Prime Premature Progress

Reuben and Gad want to stay out of Canaan

Numbers 32

The twin golden pots of Yazer and Gilead on the east side of the River Jordan were prime cattle land (place for livestock, maqom miqneh). Perhaps ranchland is a good interpretation for the modern reader. These two territories could not have been any more appropriate than what Canaan itself had to offer. After all, Canaan was the land of promise and Transjordan was not. The episode shows how human interests can seem attractive and beneficial but be the opposite. In a rebuke to insularity and I-got-it-now-ism God establishes that he does not have or accept premature slots of progress for selected individuals, tribes, people, or nations.

Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; Num 32:1

They leaped at the opportunity.

Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan. Num 32:5

Moses had a different view of the situation.

And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? Num 32:6

Taking advantage of excellent lands for livestock seemed reasonable, but shortsighted and self-centred. ¬†Moses received the proposal as “we want to stay out of the fight”. Num 32:6

Not a great idea

Leaving the two tribes on the east side of Canaan would have diminished the vision of a family inheriting together. Not only would they be separated from their cousins they would not be in the land God promised. The tribes inheriting together is a big deal for God and this particular configuration of his purposes in not restricted to ancient times. It also shapes the inheritance of all believers Heb 11:39-40.

I see now too how the fundamentals of modern interpretation have spilled a great deal of in in appreciating the gold off this particular transistional crisis. The parallels between the Ranchland Proposal and a couple of moderns views give us certainty about the error of premature progress.
Sometimes, dying and going to heaven immediately seems like a “why not?” Hebrews 11:39-40 and the whole chapter tells of faith heroes who are waiting dead. Sometimes, sin and grace seem like enemies when in fact there is no other remedy.

The die and go to heaven or hell slogan has not been revised since Jonathan Edwards raised the flag of impatience in his work Absent from the Body.  Instant personal gratification is obviously a faculty we inherit from the Creator, but finding a place for it in the common progress and inheritance of the saints plan is next to impossible.

The saints do go marching in at the same time, after the return of Yeshua, and no-one gets in without instantaneous change (1Th 4:16-17, 1 Co. 15:50-54 ), and all come from the grave or among the living. It is not progress that someone is claiming that his dead mother is alive in heaven or that the lost are burning in hell now and will be resurrecetd to be thrown into the Fiery Lake. This Inuit is not buying ice.

 

Another Kingdom and Different

To be in something and not be of it is a puzzle we think we have solved. The idea is far out! This kind of construction can be said to be far out on a limb and way out of line or reach. Dread[ful-] may be a more suitable expression because the expression elicits thinking. The puzzle of citizenship is one of those phenomena that has interpersonal parallels. That is puzzling because lordship includes a set channel of humility and contradiction.

Puzzle Posed

How a person can be in the world but not of the world going to be in something and not of it is easy to explain in the physical sense. A boat can be in the water but doesn’t belong to the water. It belongs to the land and to the people who took wood and crafted it for venturing into the water. Its risk in the water is clearly demonstrated when the boat, contrary to its floating purpose, sinks.

Things can be good but cool is better. Christ could easily have sailed through the 40 days in the desert, but he hungered. Christ could have died peacefully with friends hanging around and the family holding his hand, but he died as a convicted criminal, innocent of any charge whatever.

Lordship in check

Christ is lord but not ruling everything. As strange as that may sound it is the same as saying that we are sons of God but acknowledging that it does not yet appear what we are going to be. Our sonship is real but there is a coming of age.

1 Corinthians 15:25-27

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him.

The places where the lordship of Christ gets to dominance had better not be secular constitutions not pretence that the Bible is the de facto foundation of civic life.

Really great persons with whom you really do not want to hang out include: lawyers, politicians, physicians, psychologists, pastors/priests, police officer, and a host of authorities behind the scenes.

They claim a higher standard of accountability. They are critical players in our lives and we will evaluate them at some point as hostile to Christ. Let us remember that it was not a whole lot of demons who sought for witnesses to condemn Christ.

If you have a friend who is one of these really great persons they ought to be fired because they are in a relationship (with you) that is eventually conflicted.

Friends will admit and even confirm things, but not condemn. Now that is hard. To condemn is a contra-Christian activity. This puts the majority of believers in a very different light when there is only one standard for bridging the gap between the world and the kingdom of God.

If you have not seen the new Timothy McVeigh in the virulent fundamentalist support for a Republican Party platform please look again. The pro-life activists are resolved to use every means – including personal violence – to prevent abortion, but they find themselves handcuffed and blind to protect children at school from murderous gunmen. A nation of laws ought to have some confidence in the agents of those laws. When both the chief executive and the legislative bodies are incapable of discerning right and wrong we have certainly reached the place where the difference between the kingdoms is in doubt.

Christians really have no bottom line on who gets elected. We cast our vote but the outcome is dependent on the sum of all votes cast. God’s plan does not get derailed when government officials change and the moment they tell us God’s plan and the state of union (throne speeches in Canada) are hand in hand is the moment to be very afraid of the beastly power that resides in Canada, in the United States, in Australia in the Arab Arab Emirates, in Israel, in Russia, and in Turkey.

If the Jewish people inherited the following, what chances are there for any modern state?

Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Luke 13:35

Go Viral Expectations

A lot of people are waiting for that viral video. Others are hoping that they can enlist you to become a part of the next viral expression. Sheesh. Here’s viral.

  1. We wear clothes.
  2. Rainbows are happening all the time One woman anointed a body for burial before his death occurred.
  3. Christ died on a full moon in the 1st month.
  4. Two women told us his tomb was empty
  5. The men who had inside info about the resurrection of Christ figured it was an idle take when it happened.

They that trust in Yahweh shall be as Mount Zion, not its people and not its installations and monuments.

And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.

Mark 14:9 (Read the full story )

A Sovereign and Persistent God

The stories of ancient Israel are a picture of divine persistence which is the complement to the waywardness of the Hebrew people. We often talk about repeat offenders, zero-tolerance, and three-strikes-you’re-out. But what does it take for God to put up with Israel all the way from Sinai all the way from the Red Sea and the Exodus all the way to New Testament times where we find them making a mockery of the temple and its sacred purpose.

Repetition and Prediction

What does it take to press a wayward people back into a relationship?

Lots, including (A) the evidence of the poor choices people make to ameliorate their situation. Running to each other is futile.

A. Amos 4:8. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

B. EXILE. Amos 4:3
And Ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the Lord
C. FAMINE. Amos 4:6
And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.
D. DROUGHT. Amos 4:7
And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
E. PLAGUES AND PESTILENCES. Amos 4:9.
I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.
F. DISASTERS AND DEATH. Amos 4:10
I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

It was all in vain. Progress was not in the area of faith, spiritual insight, or covenant-keeping. Ancient experience was designed to be cautionary, not a template for faithfulness. No-one can merely copy ancient practice in order to stand in a right relationship with God.

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed (with close examination), nor will they say, Look, here it is! or There! for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you. Luke 17:20-21

Everyone needs grace.

Faith is its river.

Bear with me while I destroy our country

The US is increasingly showing herself to be a genuine Russian Republic. It is not strange that the mightiest nation could be manipulated and humiliated by an avowed adversary. As great nations go, captivity and exile are the usual measures. Let us consider that one day Judah’s kings were mere puppets for a foreign power.

King Jehoahaz

2 Chronicles 36:3-4

And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.

Jehoiakim/Eliakim

2 Chronicles 36:6.

Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.

Jehoiachin

2 Chronicles 36:10

And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.

America’s Exile

Russia, the indisputable king of the North, has shown how much control it has over the US President and wide swathes of western society.

First, the US president is wholly incapable of personally taking any open action against Russia and even of naming Russian actions accurately.
Secondly, Russia engineered the 45th president’s win by manipulating public opinion and dividing the population into hostile camps that talk different languages.

If the conduct of elections is supposed to be an indication of a shining city on a hill the 2016 election is a dying ember.
Russia may yet turn out to be the fixer of America’s wound and when it does the religious will say it is God’s will.
The 45th President may have charted a path for his financial empire with the Chinese, the North Koreans, and Russia but Americans are still extremely anxious about the undocumented summits (so-called great deals), the profound resistance to core American values, and the vileness that oozes out of his heart (if that’s where his words originate).

Great puppets

There is no greater nation than the one whose sacred traditions energize spiritually responsible people everywhere. Americans are clearly In exile. Who pulls the strings? Clearly not the 45th president, clearly not that Congress that is deaf to the cries of children who attend school and do not return to their parents because of the demons of violence and ignorance that stalk America’s institutions and homes. Now that the trusted agencies that are responsible for America’s security are being held up to ridicule and distrust we wait to see who will confess that America’s exile and humiliation has indeed begun. The Russian bear has the US in its terrible jaws.

“Bear with me”, says ’45’, “while I destroy our country.

He and his evangelical handlers will never know what hit them when they have to pay the piper for confounding the domains of Caesar and Christ.

You cannot serve God and mammon (=country, any creature)