Read Psalm 2:1-12
Are you surprised that God laughs? “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision” (verse 4). God has a sense of humor, but His laughter is the kind that is born of judgment. It’s the laughter of derision, the laughter of irony. What is God laughing at? He’s laughing at puny little kings and rulers who have united to shake their fists at His throne and tell Him they don’t want Him to rule over them (verse 2,3). God laughs at them because He knows the man cannot survive without submitting to His authority. Man is made in the image of God, and if he fights against Him, he fights against himself. Man, in his rebellion, tries to make God in his own image. He thinks God can be treated with disdain and disobedience. And God laughs.
We can laugh when we read the headlines or watch TV reports. We see a world in turmoil, a world united against God, but we laugh because He is still on the throne. “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion” (verse 6). Jesus Christ is God’s King, and He is on the throne. Therefore, we can look at the nations as they are in turmoil, as they unite against God, and we can smile–in fact, we can laugh. They are fighting a losing battle. Jesus Christ is on the throne of the universe, and we who are Christians are seated with Him on that throne.
As believers, we are to be witnesses for Christ. Reaching a world that rebels against God’s authority can be difficult. Be encouraged, for your efforts will not be wasted. God is in control and one day will bring all governments and earthly powers into submission. Pray that He will use your life to reach others and glorify Himself.
Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div
Blessed good morning to all saints in Christ Jesus and The Mystical Order. Grace and peace be unto you.
He touched the Hollow of his Thigh. Genesis 32:25
Our greatest victories are wrought out through pain and purchased at the cost of the humbling of the flesh. Jacob learned that the secret of prevailing with God and man was not in the strength but in the weakness and suffering of the flesh. It must ever be so. The Victor Lamb bears still the scars of Calvary and appears as one who had been slain.
Had Laban met Jacob that morning, he would have pointed to that limp as an indication of God’s wrath and displeasure; but if he had looked into his face, he would have seen all its hardness and cunning gone, and would have been arrested by the unwonted tenderness in his voice.
The shrunken sinew counteracts pride. – So high a spiritual achievement as to prevail with God might have tempted Jacob to arrogance and self-esteem. But God anticipated the possible temptation by this physical infirmity, which was constantly present to Jacob’s consciousness.
The shrunken sinew was the secret of victory. – Had it not been shriveled by the angel’s touch, Jacob would have continued to resist in the pride of his strength, and would never have clung convulsively to the angel, crying, “I will not let thee go.” It was only in that act that he became Israel, the Prince.
The shrunken sinew makes us think little of this world and much of the next. – Brethren, from this moment Jacob takes up more of the pilgrim attitude. He finds that for him, at least, the pace will have to be slower; but it is well, for he relaxes his hold on the seen to entwine more tenaciously about the unseen. “The days of the years of my pilgrimage ” – such is his epitome of his life.
Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order
Waiting Upon God
“I wait on thee.” Psalm 25:21
In the great biblical thought of waiting upon God, there are several interwoven strands of meaning, and it is well to try to distinguish some of these that we may better grasp the importance of the term.
The first meaning, nestling at the heart of it and never absent from the mind of any writer, is the concept of dependence. As the baby waits upon its mother for without its mother it will die; as the anguished patient waits upon the surgeon for in the skill of the surgeon is the hope of life, so when one is said to wait on God there is implied an entire dependence upon Him. There is a sense, in biblical phraseology, in which this waiting is a universal thing. “The eyes of all things living to wait on thee.” The bird that sings, the beast that hunts its prey–all of them are waiting upon God. But such an inescapable dependence does not bring the thought to its full blossoming. That demands a dependence which is conscious. It is when we realize, however dimly, that in Him we live and move and have our being, it is when we waken to the mysterious certainty that we all hang on God for every heartbeat–it is only then the word comes to its fullness in the deep usage of the Scriptures, and man is said to be waiting upon God.
Another strand of meaning in the word takes us into the region of obedience. To wait on is another term for service. The man who serves us when we sit down at the table and who is there just to supply our wants, we still distinguish by the name of waiter. When a prime minister waits upon the king, that is not an idle sauntering business. It is part of the service to which he has been called, a service which demands his highest energies. And so when a man is said to wait On God, it is not a negation of activity, for the thought of service runs right through the term. We wait on God whenever we help a brother and do it lovingly for Jesus’ sake. We wait on God when we teach our little class or climb the stairs to cheer some lonely soul. The servant in the kitchen waits on God when for His sake she does her duty faithfully. The mistress in the living room waits on God when for His sake she is a lady to her servants. We are all apt to forget that and to narrow down these fine old Bible words. We are prone to limit the great thought of waiting to the single region of devotion. But the root idea of it is not devotion. The root idea is simple, quiet obedience. And what doth the Lord thy God require of thee but to obey?
Another of the interwoven strands is love: in true waiting that is invariably present. As love is the source of all the highest work, so is it the spring of all the finest waiting. Jacob waited for Rachel seven years, and the years were as a day or two to Jacob because of the great love he had for her. What makes the mother wait upon her child and rise from her pillow when she hears it cry? What makes her wait on it with tireless patience when it frets or tosses with fever? She may be only a frail and sickly woman, but she never wearies of waiting on her child, and the secret of it is a mother’s love. Love beareth all things and endureth all things. Love can wait with a patience all her own. Love can achieve miracles of waiting, as many a young engaged couple knows. And that is why, if we are ever to wait nobly, in the teeth of all our natural impatience, we must be taught to love the Lord our God. It must have been very hard in the times of the older covenant for the common man to wait on God, for God seemed very far away then, and clouds and darkness were about His throne. But now brethren, under the new covenant and by the revealing grace of the Redeemer, it is within the reach and compass of us all. If we hold to it that “God so loved the world,” if we say believingly “Our Father,” love to God, once so supremely difficult, is in the range of the ordinary heart. And, lovingly, we can wait as Jacob waited, and as the mother waits upon her child, with a service that knows no weariness at all. Hallelujah
Brethren, there is only one other strand woven in the word and that is the strand of eager, tense expectancy. To wait on, in a hundred spheres of life, is eagerly and tensely to expect. You see that in the dumb creatures–watch the dog waiting on his master. Is the master going to give him a bit of food? Is he going to throw that stick into the stream? You see that in any court of law when the accused waits on the verdict or the judge with an expectancy so tense that it is painful. Now apply that to the realm of prayer and how it illuminates the matter! To wait on God is not just to pray to God, for many pray and never expect an answer. To wait on God is to pray with tense expectancy that the prayer we offer will be answered, for He is the answer of prayer. All prayer is not waiting upon God in the full and highest sense of the Old Testament. For a man may rise from his knees and forget the thing he prayed for and fail to keep on the lookout for an answer. Only when we pray and pray believingly, and climb the watchtower to see the answer coming, do we reach the fullness of that fine old term waiting upon God.
Research writer Sir Godfrey Gregg D. Div
The Ark of the Covenant disappeared off of the pages of history by the time of the Babylonian Captivity. Nothing in the Bible is said about the Ark in the Old Testament after the return from Babylon, but the Apocrypha states that the Ark could not be found when the Jewish people rebuilt the Temple at the time of Ezra and Zechariah. The explanation in the Apocrypha was that Jeremiah hid the Ark in a cave in Mt. Nebo before the Babylonian invasion and that its location would not be revealed until God was ready for it to be found.
No Ark in the Second Temple
Thus, the Holy of Holies in the Second Temple was an empty chamber, without the Ark of the Covenant. When the Roman General Pompey conquered Jerusalem around 63 B.C., he demanded the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies. When he did, he came out saying that he could not understand what all the interest was about the sanctuary, when it was only an empty room. (He had no knowledge of the Ark)
The fact that the Ark of the Covenant was not used in the Second Temple has led to the speculation of where the Ark is, or if it still exists on the earth. The Ark was so important in Israel from the time of Moses through the Judges and the First Temple era, that it seems remarkable that nothing is said of it in the Bible after the Babylonian Captivity until the Letter to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In Hebrews it is described as it was in the original Tabernacle made by Moses; and in Revelation, the Ark is seen by John in heaven. In neither case is the Ark mentioned as something that remains on the earth now.
Is the Ark Needed for the Tribulation Temple?
One question that arises is, can the Temple be rebuilt if it does not contain the Ark? The Scriptures indicate that the Temple will be rebuilt and standing during the Tribulation period and that the Tribulation Temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist. How can the worship of God be resumed as it was in ancient times if there is no Ark in the Holy of Holies? We have already seen, though, that the absence of the Ark of the Covenant did not keep the Temple from being rebuilt at the conclusion of the Babylonian Captivity.
The Second Temple stood for over 500 years without containing an Ark, and it was fully recognized as a valid house of worship for the Lord. Christ Himself declared the Temple to be His Father’s House. So it would not be unthinkable to build the Tribulation Temple, even if the Ark is not discovered. If the Ark does still exist, however, and it was somehow discovered, it would certainly give rise to a strong movement in Israel and around the world to rebuild the Temple to house the Ark properly.
Is the Ark Hidden in the Temple Mount?
There persists a legend that the Ark does exist on earth, but is hidden. A recently published book by Randall Price, entitled In Search of Temple Treasures, presents the various views on what has happened to the Ark. Some of the traditions place the Ark outside of Israel, such as at Mt. Nebo, Egypt, and even far-off Ethiopia. But all of these traditions have problems and seem unlikely since there is a lack of any scriptural evidence for them.
A view that has predominated in rabbinic circles is that the Ark was hidden in a cave beneath the Temple Mount in the very heart of Israel. The theory goes that the priests hid the Ark beneath the Temple Mount, perhaps as early as during the time of King Josiah, since the coming prophesied invasion by the Babylonians was only a matter of time. By hiding the Ark and other Temple treasures, the priests felt that the priceless sacred articles could be protected from desecration by the pagan invaders. (In my opinion, Israel has to be protected to protect and preserve the treasures of the Temple until the time is right.)
Why Didn’t Israel Use the Ark in the Second Temple?
As it turned out, the Babylonians did invade Jerusalem. They destroyed the Temple and carried away many of the vessels and implements to their capital city a thousand miles away. No mention is made in the Scriptures of the Babylonians taking the Ark, the Menorah, or other key Temple items. If the Ark and the other implements were hidden under the Temple, why weren’t they recovered and used after the Captivity? It’s hard to imagine that the priests would have knowingly left the Ark out of the Holy of Holies if they could have utilized it during the 500 years of the Second Temple.
The explanation offered is that they felt that as long as Jerusalem was subject to domination by the succeeding powers of Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the Ark and other treasures could be desecrated and captured by the Gentile armies. Thus, the sacred items would remain in seclusion until it was considered safe to bring them out to be placed in the Temple.
The Rabbinical Attempt to Find the Ark
At any rate, Rabbi Shlomo Goren and Rabbi Yehuda Getz, the rabbis in charge of the Western Wall area, are convinced that the Ark has been hidden in a cave in the Temple Mount directly under the site of the Holy of Holies, since the time of King Josiah. They probably represent the majority of Orthodox rabbis in their views. They have a concept of vertical air space, by which the space of the Holy of Holies sanctifies the ground directly below it. Thus, the ancient priests would have been careful to locate the cave repository for the Ark in the sanctified area below the Holy of Holies. The evidence for all of these suppositions about the location of the Ark, as Rabbi Getz concedes, comes more from the Talmud than the Scriptures. Nevertheless, there is a large and growing group of Orthodox Jewish adherents who believe that the Ark is in this cave below the Holy of Holies, and awaits the right time to be found.
Rabbi Getz believes that in 1982 he was very close, within 40 feet, to find the cave in which the Ark resides. He was conducting a search in an old tunnel that had been filled with the debris of centuries, which runs perpendicular to the Western Wall and under the Temple Mount. However, when the Moslems discovered that there were diggings being conducted under the Dome of the Rock, they threatened a general riot and the diggings were stopped. The rabbi explains that, for the sake of maintaining peace with their Moslem neighbors, the Israelis had to reseal the entrance to the tunnel, and it remains blocked up to this day.
Temple Interest an Indication of the Imminent Rapture
The Scriptures are not clear as to whether the Ark of the Covenant still exists on the earth, but they are clear that the Temple will be rebuilt and standing during the Tribulation. There is no question that if the Ark were found, it would give enormous impetus to the rebuilding of the Temple to house it. Bible-believing Christians should keep a sharp eye out for any developments surrounding the Temple Mount, realizing that it is a key element leading to the Tribulation era. The closer we get to the Tribulation, the closer we are to the imminent Rapture of the Church, which, we believe the Scriptures teach, will precede the Tribulation. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Genesis 28:15, 35:9; Deuteronomy 30:9
We are walking in today: God I need an encore. Thank you, Lord, for breathing on me. I need an encore. I know You can do it again. Time after time, again You have brought me out.