Month 4:13, Week 2:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year:Day 5936:102 AM|
7 Sabbaths + Omer Count Day #35
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 2 July 2012
Highways of Escape
Sevenfold Blessings for the Remnant
One of the promises Yahweh's faithful remant are called upon to stand upon is that of delivery both spiritual, and physical. In today's passage those who are earnest about escaping from 'Babylon', named for one of the places of Israel's captivity, but also including Assyria and Egypt, are promised escape if they will be true to Him in all things through the exercise of saving emunah (faith).
"And Yahweh shall put under the ban (destroy) the tongue of the Sea of Mitsrayim (Egypt), and He shall wave His hand over the River with the might of His Ruach (Spirit), and shall smite it in the seven streams, and shall cause men to tread it in sandals. And there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people, those that left from Ashshur (Assyria), as it was for Yisra'el (Israel) in the day when he came up from the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt)" (Is.11:15-16, ISRV).
Throughout scripture literal events of the past are used as metaphors for all and every kind of deliverance, making these scriptures applicable to Yahweh's people in all generations and circumstances. In today's passage we are presented with the image of a mighty river like the Nile or Euphrates, extremely large obstacles for those trying to escape an oppressor.
The Nile Delta was regarded classically as having 7 tributaries and sometimes this is mistakenly read into the first of the two verses above. In fact, the passage says that the blocking river, representing the obstacles thrown up against Yahweh's people by the Enemy, will be smitten or struck by Yahweh into "seven streams". Bearing in mind that this is figurative as well as prophetic language, we must clearly understand what the number seven signifies.
Seven is the number of completion and spiritual perfection, and therefore of Elohim (God). Whatever is done in 'sevens' is therefore done perfectly, completely and with the divine signature. It can therefore represent 7 items or infinity.
At face value, breaking the mighty Nile or Euphates into seven smaller rivers would still not allow refugees to cross them without getting wet. For most of its course, and certainly in the delta region, the river Nile (for example) is 1-5 km wide and dividing that by seven would still make the resulting rivers too wide for men to cross them in their sandals without getting wet. In fact, the number 7 is often used in the Bible to depict a huge number (like 'billions' in modern English), so that in this context Yahweh is saying that He is so powerful to deliver that He can divide up these mighty rivers into so many uncountable rivulets that a man can cross them all dry-shod!
In other words, the message is plain: those who belong to the faithful remnant will experience such incredible miracles that in scope they would be like Yahweh dividing any one of the largest rivers on the earth (like the Mekong, Danube, Amazon or the Mississippi) into so many tiny streams that a man would be able to hop over them like a child.
Notice, however, that He does not say that He will remove the obstacle entirely but simply reduce it to a scale so that by our own finite works we can overcome what amounts comparitively to the infinite. Yes, He sometimes parts seas but even then He expects His people to actually walk across - He doesn't do a Mr.Scottie from Star Trek and beam them to the other side. That is not to say that He might not do such things, for He sometimes does - I have heard astonishing stories of believers being transmaterialised and relocated elsewhere when there was no other way to get from A to B. But by and large He simply scales things down so that we can actually overcome. It's still a miracle but He doesn't treat us like babes in swaddling clothes.
Why does He do this?
We so commonly make the fundamental mistake of believing that all we have to do is sit back and let Yahweh do everything. This is a huge deception that we all fall into because of spiritual laziness, or because of paranoid fear that any kind of 'works' demonstrates a lack of emunah (faith). As today's passage shows us, Yahweh reduces the Enemy's obstacles to a human scale so that we can just hop over them - if only we'll trust and obey Him.
"For as the body without the ruach (spirit) is dead, so emunah (faith) without works (deeds, actions) is dead also" (James 2:26, NKJV).