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Archive for July 17th, 2018

“For he(Abraham) looked for a city…whose builder and maker is God (He.11:10).”

Man makes his city of habitation. In the verse quoted here above, we find a city made by God is mentioned. Throughout the Scripture we shall note a parallelism existing between heaven and the earth. Man builds a city one of the earliest mentioned is the one founded by Cain whose credentials ought to give us the quality of it. Cain settled in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden (Ge.4:16) and built a city and called it after the name of his son. It is no different from Alexandria or Constantinople to commemorate famous people. Leaving the presence of God one can imagine the city founded by him and the kind of people who would have settled there. The cities of habitation are all alike. Man creates cities and brings many to dwell in company; slowly number of people swells necessitating city limits to extend further. If the created in turn drive the creator to fall in a pattern, that is what urban dwelling would mean, are they not slaves to custom or habit brought upon themselves? Look at any city and the frenetic pace of their daily routine to understand this truism. Their urbanity and way of life go against the nature of things. Longer hours and living on caffeine or strong spirits, commuting to and from, all the while racing against time and missed deadlines it is what means to be upward mobile city dweller. Haran in the time of Patriarch was indeed a commercially thriving city as New York today. Situated on the high road, which ran from Nineveh to Carchemish its importance increased by proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. When God called out Abraham he was leaving his comfort zone, he ‘went out not knowing whither he went.’ The city of Haran is a shadow of city, which exists in heaven and we read that in eternity shall be called holy. In a vision Apostle John saw the holy city coming down from heaven. This parallelism existing between heaven and the earth can only be bridged by the article of faith. It is how we need take the whole narrative and several of symbols provided therein.

Law of Moses provided for cities of refuge in which God set apart six such cities, three of which were on the west and the other on the east of Jordan (Josh.20:7). Spiritual significance of crossing the river of Jordan is well known. For our present intent and purpose we may see such parallelism is not any coincidence but for our spiritual understanding. Under the old covenant these were for set apart for those who had shed blood unintentionally and as a place for refuge. Christ is our refuge to which the writer to the Hebrews alludes thus: “Let us go therefore unto him, without the camp bearing his reproach (He.13:12).” Jesus took away our reproach being made a curse for us and he hung on a cross was predicted by the brazen serpent on a pole. (Gal.3:13). The city is Jesus Christ and when we speak of being hid in Christ and abiding in him its spiritual significance is obvious. Like Abraham it is the ‘place where we should after receive for an inheritance’. This life in a limbo is life of faith. If we live in the most wonderful city the dictum by which we live shall be to place ourselves above. “…All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not (1 Co.10:23).”
Coming back to the Promised Land God commanded Moses to set apart three cities of refuge (Deut.4:41-43) and Joshua set apart three cities on the other side of the River Jordan. Having discussed the role of Jesus Christ as our refuge we may consider the probable significance of the words, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you (Jn.14:2).” Also significance is the context in which he conveyed this piece of news to his disciples. His time on earth was drawing near. He had already promised them a kingdom (Lk.12:32) so his mentioning of many mansions is a mystery only known to the Father. So we shall leave all conjectures over them as a sealed book to us. Joshua meaning Jehovah is salvation is same as the Hellenized form of the name Jesus.

(Reprinted from Guide To His Word of July17,2018)
Benny

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