Incredible Teamwork in the Age of Exodus and Journey

The incredible work of Moses and Aaron contains valuable lessons of brotherly love for sure, and naturally, apart from twins, the dynamic of big brother and little brother, even though the age difference is only three year. There is also profound respect interchangeability.  God tells Moses, the “God to Pharaoh”, to carry out an action and he passes it to Aaron, who, despite being designated by God as the speaker or prophet, does it without skipping a beat. At the time that Yahweh defined the brothers’ roles there were chains to break and new roads to pave and it is better to value the slices this period offers as truly topnotch, instead of the usual downgrading of pre-Messianic issues. The dynamic, as defined in Exodus 7:1 is without precedent and seems to be predict nothing about the kingdom age or the later prophetic age in Israel-Judah, and nothing about the apostolic age. So, with a closer look at the teamwork it may be possible to see to what extent Christians can relate to a man being as [my emphasis] God and to what extent followers of Moses and Mohammed, for example, can relate to such a person having his brother as his spokesmen or prophet.  Such is the nature of the teamwork Yahweh announced in Exodus 7:1.

The text of Exodus 7:1b in Hebrew r@eh natattika elohim l@par`oh w@aharon aḥîkā yihyeh n@be’eka should underline their relationship as long as Egypt’s king is in the picture.

“…See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.”

Exodus 7:1, NASB

The God and the prophet

These two brothers were to understand their respective roles: (a) God to Pharaoh and (b) spokesman (prophet) to the God to Pharaoh, and we should too, because if it is written we have reason to believe that its meaning is at least partially uncloaked (Deut 29:29). Before the announcement in Exodus 7:1 Moses and Aaron had already been introduced to the Israelite leadership. Their first joint action – assembling the elders – was to establish the pair in the eyes of the Israelite leadership, well ahead of the God and prophet assignment. Aaron was not just a talker. He was, with Moses, tasked with providing signs – miracles – for the Israelites to see.

“and Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. He then performed the signs in the sight of the people.”

Exodus 4:30, NASB

Acts of Moses and Aaron

With Pharaoh and the Egyptian army way off in the rearview mirror the people lose focus and consider replacing their leadership with a “head” to which Moses and Aaron respond with a show of their absolute surrender. They fall on their faces, the epitome of the servant.

“Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of all the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel.” (Numbers 14:5, NASB)

This readiness to return is in stark contrast to their expression of faith and when they had “heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction. At that time, the Israelites had bowed low and worshiped (Exodus 4:31, NASB).

The prophet at work

In the build up to the monumental Passover and Exodus Aaron is on the job. Every time the pair appears before Pharaoh there is a task assigned to Aaron beside talking. It was said that John the Baptist was recognized as a prophet (Matthew 14:5, Mark 11:32, Luke 20:6), and with no evidence that he had performed a single miracle (based on the public perception) (John 10:41), the one who followed John affirmed that there was going to be one sign for the population of the time (Matthew 12:39).

The team on the job

  • Together they assembled the elders
  • Aaron recited what Moses had told him (Exodus 4:30)
  • Aaron’s rod on display as superior (Exodus 7:9-12)
  • Moses passes the bloody Nile instruction to Aaron (Exodus 7:15-19)
  • Aaron is given the assignment for the froggy plague (Exodus 8:5-6)
  • Aaron is instrumental in the plague of gnats (Exodus 8:16-17)
  • Moses tells Pharaoh what is next: pestilence on Egyptian livestock (Exodus 9:1-7)
  • Instructions to the pair performed by Moses (Exodus 9:8-11)
  • Moses receives and performs the hail plague instructions (Exodus 9:22-25)
  • Moses receives and executes the sign to end the hail plague (Exodus 9:29, 33)
  • Aaron fashions a god (an elohim), builds an altar in front of it, proclaims a feast and oversees a sacrificial event (Exodus 32:1-6)

These acts may be the subject of scientific investigation, speculation and disgust (especially the last one) but we will have to set aside the fact that these are not fables constructed by succeeding generations. They are told by the concurrent generation. It really is incredible that modern prophets want people to believe their absolutely uncorroborated stories of signs, and to make matters worse, they more often than not are not dealing with something that is a legitimate message from God, and more to the point, signs unrelated to the gifts of the Risen Christ.

Signs and the message

It is no wonder then that when asked to explain the golden calf Aaron gave an account that was shaped by the supernatural, that is, something that one had simply better believe. Who told us explicitly that a man died and rose from the dead as redeemer and why do we believe? The new Testament witnesses told us, with the rare exception being James to whom the Risen Lord apparently made special a appearance. The Risen Lord appeared to Mary, then to Peter, then the Twelve, then to five hundred believers, then to James, then to all the apostles, then to Paul. Many believers who think of themselves as leaders think they can simply claim that the Risen Lord has appeared to them as Moses (Exodus 3:2,) without the fallout (4:1, 5) and the very public and on demand” signs of the plagues. The claims of Risen Lord appearance do not at all conform. Moses’ face shone then faded (2 Corinthians 3:13), and all believers enjoy the light of Yeshua’s face as an unfading treasure, even though we are not yet glorified.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB

Who really needs a God-opposite-the- slavedriver and/or a prophet with signs as the Lord provided for the Exodus and the Journey out of Bondage when each of us has a personal inheritance from the Risen Lord? Thanks to God, the brothers never came to blows and each departs this life, each having accepted God’s call and approbation (Hebrews 5:4, 9:4, Exodus 3:3, 10) – with what really matters, faith – with exceptional honours (Numbers 20:29, Deuteronomy 34:5-6).

This just in

Saul of Tarsus, on his way to Damascus to terrorize followers of the latest messianic hopeful, has been arrested and is blind. He was last seen being helped into the city by his squad.

The learned rabbi, going all out against the teaching and counsel of his teacher Gamaliel (Acts 5:34ff), is in deep trouble. After hearing Yeshua’s disciples state what they had just seen over three years the council, chaired by the High Priest, decided that the disciples deserved to die. Opposition against God is not the only adversarial arrangement that does not work. A household divided does more than not function. It crumbles. Did not the Lord Christ himself remind his audiences that a divided house will not thrive? Does not the prophet question how can two walk together without agreeing? Well then, we cannot keep believing that the place where government – all the civil servants and all the honourable members – does its business with unswerving allegiance to the crown (read the Canadian people) needs an opposition.

“And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

Matthew 12:25, NASB

Alas and woe it is that members of parliament swear allegiance to the crown not to their party then spend their time (a) opposing the agenda set out by the winners of the election and (b) place their party’s rhetoric above that all important interest of the Canadian people. It may be time to get rid of the farce that we can have a Satan in the house – loyal opposition – let’s get very real Canadians.

Another apalling greedy grab

It is incredibly shortsighted for a man who has been a pastor for decades to not recognize that people die, that people are born blind for God’s glory, that  people try to force God’s hand, and people openly oppose God without affecting God’s manifold wisdom and greatness.

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

Romans 11:33, NASB

Limits, freedom, and absolutism have no comfortable human oasis, because the mystery of Christian faith revolves around the Infinite God clothing himself with finite humanity, all the way to death as a criminal.  They have found a hotel in the triumphalism of the evangelical world. Let us be honest about the fact that “all things are possible”, “what government can achieve”, and “what God can do” are the engines of authentic faith in much of North America.  One is consequently led to consider that God has no sovereign will and that he can be thwarted, while believers with the right stuff can have a “life without limits”.  I suppose the  narratives of patriarchal fellowship with God have nothing to do with human beings like Abraham and Joseph whose lives and expectations could  not be more expressive of heads and tails.  It is easy to forget that the first man did his own thing with massive effect on all humans, and we raise our hands in praise that God had a plan to deal with his rebellion instead of pointing the finger at Adam and Eve.  Psalm 78:41 is a unique piece of songwriting and using it to sell a book about people limiting God is defiling, dangerous, and probably an important part of the demonic doctrine strategy.

I recently heard an American marketer named Wommack on television delivering a spiel about limiting God.  On the route to selling a book or some other useless trinkets the blind guide ripped up God’s sovereignty by consulting a dictionary to define it, painted himself as a witness to a resurrection from the dead in his family (an event for which there was no evidence), and provided yet another face in the line up of tricksters feeding off of gullible people. 

It was clear from the beginning that here was another 20 minutes of utter blah, blah, bull.  If Wommack wanted to know what the once-used term tawah meant he could have consulted a lexicon of Hebrew words, and after finding that it is not found elsewhere he could have turned to the Bible with which the Lord Christ was familiar, the Septuagint.  He would have seen that “limit” is not what tawah means.

Sorry, sisters and brothers!  There is no formula. God lets his friends die, and lets enemies live.  That is what sovereignty looks like.

The term in Psalm 78:41 translated as tempted (KJV), offended (NET) is a hapax legomenon.  It appears once in Scripture.  The Jewish people reading the Septuagint would have known that the context of the story told in Psalm 78:41 and 56 is about unbelief and God’s grief.  Let it be absolutely clear that The Exodus as a narrative must include the fact that the generation that departed Egypt died in the wilderness.   Therefore what the people did to God in that entire episode was to grieve God, test God, showed him their unbelief and complaining (Exodus 16:7, 8, 9, 17:3, 7, Numbers 14:2, 29,  Deuteronomy 1:27, 6:16, 9:7, 8, 22).   Pardon me, Mr Wommack and followers.  No one limits God, and anyone who tries that will find himself (a) in close contact with God’s goads, like Saul of Tarsus, and (b) hopefully a vessel that serves the Sovereign Lord.

“καὶ ἐπέστρεψαν καὶ ἐπείρασαν τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὸν ἅγιον τοῦ Ισραηλ παρώξυναν.” [from paroxuno, I irritate,  I provoke]

Psalm 78:41 LXX

Paroxuno appears in Hosea 8:5 and Zechariah 10:3 with reference to divine anger being aroused.  There is no basis for “limit”.  God’s sovereignty is also not limited by human resistance and to suggest it is to show that our salvation is not, in our elevated view of ourselves,  God’s sovereign act.

Regarding Yahweh’s assertion of owner’s right let Scripture speak to the issue of whether God can be limited.  Let’s face facts: Adam walked into death and God covered him. Is not the Pharaoh of the Exodus – a type of the Evil One – an example of how human willpower when exercised against God’s intervention is a scrawny feather in the wind? So who do we charge with limiting God when every descendant of Adam resists God’s will and are subject to his control of the faucet of mercy. 

15) For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16) So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18) So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19) You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20) On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?” (Romans 9:15-20, NASB)

Stick a pin in

Do you realize that comedians have had people laughing at the most serious threats and indignities to which people with public accountability have exposed us? The schticks were funny and true. So where were the gatekeepers of human security while the late night laughter rolled? They were watching their balloons floating across the sky, painted with advertisements of well-oiled machines and cosmopolitan societies but filled with every kind of homicide, every kind of xenophobia and utterly disgusting attitudes and behaviours. It is certain that people are discovering a web of lies and balloons for which there is a pin.

Nobody ever said in prayer to the God and Father of the Lord Christ “I decree and declare”. Nobody! Not God’s Only Son, not David, Samuel or Moses.

Who is in agreement?

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 18:19, NASB

Two people agreeing on a request for something to be done and seeing God do it is the probability the Lord is affirming in this saying.

It is quite obvious that people at least say “amen” with great regularity in hundreds of  situations where the desired result is unambiguous, but there must also be, all across the globe, two persons who agree on what they want, why they want it, and where they want it.

How many graveside prayers have ascended in agreement for the departed to return for God’s glory or for the comfort of the bereaved? Given the current and repeated distresses of human beings, we can count how many people are in agreement about the peace of Jerusalem or the end of lies, homicide, and theft. Can we not?

The heavenly Father answers requests by the million each hour so why is there so little evidence that two people in agreement ensures that God the Father delivers the thing requested? Having piled up promises around prayer myself I think it is time to realize that Christ’s idea of agreement must be something other than saying a thing and having someone ditto it. The way we have used this verse to press the requests of dozens, hundreds or thousands of people only contributes to an alternate reality or a fevered imagination, and we can safely stick a pin in that balloon.

Christ is a such a big deal because duh!

Two thousand years after the most seismic event in the social stratosphere, society is being treated to a sideshow of epic proportions, involving the same powers as were duly dominating the world or terrorizing it two millennia ago.   The world-ruling powers are, by definition, people who have been exposed to a wide variety of human aspiration and customs. They have demonstrated that humans can find a common place when they want to.  Christ’s world was dramatically outstanding. It included Persians,  Italians, Syrians, Greeks, and Romans.  If the whole truth is told, the Babylonians were there too, because Abraham came originally from Mesopotamia.  The tribal sideshow includes a parade of prophets, mystics, monarchs, elected heads of state, and even a church with all the government apparatus of a state.    So let me drill down into a previous post – – to further define the full range of futile political and religious interest in any prophet, priest, or king before Christ or since. 

Drilling down into the remains of biblical facts

If the believer senses deadlock it is because political parties and religions sects are being transformed into cults of personality; it is because exceptionalism and a gridlock of obscene financial competition have swamped the exercise of faith in God. There are social constructs and irrelevant personal claims that people mistake for faith and spiritual matters and especially personal authority. It is not attractive.  For a lot of people a political solution is the common comfort. Some people are able to select their leaders in a secure and trustworthy environment, while others have their leaders imposed on them by heredity or violent coups or bogus elections. Others hope they have a figure who can give them unfailing reliability and security. It is not funny what questions people raise when the eyewitnesses to the unveiling of a securely hidden solution is at issue. A human being can be just before God without taking credit for the outcome. There have been ancient kings recognized as shepherd-king, but we have never seen a saviour-king like the LORD Christ Yeshua. The kings of the earth may attach themselves to their heroes, swear allegiance to a mystic of one sort or the other, but none of them dare deny that they are just human, fallible and ultimately unreliable.

The big idea about Christ

Not a single leader has demonstrated, before or after Christ’s brief public life, the material significance of Christ’s life and teaching, which, by the way, still eludes even Christians and those who have, by their traditions, rejected the natural (a) love of humanity (b) the commitment to justice and kindness and (c) the common-sense virtue of humility.  You do not have to believe in any God to be human, and humans are equipped from birth to love one another, be just and kind, and be humble.  Humans, however are not spiritual beings, despite the evangelical rabbit hole. Since our “cultures” accept nothing but the best and confess zero tolerance for immorality and lawlessness we have to admit that David and Solomon, the two most honourable monarchs of all time, are miniscule examples of what a king should be and do.  

David and Solomon are miniscule because they are both dead. Solomon gets a seat of respectability because of his actual and legendary wisdom. There is no throne we would give to Solomon due to his flagrant forays into literal idolatry, thereby distancing himself from the first commandment in Israelite thought. David, on the contrary, gets all kinds of accolades and a permanent throne because of his honest songs about his own experience and that of his people, despite being denied the opportunity to build the temple in Jerusalem on account of “blood on his hands”. David is a king who is recognized as a prophet, and I will tell you, there has been no prophet, priest, or king whose contribution to human development and destiny was not either paltry, arrogant, questionable or bogus, when compared to Yeshua of Nazareth, and still, in the year 2022, there is no prophet, priest, or king who is a genuine big deal. Not one.

The facts are in the historical record for anyone to read.  They are often hidden behind centuries of shoddy and shady approaches to interpretation and discipleship.  God does not need anyone’s opinion, tribal or national practice to form the foundation of his kingdom.  They do not know they are kidding who grap headlines by mounting a prophet, an apostle, or a witness to resurrection from the dead (or some other miracle) as proof of their authority, Christian documents are not about a prophet’s authority: they are the authority. 

Straight through to the facts via questions

  1. Do we believe in all the prophets?
  2. Who knows that many prophets are false?
  3. Do we believe in the witnesses who wrote the New Testament?
  4. How does opinion get formed without reading?
  5. Are not tribal and national practice solely responsible for destabilizing societies?
  6. Was there ever a culture that met the global necessities of governance?

Honest and conscientious answers

  1. No.
  2. I do.
  3. No. Only faith in God truly matters
  4. Through authoritarian operatives like parents, prelates and despots.
  5. Yes.
  6. No.

“Step right up, candidates for king of the hill”

Maybe our Persian brothers might want to nominate Cyrus, and we could not blame them. Gee man! How many individuals are named in prophecy, as Cyrus was, decades before their birth, and destined to expose the irrational insistence of ethnic purity? Do not fool yourself: even if all of the religions that claim to have a vital thing with the Lord Christ conquered or dominated all the planet’s governments and countries we would simply have more embarrassing righteous zealots fouling up things for the next generation just as men and women have always done.  The big idea about Christ can hardly be considered without Abraham and he had little in common with murderers and misogynist extremists.    Western and eastern reflections on Abraham and Christ have failed to capture the enduring wholesomeness of the father of the Jewish people, and way too many reflections, including nominally Christian ones, end in Anti-semitic rants and sometimes in death chants.  Abraham is the indisputable icon for prophet and father, just man and believer. God’s Anointed person for the blessing of all human families even more clearly demonstrates the case for a big, unprecedented, spiritual and global deal by means of the following characteristic elements.

  1. The alien magi at Christ’s birth (6 BC)
  2. Christ’s recognition of the extraordinary faith of foreigners and outsiders (AD 30-33)
  3. Christ’s open arms to Samaritans
  4. Christ’s treatment of women
  5. Fourteen language groups attending the Feast of Weeks (ca. AD 36) witnessing the church’s birth
  6. The intensive mission to the Gentiles by the (Jewish) followers of Christ all the way to Rome

Politics and tribalism

Those six characteristic elements of Christian revelation should suffice, but the thing we call faith is daily being confused with great-sounding slogans and cute memes.  If you are a smart ass, you can ask closed questions until you arrive at the “nothing to see here” junction.  The futility of a lot of searches for the big deal comes from the very structure of society.  The judges and priests of ancient Israel, for example, were just the kind of operative that would not recognize Christ as a candidate for priest, king and even prophet.  They were judge, jury, executioner, and impartial public servant, and they had reason to believe that they would be God’s servants as long as there were descendants of Aaron.  It seems unlikely that the levitical priests or the prophets of Israel were just standing by to turn the keys over to a nobody from Nazareth.  In the same way, the prophets and their disciples were not all that quick to discuss any limits on how they delivered their Master’s messages. How big their error in this matter is (against the backdrop of persistent missteps, Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24, 27, Hebrews 3:10)  is the subject of Christ’s own evaluation of all who preceded him.  Perhaps a shaman from a Pacific island or a necromancer from the Arabian Peninsula will have a reason to be exempt from this evaluation. The western democrats who would like us to believe that World War II was fought to ensure succeeding generations rights and freedoms will find a reason too.  That war, the ballot box, the right to life and freedom of expression are all sacred idols.  Once we begin to talk about sacredness of secular things how can we not see the worship of an idol (false god) increasing every year as we memorialize the sacrifice of thousands of service men and women? As important as the liberation from Nazi and Fascist tyranny was it is a meagre god, and maybe the descendants of those who fought are estranged children of that non-god.

“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.”

John 10:8, NASB

Prophet, priest, and king paradigms

The functions that help us to identify where Christ should excel are his assignment as spokesman, his inheritance of David’s throne,  and his mediation as the redeemer of mankind.  Talking about Christ as another prophet, priest, or king, misses the mark by a wide margin.  This saying about “all who came before me” does not present Christ slandering the prophets, priests and kings. If they were all perfect – or at least mature – messengers at least one of them might have been designated saviour of the world. There is no question that all humans are sinners, or that every prophet knows he is a servant in God’s messaging business, and does not live forever.   Imagine if you can, how it is now fashionable to find something good to say about the destroyers of human lives, the publishers of misinformation, and the sellers of miracles, but have nothing to say about their evil ways and behaviours.   Who dares to imagine that God has nothing to say to humanity about the abuses of authority, the theft of property, and the destruction of almost all that is precious?

Let’s just get a prophet

If you want to turn the authority to review civic laws and policy over to another human just like us, go right ahead.  You had better make sure he or she is wiser than Solomon, and do not complain when he feeds you the imaginations of his people and culture.  Moses predicted that he was not always going to be consultant number one.  So Moses is not the hope of the world.   Why anyone from any country would be jealous of Moses, and be ready to protest God’s choice of one human family to be the repository of his most consequential intervention is symptomatic of the human condition that we have utterly failed to remedy.

A daring deceptive and deep dive

If one of Abraham’s descendants is going to have the authority to review and implement whatever has been spoken by the prophets he had better also be more than a mere talker.  If we are to make anything of God’s interest in rebellious and failure-prone human beings it would  be clear that his intervention should be something other than those popular death remedies for unacceptable behaviour. The person who will review Moses, and display what the condition and consequence of prophecy are, can only be the Author and Finisher of all of God’s lifesaving instructions.  The idea of the “prophet to replace the prophets” has to have something refreshingly distinct from the former, and inventions of every kind, such as objects of veneration (altars, statues, and buildings) are simply mere superstition.  He cannot be just a spokesman/prophet, because if he were, he would, as all representative heads are expected to, have to also represent what they spoke about.  Diving into the prophetic arena is a popular distraction.  Prophets who call attention to themselves instead of God and God alone confirm that their commission is bogus.

Into the talk abyss

Kings, prophets and priests will have run amok if the people to whom they are assigned put them on a pedestal without absorbing the content of their message and duties. One universal given for persons gifted to serve in one of the three arenas (prophet, priest, king) is rejection by  their native communities.  Acceptance of a prophet is a shaky foundation when it comes to absolute virtues.  Still there are many who think that all we need is a good prophet (as opposed to a bogus one) to authenticate the sects and movements of Christianity in the modern era.  The rabbis and imams, and gurus are all talkers.  No prophet or priest or king can claim with facts a fulfilled function for all humans.  It is simply not their business.  When we venture into the world of practical consequence we see all the ugliness of our ancient ancestors: tribalism, xenophobia,  murder of innocents, abuse of widows and orphans, and an open door to trample on the rights of individuals.  They provide no guarantee of personal integrity and steady spiritual growth.  Catching the idea of what God is looking for means seeing how he invested mankind with one mouth but two ears, a pair of hands, and a pair of feet.  There were prophets throughout history who may have done more than say what God says, but few will get any medals for doing what God wants to do with humanity.  Even a prophet like Jonah, a man equipped with a child’s understanding of God’s majesty, gets commended anything more than incidental talkers and not the best listeners.

Jonah gets credit

The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Matthew 12:41, NASB

Who is not a robber or thief?

Not only was Christ distinct from local predecessors, he was on a different mission from all of the world’s rulers.  For an exhaustive list – all who have preceded Yeshua – of thieves and robbers one would have to look way beyond Israelite ancestors, prophetic and priestly forebears, to all the neighbouring equivalents. If a person thinks his fate depends on what the authorities of his community have said and practiced there is no room at all for God to monitor human affairs and intervene with finality.  Prophets, kings, judges, and priests cannot be the final authority without catastrophically bringing the house down. If the prophets, priests, and kings were neither robbers nor thieves maybe they were secret Baal-worshippers, murders, liars, and coveters. The prophets and all their contemporaries had to have a reason to plead for mercy in God’s court, and we would have to believe that the murder of an innocent man is of no consequence, as happened to Christ, while the blood of goats and bulls can be credited with being at the core of divine character and atonement.

Misplaced confidence and self-interest

Good and faithful pastors, courageous prophets, and countless other graced individuals who have had God’s commendation and our appreciation can all be found in possession of things that do not belong to them.  Every single one has taken the shine off of God’s glory with their misplaced confidence that they had the last word.  Neither Christ nor any of his disciples have tried to maintain the illusion that all who came before Christ were something other than the real Mccoy. “Thieves and robbers” is not a finding of a grand jury in pursuit of a criminal charge. All the caretakers of humanity, such as the world empires and the local leaders, whether they are kings or prophets or priests does not change the fact that they failed in the quest for righteousness, and helped themselves liberally to the proceeds.  That failure is confirmed by the now-impossible daily sacrifices for sin and the annual cleansing of the sanctuary (Leviticus 16:16)

1) Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, 2) So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans.”

Isaiah 10:1-2, NASB

As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;

Ezekiel 34:8, NASB

The prophets of Israel, the best by far of the lot anywhere on the planet, have been known to be:

  • a lot of hot air (Jeremiah 5:13
  • victims of their bias (Jeremiah 14:13)
  • publishers of lies in God’s name (Jeremiah 14:14)
  • silly (Hosea 9:7)
  • reckless and treacherous (Zephaniah 3:4)

“Thieves and robbers” still defines those in authority in many religious bodies and in secular leadership.  When leaders in the 21st century are busy  picking the pockets of their congregants,  and when ambitious politicians have not yet found a law to end discriminatory policies or guarantee access to collective security and prosperity, we know we are at the end of a rope on a tiny ledge overlooking a steep cliff.  The phrase – my predecessors are all thieves and robbers –  should now be interpreted to include those who have come after the Messiah. The brazen racial discrimination, financial scams, and shady fundraisers run by religious groups, deserve special attention. Theft and fraud are rife.  What Yeshua said about thieves and robbers is not outrageous because of possible slander of all his predecessors (not just kings, prophets, priests, saviours).  It is not outrageous for egocentrism: he was in a class by himself, even as people from the exceptional tribe of Judah are evaluated.  He is unlike anyone in the highly esteemed house of David.  While he seems the same as his peers, his zeal over the horrible abuses in the temple as Isaiah (56:7) and Jeremiah (7:11) saw, no true prophet of God would protest being called a thief or robber.

My successors are all thieves and robbers

Apparently, rugged and robust honesty is exceedingly rare.  Moses could not honestly tell the Israelites that their esteemed practices and judgments, which he himself had taught and enforced, would never end.  He did not have to.  It was near the end in his life that he discovered that a prophet would arise who would have the final say on all matters (Deuteronomy 1818-19 and Acts 3:22-23).  We do not need to track down the lives of the apostles and other church leaders to see if they ever stole or robbed. That they performed their missions successfully and admirably and were touched by pride and hypocrisy and the common barriers that deny God the glory of being effective in their daily lives is no secret.  Falling short (the expression from Romans 3:23) is no stranger to any believer, be he or she prophet, priest, king, rabbi, or imam.There would be no point to God being merciful and pursuing humans with goodness and forgiveness. 

Peer to peer

For a big deal view of Christ as distinct from thieves and robbers take a look at his seven letters to the Asian churches in Revelation 2-3. Christ is such a huge deal that any mention of God that comes without a descendant of David is going to be a symptom of theft and robbery. The thief and robber is in possession of things he claims as his own, which are the exclusive property of the one who sends him. That covers all humans who have claimed to be all that God demands. Christ is such a big deal that the mountains and fortresses of government, science, and religion can only become valleys and ravines. Christ is such a big deal that secular powers were going to abandon the common human causes and pursue a path of theft and robbery in defiance of the big deal that Christ represents.

Time’s up: change must occur

Christ is such a big deal that anyone who runs into Christ’s forerunner can not be unconvinced that the status quo was in bad shape. Change, return and repentance have to be the goto response to what God has to say, or there would be no point to fatherly love. I do not have to present any evidence to show that none of the religious movements have made a big deal of God’s intense fatherhood. I guess if God is just a Creator there needs to be no personal relationship with him. If God is not a father there is no need for either emotional or rational experience to adorn the relationship. Life’s highest target is most certainly not just doing as we are told.

No matter where you live on this planet there are few communities which have not felt the consequences of an imperial and colonial power, and even fewer that have not had several gods, and there is none where God is actually acknowledged as a father to whom people can relate along the lines of human parenthood. This absence of a caring and paternal figure also leads to men rejecting the brotherhood of all humans, because there are no absolute bonds between men in even a little village. Yahweh makes a big deal of his people as sons (see the opening of Isaiah’s prophecy and verse 5 of chapter 56), and persistently calls Israel, all the people, “son” (Exodus 4:22, Deuteronomy 32:19, Hosea 11:1). Along with the intrigue of the Roman (or other similar authorities), the local puppet kings, the shaky alliances between the religious factions, the return from exile with a persistent xenophobic policy, and the presence of an armed insurgent faction, all add up to convincing evidence that time was up, and a very different Judea needed to emerge. It was a mix from which everyone knew society needed to break. As Christ’s herald and the lone voice in the desert might have said “Who alerted you”?

Christ stumps everyone. That is why his contemporaries peppered him with what they thought tricky and entrapping questions. How can Christ be no big deal when he shows no interest in replacing anyone’s prophet, priest or king? What might he be up to, really?

  • Let us say that he is an unimaginably huge deal because a different Judea did not emerge, just as John the Baptist said (axe at the tree’s root, etc.)
  • He is a big deal when he predicts his death and and attempt to silence and murder his disciples
  • Christ is a big deal because his mission revolves around his death and that is a universal reminder of what living creatures owe one another

This debt finds no satisfaction in any thing we can bring to the table. A wise man’s perspective points us towards “[doing] righteousness and justice [which] Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3, NASB) An ancient judge, seer, and priest, Samuel, offers his view, as if the first humans were any less victims of their ability to choose than we are.

“Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”

1 Samuel 15:22

It’s on TV! It’s global

A certain TV channel calling itself The New Forum was observed today labeling the brazen assault on Ottaws’s residents an expression of joyful giving.  If one  guest had said it might have slipped by as an item for which the host forgot to show the video.  When the very next guest says the same words- verbatim  – I knew that the station’s frequent legal expert guests are nothing more than a smoke screen for alternate realities like the happy tourists at the American capital on January 6th 2021.

It is on TV! The conservative sore losers are freedom fighters

These freedom loving occupiers of capital cities never heard about Caesar’s domain and Christ’s domain. Who believes that?

I am hoping that someone else notices and figures out how to get the CRTC to examine the station’s license.  I am pretty sure that when Canadians discuss justice these days the topic is no longer focused on a juvenile attempt to imitate ancient Israel’s figleaf, or the wave-ruling Britannia, or the uniquely Canadian justice that colours our most recent holiday.  How naive it is to think that the world is watching Canadian news and that people all over the globe are jumping on the insurrection bandwagon!

On the Staircase Down

When the unmarked graves of First Nations children were discovered there was a whispered outrage for about as long as it took to endure the reports. Canadians are in wonderland over the right to protest science, the right to shape public opinion, the right to call ourselves good people. The facts are mounting to corroborate our greatest concerns about a homicidal gene in our DNA. It takes two years to reveal that all humans are deceitful and rebellion-prone. When the judges and their “long arm” stop negotiating with criminals, re-imagine the world without people calling themselves fundamental and extreme, and uproot the purveyors of the fuel for nationalism, religious bigotry, financial terrorism and the mishandling of our food and drink supply. When imitating the United States of America with its right to free speech and the proliferation of weapons becomes popular or even the focus of the media we are on a staircase down.

Resurrect the fathers

If you believe the dead are alive we ought to be interrogating the politicians, police departments, the priests, and anyone who heard the children and their families complain about their school mates. Gosh, are there not records?

An American copycat will fizzle

If the silent and numerous pastors are any indication of progress it is netherbound. The name of Christ can be flashed in a violent overthrow of duly constituted government but it is certain that forked tongues are leading the intellect of many. They are silent about the difference between telling people what the Bible says and showing what it means. Freedom is absolute in our minds, but on the street Christians care about all their neighbours. They are silent about the plate they pass to support insurrection and lawlessness. Canadians are not buying American duplicity because the direction of the staircase is unmistakably down.

What I see

Is the interim Conservative leader trying to intimidate the Prime Minister by looking straight at him while addressing the Speaker of the House?

Guess who is shouting incessantly when the government has the floor to answer questions from members of parliament.

It is my considered opinion that the BQ and Conservatives are twins in their denial of their racist heritage and recent history. My mother is neither France nor England. I see the outrage and the right to protest barely rippling the pond when First Nations lives are being shattered by the discovery of more unmarked graves. What a time to be talking about the absolute right to shut down a city and commerce!

The Heckles and Jeckles of Canadian history have their hearts duct-taped, and the sounds coming from those hearts are getting more muffled, just like the tones in the nationalist and (necessarily) bigoted theological and insurrectionist constructs now popular in the capitals of some of the former imperial rapist nations. The Bloc and the Tories should seriously consider a makeover before the next generation grabs them by the ballot. Bullies never win.