A Dutch peasant’s view on the future

In the books of the New Covenant, we learn some new things about our future and our vocation in the kingdom of God. In the books of the law, prophets and the writings Israel learned that they all were supposed to be priests in some way.

But the idea wasn’t really appealing. So, the Levites got the job and the people went about their lives as usual. The result was very clear and is still very clear today. The tohu ve vohu of the beginning was recreated daily in the lives of the Israelites ever since they left Egypt as it is in our lives, in our countries, in our world.

If I were the manager of this, I would have given up a long time ago. But Love acts and reacts differently. He cares. He forgives He teaches and corrects. But as in any class there is a bell that will ring to indicate that school’s over. Truly there will be a time where “school’s out for ever!”

Will we graduate? Do we think about that at all? Or is the tohu ve vohuing so time that we don’t have the strength or the insight to look ahead? All the Israelites in the wilderness could think about was another day walking in uncomfortable sand. About uncomfortable circumstances, and at times they wondered if they would ever barbecue again.

The people in the wilderness didn’t get it, they didn’t receive the promise. Are we going to receive the promise? Or do you think you are fully saved already? Did the Israelites think they were saved? Yes, they did. They were sure! They were not in “Egypt” anymore. But did they get to the promised land? Yes, pretty soon actually. But they never entered because Egypt was deeply rooted in them. Are you getting pretty close to the promise every Shabbat? But do you open the door to tohu ve vohu again, every first day of the week? Maybe the preachers haven’t really explained to you what the goal is? Remember what the goal was for Esther? To be chosen by the king. Are you chosen? The Israelites were. Did they go in? Nope! What went wrong? They rejected the goal. Exodus 19:6: “‘You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Are we priests and holy? Priests had no concern for the daily things. Priest had to stay pure and holy and would only go about God’s business. Is that our reality? By the way, there was an upgrade. We are now not supposed to be priests and a holy nation. We are destined to be the Bride! Esther was chosen too, with many other young ladies. Only one could become queen. The preparations were a year long. Esther could not be concerned about any daily or worldly business, she had to get ready for the king.

Is that our concern from moment to moment? To be ready for our king? Esther was clever, she didn’t take anything she desired herself, but on the “big day” wore only what Hegai told her to wear. He was the one that knew what the king liked, otherwise, why would he be in charge of the harem? So, when her turn came, she only wore what Hegai told her to wear.

Hegai is a type of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only one that thoroughly knows what God’s desire is. Are we completely under its command? It says that Esther won Hegai’s favour when they met. Are we winning the favour of the Holy Spirit? What would have been so attractive about her? All the ladies that were chosen were pretty.

But Esther, or Hadassah, as her Hebrew name was, had something special. If it wasn’t her beauty, then it must have been her personality. Can you imagine what all the ladies thought of themselves because they were chosen? Might there have been some pride and “overeagerness” to win the race? There also might have been those that were never happy with themselves and would have a touch of depression hanging around them.

I imagine Esther just being content with her situation. She knew the one and only God, you know. Are we content no matter what? Do we know God? Do we believe all that has been written about him, and all that he promised? He promised that we will be the Bride. Can you figure out why I used a capital B? Because we are destined for the throne!

In marriage two persons, of the opposite gender (why did I feel strongly that I had to mention that?) will merge together. They truly become one! The woman becomes part of the man. In Israel of old, and still in many cultures now, she would become part of the husband’s clan. The man becomes part of the woman, he will do anything to please his wife, he will even give his life for her.

Our goal is not to go to heaven and carry on there, be happily ever after. No, we are going to merge with God! He calls himself our inheritance. You know what that means? He will give himself wholly to his bride! Do you think the Lord will marry anybody, or just Esther?

Look around you. Look at your life. Is it pleasing to the Holy Spirit? Or do only you know what is best for yourself? I can tell you I surely think I do a lot of the time. When is the day that you will be called to present yourself to the King?

Are you ready? Are WE ready? Are we part of the Bride?

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Kees Lugtenaar is a Dutch man who came to Israel at the age of 14 for a year. He returned, first to be a volunteer in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel to do all that God had forbidden, but then found that same Lord to be ready to forgive him and accept him. He was a member of Beth Asaph in Netanya, and currently Kees resides in Singapore and is involved in humanitarian work in Uganda.