AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH August 18, 2013
A Presbyterian Church
the Bible without Qualification
and the Lord Jesus Christ without Compromise by Faith
WALLS, WISDOM AND WITNESS
3 Texts. 3 Walls, 1 Wisdom
WALL ONE EXODUS 14:19-31
Israel was on its way from slavery to its promised land
The miraculously determined wall of water, in "the sea of reeds," had the sand dried by strong wind, and Israel was 'baptised' without being immersed, "baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea," I Cor. 10:2 . Indeed it was crucial that in this case, they not be immersed; but Pharaoh's army was, permanently. Despite the wall, they worried, a challenge to all for all time to TRUST the Lord who alone does great wonders (Psalm 136:4). A PROTECTIVE WALL.
WALL TWO Daniel 7:25
As in 9:23-27, on the way to the Messiah and everlasting righteousness, 69 and one half sevens of years are predicted. These start from the relevant rebuild Jerusalem decree of 458 A.D., leading on to fulfilment, AD 30. The half seven was the period of Christ's Messianic ministry before death, while the 69 sevens led to the start of it. AD 26. Daniel 9 indicated after this time, the Messiah would be "çut off, and there is nothing for Him." In the rebuild decree, the wall went with it (9:25). This would lead to the Maccabean empire, and the murder of the Messiah. A WITNESSING WALL.
WALL THREE Micah 7:11-12
The modern defence wall in Israel comes next. Starting around 1990 informally and moving by stages till in 2012 about 70% of the planned 700 km wall is finished. It is frequently to be seen as a three-tiered wall usually including a 200ft exclusion zone, with some of it 8 metres tall, partly to prevent snipers from nearby Palestinian buildings from having a killing zone. It is mainly on the West Bank in Israel, for although the territory concerned is sometimes zoned as 'occupied', as has been pointed out, it is not so, but disputed.
Israel, given all of Palestine as a homeland by the League of
Nations in the 1920s, and buying some, has gained this by military action in
defence against powers trying to destroy it. In fact, the wall was largely
stimulated by multiple and indiscriminate murders in the Second Intifada. From
2000-2003, these left 293 Israelis killed and more than 1900 injured.
A PARALLEL TO WALL TWO
With this in mind, let us consider a parallel, that relates to WALL TWO above. The International Court of Justice in 2004, though not recognised for such a task by Israel, gave the opinion that the wall and the "associated régime" were "contrary to international law," whatever that is; but it is like the ruling of Artaxerxes in Ezra 4, that the powers that were about ancient Israel at that time, should "make these men cease" building the (ravaged) city, until further notice.
However Haggai and Zechariah, prophets, spoke in the name of the Lord, so that the Governor Tattenai reported the rebuilding and asked for a check on the alleged permission to return and restore the temple, given by Cyrus. The ruler, Darius, officially asking for reference to the legislation of Cyrus, earlier, convinced, went so far as not only to order the region to supply whatever was needed for the temple to be SUPPLIED to the Jews, as in Ezra 7:13-28.
The ruler even gave to the notable scribe, Ezra, a letter (Ezra 7:13-26), authorising Jerusalem as an administrative centre for the surrounding area (Ezra 7:25), with the temple and religious purity to be maintained. Magistrates and judges were to be set up BY EZRA to judge the people in the area beyond the River, and to teach those who did not know the laws of God! So Israel, INSISTED on continuing the building, had due authority confirmed, and completed the work, wrought by faith. Modern Israel is also continuing with its wall of safety, and its building in the city. So it resembles the ancient city in this, at the time of its imperial decree in its favour.
This decree is what sets the date for the rebuilding and restoring of Jerusalem, leading to the wall's completion, as in Daniel 9:25, but is also the parallel to the International Court of Justice in 2004 declaring the wall contrary to international law, as at first happened with Second Wall, before the advent of Ezra's authorised intervention. Israel in our time, has also continued to build their spectacular, national wall of protection! Satan always tries to harass, prevent, intimidate, block, kill or disorder the grand strategies and lively performances of the works of the Lord, and while the wall of water was divine aid, the Second Wall, though also of help, had Satanic assault, clever and continual; yet it was built, the prophets leading in spirit, with the exhortations given them.
This current wall of 2000 - 2013, ongoing, is called by the International Court, the "wall" and also by others, the "FENCE FOR LIFE", since its omission hastened death for many in Israel, and the "SECURITY WALL, " for that is what it is. It is noteworthy that the Supreme Court in Israel required less territory to be included in the West of Jerusalem, so that some was yielded there, Israel being keen on legal considerations, though not intimidation, and heeding its own jurisdictive bodies.
MICAH 7 It is noteworthy that Micah 7:11 indicates that at the time when the walls of Israel are to be built, a divine decree will go forth, and many Jews will return to Israel whether from Iraq as now named, or even to the Euphrates: indeed from "sea to sea and mountain to mountain." This has now been fulfilled during its building. In this, some Jews came to Israel in the USSR Glasnost period, about one million Jews immigrating to Israel from Russia. Indeed, at that time, with drama and drive, they came from many places: for example, in 2008, many children born in Iraq, were noted living in Israel.
Micah 7, as we have seen in Messiah, Jesus Christ ... Ch. 12, broods over Jewish losses in poignancy, repentance and the Lord's decisive action to restore them, leading straight to the utter confrontation of assailants of Israel, itself then largely converted to Christ, as in Zechariah 12:10-13:1. At its head is even the One who gave them the Promised Land unconditionally in the first place (Genesis 17:7-8), that Commissioned Camp for the testimony of praise and truth of the Lord. To be sure, there was time-out in exile, if such discipline were needed, but time in was final. The ravages and humiliation foretold for those powers contesting the site of Christ's death and resurrection with God, is foretold to be total. So God fulfils His undertaking to a chastened Israel, together with the irresistible rebuke to those who do not accept either His law or His mercy, itself so beautifully exhibited in Micah 7:18-19.
Hence WALL THREE is A WARNING WALL. Wisdom desires it. The specified, coming international confrontation by the Lord, with Israel's assailants is here on so grand a scale as to be likened to that in the Exodus (Micah 7:15). But there is always a WARNING CALL, like that of hen to chicks (Matthew 23:37). WOE is for unwisdom; and wonder is for what hallows the Redeemer, sent to be a WALL OF PROTECTION AND INCLUSION SPIRITUALLY , a massive Rock of refuge for all His people (Isaiah 32), of whatever race. HE is the wall, not for wailing, except for those who reject Him, as ancient Israel so sadly did, but for rejoicing. His is a protective Wall of Life, and a Way of Life, a régime not to be abolished (Daniel 7:14,26-27). "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him."
Thus as Wall Two led to the first coming of Christ, in its signal place, so Wall Three, now being constructed in Israel, leads to His Second, Sovereign coming, as in Isaiah 59:20, Acts 1:7ff., Micah 7:15ff., 5:4. There is another grace, not a wall though some treat it so. It is a wall, in the form of a door, and you see in Revelation 3:20, Christ knocking on it, granting scope, on His entry, for deep inner communion with Himself Repentance sees the knocking, or hears it, faith opens it and grace makes its sound available. Turning this door into a prohibitive wall is woeful wisdom. Knowing the Creator-Redeemer is better than life (Psalm 63:3).