Thursday, May 16, 2013

Joseph’s Bones

Exodus 13: 17-22  Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”   Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt.   Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.”  Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness.  The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.  He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.  NASB

There is a prophetic pattern in the verses above.  We see Israelites, both dead (represented by Joseph’s bones) and those alive.  It is Moses that leads both out of Egypt, the land of spiritual confusion, to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants where they would receive clear teaching from God.  The Israelites who were alive were able to hear Moses words and receive instruction although often they rebelled against Moses and against the source of his authority, God.   Joseph’s bones had no life left since his spirit had been gone for a very long time.  The spiritually dead Israelites are represented by the bones of Joseph.

Joseph was the predominant tribe that came to represent the Northern Kingdom of Israel where the 10 northern tribes were located.  The northern kingdom was exiled 2800 years ago, lost their identity and became dead, dry bones represented by Joseph’s bones in the Exodus 13 passage.  In contrast, the Southern Kingdom never lost their identity and remained physically and spiritually alive.   Judah was the predominant tribe that represented the Southern kingdom of Israel and so they were called Judah or the Jews.

We are currently in the early stages of the second exodus.  Modern America is the Egypt of our time.  All 13 tribes are again represented here in America.  The Jews know their identity and a portion have already returned to the State of Israel to prepare the land.  The rest of the Jews in America seem to be waiting for the messiah to bring them home.  The lost 10 tribes that are here are just now waking up to who we are and God is giving us a burning desire to return to the Promised Land.  All 13 tribes need Moses (or the messiah) and his leadership to revive our spirits and lead us home to where we belong.

Today’s Moses is represented by the rabbis who sit in the seat of Moses as state by the Christian messiah.  In Matthew 23:1-3 it says:  Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;  therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.” (NASB)  It is clear from this passage that the key for the lost 10 tribes to awaken from our spiritual slumber and receive instructions for going home, back to Torah and the Promised Land, is through today’s rabbis that sit in Moses’ seat.  It is rabbinic responsibility until the Messiah son of David comes to complete the task of returning the tribes and restoring the Kingdom of God.

The promises of Ezekiel 37 will be fulfilled in full when Joseph’s bones awaken and come together with the bones of the whole house of Israel (all 13 tribes) as prophesized by the prophet of old.

Ezekiel 37:  Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (NASB)

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

The Vision Explained

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”

Reunion of Judah and Israel

15 The word of the Lord came again to me saying, 16 “And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 18 When the sons of your people speak to you saying, ‘Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?’ 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20 The sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.

The Davidic Kingdom

24 “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. 25 They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, 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 with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27 My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28 And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.”’”

May it happen speedily in our days!  Amen!

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