Destroying the Wisdom of the Wise

June 30, 2013 in Bible - OT - Obadiah, Coeur d'Alene Issues, Homosexuality, Marriage, Meditations, Sexuality, Wisdom
Obadiah 8 (NKJV)
8 “Will I not in that day,” says the LORD, “Even destroy the wise men from Edom, And understanding from the mountains of Esau?”
This week the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and further advanced the perverse agenda of those who would obliterate all vestiges of Christianity from the laws and institutions of our once great nation.
If you, like me, find yourself scratching your head and wondering, “How in the world did we get here? How is it possible that otherwise intelligent men and women could argue that the Constitution protects the rights of men and women to do that which is perverse and unnatural? Particularly when the Constitution was written by those who would be shocked and appalled by the uses to which the document is being put?” If you find yourself asking these very reasonable questions, let me direct your attention to our text today.
Edom was a people descended from Esau and had shared, like their namesake, in covenantal unfaithfulness. When the Israelites were suffering at the hands of the Babylonians, the Edomites mocked Israel’s suffering and assisted the Babylonians in plundering the land despite the covenant oaths that had joined Edom and Israel together. So God sent the prophet Obadiah to prophesy against Edom and announce the judgment that would fall upon the Edomites. What was the judgment?
“Will I not in that day,” says the LORD, “Even destroy the wise men from Edom, And understanding from the mountains of Esau?
Brothers and sisters, God still rules and reigns in the affairs of men – and the proof of His reign is that we are witnessing this same judgment on our land. Our wise men are being destroyed and understanding is being removed from the ruling centers of the land. Washington D.C. is a den of fools and charlatans. It seems that our leaders can no longer tell a man from a woman – and yet we expect them to calculate our tax burdens and administer justice?

We stand in desperate need of the grace and mercy of God – and the only way that we can expect God to pour out His grace and mercy upon us is if we bow before Him and confess our sin and rebellion against Him. As the Church, our calling is to lead the way in this confession. So today, let us kneel and confess that we have as a people rebelled against God and let us ask Him to have mercy upon us and our nation.

Josephus Quotations

September 12, 2012 in Bible - NT - Matthew, Bible - OT - Jeremiah, Bible - OT - Nahum, Bible - OT - Obadiah, Eschatology, King Jesus

Quotations from Josephus’ The Wars of the Jews excerpt as found in David Chilton’s Paradise Restored: An Eschatology of Dominion.

“The first man who was slain by [the Sicarii] was Jonathan the high-priest, after whose death many were slain every day, while the fear men were in of being so served, was more afflicting than the calamity itself; and while everybody expected death every hour, as men do in war, so men were obliged to look before them, and to take notice of their enemies at a great distance; nor, if their friends were coming to them, durst they trust them any longer; but, in the midst of their suspicions and guarding of themselves, they were slain.” (p. 238) cf. Mt 10:34-36

“…I cannot but think that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, and was resolved to purge his sanctuary by fire, that he cut off these their great defenders and wellwishers, while those that a little before had worn the sacred garments, and had presided over the public worship, and had been esteemed venerable by those that dwelt on the whole habitable earth when they came int our city, were cast out naked, and seen to be the food of dogs and wild beasts.” (p. 250)

Already the city of Jerusalem was divided into two factions and the leading Jews made the remarkable decision to invite a third, the Idumeans, into the city under the leadership of Simon. Josephus remarks: “Now it was God who turned their opinions to the worst advice, and thence they devised such a remedy to get themselves free, as was worse than the disease itself.” (p. 255) (cf. with irony that it is directed against Edom, Obadiah 8-9)

The siege engines of the Romans wreaked awful destruction, reaching even the courts of the Temple where Jew and Gentile would be slain in the midst of offering sacrifice. So “the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcases stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves.” (p. 256)

Josephus speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem and urging them to surrender: “Wherefore I cannot but suppose that God is fled out of his sanctuary, and stands on the side of those against whom you fight.” (p. 262)

“It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men’s iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: – That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world…” (p. 264)

Josephus writes of the tragedy of those who deserted to the Romans only to be slain by the Syrians who were searching for hidden gold in their bowels: “in reality it was God who condemned the whole nation, and turned every course that was taken for their preservation to their destruction.” (p. 269)

“I suppose, that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been overflowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom perished by, for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments; for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.” (p. 270)

Josephus speaking to John of Gischala after John rejected another overture of peace: “It is God therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions.” (p. 272)

Josephus remarks on the Providential timing of the Temple’s destruction by the Romans – it was destroyed on the same day that the first Temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians: “…as for that house [the Temple], God had for certain long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages: it was the tenth day of the month [Ab], upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon.” (p. 274) cf. Jer 52:12-13

“Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething-hot, as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number than those that slew them; for the ground did nowhere appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of these bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them.” (p. 277) cf. Nah 3:3

“…before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover at the feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, ‘Let us remove hence.'” (p. 279)

He remarks on the career of Jesus, son of Ananus, who went through the city of Jerusalem for seven years and five months announcing the same message of woe against the city. in the end he was slain by one of the stones from the Roman catapults. (pp. 279-80)