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Why Jesus Waited

Why Jesus Waited

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Published by Jensen Ruud
Why did Jesus wait for 4000 years before coming to earth to save humanity? This Bible study gives one reason why.
Why did Jesus wait for 4000 years before coming to earth to save humanity? This Bible study gives one reason why.

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Published by: Jensen Ruud on Jan 08, 2012
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01/14/2012

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Why Jesus Waited
Gen. 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a manfrom the LORD.This verse is not completely accurate. In Hebrew, there is a prefix on the word for LORD. Usually, thisprefix is either a direct object or is translated as the word with. The translators have used the wordwith here. But it is better translated as that is. It should read, I have gotten a man, that is, theLORD. Dr. Ron du Preez has an excellent paper on this verse and its proper translation.The point is that Adam and Eve expected their first child to be the LORD, who we know as Jesus. Cainwas anything but the Son of God, however. When it became clear that Cain was not the promised seed,Adam and Eve had to have asked the question, Why didnt Jesus come right away?This paper seeks to provide at least one answer to this question. We will start with a look at the greatcontroversy.Job 1:7-12
 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and downin it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there isnone like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that hehath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance isincreased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and hewill curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is inthy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
 This is the heart of the great controversy. Satan raises accusations against God. God answers thesequestions through humanity. As we are used to answer these issues, God preserves our lives. A deadperson has little to demonstrate to the universe. We can see this in action with, of all people, Cain.Gen. 4:8-14
 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they werein the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brothers keeper?  And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brothers blood crieth unto me fromthe ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth toreceive thy brothers blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in theearth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold,thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I behid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
 
God punishes Cain by cursing the earth so that it would produce nothing for him. His response isinteresting. He repeats Gods punishment, except for two important differences:1.
 
The punishment is not fair2.
 
People will kill him on sightCain reasons from cause to effect. Because of the curse, he knows that the natural result of hisactions is death. Cause and effect is Gods normal method of punishment, as spoken of in placessuch as Psalm 7:14-16. He lets us suffer for our actions. But what does God do here?Gen. 4:15
 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeanceshall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any findinghim should kill him.
The threat of receiving a seven-fold judgment would deter any would-be killers. The mark on Cainsforehead, therefore, blocked cause and effect. It preserved his life.Why did God do this? He did it to prove a point.Gen. 6:5
 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
In the first six chapters of Genesis before the flood, there is no record of God slaying anyone forcommitting sin. This is in stark contrast to much of the Old Testament, where God visits multiple peopleand nations with direct judgments. Yet if any people group deserved to be judged, it was theAntediluvians. Why did He not do it? Because Cain complained 2000 years prior that it would be unfair.We truly serve a merciful God.To answer Cains objection, God preserved his life so that everyone could see the results of uncheckedsin. Its results were the shattered world that we live in today and the near-total corruption of the humanrace. It would have been better for humanity if Cain had died. But humanity did not know that, and soGod had to show us the hard way.Clearly humanity needed Gods intervention. But even this wasnt enough. Jesus still didnt come. Therewas still another issue to settle. And to do this, he used Israel.Israel received at least four covenants through four people or tribes: Abraham, Judah, Levi, and David.We will be focusing on Davids covenant.Psa. 89:35-37
Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
 David received a very powerful covenant. It is unbreakable. Davids children would sit on the throne of Israel, and his children would last forever. But what would happen if his children were unfaithful?Psa. 89:30-34
If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
 
Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my  faithfulness to fail.My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
Normally, unfaithful people are subject to cause and effect. Their sins would snare them, and theywould be destroyed if they continued. Eventually, their family would be destroyed. But, like Cain,Davids family has been exempted from this. Instead of abandoning Davids children, God promises tocorrect them. But how does this work?Is. 22:20
 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the sonof Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and Iwill commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of  Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay uponhis shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throneto his fathers house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his fathers house, theoffspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.
 In the verses before, God is rebuking Shebna, who was over the house of Hezekiah. Because of hisunfaithfulness, God promised to remove him from his office. In Shebnas place, God places Eliakim. If you look at the story of Hezekiah in Isaiah 36:3, Eliakim is over Hezekiahs house, and Shebna is now ascribe. God made good on His word. Eliakim received the key of the house of David.Isaiah compares it to a nail on a sure place. The nail holds other vessels up. Shebna was the nail in thesure place. But since he was unfaithful, the nail was removed and another nail stuck in place. This wasEliakim, and on him they hung all the glory of his fathers house.This illustrates how the covenant worked. The promise was never made to an individual, but the wholefamily of David. He allows people to occupy their positions until they are no longer deemed fit to staythere. The person loses their position, and God puts someone else in their place. Eliakim, a more faithfulman, takes Shebnas position. By moving out the people who are unfaithful and moving in the faithful,God worked to preserve Davids house.The captivity was a more drastic measure taken to preserve Israel. It purged Israel of idolaters andunfaithful. When the captivity ended, the faithful families returned and the rest stayed where they werescattered. The number that returned was very few compared to beforehand. But like Noah, Godintended for Judah to make a fresh start. It preserved part of Davids line from sin.Ezek. 34:2,5
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?...And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
 

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