The Future of the People of God

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Only God can foretell the future with assurance! Here we find Him telling Abram what was going to happen to his nation hundreds of years later. It is foretold with marvelous accuracy, and yet in a very few words. Everything is known to God, and how foolish it is to try to hide anything from Him. Every movement in our little lives only accomplishes His purposes, and if we belong to the Lord, He makes all things work together for our good.
Notice the words, “The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” God never judges until evil comes to its height. He is a patient and longsuffering God, delighting in mercy, but He cannot allow sin to go on forever. This world is rapidly getting worse. Boys and girls are doing things they would never have thought about in years gone by. They do not want restraint from their parents, nor their teachers, nor anyone else. They have no fear of God before their eyes. They want their own way — little realizing that they are just hurrying on the awful day of judgment which is soon to come upon this dark scene. After the Lord has come, and taken His own to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), man’s evil will “reach unto heaven” (Revelation 18:55For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:5)). Then “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Daniel 12:11And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)). Dear young reader, will you not listen to the warning, and “Flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:77But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7))? You may go on for months, and even years, in your sins, having your good time (so-called), but remember judgment is coming. The only way of escape is through Christ. “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:77Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (Hebrews 4:7)). This may be your last opportunity to be saved. Will you come to Him now?
The Smoking Furnace and Burning Lamp
After God had told Abram about what was to come upon his nation in the future, Abram saw two things; a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp. The smoking furnace speaks of afflic­tion and trial, while the burning lamp tells us of the light of God’s Word shining on our path, bringing encour­agement to our hearts even in the trials. Abram’s nation (Israel) had many times of affliction, but God was ever faithful and brought deliverance. But who endured “the furnace” like the Lord Jesus Himself, when He was for­saken of God on the cross? And now the “burning lamp” of His Word brings the message of blessing to us. Even in all your difficulties, dear boys and girls, let the precious light of God’s Word shine upon your path, and give you guidance and cheer.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105105NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)).
God then made a covenant to give the land of Canaan, which is now known as the land of Israel, to Abram’s seed. It is their land, and it will be the center of earthly glory and blessing, when the kingdom of Christ is set up on earth. This time is drawing near, and God is beginning to put a desire into the hearts of the Jews to return to their land. They are, however, going back in unbelief, and will not be blessed until they repent of their great sin in crucifying their Messiah. We should not despise the Jews, for they are still the people of God. They are a scattered and suffering people today because of their rejection of Christ.
Further Meditation
1. What do the smoking furnace and burning lamp represent?
2. The affliction and trial for the Lord’s earthly people Israel in a future day will be incredibly intense. That period of time will be known as the tribulation.
3. You’d probably find Future Events by R. A. Huebner to require quite a bit of effort to study. However it contains an important chapter on The Great Tribulation and would undoubtedly give you a much deeper understanding of that coming time of trial for God’s people.