hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
Magnified Thy Word
Greetings! This week we are hoping to clarify what may seem to be somewhat of a puzzle to many people concerning the nation of Israel.
How can God supposedly continue to bless Israel when Zachariah 12:3, describes Israel in the last days as a “burdensome stone” to all the world.
“In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people.”
A question that arises is, if Jerusalem is such a “burdensome stone” to the entire world and most Jews have rejected Jesus as their messiah, why does Jesus fight against the nations and destroy the nations that have come against Jerusalem at the battle of Armageddon.
In studying this we are drawn to the name of Jesus and His Word. As Psalm 138:2, states, God has even magnified His Word even above His name.
Just to give two examples in scripture of the importance of the name of Jesus: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” Philippians 2:10
This is very important to understand, that as important as the name of Jesus is, the Word of God is “magnified even above His name”.
Let us now introduce two additional scriptures out of the books of Numbers and Hebrews.
“God is not a man, that he should lie.” Numbers 23:19, and “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.” Hebrews 6:18
We put our faith in God's Word that Jesus is the Savior, redeemer and that our salvation is through Him.
According to Hebrews 6:18, it is “impossible for God to lie.” His Word is absolute irrefutable truth.
If God could or would lie, our faith in the power of salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ would or could be very tenuous.
God simply cannot lie in any promise He has made, past present, or future.
Let's now go to Abraham. Romans, chapter four, states concerning Abraham, “That he might be the father of all them that believe, to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” Romans 4:11,16
We ask how could God ever ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Abraham was willing to obey God because of the tremendous faith he had in God's Word. “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Hebrews 11:19
Because of Abraham's faith God swore certain promises to Abraham: “By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son,that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:16:18
Abraham went on to become known as the “Father of Faith”.
The Jews, God's Chosen People. There is an old saying attributed to William Norman Ewer,
“How odd of God/To choose the Jews.” Why did God choose the Jews? Deuteronomy 7:6-8 answers this question.
“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers.”
The Lord chose them not because they were the most brilliant, or righteous, etc. but because of His love for them and because of an oath which he had sworn unto their father, the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, etc.
Because of the great faith of the “fathers” they were also chosen as the line from which the messiah, Jesus, would emerge, and as carriers of the Word.
And what did God choose them to do: “A light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6
“I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” Isaiah 42:6-7
“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isaiah 60:3
He chose them because of promises and oaths make to their fathers and they were chosen to show God's truth, love and salvation to the rest of the world.
“In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 22:18
Were they always faithful to follow God's plan and mission for them. No. We are going to list some verses here of their failings, not for the purpose of showing their failings, but to make another point.
“Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.”
“But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.”Isaiah 48:8-9
“But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.”
“Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.” Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.” Ezekiel 20:8-9, 13-14, 21-22
“We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us. Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.” Jeremiah 14:20-22
What does this term “for thy name's sake” mean and how is it applied? We have researched several sites on the internet and we found the best answer from the Bible itself. This is Moses speaking to God when God is fed up with Israel and wants to destroy them.
“Now if You slay this people as one man, then the nations who have heard of Your fame will say, ‘Because the Lord could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’ Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Numbers 14:15-19
Although Israel deserved to see the wrath of God and deserved to be annihilated, because of the promises made to the patriarchs they were not annihilated otherwise it would seem God was not able to keep His Word. And it is impossible for God to lie.
It has absolutely nothing to do with Israel, although He was definitely more pleased when they obeyed Him. It has everything to do with God and His Word which he has placed above His name.
Who are the children of Abraham today? Jeremiah 31:30-33 tells us: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that 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 bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
This is generally interpreted by the majority of Christian scholars as being the New Testament.
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith 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 when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrew 8:6-12
So, who are the Children of Abraham?
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Galatians 3:7-9
“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” Romans 4:16
What then of physical Israel?
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” Romans 11:5,11,12,15
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10
“And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” Joel 2:32
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zechariah 12:2
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” Zechariah 12:3
Getting back to our original question we posed at the beginning: A question arises is if Jerusalem is such a “burdensome stone” to the entire world and most Jews have rejected Jesus as their messiah why does Jesus fight against the nations and destroy the nations that have dome against Jerusalem at the battle of Armageddon.
As you can see from Zechariah 12:2, before God saves them there is a very great punishment.
And then finally: “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10
“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:7-10
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 8:28-29
It has always been about faith.
faith it is impossible to please Him.”