Monday, January 7, 2013

Ridiculously long post that should have probably been two. You have been warned.

“9 For Yahweh’s portion was his people,

    Jacob the share of his inheritance.
…he encircled him, he cared for him,

    he protected him like the apple of his eye.
…12 so Yahweh alone guided him,

    and there was no foreign god accompanying him.
13 And he set him on the high places of the land,

    and he fed him the crops of the field,

and he nursed him with honey from crags,

    and with oil from flinty rock,
14 With curds from the herd,

    and with milk from the flock,

with the fat of young rams,

    and rams, the offspring of Bashan,

and with goats along with the finest kernels of wheat,

    and from the blood of grapes you drank fermented wine.
15 And Jeshurun grew fat, and he kicked;

    you grew fat, you bloated, and you became obstinate;

and he abandoned God, his maker,

    and he scoffed at the rock of his salvation.
16 They made him jealous with strange gods;

    with detestable things they provoked him.
17 They sacrificed to the demons, not God,

    to gods whom they had not known,

new gods who came from recent times;

    their ancestors had not known them.
18 The rock who bore you, you neglected,

    and you forgot God, the one giving you birth.” (Deut 32)

“10 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all went through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5 But God was not pleased with the majority of them, for they were struck down in the desert.
6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we should not be desirers of evil things, just as those also desired them, 7 and not become idolaters, as some of them did, just as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play,” 8 nor commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed sexual immorality, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day, 9 nor put Christ to the test, as some of them tested him, and were destroyed by snakes, 10 nor grumble, just as some of them grumbled, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to those people as an example, but are written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore, the one who thinks that he stands must watch out lest he fall. 13 Temptation has not come upon you except what is common to humanity…
…14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I am speaking as to sensible people; you judge what I am saying…
…That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but that the things which they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to become sharers with demons. 21 You are not able to drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You are not able to share the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” (1 Cor 10)

“4 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 by the hypocrisy of liars, who are seared in their own conscience, 3 who forbid marrying and insist on abstaining from foods that God created for sharing in with thankfulness by those who believe and who know the truth, 4 because everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thankfulness, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” (1Tim 4)

My wife and I had a bit of a tiff last night.  She was reading an essay/confession of a mother distraught over what to do with her violent, unstable son.  A child she feared was capable of doing terrible, horrific things the likes of which our world sees far too much of.  My wife was pitying the woman and I do too but my nature is analytical.  If you tell me “what” I’ll want to know “why?”  This led to accusations of self-righteousness, being holier-than-thou and hypocrisy.  Things I get accused of a lot and I would be a pompous fool to deny for as Paul says, “For in that which you pass judgment on someone else, you condemn yourself, for you who are passing judgment are doing the same things.” (Rom 2)  Jesus wasn’t specific about whose eye the plank was in, he just said, “you.”
“Who me?”
“Are you a you?”
“Well, yeah.”
“Then yes, you.”
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 
Who will say “I have made my heart clean;

    I am pure from my sin”?” (Prv 20)
Nature abhors a vacuum.  20 For from the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, both his eternal power and deity, are discerned clearly, being understood in the things created…” (Rom 1)  Therefore, God abhors a vacuum.  Think about it.  Everything bad is not a thing at all.  It is the absence of something good.  Cold, absence of heat.  Dark, absence of light.  Apathy, absence of love.  Loneliness, absence of friends.  Emptiness, absence of filling.  Hunger, absence of food.  Food.  Let’s stop there.  Both the Deuteronomy passage and the Corinthians one makes mention of food.  Someone once said, if you are reading the Bible and not getting hungry, you’re not paying attention.  God has modeled love for us in food.  God loves us, he demonstrates this by feeding us, filling us.  The world was empty, God filled it.  His first command was, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.  God abhors a vacuum.  One of the first things he says of man is, “it’s not good for the man to be alone.”  Our hearts are void and empty with the Spirit hovering over them.  He stands at the door and knocks.  But since Adam, we have been rejecting Him and choosing to fill ourselves with pride, lust and sin.  A lie is the absence of truth and Satan, who is real, fed us with lies and we ate them up.  You see, if you don’t let God fill you, you will be filled.  43 “Now whenever an unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it travels through waterless places searching for rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came out.’ And when it arrives it finds the house unoccupied and swept and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings along with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there. And the last state of that person becomes worse than the first. So it will be for this evil generation also!”  (Matt 12)  I don’t know about you but I’m picturing Animal House.
You ask me, “Are demons real?”  I tell you, “Look around!  Open your eyes!”  The Scriptures are clear.  When we reject God’s food, God’s love, God’s lordship over us, we accept something else and if God is Love, God is Truth, God is Life then what we accept is apathy, indifference, lies, falsehood and death.  If we reject Jesus is the Way, then we accept being lost.  If reject Jesus as the Light and source of all Wisdom, then we accept living in darkness and the futility of our own thinking.

Why is there evil?  Why is the world in the mess it’s in?  Evil is the absence of good.  God is good and so evil is the absence of God.  The more we reject God, the more we look for scientific, humanistic, us-centered solutions to our problems the more we will fill ourselves with what is not God, filling our bellies with the fruit of Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good behavior his works, with the humility of wisdom.  (The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111)) 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, obedient, full of mercy and good fruits, nonjudgmental, without hypocrisy, 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace among, by, for those who make peace.” (Jam 3)

Do you want to expel the demons from among us?  Do you want a world free of Satan and sin and the effects of his rule? Jesus told us how, “his disciples asked him privately, “Why were we not able to expel it?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing except by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9) 

The world is starving and only Jesus has the food it needs.    There are much more than five thousand hungry mouths and souls out there. I was going to put a picture in but i don't want to influence what they look like to you because the fact is, they are everyone!  Need is all around us!  It takes many forms.  They are lonely, overwhelmed by insignificance, lost, in desperate need, in deep, dark despair, slaves to their lusts and their wraths, there is poverty, injustice, hunger.  Jesus looks at them and says, “You give them something to eat.”  But just as the disciples didn’t have to come up with enough food on their own, neither do we.  We are not the source!  Pray!  Fall on God’s mercy and repent!  Repent of trying to be your own source!  Of searching for other foods, other wells.  Pray and fast from those sources.  Seek heavenly food!  The Kingdom is near to you!  It is His joy to fill us!  I’m not saying we don’t have work to do.  We have gardens to tend.  We have flocks to shepherd but what we must do first is reattach to the Vine, the Source, fill ourselves with the Bread of Life, give thanks for what He gives us, whether little or much and then we will bear the fruit the world needs to eat, some two times, some ten, some hundredfold. God blesses us so we can be a blessing.  So we can be the Jesus they see!  Sharing our food, which is Jesus, with them just as He has shared himself with us.  Sharing the Truth with them just as it was given to us!  Pointing them to the Way and the Life.  To the lover of their souls who wants them back.  To their Father!  What is a problem?  What is a dilemma?  What is wrong with the world?  It is the absence of an answer.

And the answer is always Jesus.
55 “Ho! Everyone thirsty, come to the waters!

    And whoever has no money, come, buy and eat,

and come, buy without money,

    wine and milk without price!
Why do you weigh out money for what is not food,

    and your labor for what cannot satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,

    and let your soul take pleasure in rich food.” (Is 55)

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