Some of you, our readers, might be wondering why I am writing this and last month’s article in the way that I am doing. So let me explain. I never write anything for Thy Kingdom Come unless I get an inspiration from above, and this time the Lord laid it on me to write about this train ride on the lighter side and by doing so bring some humor to the facts. So bear with me as we continue our journey.
Last month we travelled from the time of Adam right through the time in Egypt and we are now starting our ride at the time of the Exodus. God had provided a strong and righteous man by the name of Moses to lead the Israelites on the next part of their arduous journey. After Pharaoh had been persuaded, through some severe plagues, to let the children of Israel go, Moses and the Israelites boarded the first available history train, the Sinai Express, and headed out. But instead of heading east and then north which was the shortest way, God directed them south, because He did not want them to go through the land of the warlike Philistines and also because this trip south was going to be a learning experience, which we will see a little later on. So off they went, but it soon became apparent that they were being followed, for after everything that had happened, Pharaoh had a change of heart. So, in fear they travelled on until they came upon a large body of water and it was there that their angst really came to the fore.
Now after Moses had consulted with the Father, he, Moses, got them all across without even getting their feet wet, but the Egyptians were not nearly as fortunate, for they all drowned. So, on they went into the Sinai Desert. It soon became apparent that this was not going to be an easy trip, for at first they couldn’t find good drinking water, and soon after they ran out of food. It was at this time that the first catering service was instituted, for God supplied them with bread (manna), and meat (quail) right on their doorstep day by day. And on they went, and soon they were again without water and the folks were getting pretty outraged. Here again Moses checked with the higher authority and was told to gather all the people together and then to strike the rock with his staff, from which water then issued in plenty. It is my belief that that rock was Jacob’s pillow-stone, or Jacob’s Pillar (Gen. 28:18), the same stone or rock that is still known today as the Coronation Stone that has been used for the crowning of many a British Monarch.
It was not long after that our train arrived at Mt. Sinai, where a stop was made to attend a wedding for it was at that place that God officially made the Israelites into one nation and a peculiar people unto Himself and swore to be a husband unto her. (Isa. 54:5, Jer. 31:32). You know, you can put lipstick on a sow and pearls, but it will always be a sow; Israel proved that not long after the event at Mt. Sinai, and throughout history. Although God was and is always faithful, Israel betrayed His trust time and again and always returned to wallow in the mud of idolatry and unbelief. It was because of the latter that our train went around in circles for forty years in the wilderness, before we were allowed to enter into the Promised Land. It was at that time that Moses was about to die and a new tour guide was appointed whose name was Joshua.
He was a good and steadfast leader who brought the Israelites across the Jordan and got them settled in their new neighborhoods. Now, it was after Joshua had passed away that things started to get a bit uncertain again, because our train was being derailed for lack of proper leadership and the Israelites got in trouble with the indigenous peoples of the land. Then they would cry to the Lord and He would send someone to lead them for awhile and things would go back to normal for a short period, and then it would start all over again (Judges). It wasn’t until the time of Samuel that things started to settle down somewhat. It was at that time that the people of the Lord wanted a king from their own kind and rejected the Lord from being King over them (1Sam. 8:7). The first one, Saul, was a total fiasco and failure, but the second king, David, the giant-killer (1Sam. 17:49-51), was a man after God’s own heart. He walked in the way of the Lord his whole life, and under him all Israel became united and began to become a rich and powerful nation. He subdued all of Israel’s enemies (2Sam.). After David, Solomon, David’s son, became king and he also made the nation of Israel prosper to such an extent that it had never reached before and would never attain again (1Kings 1-11). Now here after the death of Solomon, we find a splitting of the rails, with one train going south and the other going north. We will follow the north bound train first. It is evident that right from the start this north bound train was headed for disaster, because their very first leader made the Israelites to forsake their God. He made two golden calves and made the people worship them instead of the One True God, under the pretense that they were still serving the Lord instead of Baal (1Kings 12:28). There were nineteen such leaders in all on this north bound train over a period of two hundred and ten years, and none of them served the Lord, and subsequently neither did the House of Israel, by which name they became known during this time period. Even though the Lord sent several messengers to apprise them of their follies, the Israel people totally ignored these town criers (prophets) and kept going on their merry way toward oblivion.
It was at this time in history that a roving band of marauders from far to the north-east started pillaging the lands of the Israelites. The first time that they came, they left with a booty of silver (2Kings 13:19), but that was not enough for them, for the next time they managed to derail the whole train of the north and kidnap everyone that was on board and take them away to a far country where the Israelites seem to vanish forever (2Kings 17:5,6). The reason being, God had had enough of His unfaithful wife and at this point divorced her because she simply did not want to live under His authority. So the Bible loses track of these people of Israel, but God never did, for God still loved His bride and vowed to win her back at some future time. We can read this most wonderful story in the Book of Hosea. (Hosea 2:7-23).
In 2Sam. 7:10 Nathan the Prophet gives King David a message from God where he tells David, “More over, I will appoint a place for my people, Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore, as formerly.”.
The Book of Esdras 13 vs 39-47 gives us a hint of where those Israelites eventually disappeared to. They left the land of their captivity, crossed the mountains to the north, through the Dariel Pass of the Caucasus Mountains, lost their identity, became known as Caucasians, and after awhile started to migrate toward that place spoken of in 2Sam. 7:10.
Well folks I hope that you have enjoyed the trip so far, next time we will look at the south-bound train and see if we can make a connection somewhere along the line.