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View Full Version : Discussion Are Prophesies Concerning Judea Applicable to Indidviduals?



Ethnikos
Oct 6th 2008, 04:04 PM
A specific example is Isaiah 1:15 "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood."
I tried to use this verse as an argument against horribly wicked people like Hitler from being saved. I was told this verse refers only to Jerusalem and Judah. I looked into similar verses and found the same sort of thing about the context.
Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
Lamentations 3:44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

My question would be; how much applies to individuals when God gives, through His Prophets, reproof to the people, as a whole? Can we take recriminations against Israel as condemnation of our own practices? People accusing God of being unresponsive and God turning around and saying the people are unresponsive to His giving to them His Law. Are these accusations of wrongdoing something that should be taken to heart by us as relevant principals to guide us, or are they just stories about long gone nations and their enforcement ended with them?

Sold Out
Oct 6th 2008, 04:51 PM
Are these accusations of wrongdoing something that should be taken to heart by us as relevant principals to guide us, or are they just stories about long gone nations and their enforcement ended with them?

I believe that we can absolutely apply these to our lives, in principle of course. All scripture is useful for teaching, preaching, rebuking and training in righteousness! (II Tim 3:16)

Ethnikos
Oct 6th 2008, 05:23 PM
I believe that we can absolutely apply these to our lives, in principle of course. All scripture is useful for teaching, preaching, rebuking and training in righteousness! (II Tim 3:16)
Thanks for your comment. I think that we would be discarding a lot of the Bible if we picked through it and tossed out what is instructive in it that we did not think was speaking to a personal responsibility.
Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
This looks like to me that this shows that an individual can take it upon himself to follow the law and expect something from God. If they took no action and waited for the nation in general to come around they may find themselves sharing in only the bad things.

moonglow
Oct 6th 2008, 05:31 PM
A specific example is Isaiah 1:15 "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood."
I tried to use this verse as an argument against horribly wicked people like Hitler from being saved. I was told this verse refers only to Jerusalem and Judah. I looked into similar verses and found the same sort of thing about the context.
Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
Lamentations 3:44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

My question would be; how much applies to individuals when God gives, through His Prophets, reproof to the people, as a whole? Can we take recriminations against Israel as condemnation of our own practices? People accusing God of being unresponsive and God turning around and saying the people are unresponsive to His giving to them His Law. Are these accusations of wrongdoing something that should be taken to heart by us as relevant principals to guide us, or are they just stories about long gone nations and their enforcement ended with them?

I think these are some excellent questions you have. Content is extremely important in the bible for sure. Some passages were meant just for a certain group of people. For instance you wouldn't take verses about sexual immortally and apply them to little children.

While I think these verses were meant for Judea and Jerusalem specifically..it doesn't mean lessons cannot be learned from them. There are other more generalized verses covering similar things for any nation that I would feel better about using if applying to another nation. I mean you couldn't take a verse about God about to rain down fire and brimstone on a nation in the OT and go and tell a present nation this is about to happen to them because they are involved in the same wicked activities!

Also the way God interacted with people and nations in the OT was more immediate and direct then it is today due to what Jesus did for the world...for all of us. All of us are living under the works Christ did..including the wicked....though eventually judgment will come.

When it comes to judging all nations there is much in the OT on that...as judgment will one day come for each individual too.

God bless

Literalist-Luke
Oct 6th 2008, 05:51 PM
A specific example is Isaiah 1:15 "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood."
I tried to use this verse as an argument against horribly wicked people like Hitler from being saved. I was told this verse refers only to Jerusalem and Judah. I looked into similar verses and found the same sort of thing about the context.
Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
Lamentations 3:44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

My question would be; how much applies to individuals when God gives, through His Prophets, reproof to the people, as a whole? Can we take recriminations against Israel as condemnation of our own practices? People accusing God of being unresponsive and God turning around and saying the people are unresponsive to His giving to them His Law. Are these accusations of wrongdoing something that should be taken to heart by us as relevant principals to guide us, or are they just stories about long gone nations and their enforcement ended with them?Each passage has to be considered on its own, but context is absolutely critical.

To consider just one example that you have cited, Isaiah 1:15, what God was talking about was the priests performing their services in the temple. They would spend their lives as if there was no Mosaic Law for them to follow and would do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Then they would go to the Temple at the allotted time and perform the sacrifices called for in the Law, without one ounce of repentance for what they had done. After they carried out their sacrifices and other duties, they would merrily go right back to gratifying the "lusts of the flesh".

When somebody comes before God with this kind of unrepentance for what they have done, He will always refuse to acknowledge their prayers.

Now, if Hitler had (hypothetically) genuinely repented of what he did and had come to God begging for forgiveness, then God would have heard his prayer and would have forgiven him. And Hitler would have been no less entitled to receive that forgiveness than you, me, or anybody else.

Be very careful about comparing one person's sinfulness to somebody else's. To say that Hitler was more sinful than you or me would be like saying that one ant is bigger than another ant next to the elephant of all our sins. You need to look at it from God's perspective, not ours. You and I are no more deserving of God's mercy than anybody else, including Hitler. Don't forget that.

If anybody says they are more deserving or worthy of God's mercy than Hitler or any other person, that person is now guilty of pride, along with whatever else they were guilty of.

chal
Oct 6th 2008, 05:57 PM
My question would be; how much applies to individuals when God gives, through His Prophets, reproof to the people, as a whole? Can we take recriminations against Israel as condemnation of our own practices? People accusing God of being unresponsive and God turning around and saying the people are unresponsive to His giving to them His Law. Are these accusations of wrongdoing something that should be taken to heart by us as relevant principals to guide us, or are they just stories about long gone nations and their enforcement ended with them?

chal> I'm going with " taken to heart by us as relevant principals to guide us." The Bible illustrates God's character. If we pass up the opportunity to learn from it, we lose very important information, that we may be very sorry for one day.

Ethnikos
Oct 6th 2008, 08:00 PM
When somebody comes before God with this kind of unrepentance for what they have done, He will always refuse to acknowledge their prayers.

Now, if Hitler had (hypothetically) genuinely repented of what he did and had come to God begging for forgiveness, then God would have heard his prayer and would have forgiven him. And Hitler would have been no less entitled to receive that forgiveness than you, me, or anybody else.
Thanks for your opinion and I want that. You make a good argument.
What comes to my mind is David having to suffer consequences of his crimes. He was not allowed to enjoy the benefits of them. David threw himself on the ground and stayed there as a act of supplication, for seven days, and he still had his son die. Is there a lesson in this story, about the seriousness of certain sins, that affect how God responds to our apparent repentance?

Ethnikos
Oct 6th 2008, 08:27 PM
chal> I'm going with " taken to heart by us as relevant principals to guide us." The Bible illustrates God's character. If we pass up the opportunity to learn from it, we lose very important information, that we may be very sorry for one day.
Thanks for your reply, I appreciate that. I have a certain respect for the posters on this forum. That is not how I feel about certain people on other forums. Like they say about Satan and how he quotes scripture. There are people who seem to have a great knowledge of the Christian religion but use it to destroy Christianity, if they could. Excuse me for picking your brains but I am interested in a general consensus about this for the purpose of refuting accusations against God, in other places. Thanks.

Literalist-Luke
Oct 6th 2008, 11:51 PM
Thanks for your opinion and I want that. You make a good argument.
What comes to my mind is David having to suffer consequences of his crimes. He was not allowed to enjoy the benefits of them. David threw himself on the ground and stayed there as a act of supplication, for seven days, and he still had his son die. Is there a lesson in this story, about the seriousness of certain sins, that affect how God responds to our apparent repentance?It's hard to say, because God's way of dealing with each individual and situation will be uniquely tailored for that person/situation. You can't look at God's "punishment" for one person and compare it with the "punishment" meted out to another to determine which one was "worse". The only thing that really matters is that ALL sin, regardless of what it was/is, is so bad that the very Son of God has to pay for it with His life in order for us to escape eternal damnation. Beyond that, trying to determine which of us is the "most guilty" would seem to be basically none of our business. For us to attempt to make that determination on our own is nothing but plain old judgmentalism, which Jesus forbade us to do.

Now, I should clarify, this does not remove from us the responsibility of enforcing the laws of the land. God did give us the responsibility and authority to establish and enforce laws, but again, that is not our responsibility as individuals. That is the purview of the our governing authorities.

Ethnikos
Oct 7th 2008, 02:13 AM
You can't look at God's "punishment" for one person and compare it with the "punishment" meted out to another to determine which one was "worse".
How about the sin of Israel compared to the sin of Judea? One apparently was punished to a degree and then, eventually restored. Israel was not given the opportunity to repent, after their sin went beyond a certain point. Should we not make some sort of judgment about these two kingdoms?

Dani H
Oct 7th 2008, 02:47 AM
Well, considering that people haven't changed, and that God hasn't changed (even though we now live under the New Covenant and we have been given provisions in Christ to solve everything that ails us, at any given second, without having to find us a temple and sacrifice animals or wait for certain holidays, and so forth ... so how much more are we going to be held accountable), the whole of the Bible is very much applicable to us. God has spoken to me many, many times through the Old Testament, because again, people haven't changed, and our struggles with obedience to a holy God and the sin in our flesh hasn't changed. And, those who don't learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it, right? I'd rather not ... be doomed, that is. :)

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

That is definitely still applicable to us today. We can't walk up to a holy God with our "bless me, gimme" attitudes, and forget about the fact that He is very aware of how we conduct ourselves, and how we treat one another, and what sorts of attitudes lurk in our hearts that we think we can hide. God has always, throughout the whole Bible, been big on His people repenting of sin and seeing it for what it is and desiring His help to change their behaviors and attitudes. And the Old Testament is rich, rich, rich with example after example after example of the condition of mankind and God's desire for fellowship with us and the damage that sin does to that.

P.S. I do believe there comes a point where our "cup of sin" has reached its rim, and that God has to judge. And no amount of prayer is going to change it when that point has been reached, because there are times when only going through judgments and trials is going to really change our hearts. That was true then on a national level, when He had called a whole nation to be His covenant people, and is also true on a personal level today. And only God knows when that time is. He will always be merciful, even when He has to bring judgment, but being aware of how He dealt with His people then, should help us tread a bit more carefully now ...

Ethnikos
Oct 7th 2008, 04:36 AM
... I do believe there comes a point where our "cup of sin" has reached its rim, and that God has to judge. And no amount of prayer is going to change it when that point has been reached, because there are times when only going through judgments and trials is going to really change our hearts. That was true then on a national level, when He had called a whole nation to be His covenant people, and is also true on a personal level today. And only God knows when that time is. He will always be merciful, even when He has to bring judgment, but being aware of how He dealt with His people then, should help us tread a bit more carefully now ... I imagine that someone who is leading a life that would end up in some sort of ultimate, irreversible condemnation, they would have long passed the point of having a functioning conscience. So, they would have no inclination towards repentance, anyway.

Literalist-Luke
Oct 7th 2008, 04:56 AM
How about the sin of Israel compared to the sin of Judea? One apparently was punished to a degree and then, eventually restored. Israel was not given the opportunity to repent, after their sin went beyond a certain point. Should we not make some sort of judgment about these two kingdoms?Considering that Paul said "All Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26) and that Revelation's list of the 144,000 includes tribes from the northern kingdom, no we can't make some sort of judgment about them. The entire nation of Israel will be included in God's redemption of them at the end. He has rejected absolutely nobody. He has already made the judgment and has called them worthy of His mercy. Whether or not they choose to accept it is up to them, so long as they are still alive. Or would you deny them that?

Why are you so concerned about establishing varying degrees of sin and about crossing a point of no return with God? The only point of no return with God is death.

Did you know that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer appears to have died a Christian? You'll be eating with him at the Millennial feast. Is that something that you can be comfortable with? Or do you question God's judgment in that instance?

Matthew 9:10-13 - "While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

And then there's Micah 6:8, perhaps my favorite verse in the entire Bible - "And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

God is a god first of mercy. Only afterward is He a god of judgment. Judgment falls on those who reject the mercy. So if He is to extend mercy to us who are undeserving of it, who are we to take it from those who He is still giving a chance to receive it by allowing them to still be alive?

Literalist-Luke
Oct 7th 2008, 04:59 AM
I imagine that someone who is leading a life that would end up in some sort of ultimate, irreversible condemnation, they would have long passed the point of having a functioning conscience. So, they would have no inclination towards repentance, anyway.I can agree with that, but it is essential for us to remember that the determination of when somebody has reached that point is not for us to make.

Ethnikos
Oct 7th 2008, 07:06 AM
Why are you so concerned about establishing varying degrees of sin and about crossing a point of no return with God?
Just finding out what people think about it and asking some questions to explore possible options.
I was having a discussion somewhere with someone who seemed to be a little inconsistent about what he was really asking. Turned out he is some kind of gnostic who thinks you can repent sometime after you die and I guess everyone gets saved. I was trying to come up with some good arguments but I did not want it to be just my personal opinion.