H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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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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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
An Eschatological Post? Part II
The apostasy of Israel had prompted Elijah to pray for, and receive, a drought. But the drought was about to end because Elijah had called all of Israel up to mount Carmel for the battle royal of all time - God vs. Baal!

Now, I don't say all of Israel frivolously - that is what the text says in 1 Kings 18:19:
"19Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table."
But we read something about "all Israel later in the same book - in the fifteenth verse of chapter twenty to be precise, we read:
"15 Then he mustered the young leaders of the provinces, and there were two hundred and thirty-two; and after them he mustered all the people, all the children of Israel—seven thousand."
You will recall the scene: Elijah, 7000 Israelites, and almost a thousand (950) prophets of Baal and Asherah, all gathered together on Mt. Carmel - and of course we all know what happens there. The prophets of those pretend Gods pray all day long, mutilating themselves and shouting to their imaginary Gods, but nothing happens. Then Elijah prepares a water logged sacrifice, and in the briefest of prayers Elijah calls upon God to kindle the sacrifice and demonstrate whom the Israelites ought to be following - that is to demonstrate who is God, then SHZAM! Fire from the sky - a punctuating demonstration that the Lord - He, and He alone is God.

Now we bring the verse from chapter 20 into the picture to remind us that "all of Israel" at the time was a mere 7000 men.


Doesn't that seem a little small - I mean, later Elijah as Elijah flees into the mountains to avoid Jezebel's wrath the Lord asks him in that famous still small voice, "What are you doing out here?" - and what is the prophet's reply, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life."

Let's understand this together: at the time there were actually hundred's of thousands of apostate Israelites living in Israel. It wasn't like the drought had killed off everyone. "All" of Israel in this context did not mean everyone who was alive from the ten tribes - but what becomes clear in chapter 19 is that these seven thousand who are still worthy to bear the name of Israel, who are in fact by themselves considered "all of Israel" - or if I may put it into a modern cliche - these 7000 represent all that is left of what was once Israel - the physical descendants number in the hundreds of thousands, but the spiritual descendants are only a fraction of what they :
18Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him." 1 Kings 19:18 [ESV]

God refers to this fraction as "all of Israel" - and goes so far as to say that these are a remnant not because of their own virtue, but because He Himself has reserved for His own purpose these particular 7000 Israelites. These are (without doubt) the same seven thousand who had not bowed down to Baal, and who watched God light up a water-logged cow like a roman candle. There were hundreds of thousands of Israelites at the time, but only a remnant who were faithful, only a remnant who had not apostatized - only seven thousand who could rightly be called "Israel".

Clearly this will be important as we make our way to Romans 11 in the next post.


posted by Daniel @ 4:38 PM  
  • At 9:05 AM, September 26, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    I look forward with anticipation to Romans 11.

    Thanks for clarifying the particulars of the 7000.

  • At 5:50 AM, September 27, 2007, Blogger mark pierson said…

    It's funny you're covering this now. In Blaising and Bock's "Progressive Dispensationalism" they bring out similar points with you in saying that the true nation of Israel was found in the remnant.

  • At 7:07 AM, September 27, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Mark, I am tempted to comment here but it would probably spoil my next post... ;-)

  • At 9:01 AM, September 27, 2007, Blogger mark pierson said…

    Truely God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart - Psalm 73:1.

    28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. - Romans 2:28-29

    I believe the above scriptures have been the very definition of the true nation of Israel from the very beggining.

  • At 9:02 AM, September 27, 2007, Blogger mark pierson said…

    that's "beginning".

  • At 9:58 AM, September 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thought you might be interested in knowing that in my morning reading today, I read in Mark 1 (verse 5):

    "And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins."

    Sproul's footnote reads: "This is a literary expression, indicating that the covenant people went out to John in a great crowd, no doubt as entire families."

    Apparently "all" is not necessarily "all-"inclusive.

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