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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
An Eschatological Post? Part -I-
Once upon a time King Solomon noticed an industrious young man, a mighty man of valor even though it was a time of peace. Solomon himself appointed this man as -the- officer over all the labor force of Ephraim, a military appointment that brought this man into the public eye in a big way. The man was from the tribe of Ephraim.

We might never have heard of this fellow had Solomon lived a righteous life to the end of his days. But we read the following in 1 Kings 11:9-13:
9So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded. 11Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” [ESV]

The servant of Solomon in question was a man of the tribe of Ephraim - an industrious mighty man of valor. He was given a military appointment over a civilian body, that is he was made the officer over all the labor force of the house of Joseph. It may not sound like much, but it was a very public position. So that when Ahijah the prophet took this young fellow aside and told him that because Solomon had forsaken God in allowing the worship of Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and because Solomon was not walking in God's ways to do what was right in God's eyes and to keep God's statutes and judgments as did Solomon's father David - for this reason God had determined to tear the kingdom away from Solomon and into 12 pieces, two of which were going to be given to this young man to rule. God also made a promise to this young fellow that if he heeded all that God command him - that is, if he walked in God's ways, and did what was right in God's sight by keeping God's statutes and commandments with the same heart as David had, then God would be with him and build for him an enduring house, just as God had built for David - for even though the kingdom was being taken away from David's heir, yet a lamp was left for David's lineage. The promise was that God would give Israel to this young man, and it must have become public knowledge because when Solomon heard about it, rather than repent he sought to kill the young man. The young man fled to Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died.

Now when Solomon's son, Rehoboam became king, the young fellow returned from Egypt and publicly met with Rehoboam to plea with him over the plight of the laborers whom this former servant and mighty man of valor had previously been the officer over. But Rehoboam planned not only to continue down the path of apostasy that Solomon had paved in his latter years, but to do so with gusto - and instead of being kind to the laborers, he was fiercely harsh - and in the aftermath of this harshness Israel not only rejected Rehoboam as king, but went so far as to pursue the former servant of Solomon and make him their new king.

The young man's name of course was Jeroboam, and the very first thing we read about his rule was that he did not trust God's promise to him, but was concerned that the house of David might get back the ten tribes, and so to avoid that he took someone's advice and made two golden calves and instituted a whole system of religion that was meant to supplant/replace the need to go up to Jerusalem.

As Jeroboam was engaged in idol worship at Bethel, offering sacrifices on altars he had made for this purpose - a man of God came and told him that upon these altars he had made, one of David's descendants would sacrifice the priests that Jeroboam had appointed to these high places, the priests who burned incense on those altars that Jeroboam had commissioned. In a rage, Jeroboam pointed at the prophet and demanded his arrest, but the hand he pointed with withered. Then Jeroboam became a little more kindly, and instead asked the man to pray for him so that he might be restored physically speaking.

Upon Jeroboam's death, the northern kingdom passed into the hands of Nadab his wicked son, but only for two years. Baasha, the son of Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar slew Nadab and the kingdom passed out of the hands of Jeroboam's family and into the hands of Baasha's family (a move from Ephraim to Issachar). But Baasha was just as wicked as Nadab had been if not moreso, and the kingdom passed into the hands of his son Elah when He died, but Elah only reigned for two years before he was killed by the commander of half of his chariots - a man name Zimri whose lineage we know nothing about. Zimri didn't just kill Elah, he slew the whole "royal" family. Zimri's reign, if you can call it that - lasted only seven days.

When the northern kingdom learned what Zimri had done, they rejected him as king, and named the commander of the Army king instead - Omri. Omri went up to battle Zimri, but Zimri committed suicide by burning his house down with himself inside it. After that Israel couldn't decide whether they were going to follow Omri or some other fellow named Tibni, but eventually Omri prevailed.

Omri was a wicked fellow too, even more wicked than all those who had preceded him, but he only reigned for a dozen years before he too died, and his son Ahab took the throne. Like Zimri before him, we do not know for sure what tribe Omri came from.

It was about 107 years from the first day of Jeroboam's reign to the first day of Ahab's reign, but in that short time the northern kingdom passed through four families and at least two tribes, and possibly more, and as the kingdom changed hands it grew more and more apostate.

We mention all this to set the stage for a verse we want to examine: 1 Kings 18:1-18
"17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, 'Is it you, you troubler of Israel?' 18And he answered, 'I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals.' " [ESV]

Ahab's claim to the throne did not come through God's promise, but rather through his father having wrested the kingdom from another, whom had in turn wrested it from another. Ahab no doubt understood that he was ruling a kingdom that had a very short history that was punctuated by bloody regime changes. Before Ahab ever courted Jezebel, he courted her father, whom history tells us was an assassin named Eithobalus, who upon assassinating King Pheles, usurped the throne for himself. Eithobalus, or "Ithobaal the first" founded his own dynasty, and amassed great power and wealth. Ahab no doubt married Jezebel, in part at least, to gain the political security of having this wealthy and powerful usurper as his in-law.

Picture therefore the relationship that Ahab must have with Jezebel. His marriage to her added legitimacy and security to his claim on the throne - politically speaking - for if someone were to assassinate Ahab, well, they would have to take on the King of Tyre and Sidon to do so, and at that time, that wouldn't have been a very wise thing to do. Perhaps that is Ahab allowed Jezebel so much freedom? Who can say. One thing is certain however, her influence was absolutely wicked, and by the time we find this conversation taking place between Ahab and Elijah, the Northern Kingdom was so firmly in the grip of apostasy, that Jezebel was not only able to put to death the prophets of God without any political objection - but was also able to establish idolatry on a level previously unheard of.

All this however is just, as I said, to set the stage for another passage we want to look at.


posted by Daniel @ 12:01 AM  
  • At 4:52 PM, September 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think blogger ate my first comment. I wrote a lengthy one here noting that I look forward to your next post.

    Also, I noted that folks mistake my discussion of certain texts of Scripture as an “eschatological interest” on my part. While I can see where they might think that, it’s not eschatology that interests me as much as newfound information about partial preterism, after my pastor recently expounded on Matthew 24 as partially fulfilled prophecy. Many of my comments on other blogs or my own regarding these certain "eschatological" texts – while I was just thinking out loud to see what others might offer of their own thoughts on these texts – led some to point out that I have a particular eschatological bent. I don’t see it that way, especially since I used to shy away from texts that I thought were too hard for me to understand – Revelation, Daniel, etc. Now I see Scripture as something written to be understood – all of it, not just the most clear passages.

    Likewise, I think it has to do with how one views the “eschatos” or “last” times. After all, the “last” time (or age) could also be seen to be all time (not in an eternal sense, but earthly chronological) following Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension.

  • At 4:55 PM, September 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh wait! Blogger didn't eat my first comment! You posted twice on the same day (although this post lists tomorrow's date already).

    I just realized that. Oops. So sorry. Guess I'd better go read this post now. I presumed it was your first "introductory" post.

  • At 4:22 PM, July 10, 2009, Blogger california prayergirl said…

    The passage below tells us what family or house Omri is from I thought you might like to know since you said there was no way of telling...

    1 Chronicles 27:18 (King James Version)

    18Of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:

  • At 4:29 PM, July 10, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    Hi CPG! Actually I said, "a man name Zimri whose lineage we know nothing about"... We know about Omri, as you point out. But Zimri on the other hand.

    Thanks for the comment though.

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