Friday, January 13, 2012

The Rapture in the Old Testament: Psalm 27 and Christ's Treasure

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
Psalm 27:4-5

The first post in this series dealt with the rapture  from Isaiah 26.  Isaiah instructed believers to "hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast (Isaiah 26:b).  God was coming out of His heavenly place to punish those who were in willful rebellion to His universal rule.  The Bible identifies that  time when Christ comes to judge the earth personally as the Day of the LORD.  Remember, the Day of the LORD begins with the abject darkness of the 7 year tribulation and continues through the reign of Jesus Messiah on the earth for 1000 years.  The wretched darkness of sin will be overwhelmingly contrasted to the light of Christ's pure and holy reign.

Furthermore, Isaiah 26:20 is a command, also called an imperative sentence.  The subjects of imperative sentences are often left out unlike other sentence types.  Looking carefully, we see that the implied subject is "you", or more specifically, those willfully choosing the salvation of God in Christ purchased with the blood of the cross. You come and You hide is what God wishes for us to obey from Isaiah 26:20.  The verb "hide" is not the same verb as the word for hide used in Zephaniah 2:3.  The last post reviewed that verse from Zephaniah.  The Hebrew word in Isaiah is chabah which means to withdraw ones self or to hide.  Again, God is asking for a choice to be made.  

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Psalm 27:1a

As mentioned, a different word for "hide" was used in Zephaniah 2:3.  It was cathar which means to be concealed from sight.  Is that not what the rapture of the church will do? Will it not hide the church from the world's sight?  As we make the choice to hide ourselves in Christ, chabah, God conceals, cathar, his people from the wicked one and the wrath that is being poured out during the tribulation.  Psalm 27:5, however, gives us even greater insight into why Jesus conceals his church from wrath at the rapture.  He treasures us as His very own.  The word used in this Psalm is tsaphan, the very word that is related to Zephaniah's name--the LORD has treasured.

The church is the bride of Christ and we know that in a perfect marriage men treasure their companion.  Does it make sense to punish your loved one if your house has been broken into?  No sane person beats their bride if a thief breaks in and robs them; consequently, we call that abuse.  God is not punishing the church for the intractable rebellion of others.  The church is greatly treasured by Jesus! Like his human forefather, Isaac, who ran through the field to meet his bride, Jesus is so excited about bringing His bride to the place He has prepared that He meets her in the air!  

What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? Genesis 24:65

What man leaves those things that are precious to him in an unprotected place so that they can be stolen, lost, broken, misplaced, etc.?  You are precious to God.  Even if you are not yet saved, you are special to God.  You are so special that Christ took your punishment so that you might have the right to be called a child of God.  All of your failures, your sin, your shortcomings;  ALL were atoned for at the cross.  Since you are so precious God wants you to be with Him. He wants to take you from the world before His anger is revealed against those who refuse and rebel against His love.  Can you hear Him?  That is Him sweetly speaking to you.  It is Him who is once again drawing the whole world to the message of John 3:16.  Accept that love today.  Call on Jesus for salvation.  Do it quickly since Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!  

*We will have to come back to Psalm 27--there is much more to learn here!  

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:16-18

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