Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

January 14, 2012

Volume 11 Number 2

Eyes to See, and See Not

Throughout history, Yahweh has used prophets to reveal things to His people that were not yet seen. However, as He told the prophet Ezekiel, His people were rebellious. They refused to use their eyes and ears to see and hear that which He had shown and told them:

2 Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house. -Ezekiel 12

Israel had been a people of great hope. Yahweh promised them wonderful blessings, if they would obey Him:

1 And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of Yahweh your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that Yahweh your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth:

2 And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall listen to the voice of Yahweh your God. -Deuteronomy 28

It certainly looked as though this prophecy was coming to pass as King Solomon spread forth his hands in prayer nearly 3000 years ago. He proclaimed his faith in Yahweh as the only true God, trusting that He would forgive His people for their sins:

22 And Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:

23 And he said, Yahweh God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with your servants that walk before you with all their heart:

24 Who has kept with your servant David my father that you promised him: you spoke also with your mouth, and have fulfilled it with your hand, as it is this day. -1 Kings 8

His prayer was filled with hope, trusting in Yahweh to forgive the people of Israel when they repent of their sins and call upon His name:

33 When your people Israel are smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against you, and shall turn again to you, and confess your name, and pray, and make supplication unto you in this house:

34 Then hear you in heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them again to the land which you gave to their fathers.

35 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against you; if they pray toward this place, and confess your name, and turn from their sin, when you afflict them:

36 Then hear you in heaven, and forgive the sin of your servants, and of your people Israel, that you teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon your land, which you have given to your people for an inheritance. -1 Kings 8

Solomon closed his prayer, trusting in the promises of Yahweh and reaffirming to the people their need to serve Him with a "perfect" heart, knowing that there is no other God but Him:

56 Blessed be Yahweh, that has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there has not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

57 Yahweh our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

59 And let these my words, with which I have made supplication before Yahweh, be near unto Yahweh our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:

60 That all the people of the earth may know that Yahweh is God, and that there is none else.

61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with Yahweh our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. -1 Kings 8

Solomon sealed his prayer as he dedicated the house of Yahweh in an awesome scene, wherein he offered sacrifices of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep! (see 1 Kings 8:63)

Then a life-changing event happened to Solomon. Yahweh gave him enormous riches and wisdom, which led to great fame:

23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.

24 And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. -1 Kings 10

After he had acquired riches and fame, Solomon seemed to have forgotten the words that he had prayed concerning Yahweh, "there is no God like you." Instead, he joined his many wives in the worship of their pagan goddesses and gods, while still trying to serve Yahweh!

5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father.

7 Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. -1 Kings

Solomon seemed to have forgotten that, while Yahweh had offered blessings to those that obeyed Him, He promised curses upon those that turned aside from Him:

15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen unto the voice of Yahweh your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you: -Deuteronomy 28

Consequently, Solomonís failure to keep the promises that he had made to Yahweh had severe consequences:

11 Therefore Yahweh said to Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. -1 Kings 11

Therefore, Yahweh took ten of the twelve tribes of Israel away from Solomonís family, which was called the "House of David," and gave them to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Even though they retained the name of Israel, Jeroboam led them in open rebellion against Yahweh. He created another religion for these people, which was based upon the worship of golden calves. It became known as the "sins of Jeroboam:"

28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.

30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. -1 Kings 12

Following the lead of Jeroboam, all of the kings of Israel were evil. Even their final king, Hoshea, who may have tried to be less wicked that those before him, still "was evil in the sight of Yahweh:"

2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him. -2 Kings 17

Consequently, Yahweh allowed the Assyrians to take Israel, whose capital was Samaria, captive:

6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. -2 Kings 17

Yahweh is clear on the reasons for the destruction and carrying away of Israel to Assyria:

15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom Yahweh had charged them, that they should not do like them.

16 And they left all the commandments of Yahweh their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.

17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.

18 Therefore Yahweh was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

20 And Yahweh rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

21 For he tore Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following Yahweh, and made them sin a great sin.

22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;

23 Until Yahweh removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. -2 Kings 17

The ancient Assyrian kingdom included parts of the modern nations of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. During the time of his great wisdom, Solomon prophetically wrote:

9 The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. -Ecclesiastes 1

Do we have eyes that see and ears that hear?

 

 

 

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