May 2017 Outreach Israel News

OIM Update

May 2017

This month, as the Omer Count heads towards Shavuot at the end of the month, the State of Israel will be celebrating its Memorial Day (Yom HaZikuran on May 1st), Independence Day (Yom HaMatza’ut on May 2nd), and Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim on May 24th). These are special occasions when Israelis commemorate the 69th anniversary of the reconstitution of the State of Israel in 1948, and the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem from the Jordanians during the Six Day War of 1967. As followers of Yeshua the Messiah, who consider circumstances that affect Israel and the city of Jerusalem to be of profound prophetic importance, I want to encourage everyone to pray for the peace of Jerusalem during this season of significant stirring among the peoples of the Earth:

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, ‘May peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good” (Psalm 122:6-9).

In addition to these Israeli commemorations, Donald Trump, the newest President of the United States, will be embarking on his first international excursion to visit the Middle East and Europe. Providentially, his first stop will be in Saudi Arabia, followed by a day-and-a-half in Israel, including Jerusalem, to meet with Israel’s prime minister and president, as well as the leader of the Palestinian Authority. As it just so happens, these encounters will occur a day before the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day. The Holy One of Israel is not a God of coincidence, but instead, uniquely residing in the Heavenly realm, allows events to transpire on Earth that can and should be a “sign” to those viewing things through spiritual eyes. Hence, despite the anticipated discomfort that will be expressed by those opposed to the Almighty One, perhaps we all need to be reminded of what the Psalmist says about the other nations of the world:

“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.’ ‘I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, you shall shatter them like earthenware.”’ Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psalm 2:1-12).

I am not one to speculate on “jubilee” years (fiftieth years: Leviticus 25:10), because quite frankly, it is difficult to know God’s timing on any number of things. But it is a historical fact that in December 1917, General Allenby entered into the city of Jerusalem, as the besieged Turks of the Ottoman Empire were retreating toward the end of World War I. Fifty years later in 1967, the Jordanians were defeated by the Israeli Defense Forces and retreated back to Jordan, east of the Jordan River. Needless to say, I believe the Lord wants His people to be aware of what is physically and spiritually taking place, and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for safety for those traveling to Israel. In addition, the American President needs incredible wisdom from above regarding his “campaign promise” to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Please pray that godly counsel will be forthcoming, and that it will line up with God’s perfect will for Israel and Jerusalem at this point in time!

This month’s lead article is entitled, “God’s Just Restitution,” and deals with the Holy One restoring the wealth of the nations to the Land of Promise. In addition, we want to encourage everyone to download the new Messianic Apologetics app for their iPhone or Android. It is available for free in both the iTunes store and on Google Play! Due to our growing associations with Messianic Jewish Believers and leaders over the past few years, we will be focusing more efforts on how we can make a substantial contribution to Jewish outreach and evangelism, particularly in as it involves the nature of Yeshua, His Messiahship, and Bible difficulties. This is very exciting!

Please continue to support our efforts with your financial contributions! Without your offerings and gifts, it would be difficult to dedicate the time and energy to produce our many educational resources. Thank you in advance for your partnership with our ministry endeavors!

“The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

Shalom and blessings,

Mark Huey

God’s Just Restitution

by Mark Huey

In recent weeks—initially prompted by the term “restitution” in a casual conversation about returning the wealth of the nations to the people and Land of Israel—the concept of God’s absolutely “just restitution” began to reverberate in my mind. After all, there have been a few verses found in the Book of Acts which have been a significant part of motivating many of my ministerial efforts over the past twenty years. Here, in the Apostle Peter’s post-resurrection declaration to those gathered at Solomon’s portico near the Temple Mount, after a man lame from birth is healed, Peter made the following statements, as they appear in the New American Standard Bible:

“But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Messiah would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time” (Acts 3:18-21).

The Greek term apokatastasis, rendered as “restoration” in the NASU, appears as “restitution” in the old King James Version:

“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21 KJV).

While this difference of translation might not seem especially noteworthy to most casual observers of the Holy Writ, it made a huge difference in my thinking. For years, when I considered the “restoration” of all things, I primarily thought about “restoration” in terms of making things right according to God’s original plan for the created order. Grand actions like returning the Earth to its Garden of Eden state, or more simply restoring an antique or refurbishing an old home or structure, or remaking things right according to the Creator’s design—permeated my thoughts. However, this rather limited understanding never once conceptualized the inevitability or possibility of God’s fiscal “restitution” of all things to God’s chosen people. But now in the context of discussing what has transpired in the State of Israel since its reconstitution in 1948, and the ongoing renaissance of the land, economy, and people, I started to consider the pecuniary meaning of the Scripture. In other words, when I saw apokatastasis translated as restitution instead of restoration, my mind quickly flashed on scriptures about the “wealth” of the sinner, and the “wealth” of the nations, unlike never before:

“And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).

“Foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favor I have had compassion on you. Your gates will be open continually; they will not be closed day or night, so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined” (Isaiah 60:10-12).

“Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. But you will be called the priests of the LORD; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast” (Isaiah 61:4-6).

“‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:5-7).

In addition, one comment in the conversation referenced above about the pattern of “restitution” found in the Apostolic Scriptures, created another stir in my thoughts. This was a reminder about how the Apostle Paul brought back alms and gifts from the nations to the poor in Jerusalem:

“Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the assemblies of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).

“Now after several years I [Paul] came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings” (Acts 24:17).

All of a sudden, I was reflecting upon some recent studies and teachings about how the Jews had plundered the Persians found in the Book of Esther, or how the Israelites had plundered the Egyptians before departing in Exodus:

“In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and to plunder their spoil, on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar)” (Esther 8:11-12).

“I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians” (Exodus 3:21-22).

I began to wonder if there were some kind of pattern emerging. I thought about the Babylonian captivity and how after the prophesied seventy year banishment, King Cyrus actually financed the return of the Jews to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple:

“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying: ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, “The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem. Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.”’ Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. All those about them encouraged them with articles of silver, with gold, with goods, with cattle and with valuables, aside from all that was given as a freewill offering. Also King Cyrus brought out the articles of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and put in the house of his gods; and Cyrus, king of Persia, had them brought out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and he counted them out to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. Now this was their number: 30 gold dishes, 1,000 silver dishes, 29 duplicates; 30 gold bowls, 410 silver bowls of a second kind and 1,000 other articles.  All the articles of gold and silver numbered 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought them all up with the exiles who went up from Babylon to Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:1-11).

This new and expanded perspective—which included both physical restoration and wealth restitution—opened up an entirely different layer of thinking about what has been happening in the past few centuries, as the specific prophecies about giving the Land of Promise to the descendants of Abraham are taking place right before our eyes:

“And He said to him, ‘I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it’” (Genesis 15:7).

But in addition to God’s absolute promises to Abraham about the ultimate destiny of the land he was given, there are additional promises found in these profound verses when Abram is called out of the relative comfort of Ur of the Chaldeans.

“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).

Here, in promises spoken to Abram which are quoted often when seeking support of all types from the nations of the world, the nation birthed out of Abram’s loins is logically considered to be Israel. In particular, the concept of God blessing those who bless Abram and his offspring (nation), and/or on the other hand, curse those who curse Israel, has been clearly evident down through the millennia. The Holy Scriptures and world history are replete with vivid examples of peoples or societies being blessed for helping Israel or the Jewish people, or cursed for cursing the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

However, the very simplistic axiom used to generate support for Israel does not always take into account other Scriptures, that refer to God using others to reprimand or punish His people when they are disobedient to His Word:

“So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young” (Deuteronomy 28:45-50).

In these revealing statements made by Moses toward the end of the forty year desert sojourn, the Israelites are warned that disobedience to the Holy One would have its consequences. As ancient history has shown, God has used groups like the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans, to chastise Israel. Hence, an omniscient, Creator God is not constrained by one simple statement, found in Genesis 12:3, but is infinitely more complex as He deals with human interactions down through the ages.

Consequently, I was humbly led to consider how God’s “just restitution” works in light of my finite understanding of His magnificent ways! After all, the Ancient of Days is actually keeping an account of all that occurs in the Creation. Nothing happens without it being recorded in the annals of God’s memory. Therefore, since He is the only just and righteous Judge who sits on the Throne, the children of God are forever grateful that mercy, grace, and lovingkindness are additional godly attributes which lead to salvation through belief in the atonement provided by Yeshua’s sacrifice.

When one considers the great themes of the Holy Scriptures, many ardent students of the Word concede that love or lovingkindness is by far the most prominent message God communicates to humanity in His Word. After all, if you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, Scripture in many regards is a lengthy love letter from Creation to the Eternal State. However, among the other subjects, which usher forth from the various authors chosen to reveal the heart of the Almighty One, are the often-coupled attributes of justice and righteousness. In fact, when one does a word search for justice and righteousness, one discovers that nearly one hundred times in the Hebrew text God links these two characteristics of a “just” and “righteous” Creator God. Note that father Abraham was actually chosen to be the precursor of the chosen nation, because of his willingness to command and teach his household this critical way of the Lord:

“For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him” (Genesis 18:19).

This responsibility of Abraham, resulting in the earlier words spoken to him referencing blessings or curses that had been spoken about him in Genesis 12:2-3, is found in this passage after God has altered his name from a father of nation, to a multitude of nations:

“Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.’ Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’ God said further to Abraham, ‘Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations’” (Genesis 17:1-9).

In this passage, God reaffirms His promises of all the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants, which eventually form the nation of Israel. Thus, the compliance with justice and righteousness become a pillar of the nation called out to be a light unto all the other nations. Just note the coupling of justice and righteousness references found in the Proverbs and Psalms, which are some of the foundational building blocks used to teach the children of Israel the ways of the Lord, and describe the reward for being just and righteous:

“My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you” (Proverbs 2:1-11).

“To do righteousness and justice is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3).

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You” (Psalm 89:14).

“How blessed are those who keep justice, who practice righteousness at all times!” (Psalm 106:3).

“For the LORD loves justice and does not forsake His godly ones; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever” (Psalm 37:28-29).

Justice and righteousness are godly attributes which define what the Prophet Isaiah references throughout his declarations. Here are a few Scriptures which reflect the ultimate restoration of all things, including the arrival of the Messiah, as a child and a Servant:

“Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, declares, ‘Ah, I will be relieved of My adversaries and avenge Myself on My foes. I will also turn My hand against you, and will smelt away your dross as with lye and will remove all your alloy. Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; after that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city.’ Zion will be redeemed with justice and her repentant ones with righteousness” (Isaiah 1:24-27).

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice, nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.’ Thus says God the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and its offspring, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it, ‘I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison. ‘I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images’” (Isaiah 42:1-8).

Nevertheless, with justice and righteousness as fundamental aspects of the chosen people, one must remember that God alone is the ultimate righteous judge and arbiter of humanity, as referenced in these Scriptures from multiple sources:

“For He pays a man according to his work, and makes him find it according to his way” (Job 34:10-11).

“And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work” (Psalm 62:12).

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name; great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds” (Jeremiah 32:17-19).

“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways” (Ezekiel 33:20).

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS [Psalm 28:4; 62:12; Proverbs 24:12] (Matthew 16:27).

“who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS [Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12]” (Romans 2:6).

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).

The Holy One of Israel is keeping an account of not only everything that occurs in the Creation, but also everything that a person does. This allows Him and Him alone to be the righteous Judge of humanity.

So with God’s justice and righteousness being recognized with His ultimate restitution of all things factored into the equation, my reasoned conclusion was that God was in the process of returning the wealth of the nations to the Land of Promise. In a very unique sort of way, God was following the pattern found in the Holy Scriptures to use those who believed in Him, to be somewhat like agents of the restitution process. In examples from the history of Israel, God would choose certain Israelites or Jews to be the bearer of valuable objects (gold, silver, precious stones, etc.) to return those resources to the Promised Land. Prior to the coming of Yeshua, God first restored the Jews back to the Land of Israel. But because they were unable to adhere to God’s commandments, they were eventually scattered to the nations, before returning, just as foretold in the Torah by Moses:

“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the LORD your God has banished you, and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. The LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:1-9).

After Yeshua’s resurrection, God began to use followers of the Messiah like the Apostle Paul, to begin to bring the wealth of the nations back, as evidenced by some of the offerings which were taken to help the poor in Jerusalem. However, this pattern had a rather lengthy hiatus for nearly nineteen hundred years until the late 1800s when God began moving on Zionistic Jews, encouraged by non-Jewish Believers in the Messiah, to begin returning to the Holy Land. In 1947, the gruesome world affairs of the Twentieth Century fostered an atmosphere for the world to narrowly agree that the Jewish people deserved some land in what had become known as Palestine. But make no mistake about it: the preservation of the Holy Scriptures and the increasing effectiveness of the gospel to the nations at large, allowed the Holy Spirit to convince people in positions of political influence to protect the nascent State of Israel after it was finally birthed in 1948.

Today, approaching the seventieth year since the reconstitution of Israel, the increase in wealth is palpable. From all corners of the globe, believing individuals—and even many countries themselves—are sending financial support to help those with physical needs, who are being gathered back to the Promised Land. The prophecies found throughout the Holy Scriptures are being fulfilled right before the knowing eyes of those sensitive to the teaching and revelation of the Holy Spirit. Of course, the ultimate restoration of all things will not occur until the return of the Messiah after the horrific events revealed in the Book of Revelation. But for those who believe that Jacob’s distress (Jeremiah 30:7) is synonymous to the time of Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14) found at the End of the Age, there is every sound reason to prepare to endure. Personally, I believe that there has emerged a group of saints who are forerunners of the end-time Believers who will have a testimony of Yeshua and obey His commandments (Revelation 12:17; 14:12). The relatively young Messianic Jewish community of faith has the hallmarks of this prophesied group of followers of the Messiah.

To conclude, one must always admit that we see through a glass darkly or a mirror dimly (1 Corinthians 13:12) depending on the translation referenced, when trying to understand what we think we are seeing or perceiving. Hence, when a simple word like apokatastasis translated differently sparks thoughts unexplored, you wonder if you are simply heading down a rabbit trail or whether there is some truth to where you have traveled. In this case, the study of God’s “just restitution” has been a tremendous reminder that the Holy One of Israel ultimately executes perfect justice coupled with absolute righteousness. I am thankful for the prompting to reflect on the Word of God, and pray that in so doing, I will be more conformed to the image of Yeshua. I hope that I might better reflect these words from Jeremiah, and become a delight to the Holy One of Israel:

“Thus says the LORD, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).