Peaks and valleys

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It’s been said that we must all go through the valley to get to the mountain of God. 

It’s been said that we must all go through the valley to get to the mountain of God. 

As we walk through this world we go through cycles of walking through valleys and climbing up onto high mountain peaks. It’s during this trek that our lives fall into an endless rhythm of ebb and flow as the currents of life pull us out into deep waters. Sometimes we get an occasional glimpse of the shore from the wave’s crest but most often we are weighted down in the valley’s trough as random waves constantly crash and roll over us.

Life for the nation of Israel went through similar cycles. At times the children of Israel would draw very near to God obeying and walking in close fellowship on the mountaintops. However, because the human heart is so wicked, beyond our comprehension, they spent most of their time wandering around dark valleys; backslidden, fallen away in disobedience, turning their attention to false gods and debased life styles. 

It was in these times of separation and disobedience from God that He sent the prophets. God inspired the prophets to communicate events that would take place in the future if the nation didn’t turn away from the path that was leading them away from Him. These prophets wrote down predictions while under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

 Old Testament prophets of God were faith filled men who were given visions of apocalyptic events before they happened. They were sent to warn the nation of Israel to turn back to God before disaster befell them. Unfortunately, God’s people didn’t heed their warnings and often ridiculed, beat and killed the men God sent them.

The main event that God promised from the beginning of creation was that He would send a Messiah or Savior to right the wrongs and reverse the curse of human disobedience. Most prophecy God sent to the world described an event where a Prophet-Priest-King would come in great power and majesty putting all of Israel’s enemies under His footstool. This final event is still future and has not yet taken place. 

Jewish prophets wrote allot about this time of “Jacob’s trouble” where God would pour out His wrath upon the earth. They also recorded the “Immanuel” prophecy, where this Messiah would be born in Bethlehem through a “virgin” birth and that He would be mocked, beaten and killed in order to take away the original curse God imposed upon mankind. 

Unfortunately, for the nation of Israel, the prophets could only see these mountain peaks of prophecy and not the valley that lay in between. The valley was hidden from their view and separated these two events by a large amount of time. They focused on the end game and skipped over the valley which is the current “church age” that we are now living in.

This valley, which was referred to by the New Testament writers as a mystery, is the gentile church and has been growing for over two thousand years since the death of Jesus. This dispensation or period of time was hinted at in the prophecy given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel recorded in the ninth chapter of the book of Daniel.

In the prophecy seventy weeks of years are determined by God to take away the curse. These seventy weeks of years are mysteriously separated into seven weeks of years, sixty two weeks of years and the final seventieth week of years which is yet to take place. The missing valley in between of 2000 years or the “church age” was purposely veiled by God until the appointed time. The Messiah wasn’t coming once but twice to the earth.

Jesus Himself made a veiled reference to His first and second advents while reading from the Torah in a Nazarene synagogue when He stopped in mid sentence at a comma. He opened the scrolls and found a specific place in Isaiah 61:1,2 and began reading “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,”  This event was recorded in the gospel of Luke 4:16-22.

What’s not clear is that He stopped in the middle of a sentence at a comma. The rest of that sentence in Isaiah reads “and the day of vengeance of our God;” This great and awesome day of vengeance, the day of Jacob’s trouble, is the seventieth week of Daniel and is yet to be fulfilled. 

We are living on the cusp of this event horizon precariously perched on the mountaintop of God.