"The Earth is The Lordís and the Fullness Thereof"
These words, found in Psalm 24:1, are quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:26, 28. The earth is the Lordís, yet "He hath given the earth to the children of men" (Ps. 115: 16). Because of this, mankind enjoys its "fullness". "For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God" (Heb. 6:7). "For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5: 45). These are by some called "the uncovenanted mercies of God." Yet the covenant made with Noah, attested by the rainbow, embraced mankind, so that, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease".
And yet there have been famines, and much loss of life, because God has, in His wisdom, withheld His gifts, as a chastening of the nations for their apostasy from Him (see also Haggai 1:9-10).
A Fullness of Evil
"The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence" (Gen. 6: 11). Only one man found grace in the sight of the Lord. Noah was a preacher of righteousness and his life corresponded, for he "walked with God" (2 Pet. 2: 5). His witness was unheeded by the people of his day who were only concerned with material things. The Lord Jesus compared the days preceding His Coming again with those of Noah. And what could so well describe present day conditions as those in Genesis 6, as already quoted. Is there any part of the world where violence is not rampant? Satan is "the god of this world." He is Apollyon, the Destroyer, and his agents among men delight in destroying. The ruin in parts of Northern Ireland, the vandalism of so many, including children, is appalling, and indicates a form of demon-possession. True are the prophetic words of Christó"But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:37). Are we living in such days? Is the coming (parousia) of the Man of Sin drawing near? (2 Thess. 2). Is the world heading for a yet more intense era of defiant hatred of God and His Truth? It seems so, but let not believers be as the men whose "hearts fail them for fear, and for LOOKING after the things which are coming on the earth." The word of the Lord to His own isó"And when these things begin to come to pass, then LOOK up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:26, 28).
The Earth filled with Fruit
"He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world (earth) with fruit" (Isaiah 27:6).
What a glorious contrast with the present condition of things on the earth! Are we to take these words literally? There are many who take them symbolically, seeing, as they suppose, the church in its prosperity. But notice it is those that come of Jacob, which name is also used in Romans 11:26. And if Israel has not yet fulfilled this prophecy, neither has the Church. God has indeed honored His Word, as preached by many faithful servants of His, but the words as quoted above do not describe the effect of Gospel preaching, nor will they during "this present evil age." The Lord Jesus has said, "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14). Moreover, He also said, "When the Son of Man cometh shall He find (the) faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).
Israel is back in their land, but still in unbelief, still the object of the worldís hatred and enmity. Those that come of Jacob have "taken root," but not yet have they "filled the face of the earth with fruit." That will only be when "they shall look on Him Whom they pierced, and mourn for Him" (Zech. 12:10; Rev. 1: 7). But Godís Word stands, and His declared purpose for Israel He will fulfil.
The Earth filled with Glory
"For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14).
Not only will Israel be blessed at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, but the whole world will benefit. "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world. . .how much more their fulness." "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" (Rom. 11:12, 15).
The Lord Jesus is to take His power and reign, His throne being in Jerusalem for a thousand years (literally, not symbolically). From Him will proceed law (Isa. 2:3); for Antichrist, the Lawless One, will have been destroyed at "the Epiphany of His Parousia (2 Thess. 2). In place of "the mischief framed by the law" (Ps. 94:20) will go forth Divine Law, and Israel in whose hearts and minds that Law will be written (Jer. 31:31-34), will be His messengers to that end, namely, that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord." What a prospect! For this we pray (or should pray) "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
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