Monday, April 4, 2016

“Tongues Are for a Sign”

Psalm 2 is a prophecy of what the Father said and did to Jesus after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.  It speaks first about how both Israel (“the people”) and the Gentiles rejected Jesus and conspired to rid themselves of him.  Then it tells how God, having exalted Jesus to sit at His right hand, will laugh at them for having tried to destroy His precious Son:
Psalm 2
1. Why do the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2. The kings of the earth took a stand, and the rulers assembled together, against the Lord and against His Messiah, saying,
3. “Let us tear off their bands, and cast off their cords from us.”
4. He who dwells in heaven will laugh.  The Lord will mock them.

Then, in the same Psalm, the psalmist continues to prophesy about this great event, saying that God will speak to those who rejected and killed His Son, and that He will vex them.

Psalm 2
5. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.

 This part of the prophecy was also fulfilled after Jesus’ resurrection, on Pentecost morning when God baptized Jesus’ disciples with the Spirit and spoke through them to the Jews in languages the disciples themselves did not understand.  Centuries before this happened, the prophet Isaiah said that God would speak to His people this very way, and that even then, they would not listen to Him:

Isaiah 28
11. With stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people,
12. to whom He said, “This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing!”  Yet, they would not hear.

This is what God did on the day of Pentecost when by His Spirit, He spoke to Israel through those who had believed in Jesus:
Acts 2
1. When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all in one accord, in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared to them divided tongues like fire, and it sat upon each one of them,
4. and they were all filled with holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit moved them to speak.
God brought great joy to Jesus’ disciples when He gave them the Spirit, but He brought great shame to others in Israel that day – by not giving them the Spirit!  Through Isaiah again, God promised He would speak to the hearts of those who were outcasts in Israel because of their love for Jesus, and that He would bring them joy:
Isaiah 66
5b. “Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name’s sake said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified!’ but He shall appear to your joy, and they will be ashamed.”
The next verse in Isaiah explains that when the Spirit came and the disciples began speaking in tongues, that sound, originating from God’s temple in heaven, was the voice of God avenging His Son of those who hated him – by not giving them the Spirit:
Isaiah 66
6. A sound of uproar from the city!  A sound from the temple!  The sound of the Lord rendering recompense to His enemies.
If you hear someone speaking in tongues, and you do not yet have that blessing, pray that you are not hearing the avenging voice of God laughing at you!  Pray not to be left out!  “Tongues are for a sign”, Paul said (1Cor. 14:22), a sign of God’s blessing on those who are speaking in tongues.  But beware!  Tongues can also be a sign of God’s “hot displeasure” toward those who have not received His Spirit, just as on the day of Pentecost.