From Jim O'Brien
April 10, 2020

God's Repetition

Hi Friend,

The Biblical season of Holy Days has begun. We are at the beginning of the cycle that starts in spring with Passover and continues through fall ending with the Feast of Tabernacles.

I'm repeating something obvious to students of the Bible because it reveals something of the nature of God. The repetitive pattern of teaching is done with purpose.

When God chose to reveal to His servant Daniel the successive empires of power that would exist from Daniel's day until the 2nd Coming, He revealed it through dreams. The dreams were different but they had the same meaning. When the message is important God repeats it for emphasis.

When Pharaoh called Joseph to him to explain the meaning of dreams the king had during the night, he explained that there was more than one. Pharaoh's counselors were at a loss to explain the meaning, but the king knew the visions were from God. It was the same dream repeated with different characters, so Joseph clarifies WHY God does this. He explained to Pharaoh, "And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about." (Gen. 41:32 NRSV)

Joseph provided Pharaoh, and us, with a core principle for understanding God. There are things that are "fixed" in the mind of God. One could conclude from the statement that some things are conditional because they depend on circumstances; for example-whether a person repents or not. God was going to destroy Nineveh, but the city repented, and God changed His mind. He did not do what He had planned.

Yet, there are other things that are unconditional. They will take place regardless of the circumstances and nothing can change God's mind. One such thing is revealed in a discussion Jesus had with His disciples at the last Passover service He observed on earth. When the time arrived for the Passover meal, He sat down with the twelve apostles and made a startling statement about the future. He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God." (Luke 22:14-16)

It's almost easy to miss the unconditional statement within the sentence. The word "until" means He will do this again in the Kingdom of God. The Passover ceremony Israel had been observing for over a millennia will be observed by Jesus with His disciples in the Kingdom. One could reasonably expect from statements that Jesus made during the evening that He will invite all believers to participate in this meal.

As we walk through the Holy Days that are repeated yearly, it would be good to take Joseph's words to heart. God has repeated Himself for almost 6,000 years with a consistent message. It must be "fixed" in the mind of God.

If you've never kept the Days of Unleavened Bread or a Passover service, it would be worth your while to find a church where you can do it now. After all, one day you'll have the opportunity to do with Jesus Christ.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien