Where are they now?

 

Today’s reading: Hebrews 7, verses 11-21

 

 

This message will take a look at what happened over the span of 1800 years, and how the son and grandsons of Noah played a part in the rebuilding of the nation of Israel in preparation for the arrival of Jesus Christ. Let’s begin by reading from the first book of the Old Testament:

 

Genesis 10

 

Nations Descended from Noah

 

1 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.

 

(End of Bible reading)

 

From this reading, let’s remember Japheth, son of Noah, and his sons Gomer, Magog, Meshech and Tubal. Also important in this verse is the statement “From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.” This begins to explain that all of the cities and countries of the future can be traced back to a founding father.

Anyone who has read the Old Testament has probably wondered why so many pages were devoted to writing down all the family histories. For example, what we just learned in Genesis is repeated in the First Book of Chronicles, chapter 1:

 

1 Chronicles 1

 

Historical Records From Adam to Abraham To Noah's Sons

 

1 Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.

4 The sons of Noah:
       Shem, Ham and Japheth. The Japhethites

5 The sons of Japheth:
       Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras.

6 The sons of Gomer:
       Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.

 

(End of Bible reading)

 

Now let’s flip ahead 1800 years to the time right after the fall of Jerusalem in 589 B.C. which is discussed in the book of the prophet Ezekiel. God’s master plan was to teach the Israelites a lesson they will never forget by destroying the entire population at the hands of the Babylonians with help from other neighboring armies. Some of the population was spared and was exiled to other countries before the complete destruction of Jerusalem. The Lord’s plan all along was not to eliminate the Jewish race, but to set an example. As always, the Israelites remain the Lord’s “chosen ones,” and just when it looks like the Lord was so disappointed and angry with his chosen people that he had completely given up on them, he decides to bring them all back together again. Another interesting turn of events is that all the nations that the Lord used to destroy the Israelites are now about to be punished and wiped out for going against the Lord’s chosen people, even though it was the Lord that chose them to destroy Jerusalem!

 

While the Israelites are returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and start their new civilization, their neighbors are thinking “we don’t want them around anymore, we were just starting to like living without them. We don’t want them to take over and start bossing us around, so we will prevent them from returning and rebuilding Jerusalem.” One of the countries that led the revolt against the returning exiles was Gog, or “the land of Magog.” Who was Magog? If you remember our reading from Genesis, he was a son of Japheth, and had brothers named Gomer, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech. Each of Noah’s grandsons had settled in the area and communities were developed from these families. Let’s read from the Book of Ezekiel, and we will find that the armies from Gog, the descendants of Noah’s grandson Gog, had some help from the neighboring countries of Meshech, Tubal and Gomer. Noah’s sons and grandsons were still united 1800 years past their birth, and joined together to try to prevent the resettling of Jerusalem.

 

Ezekiel 38

 

A Prophecy Against Gog

 

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

 

7 " 'Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. 9 You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

10 " 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land." 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, "Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?" '

 

(End of Bible reading)

 

Now, what does all of this have to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? To tie this bit of Old Testament history to the beginnings of Christianity, let’s turn backward one chapter in the Book of Ezekiel to chapter 37 and begin reading with verse 21:

 

Ezekiel 37

 

21” ’ and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.’ ”

24 " 'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.' "

 

(End of Bible reading)

 

Notice verse 24, “'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd.” That doesn’t sound possible since David died in 970 B.C., over 380 years ago! What the Lord means in this verse is that the civilizations of Judah and Jerusalem will return from exile and come together to form the new Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish religion. In the near future, not David himself, but a descendant of David will rise to become the new King of the Jews, appointed by God Himself! And thus begins the New Testament and thus also begins Christianity.

Even though the descendants of Noah were unsuccessful in preventing the resettlement of Jerusalem, it is interesting to see once again those names from way back in the books of Genesis and 1 Chronicles, names that at the time had no meaning other than that of a family tree with no purpose. Part of the fun of studying the Bible is when all the things that once had no purpose are revealed, and the purpose is now clear!

 

Enjoy your Holy Bible!