People in the third millennium after Samuel’s jaw-dropping verdict on Eli’s house do experience an ear-tingling boost towards seeing what Yahweh sees. That is us, pretending to enjoy all kinds of ground-breaking developments, firsts in scientific discoveries, exciting expressions in the arts, and wilder horizons in physical esthetics, all the while trampling all over our own ancestral treasures, while having no contemporary distinction. Our communities, cultural, religious and political, have endured attacks and tolerated efforts to erase our footprints. At some point this generation has to reckon with our ghosts of heroic bad guys and juvenile grown-ups. The gatekeepers of religion and politics have some tough rowing to do after spending about three decades of backpedalling the historic message of the Son of Man. Alas, we live in the generation like Christs, crooked and perverse, like Eli’s, unheeding and greedy, and like Timothy’s, still crooked and perverse, and in for an ear-tingling.
[from Paul and Timothy] … that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…Letter to the Philippians. 2:15
Prime Ministers, Presidents, and Stable Geniuses, Take Note:
a. your houses may be touched by Yahweh’s disgust
b. you may never see the way your house is piling up vomit-worthy practices and theories.
We are not all ears and need to be in our crooked generation
The ear-tingling threat is aimed at rebuking pride in the priesthood’s unique function and endurance. Considering that within a few years of Yeshua going back to glory the Church was under attack by a Jewish-leaning party, led by James and the Pharisees it is not out of character to find people who have tuned out Christ’s message nodding their heads and saying “yes, yes”. By the end of Paul’s ministry he was warning about people in the leadership devoted to injuring believers and encouraging alertness (Acts (20:31), saying, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock, and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them“. (Acts 20:29-30). No-one is asking you to forget that you have eyes, fingers, and a nose, but since God’s Son is the new Speaker a lot more ear needs to be given to him and less to the prophets and lawgivers.
Matthew 17:5 (compare Mark. 9:7 and Luke. 9:35) and Hebrews 1:2, confirm the need to have all ears tuned in to Yeshua.
11) The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12) In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.1 Samuel 3:11-12
Bishops and entire faith communities supporting Nazism cannot deny they want a fuhrer
God’s voice, deposited in the Son of Man, has neither disguise nor partner, alternate perspectives nor partisan versions. If the news about what Eli’s sons were doing at the sacred tent broke today about a prominent figure in the nation or church (such as Eli was) we would be inundated by follow-up stories about one bad apple and the exceptional nature of the misbehaviour. Just as then, we would be smug in the zone of “we’re not that bad”. That smugness might last a few decades or even centuries, but eventually the truth has to come out. The whole of Judah, and the capital itself falls under intense scrutiny from on high. It must be the absence of a political template in either Judaism or Christianity that brings us to cherry pick aspects of the public face of Judaism and Christianity and call that Judeo-Christian. It must be also that we do not understand the essential nature of civic power and its interactions with the spiritual world. Exactly how many actions do we need to see from political leaders to convince us that an abominable like the Nazi leader of the 1930s and 1940s is practically always just around the corner. There cannot be any wisdom in even hinting at a solidarity between the Church and any of the parties all along the spectrum, no matter how like-minded they may seem. The fact that governments avenge injustice and punish evildoers does not make them partners we want to be lumped up with. I can see how religious leaders can think themselves in good company obeying every leader. Shopping for a Fuhrer among the hundreds of lawyer-pastors and pastor-lawyers just imploded on the choice of a failed mobster.
Jerusalem and Judah cleaned up by an ear-tingling act
If God insists that bad behaviour will have public attention and consequences it gets it, and no organization is exempt. All the positive thinking and agreement in prayer combined will not change the course or steer the vessel around God’s clean-up acts. You cannot positive-think or pray yourself (or anyone else) out of God’s plan and intervention.
12) therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13) I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.2 Kings 21:12-13
Jerusalem’s TingleJeremiah 19:3
and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle.
Exemptions to the Lord’s ear- tingling acts are nonexistent. Everyone who hears of the holy city’s fortune will experience the tingle.
News for Samuel and Jeremiah
We in the twenty-first century are seeing reversals in leadership, many of which we may feel justified in attributing to God, but God’s hand in politics is now the fuel for idolatry and utter treachery. Those who have studiously denounced protest against government misbehavior have tried other backdoor methods of sneaking a religious agenda into politics. Failure is guaranteed if the Church is going to try to duplicate the state’s programs for improving the lives of church members without an equally vigrous strategy for affecting the lives of all without distinction. The familiar smells of the catastrophic moral failures of New Testament times and the gross darkness linger here in my slice of Turtle Island.
Who needs heroic magnates and perfecly physically fit humans in every other seat?
A Senate or Supreme Court packed with religous vigilantes will result in the same thing; an immoral, paranoid, and appallingly unstable society, deluded by chosen status and plagued by the love of money and the corrupt use of power, even though the duration of these conditions is at most less than a decade. If one of the political parties or religious groups had a superior claim – like the Jewish claim to Canaan as inheritance through the promises to Abraham – it does not take more than a year to figure out who that might be, because that (70 weeks, or 1.34 years) is exactly how much time the nation of priests has to get its act together. Whatever they call themselves – liberal, conservative, centrist or extreme, ancient or modern, religious or atheist – has not helped any of them to rise to acceptance as the right one for society.
“It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.Daniel 2:21
Idols of state and people
There are so many intense distractions that have become commonplace that when people do and say the things God wants we are surprised and even outraged. When we do the opposite of what he wants we commend ourselves as obedient and triumphant. A lot of the passionate and uninformed messaging and whispering that have made their way into the public discourse are not responsible for any redemptive directions. The leaders who enjoy public elevation are complete juveniles, cowardly spiritual novices, fomentors of civic unrest and discontent disguised as moral outrage against the very things society does not need: hero-worship, business models dominating spiritual processes, and religious leaders prostituting themselves with secular theories and powers.
Kings, pastors, rabbis and imams
Who would have thought that God gives the reins to people like Pharoah, Saul, David, Solomon, Ezra, Herod, Caiaphas, kings , pastors, rabbis and imams, and takes them out in due season?
He does not expect us to think of what might happen or might have happened but about what happens when humans fall into the intoxicating influence.of secular and political power. We cannot be too careful avoiding the entanglements of what seems like real life nor ensuring that the no-one convinces us that the ABCs are the final report we need to hear and believe.