Archive for March, 2008

Evil Blessings.

March 15, 2008
sunset.jpg
Christian studies, activities 
KEY SCRIPTURE
Exo. 2:23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
In earlier blogs it has been established that there is a parallel between the spiritual, social, and personal levels of existence. And, of the two major types of ideologies, purpose-driven and task-oriented, early Egypt represents the latter (social level). This “afflicts” them with spiritual myopia (blindness, bigotry, i.e. spiritual level), and causes them to afflict the Israelites (personal level).
You may recall the story of The Wizard Of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. In a sense, the Egyptians played the role of the evil Witch (spiritual level); eventually “in process of time, the king of Egypt died (KEY SCRIPTURE; “I’m melting”).” Just as the Witch mistreated others for personal gain, so did Egypt (personal level). Therefore, we should understand that after reaching a higher level of maturity (“process of time”) Mankind was in line for a less oppressive system of socio-religious beliefs (social level).
Amazingly, some times we are really unconcerned about how abusive we are to others, and at best we’ll only try to make thenn accept the fallacious justifications of our abuse. Bullies were usually themselves victimized by overt hostility, and instead of developing the moral courage to overcome the injustice, they actually perpetuate it! Sometimes though, becoming a bully is simply a case of “doing unto others before they do unto you.”
Undoubtedly, although Egypt enslaved the Jews out of the fear of having to face them as enemies, they also sought to be “blessed” by exploiting them for some 400 years. When we are myopic, we confuse an “evil” boon for a blessing. Consider the following story.
An unhappy husband (or wife) says, “if I had the money, I’d get a new spouse!” Sure enough he hit the lottery, and sure enough he gets a new wife along with a new house, new cars, and all the trimmings that prosperity brings. One evening he surveys his “kingdom”, and feeling satisfied he goes to bed happy that he had won all that money. However, the next day his new wife is jailed. Why?! For killing him for all that money!  
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Prv. 16:25).”
This circumstance in Egypt was used purposely by God to illustrate to the world the sagacity (wisdom) of this verse. Rom. 9:17 reads, “for the scripture (Exo. 9:16) saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.” In other words, when we are not living according to our purpose found in Rev. 4:11 (“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”), we are setting ourselves up for judgment! (Anyone recall Luk. 22:42 “not My will but…”?).
In the case of Egypt, this judgment was predicted by God in Gen. 15:7 where it states, “And He said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” 8 And he said, “LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” 9 And He said unto him, “take Me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he took unto Him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And He said unto Abram, “know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses) they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites (Canaanites) is not yet full.
So, why did Israel end up serving Egypt after “waxing mightily” in Exo. 1:7? Reading Deu. 28:47 we find, “because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”
The declination (decrease) in joyfulness will propel one to take up the LORD’s offer in Isa. 1 to, “18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
In the KEY SCRIPTURE, “their groaning” reveals that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (Jam. 5:16). Also, “the blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it (Prv. 10:22).” To have success in life without a prayer life can make us feel we’re in charge, and in the beginning we may  be grinning while sinning because we’re “winning”! However, when the pendulum swing the other way, that’s when we discard that 1-800 Self-Help number and seek Wisdom that “was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was (Prv. 8:23).” That is, if we finally get enough of stumbling over and over again!
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth (scolds) not; and it shall be given him (Jam. 1:6).” In other words, if we don’t want to be enslaved by less than purposeful ideologies which prevents us from being “fruitful”, and from loving our neighbors, we should pray to “Him that is able to keep you from falling(Jude 1:24)
My prayer is that we continue to be (Gal. 5:22-23) loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good (gracious), faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Pray for one another so that we can enjoy a new life now, and be a part of the “new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1)“!
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