Eze_34:10).
Coming to the NT, the word pastor is the direct descendant of that OT precedent. The word “pastors” in Eph_4:11, in fact, is a translation of the Greek poimēn (G4166), which means shepherd (poimēn is used to translate rā‘â in the Septuagint). In Classical Greek, it referred to the herdsman who tended and cared for the sheep. It was also used metaphorically to refer to a leader, a ruler, or a commander. Plato, for example, compared “the rulers of the city-state to shepherds who care for their flock.” This meaning was carried over into the NT. A pastor leads, tends, feeds, and protects the sheep that God has entrusted to his care. What a solemn responsibility!
Scriptures for Study: Read the “Shepherd Trilogy,” noting that in Psalms 22, the Great Shepherdredeems the sheep (cf. Joh_10:11); in Psalms 23, He rescues the sheep (cf. Rev_7:17); and in Psalms 24, He rewards the sheep (cf. 1Pe_5:4).