When will God visit his people?
Many times I have stood in a church while the congregation sings of the return of the Lord and the party we will all have. A song I experienced in church recently used the term “the visitation of the Lord” in the context of a party.
Got me to thinking!
Note that this blog post is primarily a list of Scripture verses. To those who want to get to the intent of the post, do a search (Ctrl f) for “multitude of verses”.
Otherwise, Consider the Bible and the message it has for us concerning God visiting His people!
Exodus 32:30-35The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold.But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.”But the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”Then the LORD sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.
The preceding passage occurs just after the golden calf had been destroyed, and Aaron tried to explain how the calf came to be.
So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
I would find that to be hilarious if it wasn’t so true to the human nature. We so often want to either blame someone else of simply deflect responsibility. Aaron cast the gold in the fire, but the calf simply came out. But this isn’t about Aaron!
I was listening to this passage the other day when verse 34 literally jumped into my ears – remember I was listening to the Word so I couldn’t say the words jumped off the page – but forgive my wandering….
Anyway I wondered to myself – when might this visitation be? Could it be the end of the world?
The Lord states that He will judge His people – those who sinned will be blotted out of His book. Then the Lord commands Moses to lead the children of Israel into the land. He informs Moses that the angel of the Lord will lead them into the land.
Then He adds, Nevertheless…..
What? I thought judgement was declared in verse 33. Is the Lord simply reiterating the same truth? Or is He declaring a specific day of visitation upon the Israelite’s?
I think the latter, for the following reasons.
A quick review of the term “visit” in the Old Testament reveals some very interesting information. Take a quick look – I have emboldened portions of the verses that describe God doing the visiting. (For the sake of brevity, I have not included numerous Old Testament passages that include the concept of visiting, but are defined as times of punishment.)
A Multitude of Verses
And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph[fn] had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.”
But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”
At the end of seventy years, the LORD will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth.
Jeremiah 15:15O LORD, you know:remember me and visit me,
and take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance take me not away;
know that for your sake I bear reproach.
They shall be carried to Babylon and remain there until the day when I visit them, declares the LORD. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.”
“For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.
And he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I visit him, declares the LORD. Though you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed’?”
As you can see, there is a multitude of verses that link God with visiting his people, usually in judgement, although a few verses do describe visiting with salvation.
This is the background of the New Testament message, and if Jesus speaks of visiting, or a time of visiting, or a day of visiting, the people of Israel most assuredly connected with this thought.
Therefore consider the Old Testament background when you read the following passage.
“…and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
I ask again, When was this visitation Moses speaks of in Exodus 32:34? I have a hard time thinking that the party atmosphere is appropriate!
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.