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What the Bible says about God's Favor
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Psalm 80:12-19

Obviously, God's initial favor toward the "vine" did not produce lasting peace and prosperity. Something occurred in the meantime to change God's favor to anger (verse 4). Isaiah 5:5-7, in the form of warnings and promises gives us some indications of what happened:

"And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; and break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or dug, but there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it." For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, weeping [a cry for help].

Ezekiel 17:9-10 and 19:12-14 speak of the dire consequences the "Planter" allows or causes because of the "vine's" disobedience.

Staff
The Garden of God

Jeremiah 23:20

In the latter days, do we understand it perfectly? What God is performing and executing right now, throughout His whole plan? Or, are we presumptuously saying that everything is going to be okay? That we are all right, that we are spiritual, that we are on God's good side, that we have God's favor?

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Presumptuousness

Zechariah 4:7

"Grace, grace" - In the Hebrew, this is literally "favor, favor." Perhaps more literally, it should be rendered "beauty, beauty." In the Psalms, there is a concept called "the beauty of holiness" (see Psalm 29:2; 96:9; 110:3), which is connected to this "grace, grace." However, this instance is a reiteration of what is said in verse 6, that it is only by God's gifts and favor that the work will be accomplished.

The Hebrew language repeats itself a great deal—putting ideas in a slightly different way, in parallel, so that we can understand just how things are to be understood. What this means is that it is by God's grace—by His Spirit, by His favor, by His gifts, that the Temple will be completed and ready for God to inhabit. Zerubbabel should not fear anything. It will be done through God's help.

However, we have to link this with the lamps around the central pillar, which is the passage's main theme. The prophecy goes beyond Zerubbabel to the New Testament church—specifically, down to the end-time church. The passage progresses toward the Two Witnesses—the two anointed ones—at the end of this chapter. And much like Revelation 10 and 11, it starts out with an early work and ends with their worldwide work. The early work has to do with completing the Temple, and the later work has to do with a witness for God before the whole world.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Four)


 




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