The God of Jacob
(8) Come, contemplate the works of Yahweh, the desolations he has brought upon the earth. (9) He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear. He burns the chariots with fire. (10) Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted on the earth. (11) Yahweh Sabaoth (is) with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. (Selah)
The repetition of “the earth” three times in three verses provides an outline of this brief segment which focuses on the future earthly kingdom of Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts (vss. 8, 9, & 10). That kingdom will be established on the earth after the terrible judgments described in Revelation 6-19. The earth will be cleansed of all the contamination left by sinful humanity. All the instruments of war will be removed, and the earth will become a peaceful place where God is known and exalted.
How will this come about? Yahweh Sabaoth, himself, will be present in our midst to rule over all creation. Revelation 20:6 identifies this as the Millennial (thousand year) Reign of Christ. It will be the glorious golden age of peace and prosperity for which all humanity has yearned for centuries.
I. What will happen: God will be exalted on the earth. (8-10)
II. How will it happen: Yahweh himself will dwell among us. (11)
The Millennial Kingdom, when Yahweh dwells among us, will be a time of righteousness, peace, and the universal knowledge of God.
APPLICATION (another personal story)
In my early days of pastoral ministry, the senior pastor who was training me sent me to visit one of our elderly members in the hospital. Dr. C. Fred Lincoln, a retired seminary professor, known for his godliness and wisdom, was suffering from a serious illness. In spite of his weakened condition, he was quite alert when I entered his hospital room with fear and trepidation. What would I say? How could a novice in ministry utter anything meaningful to such a distinguished man of God?
To my relief, he took the initiative when I entered, asking me about my studies, my walk with the Lord, and my desire to serve in ministry. And then he added, “And what passage have you come to read to me today?” I had earlier decided upon verses from Psalm 46, and as I read them in the King James Version, I could see his lips mouthing the words he had memorized years before. When I finished, he commented, “I love that psalm, especially the phrase, ‘the God of Jacob!’” And then with a twinkle in his eye he added, “Is it not astonishing that our exalted God would allow his holy and sacred name to be associated with the name of such a squirrel as Jacob?”
I have never forgotten that profound comment, and I hope I will never cease to be amazed that our all-powerful, all-knowing, and utterly righteous God sent his Son to die for us so that we might have our insignificant and unworthy names associated with his matchless name for all eternity! Just like Jacob’s, our names have been inscribed in Yahweh’s Book of Life, not because we deserve it, but because of God’s infinite grace. As Paul phrased it: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).