Mal 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
There is an interesting theme or storyline that runs throughout the entire Bible. See if you don’t recognize it. There are two brothers, one older and one younger, the older brother, or brother(s), are jealous of the younger brother and mistreat him. In the case of Cain and Able, the older brother actually kills the younger brother. In the end, God always sides with the younger brother, and the younger brother ends up being blessed by God!
I do not think this storyline is only confined to the Bible. I remember taking a class on torts. A tort is a wrongful act leading to civil legal liability. One day we were learning about “assault and battery”. Assault is the crime of threatening a person with violence, while battery is actually making physical contact with them. Simply touching a person can be an assault under the right circumstances. One of the students mentioned that younger siblings could probably file tort cases every day in court, and the professor agreed.
Depending on the age difference, older siblings tend to be smarter, stronger, faster, more coordinated, more clever, and more of everything. Therefore, the younger siblings are at a huge disadvantage. What do younger siblings figure out fairly quickly? They know that if they stay close to mom or dad, they are safe. The farther away from mom or dad they get, they are NOT safe! Younger siblings figure out that there is a “higher authority” they can run to in times of trouble. Not only can they resort to the higher authority, but the authority nearly always takes the side of the “youngest” sibling! Why?
The older siblings think the parents are playing favorites, but in reality parents recognize the obvious difference in ability between siblings, and they naturally side with the younger child because more often than not the youngest probably needs their protection. This brings me to my main “spiritual thesis”. You may want to write this down and put it some place where you can read it every day because it might be the most important thing anybody will ever tell you.
GOD ALWAYS SIDES WITH THE WEAK…AND GOD ALWAYS WINS!
When I was researching this subject, I came across this brilliant encapsulation of the gospel by Tim Keller:
Out of the cross comes the resurrection.
Out of weakness comes real strength.
Out of repentance and admitting
you are weak comes real power.
Out of generosity and giving
your money away comes real wealth.
That’s the gospel story line.
The world wants us to believe that great physical size, youth, muscle, wealth, fame, influence, political and financial power makes a person strong, but in reality true strength only comes through weakness. If you have ever had the privilege of knowing a person that has faced a debilitating accident, or a catastrophic illness, or the infirmity of old age with stoic dignity then you have witnessed real strength. If we can face the loss of relationships, and property, and health, and still praise the LORD, we have real strength. Listen to the wisdom of Job in the midst of his troubles.
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Job was a wise man and Job was a spiritual man, he recognized that there is something vastly more important than our fleshy appetites. Behind all of our trials and our tribulations in this life is an incredible promise.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we SUFFER with him, that we may be also glorified together.
We see that the Book of Hebrews links our suffering with our being glorified together with Christ. It is interesting that the Apostle Paul says that Jesus learned obedience!
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Heb 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Why did Jesus learn obedience when He was perfectly obedient to the Father? I know that Jesus, in and of Himself, is perfectly obedient. However, there is one area where Jesus falls short…His body! The Church is the body of Jesus Christ. If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that the Church definitely is not yet perfect or obedient. The Book of Hebrews pulls back the veil and gives us a glimpse of our high calling in Jesus Christ. Although Jesus came to save us, that was not the ultimate purpose for His death and resurrection. The Father wants to prepare a royal priesthood to rule and reign over His creation.
There is a vast difference between the current rulers of the world and the saints that will reign with Jesus Christ during the Millennium. Jesus Christ was completely obedient to the will of the Father. However, He is preparing to be the King of Kings and a High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. In order for Jesus to be King of Kings and a High Priest, there first must be other kings and other priests. The Book of Hebrews gives us Moses as our example:
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to SUFFER affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Heb 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Moses not only foresaw the Messiah but he also saw that suffering WITH the people of God was the avenue for sharing in the RECOMPENCE of the reward.
RECOMPENCE OF THE REWARD: G3405, misthapodosia
1) payment of wages due, recompence
Therefore, suffering with the people of God is directly linked to receiving our reward and our station after the return of Jesus Christ. Isn’t it odd that people are so adamant when it comes to the pretribulation rapture doctrine? It is obvious to me that most Christians in these last days want to avoid suffering at all costs.
For nearly six thousand years the people of God have been persecuted and murdered, but the last days Church wants fancy clothes, shiny cars, and big houses. The television evangelists live in mansions and fly around in their own private jets. What a stark contrast to Moses and Jesus!
Mat 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Why did Jesus need to learn obedience? Actually, He didn’t, but WE DO! However, without us, Jesus cannot accomplish what He needs to accomplish. God wants to fill the whole earth with His Glory. If you are a young Christian, you can think of yourself as a well that has been filled up with dirt (flesh). In order for the world to drink living water from your well, the flesh (dirt) needs to be removed.
Jesus came to reveal what the Church must go through in order to accomplish the Father’s ultimate purpose. We MUST suffer great tribulation! The great tribulation will REVEAL the tares and the wheat. Suffering encourages us to stop relying on our flesh and to start relying on the Holy Spirit. There is an old saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes!” If you have witnessed people facing any great difficulty or loss, you know that when people face impossible circumstances, they are much more likely to turn to God than when everything is clear sailing.
Heb 2:17 Because of this it was necessary for him to be made like his brothers in every way, so that he might be a high priest full of mercy and keeping faith in everything to do with God, making offerings for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18 For having been put to the test himself, he is able to give help to others when they are tested. Bible in Basic English
I like how Joseph Prince described the testing that Jesus went through. It was not a pass or fail test, the test that Jesus underwent was a GOLD TEST! Jesus was tested to prove His authenticity. Jesus could not fail because Jesus was who He said He was. Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be the Lamb of God, the only begotten Son of God.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
King David, in the Book of Psalms, prophecied that the saints of God would also be like sheep led to the slaughter.
Psa 44:8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
Psa 44:9 But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.
Psa 44:10 Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.
Psa 44:11 Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.
Psa 44:12 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.
Psa 44:13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
Psa 44:14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
All through history the saints of God have suffered from persecution, betrayal, robbery, enslavement, and murder. In these last days, according to Jesus, the saints will go through the greatest tribulation than any other time of history.
Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
The tribulation saints will SUFFER more than any other time of history; therefore, they will REVEAL God’s grace and glory more than any other time in history. It will be impossible to go through the great tribulation without completely trusting in the grace and power of God.
Although it is tempting to believe that the Church will be enjoying the everlasting pleasures and joys of paradise while unbelievers and sinners are going through the great tribulation, nothing in the Bible indicates that there will be a pretribulation rapture. However, the Bible does promise that God will protect and preserve His children if we separate ourselves from Babylon and we put our full trust and confidence in HIM!
Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
It also appears to me that if the saints of God do not separate themselves from the world wide Babylonian system, then the saints will also participate in her punishments. We utimately must decide whether we will try to save our flesh and avoid suffering, or if we will share in the sufferings of God's people by rejecting Babylon.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Rev 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.