FIRST POSTED ON 1 MARCH 2019.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
In Session 1, we learnt that the Creation account gives us a unique Biblical perspective of world history - when God would act in His Kairos. Further, the 7 Days of Creation referred to 7 Millennia (7,000 years) of world history, as determined by the chronology of people and events in the Bible. As we conclude Session 2, we see that this was indeed the case with the first three Days of Creation.
First, we saw how DAY 1 foreshadowed sin and its consequences - in the Fall of Man. In Gen 2:17, God warned Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day he ate from it he would surely die. If a day is indeed like a thousand years, then Adam truly died within the day at age 930. In fact, none lived beyond a thousand years (one day).
Then we saw how DAY 2 foreshadowed impending judgment and salvation - through the Flood and Noah’s Ark. The Flood happened during the Second Millennium - in AM 1656. Noah lived another 350 years after the Flood and passed away in AM 2006 - marking the end of Day 2.
Finally, we saw how DAY 3 foreshadowed God’s dry ground of salvation - beginning with the Patriarchs and followed by the Exodus. Abraham, the first of the Patriarchs, was born at the start of the Third Millennium in AM 2008, two years after Noah died. The Exodus of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt also took place on Day 3 - in AM 2513.
Let me end by briefly highlighting some loose ends to keep in view, given their prophetic significance later on. I know that some of these ideas will appear quite “heavy” to digest, so do take your time and if you wish to, you can study them in more detail by checking out the materials on my website or through your own research.
Circumcision - God instructed Abraham to circumcise all the males in his family as a sign of His covenant or oath with them. This act of physical circumcision foreshadows how God Himself will spiritually circumcise our hearts, cutting off our hardened selves so that we are made receptive to Him, through the Holy Spirit’s work in us when we receive Jesus as our Saviour and Lord.
Melchizedek - this mysterious king, who ruled over Jerusalem and whom Abraham gave a tenth of his possessions, was also said to be a “priest of God Most High.” The Bible would later describe Jesus as both King and Priest from the line of Melchizedek.
Time of Jacob’s trouble - after years on the run, Jacob finally returned to face the consequences of stealing his elder twin’s birthright. The night before he was to meet Esau, Jacob wrestled with God and God changed his name to Israel. This “time of Jacob’s trouble” foreshadows how the nation of Israel - like their forefather Jacob - would wrestle with God later on, crucifying Jesus as part of God’s plan of salvation two thousand years ago, and setting the stage again in the very near future for Jesus to return. Keep our eyes on Israel as the Church shares a common spiritual identity and destiny with it!
Fullness of the Gentiles - when Jacob died, God’s blessings that were inherited by him were passed on to his twelve sons. Now, Joseph received a double portion normally given to the firstborn when Jacob took Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, as his own. In blessing the younger son, Jacob further prophesied that Ephraim’s descendants “will become a multitude [fullness] of [gentile or non-Jewish] nations.” In Rom 11:25-26, Paul explained to us what Jacob meant by revealing that “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved.” You see, Jacob already prophesied through his blessing given to Ephraim that God would bless all nations as He had promised Abraham, because it was through Israel’s rejection and crucifixion of Jesus that the way to God was opened to the rest of the world.
Now throughout these first three days or millennium of history, we see glimpses of Jesus:
Like the ten generations from Adam to Noah, the names of twelve tribes of Israel point to Jesus.
Further, in Jacob’s children Joseph and Judah, we see two descriptions of Jesus the coming Messiah (which means the “Anointed One”). In Joseph, the Messiah was revealed as, firstly, a man of suffering and sorrow. He is the Passover Lamb of God first seen in the Exodus, who died so that God’s judgment will pass over our sins. And through Joseph’s son Ephraim, the way of salvation was open to all nations. Jesus fulfilled all these in His first coming as Saviour of the world. In Judah, the Messiah was revealed as the conquering King of Kings - the Lion of Judah who will rule all nations. This will come to pass when Jesus comes again to usher in the Millennial Kingdom.
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