King Josiah had ordered repair of the Temple…and during the work they came upon a lost book of the Law, (Deuteronomy). When read, the King ordered its requirements observed and then took active steps to clean up the mess in the Temple. In this Scripture, he ordered the priests and doorkeepers to round up all the foreign idols that had somehow wormed their way into the Temple. For the Godly and ungodly had been co-existing for so long… it was now considered acceptable. When false teaching infiltrates the Church it always does it in a subtle, indirect, and devious way…suggesting it’s just fine to accept.
In this story, a Gentile Roman Centurion had approached Jesus asking Him to heal his servant. This commanding officer not only knew who Jesus was, but had witnessed and then understood the authority by which Jesus taught and healed the sick. For it was by this powerful authority he saw in Jesus that he related. It says that Jesus was astonished and commended him for his great faith and understanding of authority…and his servant was healed that day.
These blue cord tassels were to be a daily reminder of the Lord’s commandments and the fact that the Jews were a holy and separated people. But if we go to Matthew 23:5, Jesus is calling out the Jewish Leaders who had taken this Scripture to an excess by making their tassels extremely long in order to make a show of their “religiousness”. It’s called Legalism…and the Church over history has been really good at it. We’d rather focus on the strict and excessive conformity to the letter of the Law, than embrace grace and mercy. Or we’d rather obsess over external appearances than do the hard work of changing our hearts, minds, and attitudes. Legalism is taking God’s word to an extreme and then affixing human rules and regulations to it. Legalism lets us focus on things we can control and be proud of…the “Look at me, I’m so very religious!” But like white-washed graves, we look so nice on the outside, but hold so much decay within.
In both Exodus 23:24 and Leviticus 20:23 the Lord was emphatic…Don’t bow down to foreign gods, and you must not follow their customs and practices…and this included their response and rituals towards signs in the sky. The world has always reacted to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes with alarm…for there is nothing humanly possible we can do to control them. But as Believers, we know these types of signs are finger-marks of God…indicating His spiritual purpose…signs of the End of the Age. We only have to read the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:6-8 for clarification, ” You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
Jesus was implying that He was a sojourner here on earth. A stranger in a strange place only temporarily. That’s what it means to be in the world but not of it. (John 17:14) And as Believers, we too are sojourners in this foreign land…aliens and strangers just passing through…as we head to our heavenly home.
The Greek word for “get up” has several definitions…all that could apply to young ladies around the world today. Wake up girl, and realize the potentially dangerous position you have placed yourself in all for the sake of popularity. Get up girl, and walk away from the relationships that are wrong…that fill you with fear and shame, or make you feel powerless. Rise up girl, and refuse to believe the lie that you’ll never amount to anything…that it was your fault…that there’s no way out…that you’re not needed or loved. Be mindful, that no one but Jesus will ever love you as much as He does. No one but Jesus will save your soul and give you eternal life. No one but Jesus will always be there for you, no matter what.
Wake up girl, and take a hard look at where you’re at…are you truly happy with your situation, or do you need to make a change? Jesus is waiting.
This Messianic prophecy is of Jesus coming to rule and reign over all the people of the world…both Jew and Gentile. This is also shown in Isaiah 49:6 where it says that Jesus is coming not only to Israel, but to the Gentiles…”that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.” It’s not that there’d be a continuous reign by the descendants of Judah…only the promise of the permanent right to rule…this being in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. And at that time He will say, ” Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear.” (Isaiah 45:23)