Anticipating a New Beginning

MEMORY VERSE: “I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his Word do I hope.” —Psalm 130:5


THERE is a sense of anticipation in the psalmist’s words for a new beginning for Israel, for, having cried out to the Lord in the depths of despair that his words would be heard and that the message of his heart would be considered, he proclaims that his soul waiteth for the Lord more than they who anticipate the dawning of a new day.

There is, however, a manifestation of faith that God will indeed forgive those who fear him, forgiveness being one of the grandest and most impressive features of the Heavenly Father’s character. And, there is great trust in the Word of God as the source of all hope.

Time is an important element in all of God’s plans, and those who desire to know and serve him must learn this fundamental aspect of the divine will. In this week’s study we note that the Prophet Isaiah longs for the time when the exiled Israelites would return to their city of Jerusalem to start a new life. His words (vss. 1,2) refer to the period of time that the nation of Israel would have to endure before receiving of the abundant grace of God: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare [marginal translation, ‘appointed time’] is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received … double for all her sins.”—Isa. 40:1,2

As a nation, Israel had been especially blessed of God, having been called his peculiar treasure above all other people of the earth. Separated from the rest of the world they received abundantly of divine favor from the beginning of their national existence until the time that they rejected their Messiah, when, five days before his crucifixion, Jesus rode into Jerusalem as their king and proclaimed to them, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 23:38) Their period of divine favor continued, however, until Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army several years later.

Today, the nation of Israel has been partially restored to its former possession, but they still wait, unknowingly, for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an answer to their long-awaited hopes. No lasting blessings can come to them, or to anyone else, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; that is, until all of the members of the body of Christ, who will participate with our Lord in that millennial kingdom, will have been found faithful unto death. With this thought in mind each of us may look forward with anticipation as we pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) That will surely be a time of blessing for all the families of the earth!

The greatest blessing ever extended to Israel as a nation was the opportunity to become joint-heirs with Christ in his millennial kingdom. However, because of blindness and hardness of heart this grand privilege was taken from them as a nation, and extended to Gentile believers. God’s promise to remove their blindness and lead them into earthly blessings, therefore, cannot occur until the full’ number of the called-out ones from among the Gentiles will have been completed.

Turning our attention to another portion of the background texts in this week’s lesson, let us consider the words of the Apostle Paul in the fourth chapter to the Galatian brethren. Verses 4 and 5 read, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” The most important feature of God’s plan concerns the gift of his Son, our Redeemer, who was sent forth that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. Our Lord died not only to redeem Israelites who were under the law, as well as the whole world of mankind, but he also opened a new way for those who would seek to lay down their lives beside his.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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