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Blind Date
Prophecy - Signs
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Wendy Wippel

Agnostic Israeli physicist Leon Lederman, asked by Orthodox physicist Gerald Schroder if anything in history was unexplainable by science, had this to offer: ''Israel back in the land is kind of spooky.''

Which (again) begs the question: Why don't today's secular Jews see God's hand in their past (and future) history?  One word: Blind.

You've probably heard that.  Israel is blinded to the truth during the church age.  What may not be really aware of, however, is how much, regarding this event, God has really revealed.  And how specific He's been.

Exhibit A: We know when it happened. 

Palm Sunday. 

And here's the story: God revealed to Daniel, in Daniel chapter 9, that sixty-nine periods of seven years would transpire between a decree issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah the King arrived. 

Sixty nine periods of seven years being 483 years, and 483 years of 360 days (the standard biblical year) being 173,880 days.

So really God revealed to Daniel that there would be 173,880 days between the decree prophesied and the likewise prophesied arrival of the Messiah.

And? (you may be thinking…)

As it happens, there are four decrees recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The three in Ezra consist of decrees issued by 1) Cyrus, 2) Darius, and 3) Artaxerxes (successive Persian rulers during the time of Israel's Persian conquest).  All of these decrees concern the rebuilding of the Temple. 

Only the fourth, in Nehemiah (but also issued by Artaxerxes) specifically deals with Jerusalem and its walls.

And thanks to Herodotus, "The Father of History", who happened to be present in the Persian courts during the time of Persian rule over Israel, we happen to have a pretty good idea when Artaxerxes' issued the decree that Nehemiah records.  The decree regarding the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its walls was issued March 14, 445 BC.

Fast forward 173,880 days (employing several complicated mathematical adjustments due to calendar changes) and you arrive at April 6, 32 AD.  

The  date on which most serious Bible scholars believe that Jesus, after repeatedly telling His followers in His early ministry that "it was not yet His time", sent them on a very important errand.  A mission to retrieve a donkey, which He later rode that day into Jerusalem.

Which was exactly the way the Jews had been told to expect their Messiah:

"Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey." (Zechariah 9:9 NKJV)

We all know what happened. Though Jesus' followers were plenty enthusiastic (and in fact, were singing the Psalms prophetic of Messiah's arrival), the nation as a whole (like their leaders) rejected the God that had come to tabernacle among them.  The Pharisees, in fact, recognizing the significance of His fans' playlist, demanded that Jesus make them stop singing. 

What Jesus told the leaders shouts the days significance:

"I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40)

And if you're still not convinced this was THE DAY that Daniel had told them to watch for, what happens next makes it absolutely clear:

"As He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,  and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19: 41-44)

Did you catch that?  They did not know the time of their visitation.  And they should have known, because Daniel told them.  And their rejection had tragic consequences.  Now the things that would bring them peace (reconciliation with God and the kingdom of peace, under the rule of the promised Messiah) were hidden from their eyes. 

They were blinded.

Isaiah 29 is actually a little glimpse into God's frustration:

"Blind yourselves and be blind…for the Lord has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.." Which is saying, in other words, they the nation of Israel was then from that point on prevented from seeing the significance of the writings of the prophets themselves. 

An interpretation confirmed by the next line:

The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.”And he says, “I am not literate.” (Isaiah 29:9-11)

The witness of the Scriptures has, like the entrance to the Holy of Holies, been veiled. 

Which makes an otherwise relatively inexplicable passage in Isaiah make perfect sense:

"Who is blind as My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, And blind as the Lord’s servant? Seeing many things, but you do not observe; Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”

In other words, ain't nobody as blind as God's chosen people when He chooses to make them blind.

A people to whom all truth was revealed, but who, because God blinded them,

"Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive." (Isaiah 6:9)

But God is a faithful God, a God who keeps His promises. And He ain't done with them yet.

And God's also revealed to us when their sight is to be restored. And it all hinges on one preposition.

Until.

"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." (Romans 11:25)

"Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." (Genesis 28:15)

Until means God still has plans for His chosen people. And part of that plan is to restore His people's sight.

"In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness." (Isaiah 29:18)

And the last thing God has revealed:

"Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of GodHe will come and save you.”Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped." Isaiah 35

We know what the nation will finally see:

They will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. (Zechariah 12:10-13:2)

The found of living water is finally opened for the house of David, and they are restored and redeemed.

When David Ben Gurion read the declaration of Israel's independence on May 14,1948, he recognized the momentous occasion as fulfilled prophecy.

The moment described in Zechariah is another historic moment, albeit one still to come. Another piece of Israel's history, written in advance.

And this one we'll see fulfilled with our own eyes.  Just imagine it!

(I felt this thrill going up my leg just thinking about it.)

I can't wait.

Wippel" href="http://www.omegaletter.com/content/?Bio_Wendy_page">About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Wippel" href="http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7624">Hadrian's Plow



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