Canning a basic can do

There are fourteen “can you” questions in Job. The most riveting are Yahweh’s to Job at the end of the human speeches. It seems that it was popular in antiquity to question a person’s ability on a superhuman scale when a person seems to have fallen off the bus. What ever happened to the basic can dos? Asking a mere mortal to explain his own origin and experience can result in a mountain of lies and fantasy. There is a question that comes, having legs that decisively force a person to can even the most basic human “can do”.

Ability addressed four times

The verb that designates ability (like Greek’s dunamai, I can), appears 183 times in the Hebrew Bible, but yukal, he is able, appears three times in the human speeches and once in Job’s response to Yahweh’s.

If one ventures a word with you, will you become impatient? But who can refrain from speaking? (Job 4:2, NASB)

“Who can shut up?” argues Eliphaz.

For calamity from God is a terror to me, And because of His majesty I can do nothing. (Job 31:23, NASB)

Job confesses “I am helpless”.

Refute me if you can; Array yourselves before me, take your stand. (Job 33:5, NASB)

Elihu throws out a challenge, “Prove me wrong”.

I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2, NASB)

Job confesses Yahweh’s ability

Basic “can do”

“Can do” to the waste bin

The canning begins when Yahweh rips into Job, not Job’s miserable comforters. It is humanity’s relationship with an animal that comes under scrutiny without a line on actual ability. The question that puts human can-do in the can is “How is your dominion over leviathan?”, and it has fourteen legs.

  1. Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?
  2. Or press down his tongue with a cord?
  3. Can you put a rope in his nose
  4. Or pierce his jaw with a hook?
  5. Will he make many supplications to you,
  6. Or will he speak to you soft words
  7. Will he make a covenant with you?
  8. Will you take him for a servant forever?
  9. Will you play with him as with a bird
  10. Or will you bind him for your maidens?
  11. Will the traders bargain over him?
  12. Will they divide him among the merchants?
  13. Can you fill his skin with harpoons,
  14. Or [fill] his head with fishing spears? (Job 41:1-8, NASB)

All the people running around with an “I can do all things” attitude are practically incapable and seem to have little understanding about the primary responsibility for humans over the planet in having dominion over animals of the sea, the sky and the land and in the water! Straight to the can!

Swimming in the shallow end

Is it possible that this intellectual enterprise – populated by many whose testimony concerning the Lord Yeshua I have personally witnessed, and by many who remain unknown to me – has the diagnostics of Isaiah 29? It is not strange to me that what is advertised as nourishment turns out to be a dangerous diet. It is not wierd that there are people wanting to put their deep end diving into matters of the mind on public view who are actually swimming in the shallow end of the pool of redemptive matters.

Since when is it not noble to be one-track? We are in good company when our eye is single. This could be the kind of evidence that convinces people that the final hours of grace are indeed unfolding. Truth is not anything that fits the scenario we desire. Paul could retreat to the crucified Yeshua and John could was consistent in preaching repentance and the imminent kingdom of God.

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1Cor. 1:23 (KJV)

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1Cor. 2:2 (KJV)

Hate speech is fine: perhaps accepted as animated opinion, but criminal.

A Christian worldview and Judeo-Christian entities

There is no heroic alliance between the Messiah and any government. The god of this world is Satan. There is no heavenly government – no matter what their religious claim may be – therefore it is an abomination to slap a divine label on any government. The fact that there are Christians in the legislatures across the globe does not make the governments Christian. Jews and Christians recognize humanitarian values and on that basis are able to work together, but it is a either a coward or a novice who thinks that committed followers of Moses can be committed followers of Yeshua the Messiah. We say,  without reservation, that the buck stops with Yeshua on all matters. Judeo-worldview should be happening all over the globe since it had a massive headstart. Both testaments confirm that the disciples of Moses were present all over the known world from in Bible times, with some success. The Jewish people have preserved the Bible for the world, but that way of life is attractive to fewer and fewer people. A Christian (or Judeo-Christian) worldview is a view that comes from observing , for example, that legislation across the nations have elements from Mosaic Law. Theories about secular government are fair game and I know that the paths of Christ and Caesar are on a collision course.

Tell us you are not Jerusalem

Isaiah 28:14-15

14) Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, 15) Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Tell yourself that this cannot happen in the 20th century

Sleeping on the job

The Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.

Isaiah 29:10

I am a witness to the parade of shallow diving

Here is why discussion and genuine education is in the dump. Does it surprise you that people love little milky soundbytes instead of hard food? Do you think you know what excellence looks like?

VISION! Do not talk about it, coreect your way

11) The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12) Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”

Isaiah 29:11-12

We have seen Isaiah 28 and 29 play out in New Testament times and I am not taken by surprise when the faith of Christ is ignored in personal responsibility and then shot like an arrow into the secular world to create the appearance of an exalted nation. The only secular government sanctioned by the Sacted Text is the Levitical model. Its best expression comes in the reign of Solomon. His unique gift was wisdom to govern. His success did not include compliance with the primary proposition in Mosaic instruction. He worshipped the gods of the neighbouring nations.

Does not our passion deserve the label lipservice?

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,

Isaiah 29:13

I know of no serious interpreter of the gospel who has proposed that any nation adopt the governance model of ancient Israel and you cannot find a coherent set of rules for government in the teaching of the apostles. I have not seen any nation, ancient or modern, that has adopted the content of the Old Testament (the Law, Prophets, and Writings).

Political inventions of any stripe by Christians is a dereliction of duty. The call to hallow the divine name, to depend on Him for daily sustenance, to forgive are not government business. We know what judges do to our loved ones in accordance with secular law. We know what officers of the law have been doing to innocent people.

Our dinner was once waste

Where does the idea of righteous nation come from? Can there be biblical government without a king, or more precisely, can there be biblical government without a priest-king? Let the arrival of the Christ-child inform your answer. We can also let the modern state of Israel and the host of nations giving up the idea of monarchy or those jurisdictions making the monarch ceremonial guide our feet into the contemporary political situations.

Due to what people were consuming for guidance God evaluated the table as ineffective.

Deadly Intoxication and Poor Nutrition

7) And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment. 8) For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.

Isaiah 28:7-8

The half-cocked leadership

14) Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, 15) Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

Isaiah 28:14-15

Excuse me for kissing the sky when it comes to taking refuge in the Rock of Ages. Christian people do not fake respect for men and when they say they know anything we can be sure it is not secondhand. News is news, truth is truth, but truth seekers have reliable means of getting to the core.

The believer is Jerusalem

It is in the believer that God has chosen to live. The privileges and obligations of the believer can only be exported to a corporate entity at the risk of wasting the pearls. If there were to be a corporate entity (secular by default) composed entirely of Christians it would suffer defeat because of discrimination and nepotism,  especially if it were Levitical. Alliances between the holy city and other similar entities formed the basis for a curse and for the indictment of harlotry. We do well to take cues from these early developments and warnings.

Cursed for relying on human help

Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5

An expectation of good government has to be rooted in the person and work of the Lord Yeshua and Daniel predicts a spectacular inauguration.

Raging prostitution, popular among the chosen

Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the Lord.

Hosea 5:4

Christ’s government

Yeshua needs no help in setting up his government. There is no believer preparation for his reign except to simply live their lives as witnesses to the cross. For now, believers experience the kingdom of God in our participation in the daily work of the ministry. The kingdom comes every day as we submit to our pastors and every good thing.

Without (human) hands

34) You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35) Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

Daniel 2:34-35


For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”

Revelation of John 18:3

No Christian or other government in sight

And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

Revelation of John 11:18

Let me be mad, a sold out fan, for holding up to the light of the gospel all the theories of government, progress, and excellence.

I believe all things

Believers get a bad name because of the appearance that anything goes; fantasy, fable, new and old speculation are where faith seems to go consistently. We like to say that we have it documented. This belief in the man from Nazareth, Yeshua the Messiah, is, to us, eternal reality, previously hidden, now brought to light, is factual. I am sure you are aware that literacy is on the decline, defeated by the viral video and germ-laded tweets and various audio soundbytes types. The book, the one reliable source of authority, lies slain where acquiring the tools for literate participation and the publishing of facts and reliable information personal stories get treated as patterns for . I believe that professors of theology need to have at least a little theology, but that is not the case. I believe that politicians sign up for selfless servive, but that is not the case. I still believe. I believe that political spin doctors should have at least a blind political passion. I have come close to not believing that intelligent colleagues would argue that the mainstream media cannot be trusted.

I believe all things, just in case

Someone had better explain what credibility does a professor of religion (or theology) have when he or she recommends that some media (outlets) are not to be trusted. Are we carrying around lists of media outlets that people can trust?

How we get to the place where we want to believe whatever is on the menu is a mystery, not subject to human decree or willpower. Each sentient being can be expected to have self-defence capacities. We know that if we believe a lie disappointment is in the mix. All things do not work for you. You avoid them. I find and do the same. We believe that pigs fly when God or someone else wants them to. We pin our hopes neither on the blood of a bull if we want atonement for our sin, or on pigs flying. We still believe that “not-guilty” only comes from life given in appropriate payment.

Marksmen we could use

What would we say if we found out that the people from whom we expect deadly accuracy were repeatedly missing the mark? Perhaps nothing, due to shock.

The 700 stone-slinging men in the army of the tribe of Benjamin were probably also the kind of guys you want to have at a stoning. Ideally, when it came to war with neighbours, Israel needed only march and praise God with the covenant tokens out front.

I say, we need to call on the marksmen with a solid reputation.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

It would be great if we who are marksmen can stand in our place and say “I present you with the certainty, free from my opinion, of what is written”

Personally Responsible But Absent

Actions in the Old Testament have not only tense, mood and voice. They have stems (7 or 8 of them!) that each arranges the subjects in a unique relation to the action. For example the stems of to walk (halak) can mean (a) walk, (b) walk about, (c) make [someone or something] go [away], and (d) go to and fro.  In Exodus 3:8 the Lord is causing the deliverance and the ascent from Egypt.

The causation plays out either in the action or the outcome. The deliverance and ascent of Exodus 3:8 are action causatives. It was Moses and Joshua who were God’s agents on the ground delivering and conveying.

and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Exod 3:8

We know that the personal arrival of God did not occur until the Word became flesh and live among us, so “I have come down” is to be understood in limited sense in that the interactions are accomplished through human or angelic agents.

Christ had no helpers in atoning for human rebellion. He was all alone in the passion, resurrection and exaltation.

Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. Acts 7:53

Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Gal 3:19

Out of the Box

The title is a variation of out of the gutter, the gutter being the place where the waste fringe our necessary process are channeled away from us. I think that few people want to be in a box, or dependent on a box, and definitely not terrorized by a box. However, life is stranger than human imagination. Box theology is the basis for a large portion of beliefs regarding spiritual things. How it eludes the seeker that there is no merit for doing nothing that offends is part of the mystery. The distinction of being perfectly harmless and sinless belongs to Christ. The rest of humanity needs to admit that Christ has brought that debate to a conclusion.

No life except from Christ

The ark and its contents may attract a great deal of attention in our times, just as other groups have sacred objects with which they invest a lot of confidence, but it was prophesied a long time ago that people will not ever even remember it or speak of it. The warrant then for all the talk about the commandments of God and especially those commandments that were written on stone must be satanic.

Our pledges, determination and commitment to not offend God do not bring a single ray of sunshine to our lives, yet this is where most Christians claim to live.

Puffed up and ready to pop

There is a genuine lack of humility which may be due, in part, to the idea that God fixes everything when he gives us access to his riches. Imagine the present world to be free of illness, tears, hungry people, death and sorrow, and we are in prime Christian territory. When we ask believers if they are holy or unholy, sinners or perfected humans, we begin to see what box theology has done to cripple those seeking the Way to God.

Which of the ten words in the ark gives life to the dead?

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 2 Corinthians 3:7-8

Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me? John 7:19

Three strikes – nix the box

If the people who studied and praised the law for hundreds of years failed to do what it says, there is no hope for a sound interpretation of what the law says.

  1. Few people who can actually read it intelligently.
  2. To what end is our interest in what was a fading glory when Moses mediated it?
  3. None of the ten words gives life to the dead

Second-hand Secretaries

The specter of US officials choosing not to examine the evidence regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi is disturbing to the popular expectation that government has a vital interest in facts for everyone’s welfare. The conundrum is also a familiar one. There are many gatekeepers who have neither expertise nor experience in the business – electric power generation, supporting people’s personal needs, elder care – they are charged with supervising.

The familiar is also deadly. I know preachers who repeat a sentence or clause 70 times in 30 minutes and what they do not know is that people who have a habit (and immense privilege) of returning to look at the evidence know that there is not a lot of familiarity with the evidence behind such performances. The loud and repetitious presentations are a lot of hot air.

There are enough nurses and caregivers who have far too little compassion for needy and dependent persons. There are far too many people in positions of accountability who have little grasp of the material that they are charged with interpreting.

The world does not run on secondhand information despite the millions who, in 2018, have no firsthand relationship with the evidence. They read the translations of others like the US officials read the transcripts. They prefer to eat beef than to eat grain. They prefer 17th century English to 21st century Canadian-English and that only helps shatters the facade of the miraculous second-hand secretaries.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15