Shabbat Shalom!

treet scene in Tel Aviv today.

We continue our Torah reading this week with Parashat Noach.  This reading is Genesis 6:9-11:32.  This is a very well-known portion of the Old Testament, but we can continue to learn from it.  

Below is a brief commentary by Baruch:

In this week’s prophetic writing, one sees a transformation.  In the same way in the Torah portion there is a new beginning after the flood, the prophetic portion speaks of a new beginning, i.e., the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d.  The point which needs to be stressed is how the land and the people of Israel are emphasized.  Isaiah speaks about a dramatic change that is going to happen to Israel.  After a long period of exile, and relative unimportance, Israel is going to return as the focus of G-d’s plan.  During this time of exile Israel was of course sad and downcast.  But now, the prophet says, “Sing out, burst forth into a glad song and be jubilant…”  Isaiah 54:1.  Isaiah uses the image of a barren woman who grieves due to her lack of children only to be made joyful because in the end, her children are more numerous than the fertile women.  What brought about this transformation?  It was the faithfulness of G-d to keep covenant with His people.

This prophetic writing is but one of many biblical examples of how in the last days Israel will not become a smaller nation (geographically) but rather G-d commands “broaden the place of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwelling…”  Isaiah 54:2.  Isaiah uses the same language that Moses used when G-d spoke to Jacob during the vision of the ladder, “burst forth to the south and to the north, for your seed will inherit the nations and they will resettle the desolate cities.”  Isaiah 54:3.  I don’t think it is an accident that the current and previous White House administrations, along with the United Nations, are vehemently against Israel’s settlement movement.  This is a perfect example of how the ways of G-d are not the ways of man.  This section of Isaiah speaks of a biblical mandate, there is a must for the ancient cities of Israel to be resettled and inhabited prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d.  Hence, it’s not surprising that the politicians of the world are strongly opposed to these cities being reestablished and populated with Jewish individuals.

This opposition parallels the same type of faithlessness that characterized the people of the world during the days of Noah.  Many may think this is an oversimplification, but what I am about to tell you is the primary message for why the sages link this passage from Isaiah to the account of Noah and the flood.  Those who oppose G-d’s purposes with Israel in the last days will be swept away by a flood of His wrath and G-d will begin His Kingdom with those who responded to His plan with the faith of Noah.  Here is the statement I want you to hear from me in this blog:  The same Spirit Who offers and enables one to accept the Gospel of Yeshua will bring about the fulfillment of G-d’s purposes with Israel.  For a believer to fail to see the countless times Israel is stressed in the scripture pertaining to the last days, and G-d’s ultimate plan, is unfathomable.

Obviously, one is not saved by good theology in regard to Israel, but rather by accepting G-d’s plan of salvation which focuses on the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua.  That is, His sacrificial death for man’s sin and His resurrection attesting to the victory of G-d’s grace through faith.  However, does it not seem odd that the same Spirit Who brings about regeneration would be so quiet in regard to the emphasis of Yeshua’s ministry, i.e., the Kingdom?  My point is this:  Believers are called over and over in the scripture to be Kingdom minded.  How could it be that one would be Kingdom minded but oblivious to an integral part and promise of that Kingdom?

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