Saturday, August 7, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 4

9:27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem
Shem is where the term “Semite” originates; the Semitic people are descendants of Shem. Here Israel is especially in view. Japheth was the father of the Greeks, the Romans, and more: in other words, he was the father of a vast portion of the Gentile world. This prophecy came to pass at Pentecost. Though Gentiles had been saved by coming to faith in God during Old Testament times, it was a peculiar occurrence of the New Testament era, that when Peter preached in the power of the Holy Spirit on that first day of the church age that people from every nation under heaven was present, Acts 2:5.

God’s plan was always redemption for all men, as Amos writes, “On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down (the restoration of the Jews during the Millennium), and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,” says the Lord who does this thing,” Amos 9:11. Peter first asserts this during the Jerusalem Council, Acts 15:11; James agreed, saying, “[Simon] hath declared how God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name,” Acts 15:14. Paul’s great argument for Israel’s continued place in God’s eternal plan is based on this idea: “Now if the fall of [Israel] be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For if the casting away of [Israel] be the reconciling of the world (the Gentiles), what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Romans 11:12, 15. Shem’s tents have been opened for us; let us be diligent to partake of his blessings!

9:29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years
A reason for the longevity of the patriarchs in antediluvian times may simply have been God’s plan for the propagation of our race on the earth. Noah was the last of the patriarchs to possess such a lifespan; Shem lived only 600 years, Genesis 11:10-11. After that God diminished man’s lifespan over the course of numerous generations (which will be seen in Genesis 11) until we reached our relative lifespan of modernity, Psalm 90:10. The thousand year reign of Jesus Christ appears to restore men and women back to such long life-spans (Isaiah 65:20, 22-23), attesting that Jesus’ millennial reign will mirror many conditions enjoyed during the period prior to the Flood. Since vast destruction altered the topography of the globe via the Flood, similar destruction may restore the world to its previous geography, Revelation 16:18-20. Either way one views it, there seems to be a parallel between the beginning of time, and time’s end.

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