To expose and dismantle the spirit of rejection, you will notice that I frequently refer back to God's covenant nation, the people of Israel. I do so because they are the physical type or foreshadower of what God wants to do in each of our lives spiritually. The people of Israel were double-minded and rebellious. They were rejected and separated from God because of their disobedience and failure to keep His covenant. But still the children of Israel were God's covenant people.
Remember the promise God made to Abraham? In Genesis 12:3 God promised Abraham that all families of the Earth would be blessed through him. Through Abraham came the promised son, Isaac, and then Jacob (who was renamed Israel) and his twelve sons (the twelve tribes of Israel). From there the genealogy continued to Jesus Christ. This is how God established Israel as His covenant people.
Israel continued to violate their covenant with God. Deuteronomy 28 lists certain stipulations that, if Israel obeyed and kept the covenant, would cause the people to be blessed; however, if the Israelites broke the covenant, they would be cursed. One of the curses that would come upon them would be actual physical captivity and bondage, which would result in the destruction and desolation of their homes, cities, health and all-around livelihood. Many times God sent prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel to warn Israel of their covenant violations and to call them to repentance and back to the covenant. If they did not repent, they would face the wrath or judgments of the broken covenant. But if they repented, they would have the mercy of the covenant and God would forgive them and restore them.
Israel did not listen to the prophets. Instead they persecuted them and killed them, and as a result God's covenant judgment and wrath came upon Israel. Then we get to the prophet Jeremiah, who prophesied during the last days of the kings of Israel when judgment was certain. The last godly king that Israel had was Josiah (2 Kings 22–23). In the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, the book of the covenant, which had been lost because of idolatry, was discovered in the temple. King Josiah began to repent and call Israel back to its covenant with God. However, by the time he did, it was too late.
Judgment was already prophesied over Israel. But God told Josiah that since he turned to Him, He would not bring His judgment in his day; He would withhold judgment until after he was gone (2 Kings 22:18–20).
After Josiah's death the kings of Israel went right back into rebellion, disobedience and apostasy. The last king of Israel was King Zedekiah. He resisted the words of the prophet Jeremiah, who warned him that the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, was coming. Jeremiah told the king to submit to Nebuchadnezzar because there was no avoiding the seventy years of captivity coming. After seventy years, however, Israel would be restored back to the land.
From reading the books of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Jeremiah, we know that Nebuchadnezzar did come. He broke down the city, burned it with fire, destroyed many of the Jews, and took the remaining into Babylon. For seventy years the Israelites were captives in Babylon.
The book of Lamentations, written by the prophet Jeremiah, describes the desolation of Israel, the judgment that came upon the nation, Jerusalem being burned and the people being taken into captivity and becoming slaves in Babylon. It describes the mourning, sadness, depression, oppression and total devastation of this nation. And as you read the prophets, you need to understand—and this is important for prophetic people—the prophets did not only prophesy judgment; they also prophesied restoration. You see this primarily in Isaiah. After Isaiah prophesies judgment, he says in Isaiah 54:1, "Sing, O barren, you who did not bear a child. Break forth into singing ... "
In Isaiah 60:1, he exhorts, "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you." In other words, God is saying through the prophet Isaiah, "Israel, even though you have violated My covenant and My judgment has come upon you, I will still use you and restore you to bless the whole world." This would come through the seed of Abraham—the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
The Bible is not a history book of the entire world. It is only a history of redemption, primarily dealing with one covenant nation. It does not deal with the whole world. There are many nations outside of Israel that are not recorded in the Bible. So as I said, it is only redemptive history.
The reason why it is so important to understand this principle is because when you understand redemptive history, you understand redemption, salvation, reconciliation, deliverance and restoration. You understand what your salvation is about and what God did to secure it for you. The Bible also shows us the wisdom of God in using a nation that had broken covenant, a nation so full of rebellion and disobedience to show us the way to covenant with God.
In the book of Acts, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, we see that salvation began in Jerusalem. The entire church was Jewish. God used this group, or remnant, to evangelize and bring salvation to the rest of the known world. Paul talks about the remnant in Romans 9 and 11. They are also called the elect. There was always a remnant within Israel—a small group that never forsook God. They always kept covenant. Like in Elijah's day with the seven thousand who remained righteous, there is always that group who will not bow the knee to Baal or kiss his feet. So from the remnant the light of God was shown, and all the nations came into salvation. And here we are saved because of what God did more than two thousand years ago.
Understanding Israel's progression of going from desolation to restoration should show you this: No matter how much your life has been devastated, no matter how much desolation, ruin, pain, hurt and rejection has come into your life, God is able to restore you. That's good news. His mercy, grace, and kindness can come into your life, and that's what deliverance is all about. Deliverance is about being restored.
Excerpted from John Eckhardt's book, Destroying the Spirit of Rejection (Charisma House, 2016). To purchase the book, click here.
Apostle John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries, located in Chicago, Illinois. Gifted with a strong apostolic call, he has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than 80 nations. He is a sought-after international conference speaker and has authored more than 20 books, including Prophet, Arise!, Prayers That Rout Demons, Prayers That Break Curses, and God Still Speaks. Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Wanda, and their five children.
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