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Nov 29: Est 5-6 | Amos 9 | Heb 1-2

Reading 1 - Est 5:14

"His [Haman's] wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, 'Have a gallows built, seventy-five feet high, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then go with the king to the dinner and be happy.' This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the gallows built" (Est 5:14).

...So that Mordecai might be lifted up, and his shame and suffering be seen by all! It looks very much as though Haman intended to CRUCIFY Mordecai (cp Est 2:23). Haman is the embodiment and personification of the Sin Power: his determination was to destroy his great enemy, but in reality -- as it worked out through the providence of Almighty God -- the "cross" on which the enemy sought to kill the Jew became... the scene of HIS OWN DESTRUCTION!


This is plainly typical of Christ: "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil -- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death" (Heb 2:14,15). "And so he condemned sin in sinful man [the flesh]" (Rom 8:3).


Reading 2 - Amos 9

"The final chapter of the prophecy of Amos reveals... Yahweh over the Altar. The Altar represents the sacrificial principles by which the judgment of Yahweh over sin and the elevation of His character are revealed. It demonstrates that the divine glory will be achieved, through the redemptive work of the Son-Altar, Yahshua the Anointed. But the altar of Jerusalem has disgraced its purpose; it no longer was identified with the work of Yahweh, but with the elevation of those who worshiped in Jerusalem. So the altar was to be destroyed, as later the temple would be shaken and removed. The vision describes:


  • Yahweh's command to destroy the altar: vv 1-6.

  • Israel's elevation shall not save those who are guilty: vv 7-10.

  • Yahweh will purify, restore and glorify the faithful remnant in the nation: vv 11-15.

"Thus ultimately Israel will be purged of sin, and become the foundation of the divine mercy for a purified and regenerated people. It is a wonderful conclusion to the book of severe and uncompromising judgment. Despite the wickedness of His people, Yahweh will vindicate the promise inherent in the Name (v 6; Exo 36:22), and that Name will be manifested in the earth (Psa 8:1; Zec 14:9; Num 14:21)" (GE Mansfield).


Reading 3 - Heb 1:10-12

"In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." (Heb 1:10-12).

Heb 1; 2 was written to prove that Christ is greater than the angels. How does the quotation of Psa 102:25-27 in Heb 1:10-12 fit into this? Those words are certainly about the greatness of Yahweh, but they also describe the removing of an old creation (a: that of Gen 1? or b: the Law of Moses? cp Isa 51:6,16; also cp Isa 50:3,9). Therefore the New Creation which takes its place must be better, just as the New Covenant is better than the old (Heb 8:13). The old creation (both a and b) was brought in by angels (a: Gen 1:26; Psa 33:6; b: Heb 2:2; Acts 7:35,38,53; Gal 3:19), but the New Creation is brought in by the Messiah. Therefore Messiah must be greater than the angels, because his "Creation" -- "the world to come" (Heb 1:2; 2:5) and the saints who rule it -- will continue forever! And, in Psa 102:28, the "children" of this new world can "continue" only by sharing the endless years of Yahweh (vv 26,27), that is, by undergoing a change to His divine nature. This is already true of the Messiah (v 27; Heb 13:8), and it will most surely be true of all "in him" (Heb 10:9)!


Literally speaking, the earth will of course not be burned up, despite Peter's words in 2Pe 3:10 (Isa 45:18; 11:9; Hab 2:14; Ecc 1:4; 1Ch 16:30; Mat 5:5; Psa 37:9-11; 115:16; Pro 10:30). The "new heavens and earth" will be a re-creation, or reordering, of the old. This is evident by, among other points, the fact that the new "heavens and earth" will still include a Zion and a Jerusalem (Psa 102:13,20; Isa 65:18,19). But -- as with the flood of Noah's day -- the wicked works of man will be totally destroyed (2Pe 3:5,6), and the "new" heavens and earth will solely be the dwelling place of righteousness (v 13). Or, to use the Biblical figure of speech found in this context, the heavens and earth will shed their old, tattered "garments" and replace them with bright new ones!

 

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