DESIRE of ALL NATIONS (by permission; chp 11 from Ray Prinzings Book - Whispers of His Call)
"The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own." Romans 8:19, Phillips].
"For thus saith the Lord of hosts; yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." [Haggai 2:6-7].
In the progression of going on to spiritual maturity it is
to be found that the "anointing of feelings" becomes swallowed up
into the "anointing us, but even more important, we will KNOW in Whom we
have believed, and it is this KNOWLEDGE which gives us stability while we press
toward the mark for the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. When we speak
of knowledge, we mean far more than just the surface knowing of Bible facts
-- i.e. the names of the apostles, the names of mountains and rivers spoken
of in the Bible, and various bits of information which answered the questions
from the quiz given at a youth meeting. There is to be a KNOWING of HIM, and
of the TRUTH which He reveals-- truth of His will and purpose being wrought
out through the ages, and how we relate to that purpose. To know His will for
our individual lives, that we might walk worthy of this calling before Him.
One of the glorious revelations found in the Word, and especially in the New Testament, is that God has purposed to bring us into His FULLNESS. There is a realm of perfection, of completeness, where we are "complete in Him." [Colossians 2:10]. With the outworking of the new covenant there is a FULL ARRANGEMENT to bring us into this reality. For so long we have but known "in part." We have prophesied in part. All of the shadows, types, symbols, have been very fragmentary in their disclosure of knowledge. Thus we have clung to the promise, 'When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." [1 Corinthians 13:10].
The prophet Isaiah, obviously, was given a glimpse into the glory of the NEW COVENANT, when he said, "Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us." [Isaiah 26:12]. The sovereign in working of God as He takes up residence within, and lives out the expression of His will and purpose THROUGH us, "both to will and to do of His good pleasure." And certainly our degree of completeness depends upon the degree of our UNION with Him. Fully ONE IN HIM, we partake of His perfections!
"IT IS A LITTLE WHILE..." Time is one of the biggest problems which we face in our continuing walk with the Lord. When we are lifted up in spirit in our communion with the Lord, there is a timelessness, for HE is eternally in the NOW, saying, "I AM." Not "I was," or, "I will be," but forever, I AM. This is difficult for our minds to comprehend. Yet Paul expressed it this way, that He "calleth those things which be not as though they were." [Romans 4:17]. For to man they were yet future, to be wrought out, but for God they were already fully known. Past and future are both alike unto Him, for HE is the ETERNAL CENTRE, the I AM, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." [James 1:17]. And when we are enveloped with a deep sense of His presence, we lose our consciousness of time, to become a part of that glorious NOW. But when we are more conscious of this earth realm, then we are back into the confines of time with its past, present, and future.
Wonderful, indeed, is the fact that God can bring us into HIS TIME, and some of this bondage and burden of "yet a little while" begins to fade away. When it appears that the vision tarries, we are able to "Wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." [Habakkuk 2:3].
Furthermore, we are reminded that the vision becomes personified, for this we also read, "For yet a little while, and HE that shall come will come, and will not tarry." [Hebrews 10:37]. All of our vision is fulfilled IN HIM, and as we become ONE IN HIM then it is fulfilled in us, also. Thus, we look for Him, in ever increasing manifestations in our life, for it is through His coming to us-- HIS APPEARING to us, that we shall be brought into His fullness. Therefore, "Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation (or APPEARING) of Jesus Christ." [1 Peter 1:13].
It is also to be remembered that "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." [2 Peter 3:9].
However, "If that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of." [Matthew 24:48-50].
So we walk in continual expectancy, because we do not know GOD'S TIME, and therefore we must be alert at all times, walking soberly, circumspectly before Him, prepared to receive Him when He shall come to us.
Yes, He already has come, in many ways and dimensions, and He now dwells within us by His Spirit-- but there is so much more that is YET TO COME, and so much more GRACE TO BE BROUGHT, as we wait before Him for His fullness. "And unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." [Hebrews 9:28]. Praise God!
Preparatory for His appearing, He also promised to SHAKE everything that could be shaken-- heavens, earth, sea, land, nations. "And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: " [Hebrews 12:27 -28].
There is a realm which cannot be moved, it cannot be destroyed, it shall endure through all the shakings-- and it is a kingdom TO BE RECEIVED. The more this is received into us, the greater shall be our own stability, for we shall become ONE WITH THE UNMOVEABLE REALM OF HIS KINGDOM. Since we are privileged to receive such a victory, why do we hang on so intently to the things which can be moved? Let them go at His command, for it is a part of the loosing of the old, that we might receive of the new.
Going past the shaking of the heavens, earth, sea, and dry land, we come to the shaking of all nations. Certainly, we are seeing this more and more! Nation after nation is being shaken to its foundations-- kingdoms rise and fall, and all kindreds and peoples are affected by this shaking. Yet it is not God's purpose to bring about only an utter destruction of the nations, but to use this as a JUDGMENT-PROCESSING, until "ALL NATIONS whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name. For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone." [Psalm 86:9-10].
There is something about the shakings of the land, with earthquakes in divers places, or a flood, a tornado, a fire, that as long as it is afar off, in some other region, we have become so accustomed to these myriad reports of distress, that we almost get immune to them. But when it hits home, to touch our lives, our loved one-- the shakings come to our earth, and the fiery trials engulf us, then we find it works in us a change of desire-- to seek after Him. God knows how to make it very individual in its application, be it literal, or figuratively speaking, until He has SHAKEN US. Certainly there is a certain amount of sympathy we feel for others, but the farther away from us the event is happening, the less we are touched by it. But when it HITS HOME-- when God zeroes in on us individually, our attention begins to turn towards Him; "Lord, what wilt Thou have ME to do?" [Acts 9:6].
We all must needs walk through our personal shakings, however hellish they might be, until we have been loosed from the things of this world, and ready to seek those things which are above. With soulish sentiment, temperament, and sympathy, we do identify in part with one another in their distress, but the real change is made in us personally when it hits us directly. All of the multitude of desires for the world begin to lose their meaning, and our heart reaches out for a more secure reality-- which is found only in God.
"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple." [Psalm 27:4].
Again the prophet blends these thoughts together, when he states, "Yea, in the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for Thee: the desire of our soul is to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee." [Isaiah 29:8]. It is the outworking of these JUDGMENTS, the correctional chastenings of our God, that our longing is turned towards the Lord, and to the remembrance of Him. How vitally necessary therefore that God SHAKE ALL NATIONS, for then shall ALL NATIONS come and worship before Him. Just glorious results from the shakings! Only God can turn the night into day, the sorrow into joy, and bring forth His righteousness through such processings!
"And the DESIRE of all nations shall come." It is to be noted that we have a different Hebrew word used here for "desire." It is the word "chemdah," and has been translated elsewhere as: Delight, goodly, pleasant, precious, as well as desire.
The Amplified translation gives a footnote explanation that they refrain from capitalizing the word "desire" and thus making the phrase point directly to the Messiah, because the verb "SHALL COME" is plural. This they took to mean reference to the many TREASURES brought into the temple, or specifically perhaps to the many treasures which the wise men brought to the child Jesus. The point is, they knew the verb "SHALL COME," being plural, could not alone refer to the singularity of His personal coming.
However, we now share this glorious thought: HIS BODY IS PLURAL, for He is to be "the firstborn among many brethren." [Romans 8:29], and He is the Head "over all to the church (Greek, the CALLED OUT ONES), which is His body." (Ephesians 1:22-23]. Therefore this DESIRE can come in PLURALITY, for as we read in Jude 14, Literal translation, "Lo, comes the Lord in holy myriads of Himself."
"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ." [1 Corinthians 12:12].
Now we can see the vital linkage of the two verses for our texts, that "The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God," [Romans 8:19], and after the shakings of the nations, "the desire of the nations shall come."
Certainly they shall see HIM, for He is the HEAD of this body, but the nations are looking for that NEW CREATION FIRST FRUITS COMPANY through whom salvation shall be brought to all men. For they are the SEED through which all nations of the earth shall be blessed.
Smith-Goodspeed translates, "the treasures of all the nations shall come in." And to this we can agree, for God has scattered Israel among all the nations, partly for their own processing, and partly as a measure to sanctify all nations for the fullness of His salvation. And at His appointed time He will SHAKE ALL NATIONS, again for a two-fold purpose. To prepare all nations to seek after Him, and to SHAKE LOOSE, to DISLODGE His treasure from the nations, that He might gather them into becoming HIS LIVING TEMPLE, through whom His life shall flow to the nations.
In His beautiful parable, Jesus spoke of how the "kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field..." [Matthew 13:44]. When the treasure was found it was not immediately raptured off to a beautiful Isle of Somewhere for a glorified vacation of doing nothing, but it was again HID in the field, while the man sold all that he had, and bought the whole field. Now in a previous parable Jesus clearly explained that "The field is the world." And we know that Israel was His "peculiar treasure," chosen "to be a special people unto Himself" [Deuteronomy 7:6]. We know also that "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness;... and He kept him as the apple of His eye." [Deuteronomy 32:10]. We know that He also, in due time, scattered His Israel among all nations, hiding them back in the field, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all." [Romans 11:32]. And we know that God gave His Son for the whole world, buying the WHOLE FIELD, to have both His peculiar treasure, and all the field, i.e. all the nations among whom He had hidden them.
We also know that "In Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order." [1 Corinthians 15:22-23]. So it soon becomes self-evident that even the shakings are progressive in their working-- as "God at the first did visit the nations, to take out of them a people for His name." [Acts 15:14]. For He would bring forth first HIS TREASURE, His spiritual remnant, election of grace, out of natural Israel, and then shall He again bless all nations through this treasure He hath redeemed.
When we consider the tremendous life and victory, the blessing that is to come to all nations, it is no wonder that this CHRIST-BODY is spoken of as the "desire of all nations" that shall be forthcoming.
Rotherham translates: "The delight of all the nations shall come." And then in his footnote he adds, "The Fuerst's Hebrew Lexicon gives, 'The noblest of all people.' " Hallelujah! God's sons literally become DIVINE NOBILITY, for He is truly "King of kings, and Lord of lords."
Then Rotherham's footnote goes on, to point out that while the Hebrew has singular, costly thing or desireableness, yet the verb "shall come" is in the plural, and so the Septuagint gives, "ta eklekta," which literally means: THE CHOICE THINGS, OR, THE ELECT!
Out of all the tremendous shakings of heaven, earth, sea, dry land, and the nations-- out of this, we say, THE ELECT SHALL COME FORTH. God is now choosing, calling out from among the nations a people for His name!
"Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple." [Psalm 65:4].
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." [Isaiah 48:10]. REFINED AND CHOSEN. And we find that the Hebrew word "bachar" literally means: to choose after testing. For God would put to the test, and continue to refine until we meet His own specifications, and then He chooses us to become HIS TEMPLE TREASURE, that He might fill us with His glory, so that from His temple the living waters might flow out to bless all nations.
"Chosen in the furnace of affliction." Again we have the solid type of the Old Testament, when Israel was down in the land of Egypt, crying out by reason of their bondage and affliction-- processed this way for many long years, until God sent to them a deliverer in Moses. And when the people heard how the Lord had visited them, "that He had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped." [Exodus 4:31].
Through all the severity of our afflictions, being hidden in the world, pressed by the world, right in the nitty-gritty of every day living, God now gives the CALL to BECOME His ELECT-- that He shall bring us through all of our afflictions, polished, refined, and processed to become HIS NOBILITY, His choice ones. "Chosen in the furnace of affliction." May we likewise now bow our heads and worship-- worship Him for all His ways, and for such love and grace so freely given to us. Our prayer is not for a deliverance out of the furnace, but that by His grace we might become HIS OVERCOMERS, so as to be counted worthy to be chosen. And we learn to worship Him IN all our afflictions, even to praise Him for all these things, because we know HE is sovereignly in control, working all things together into good for us.
How beautifully Jesus stated it, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." [John 15:16]. It is His handiwork all the way. He purifies us, He conforms us to His image, He brings us up to divine qualifications, and then He says, "I choose you." Indeed, "I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." [John 15:19]. Become a misfit to the world, misunderstood by the religious crowd that doesn't understand why we are in a furnace of affliction-- but the eye of the Lord is upon you with a view of choosing you to become a part of His ELECT ones, of His body.
That this word "desire" (chemdah) refers to people, is seen elsewhere when it is used by Samuel, speaking to Saul, "And on whom is all the DESIRE of Israel? is it not on thee, and on thy father's house?" [1 Samuel 9:20]. And Saul answered back, [ verse 21], "Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?"
Much later, after Saul had become lifted up in pride as king over Israel, Samuel said to him, "When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel." [1 Samuel 15:17]. For surely "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." [1 Peter 5:5-6].
The vision is lofty, the calling is high-- to become one of HIS CHOICE ONES, His elect. But this is no cause for pride and boasting. The in working is all HIS, the nature is HIS, the image is HIS, and the praise is HIS. "But by the grace of God I am what I am." [1 Corinthians 15:10].
It is also of interesting note, among the listing of all the kings of Judah, we come to Jehoram, who did evil in the eyes of the Lord. "He reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired." [2 Chronicles 21:20]. What a tragedy! A life of wickedness, doing evil, and there was nothing to be desired in him.
How different it is in those who seek to live righteously before Him, who yield to all His purgings and purifying processes. Those who do not resist the furnace of affliction, but allow it to turn them to seek the Lord with all their heart. Truly they shall become HIS SONS-- even the DESIRE of all nations. The CHRIST-LIFE within them shall draw the world like a magnet, and they shall come to receive of his salvation, of His peace, of His life, that shall flow through this people of His choosing. Wondrous are the workings, and precious is the call.
As God doth shake all nations, reaching out to all,
Till all men shall serve Him on this terrestrial ball.
Drawing now a first fruits, and calling them out from
The world with all its bondage, that they might become
His peculiar treasure -His fullness is their sum.
Desire of all nations, are these in whom He dwells,
Conformed unto His image, life within them swells
Into a mighty river, and victory excels.
Chosen by the Father, they're His nobility,
To manifest His mercy, till all the world shall see
The blessings of salvation -no more a mystery.
In yet a little while the vision He'll fulfill,
The treasure He hath hidden shall be no longer still,
They are the living message, expression of His will.
No man can take this calling upon himself to claim,
'Tis God alone who chooses each one to bear His name,
And be in union with Him -that blest eternal flame.
Desire of all nations, when all the shaking's o'er,
What glory then is waiting -creation to restore.
In Christ such reconciling, as grace aboundeth more.