87: Kingdom in the Prophets (Kingdom of God 4)

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Last time we looked at the kingdom prophecies in Isaiah.  Today we’ll examine Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Daniel to continue developing a biblical picture of the age to come.

This is lecture 4 of the Kingdom of God class, originally taught at the Atlanta Bible College.  To take this class for credit, please contact ABC so you can do the work necessary for a grade.


Notes:

We’ve already looked at God’s promises to Abraham and David as well as the richest kingdom book of the bible—Isaiah.  Now we will examine several other key prophecies and psalms.

 

Amos 9.11-15

  • 11 “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, 12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,” declares the LORD who does this.
    • restoration of Davidic throne
  • 13 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.
    • what does it mean, “the plowman will overtake the reaper?”
    • look at how tactile this kingdom vision is!
      • plowing, reaping, treading grapes, wine
      • how far is this from floating on a cloud or “polishing rainbows”
  • 14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the LORD your God.
    • rebuilding the cities
    • enjoying the produce of the land

 

Micah 4.6-8

  • Micah 4.6-8 6 In that day, declares the LORD, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whom I have afflicted; 7 and the lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore.  8 And you, O tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.
    • lame, outcasts, afflicted will live in Mount Zion w/ God forever

 

Zephaniah 3.8-20

  • 8 “Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.
    • does anyone remember the catch phrase from last lecture that encapsulates the kingdom?
      • everything wrong with the world made right
    • part of what’s wrong with the world is human rebellion and wickedness
    • two sides to the kingdom coin
      • judgment
      • restoration
    • many of the majestic kingdom restoration passages come after macabre judgment prophesies
  • 7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests. 8 And on the day of the LORD’s sacrifice– “I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire.  9 On that day I will punish everyone who leaps over the threshold, and those who fill their master’s house with violence and fraud.  10 “On that day,” declares the LORD, “a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, a loud crash from the hills.  11 Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off.  12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill.’  13 Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.”  14 The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there.  15 A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,  16 a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.  17 I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.  18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
    • here “earth” probably means the land of Israel not the whole planet
    • think of an old wild west village where outlaws have taken over
      • the people live in constant fear
      • the best news is to hear that a new sheriff is coming to town
      • this same event is simultaneously judgment to the rebellious and restoration to the honest-hearted
    • for the kingdom to be paradise, God must deal with the oppressors, the outlaws, the rebellious
  • 9 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord.
    • have you ever really wanted to talk to someone, but they spoke a different language?
    • how did we get multiple languages in the first place?
    • this is a restoration from the Tower of Babel (on quiz: which prophet? Zephaniah)
  • 10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering. 11 “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.  12 But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD,  13 those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”
    • this accounts for most suffering in our world
    • people rip each other off, tell lies, and deceive one another
    • in that day, no one will do that sort of thing anymore!
  • 14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.
    • our world is full of chaos and reasons for fear
    • in that day, “you shall never again fear evil”!
    • like the Garden of Eden, Yahweh will be in our midst
  • 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
    • can you imagine God singing over us?
    • this is a whole other aspect of the kingdom where we ask not, “how will the kingdom be so great for me,” but “how will the kingdom be so great for God”…after all it’s his idea, his original plan, his dream for the world
  • 18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. 19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.  20 At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the LORD.
    • once again, I so love how God will change the shame of the lame and outcast into praise and renown in all the earth!

 

Zechariah 14.5b-11

  • 5…Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  7 And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.
    • cosmic signs typically accompany descriptions of the end of this age
  • 8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.
    • this is would require some serious geographical renovation
  • 9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.
    • in our age Yahweh has many competitors
    • in that day, he will be king over all the earth
    • his name will be one; all the other gods will die
  • 10 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. 11 And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.
    • God plans to change the landscape, especially in Jerusalem
    • remember also Isaiah 35 spoke about rejuvenating the deserts?

 

Ezekiel 37.1-28

  • Ezekiel finds himself in a valley full of dry bones
  • God asks, “can these bones live?”
  • Ezekiel: “O Lord Yahweh you know”
  • God: “Prophesy over these bones”

  • 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.  9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”  10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.  11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’  12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.  13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.  14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”
    • I am aware of the three theories about this vision: it refers to
      • (1) the return from exile,
      • (2) the reestablishment of Israel in twentieth century, or
      • (3) the Kingdom yet to come.
      • Daniel Block points out that “The rabbinic commentaries frequently interpreted this passage as a prophecy of the eschatological resurrection in the messianic age.”   I agree with this last interpretation—the vision represents actual resurrection—because that is what the interpretation says: “Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people.  And I will bring you into the land of Israel” (37:12).
    • The vision of dry bones is not to be taken literally, but it is a picture of a truth given in the interpretation. Bones won’t literally fill a valley; after all, the bones are in graves at present.  However, the truth of this vision is as clear as day—God plans to bring His people back to life so they can enter their land and enjoy a right relationship with Him forever.
    • This is not some individual judgment at death but a corporate restoration to happen on the last day (John 5:28-29; 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:23-25).
  • …23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
    • God will cleanse us so we no longer struggle with sin
  • 24 “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.  26 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.
    • notice again that this is an everlasting covenant not temporary
  • 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
    • “I will be their God and they will be my people” this is what the kingdom is all about (this is the phrase Ezekiel uses to describe God’s dream for his people)
    • a right relationship w/ God
    • we’ll be his people; he’ll be our God
    • he’ll tell us what’s best for us and we’ll do it

 

Daniel 2.31-35, 43-45

  • Daniel 2.31-36 31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.  32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze,  33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.  34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.  35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
    • Daniel went on to explain that each of the parts of the image represented an empire
  • Daniel 2.43-45 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.  44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,  45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
    • this is where we get the phrase “kingdom of God” from
    • v44 …”the God of heaven will set up a kingdom”
    • thus, kingdom of God = kingdom of heaven
    • where does he set up the kingdom?
      • on earth!
      • atop the previous empires
    • note: this kingdom is not merely for a thousand years!
      • it will never be destroyed
    • the kingdom will destroy all others (global…not just Israel)

 

Daniel 7.13-14, 17-18, 21-22, 27

  • Daniel saw a vision
  • four beasts came out of the sea
    • a lion w/ eagles’ wings
    • a bear w/ 3 ribs between its teeth
    • a leopard w/ 4 wings on its back
    • a terrifying and dreadful beast w/ iron teeth and 10 horns
      • an 11th horn came up and spoke great things
    • the “Ancient of Days” took his seat w/ thousands of angelic attendants
      • he judged the beast and had it killed
  • Daniel 7.13-14 13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.  14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
    • this is probably the most significant text for understanding what Jesus thought about himself since he routinely referred to himself as “the son of man”
    • after God judges the beasts he gives the kingdom to the son of man
    • three triplets
      • dominion, glory, kingdom
      • peoples, nations, languages
      • everlasting dominion, shall not pass away, his kingdom will not be destroyed
    • Daniel asked for further clarification
  • Daniel 7.17-18 17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.  18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
  • Daniel 7.21-22 21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,  22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.
  • Daniel 7.27 27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’
    • the kingdom is not just for God, not just for the son of man, but for the saints as well
    • God establishes his kingdom “under the whole heaven”!!!
    • everyone serves and obeys (global)
    • once again, it lasts forever not just millennium

Don’t have time to cover: Psalm 2; 110; Jeremiah 23; 31; 33


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