COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"dream" Tagged Sermons

GOD’S PURPOSE FOR THE NATIONS

Henry Morris published the book “God and the Nations” in 2003
“That God has an eternal purpose in mind for nations as such, and not only for individuals, seems evident from such Scriptures as
Revelation 21:24
‘By it’s light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it’
The context here is the situation in the New Earth, and the Holy City,
New Jerusalem, in particular, in the eternal ages to come.
There will be nations in the New Earth, each with its king, and they will live outside the Holy City, yet apparently have free access into it, with their “glory and honor” to contribute to the service of the King of all kings there in New Jerusalem. These nations will be “Gentile” nations, for the word “nations” (Greek ETHNOS) is actually translated “Gentiles” more often than “nations”.
The nation of Israel, on the other hand, as God’s chosen nation, will occupy a separate position, presumably dwelling only in New Jerusalem. This seems implied by Revelation 21:12, which notes that “the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel’ are inscribed on the 12 gates of New Jerusalem. Israel’s king, of course, will be the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who “shall reign over the house of Jacob forever” and “the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3).
The church is also a “nation”, in a sense, for Christian believers are actually called “a royal priesthood, a holy nation” In 1 Peter 2:9 and are considered as different in a sense from both Jews and Gentiles (1 Corinthians 10:32, which refers to “the Jews…the Gentiles and “the church of God).
At this point, we just want to get a glimpse of God’s future purpose for the nations, because that will help us to understand His past and present dealings with them. When they were first established, and all through history, God was really preparing them for eternity. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).

John Lennox (Against the Flow) 2015
Now, according to the world-views of Babylon’s wise men and the naturalist thinkers of today, there is no God that can reveal the future course of history. By definition, therefore, Daniel could have no special knowledge. He could not know the contents of the dream; all he could do was to guess. The wise men had not dared to guess because they knew that the probability of them getting the answer right was vanishingly small.
They would have stalled forever, if possible, rather than risk getting it wrong. Chance was not on their side. On that view, Daniel was taking a colossal gamble with his life.
If he guessed wrongly, the rage of the emperor would know no bounds,
and death would be swift and terrible.
But Daniel was not guessing. He was not calculating probabilities.
He knew what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed, and within a few seconds Nebuchadnezzar knew that Daniel knew.”

John Lennox makes this observation:
“Perhaps the most important way of understanding this aspect of the image is to be found in the well-known phrase “feet of clay”. That phrase is used of individuals, particularly those of high status, to describe character flaws – particularly hidden faults that could eventually bring about their downfall.
The colossal man that Nebuchadnezzar saw had feet of clay, which alerts us at once to the problem that all system of government have. To varying degrees, all their citizens have feet of clay. That is to say, the fundamental weakness indicated by the image is a weakness in humanity that makes people difficult to govern. It is a weakness to which much thought has been given in politics, and much has been written about in literature. We are all aware of it. The novelist G.K. Chesterton got it exactly right when he reportedly responded to a request in THE TIMES newspaper for answers to the question WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD? Chesterton is believed to have written:
Dear Sir,
I am.
G.K. Chesterton
The problem with humanity is humanity itself.

WRESTLING with God

The life of Jacob covers HALF OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS. His birth is recorded in chapter 25 and his death is recorded in chapter 49. What we find between those two chapters are quite amazing stories about this man and the struggles he faced, because they are all pointing towards the struggles our forefathers faced and reveal the struggles or strongholds which we face today. Certainly, studying this man’s life will give us plenty of insight how NOT TO DO CERTAIN THINGS, and HOW TO DO CERTAIN THINGS IN LIFE.
God reveals Himself to Jacob and reaffirms the covenant He made with Abraham, Jacobs grandfather, promising Jacob that his offspring will be many and that the Promised Land will one day belong to his descendants. In this dream, Jacob sees something like a ladder or a stairway leading up to heaven. The Hebrew word translated “ladder” is SULLAM which simply means a connection between God and man.
What an encouragement to all of us who have been justified through faith in the work of God Himself through His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, who has become our ladder to heaven. Even after we became children of God, running from trouble, trying to ignore our strongholds, God comes along with a great encouragement, reminding us of the promises made long ago to our forefathers, reminding us that His promises and His covenant with us cannot be negated.
Jacob found out how the universal law of sowing and reaping is working its way through his life. He did not know that he had a stronghold of lying and deceiving, until he had to be on the receiving end of it. You see, our very own strongholds are not admitted as such until we are on the receiving end of it. Until someone else does the same thing to us and all of a sudden we can feel the pain, the hurt, the disappointment.
Jacob was still dealing and wheeling. Anxious for his life, he came up with the idea to bribe his brother with gifts of a caravan of goodies. He hoped he can pacify his brother. Once everything he could do was done, finally Jacob was physically exhausted and alone in the wilderness. He feared for his life. He was convinced that he would face death after the messengers he sent out came back to Jacob saying: We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him. At this moment Jacob realized that he is powerless to control his fate. With his father-in-law behind him and Esau before him, he was now too spent to struggle any longer. In the process, Jacob the deceiver received a new name, ISRAEL. But that is not all. The most important part of this struggle comes at the end. It was when God wrestled with Jacob that Jacob’s stronghold was taken down and demolished. And it was after his stronghold was demolished that GOD BLESSED HIM.
“… Jacob’s divine encounter at the Jabbok River was a magnificent defeat of the human soul at the hands of God.” Frederick Buechner