Justice, Judgment & Mercy – Part 11
“And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” Isaiah 61:4
Jerusalem was in ruins because of the series of attacks against her, the greatest and most devastating of which was the Roman siege led by Emperor Titus in 70 BC and the years that followed. So the return of the Israelites to their homeland meant there was much rebuilding to be done.
But this prophecy also speaks of the “old waste places” the original cities of the 12 tribes, the sons of Jacob, that were given into their hands by God. [Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges]
“Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.” Genesis 35:23-26
Each son represented his own family and each family, as they multiplied, became a tribe and each tribe was given their own territory. Except for the tribe of Levi from which would come the priesthood of Aaron and his sons. Also, because Joseph died in Egypt, his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh received an equal portion one half each of His allotment.
“And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.” Numbers 33:54 [See also Numbers 35],
The time of that fullest realization for Israel is yet to come. The current state of political affairs in Israel and particularly in Jerusalem is thousands of years old. The land is still being disputed today primarily because there were those who did not heed the warning of God.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” Numbers 33:50-55
The promises of God are all conditioned upon two things, 1) faith in Him and 2) obedience to His Word.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36
Now neither of these is hard or grievous to the believer who trusts in the Lord for Salvation and earnestly desires to please Him in all things, because our hearts are already fixed trusting in the Lord. We are already possessed of the Holy Spirit and God is already working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
So we can rest assured in this that God has begun His work of restoration in us and He will not stop until He is finished.