Michael Boling – The Feasts of the Lord: The Fullfillment of the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost)

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(Jeremiah 31:31-34)
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

(Acts 2:1-21)
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’

In our first post on the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), we looked at the agricultural and marital background associated with the remembrance and celebration of this important event. In part two, we examined how the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai is also a vital aspect of the Feast of Shavuot as it symbolizes the betrothal marriage between God and Israel. In this final post on the Feast of Shavuot, we are going to look at how Shavuot was fulfilled in large part in Acts 2 and what it means for us today. Some common assumptions will also be examined for their validity based on the background we have established for what the Feast of Shavuot was all about, most importantly, a time when God and His people exchanged wedding vows.

The prophecy found in Jeremiah 31:31-34 carries great significance for the Feast of Shavuot, specifically as we get to exploring the events found in Acts 2. As we noted in the previous post, celebrating the giving of the law is a major function of the Feast of Shavuot. Additionally, the law was the marriage contract or ketubah between God and His people noting the relational expectations that constituted the manner in which God expected His bride to adhere to. Essentially, the giving of the law was the “I do’s” of the betrothal ceremony. Notice how in Jeremiah 31:32, God describes Himself as a husband further noting the way His bride (Israel), broke the terms of the ketubah. Despite their unfaithfulness, God promised something very important, that of renewing His marriage covenant with Israel and Judah so that the terms of the marriage contract would be written on their hearts in order that they might be a light to the Gentiles. But wait, there’s more!

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Charles Barrett – The “Light” Motif in Isaiah

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Light is an extremely significant motif in Scripture. We first read of it in Genesis 1:3 as the word of God breaks into the darkness of a world not yet created: “Let there be light.” Such is the power of the divine command that we are not surprised to read next, “and there was light.” We last read of the light in Revelation 22:5, “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord gives them light; and they shall reign forever and ever.” The glory of the Lord lightens this place, and the Lamb Himself is the light thereof (Rev. 21:23). The created light of Genesis 1 plays a role in the drama of God’s ultimate plan consummated in Revelation 22 as the artificial, ectypal light points forward to the full disclosure of the archetypal light, namely Christ Himself. The created light is the first stage in the preparation for man and woman’s habitation in the Garden of Eden. The days of creation build toward humanity. God created and He pronounced it good, but once sin enters the garden there is upheaval and destruction. Humans in their fallen state love darkness rather than light (John 3:19).

But Eden will be restored. In fact, the restoration will bring a garden even greater than Eden. The light that illumines this consummated garden is not artificial; it emanates from the Lord God Himself. And just as the created light separated the light from darkness, the Lord God in the consummated garden separates His reign and the reign of His saints from the workers of iniquity. There will not be another Fall. The workers of iniquity stand permanently out- side in total darkness and cannot infiltrate the garden of God (Rev. 22:15). The light of the victorious Messiah will shine forevermore.

The significance of light goes beyond its mention in the account of creation and in the description of the restored garden. Light is also significant in how it communicates the arrival of the Redeemer and the Redeemer’s commission to His followers to make God known. As Messiah, Jesus employs a threefold function: He is Prophet, Priest, and King; the light motif contributes to a deeper understanding of the prophetic function of Jesus, the Messiah. God makes Himself known through words, works, and acts. He speaks finally and climactically in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate (Heb. 1:1–2).

This post focuses on the Messiah’s prophetic function with special attention to Luke’s use of Isaiah’s light motif. Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis in Luke 2 and Paul’s response before the hostile Jews in Antioch recorded in Acts 13 are key to understanding the meaning of Jesus’ arrival to earth as the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan and the necessary spread of that plan through the witness of Christ’s followers. Each passage underscores the belief that God’s redemptive plan was never intended to be exclusively for Israel. Central to the Luke–Acts passages is the conviction that Isaiah’s Servant would bring salvation not only for the Jews, but also for the nations. Both Simeon and Paul directly cite Isaiah’s Servant in 49:6. Luke’s use of the light motif also brings to mind allusions to Isaiah 9:2 (“the people that walk in darkness have seen a great light”).

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Douglas Wilson – Surveying the Text: Isaiah

Douglas Wilson

Introduction:

Isaiah is one of the great prophetic works of the Old Testament. Majestic in scope, lofty in vision, tenderhearted with regard to sinners, and powerful in application, the prophet Isaiah is frequently cited by New Testament authors. With the exception of the Psalter, no book had more influence on the New Testament than this one. In this book we feel the center of redemptive gravity, and a recapitulation of the message of the entire Bible. Perhaps Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 13th century, the man who established our chapter divisions, was having a little fun with this—Isaiah has 66 chapters, just like the Bible has 66 books. And the first 39 chapters of Isaiah roughly correspond to the Old Testament, while the last 27 chapters center on the arrival of the Messiah.

The Text:

“Remember the former things of old: For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times the things that are not yet done, Saying, My counsel shall stand, And I will do all my pleasure” (Is. 46:9–10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

Background on Isaiah:

The ministry of Isaiah extended from around 740 to 687 B.C. He began his ministry during the reign of Uzziah, and conducted his prophetic ministry under Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Jewish tradition holds that he was martyred under Manasseh by being sawn in two, and the reference to an execution like this in Heb. 11:37Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) indicates that this tradition had something to it. Jewish tradition also held that Isaiah was of noble blood. Those who divide up the book in order to parcel it out to different authors are being overly precise and pedantic, and do not know how the versatile minds of geniuses work. They could deconstruct a nursery rhyme into an amalgam of the Humptyist school of thought, resting of course in tension with the Dumptyists, who were the outsiders, disgruntled members of the school of the prophets.

Summary of the Text:

In this text we begin by noting the glory of God. He has ultimate glory in the fact that He is the only true God. Other powers and principalities exist, but all of them are creatures. No one and nothing compares to Him. He declares the end from the beginning, meaning that all of history is laid out before Him. From ancient times, He declared what was not yet, which means that ancient times and the distant future are all one to Him. This is why He is able to taunt the false gods with their inability to tell the future. Show us the things that will come to pass hereafter, so that we might test your divinity (Is. 41:23Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). So the first thing we see is that God is God, and there is no other God. This is why His counsel will stand, and this is why He will do all His pleasure.

But we are not done. We should consider the rest of Isaiah. What is His counsel? What is His pleasure? Not to keep you in suspense, let us look seven centuries later. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Eph. 1:11–12Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). The majestic and almighty God, the one who stands alone, is the one whose counsel and pleasure is the salvation of your soul, predestining you to be like Jesus Christ. This is the whole point of hot Calvinism — to rejoice and be glad in a saving sovereignty. We are invited to take pleasure in the fact that it is God’s pleasure to forgive us.

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