Friday, August 8, 2014

Prophetic Particularity

The Good intentions of men should never usurp the Divine intentions of God

            When I was growing up my sisters and I would often visit my grandmother who was a great cook.  Despite my grandmother being a great cook, there were some things that she could not get my older sister to eat.  She would always tell her, “You are too picky and have too many likes and dislikes.”  My sister nonetheless would not be moved or change her mind about particular foods she did not like.   As is demonstrated numerous times in the bible and in some of the previous articles, God too has a strong affinity for particularity.   This affinity manifest itself in the book of Genesis when Noah is speaking prophetically over his sons after the flood.  He had just had an incidence with his sons involving his nakedness and Ham’s reporting of it to his brothers and proceeds to speak about his sons’ futures.  (Genesis 9: 22).  In verse 26, he proclaims, “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem.”  From his words it is evident that Noah understood the power of speaking and also which son God was choosing to make himself known.  Also, indicative in his statement is that his sons and by extension their descendants would lapse into the worship of false gods, but he would redeem one son from them to be his people. 
            We next see this particularity manifest in God’s calling of Abraham who is a descendant of Shem.  Specifically, God tells him, “Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you and I will make you a great nation…” (Genesis 1-2).  Consider that God did not call his two brothers Nahor or Haran who equally are of the line of Shem.   He made a choice and the reasons underlying his choice is not readily apparent, but as the sovereign God it is his to make.  It could be that Abraham is a second son as Shem is and in the Principle of Second (The Age To Come),  I posited that in a set of two that which is first represents the flesh and that which is second that which is spiritual.  Also, it illustrates the theme of separation as God separated Abram from his fellow Shemites and then from his brothers.   In Prophetic Speaking Part 1,  Moses and Aaron exemplifies this concept of separation which the reader can review, but when the laws are given for the worship of him even within the congregation of Israel, God’s particularity appears in the separation of the Levites as being the ones to minister before him. 
            There are occurrences in the life of Israel where ignoring or being ignorant of this particularity causes trouble.  I have already talked about the incidence with Korah, Dathan and Abiram.  But there is another incidence having to do with the ark of God being brought to Jerusalem by King David.   The basic backdrop is that David had been anointed King of Israel and was now taking the throne.  He wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem also known as the City of David.  Specifically, I Chronicles 13: 6-10 provides, “And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kirjath Jearim, which belonged to  Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who dwells between the cherubim, where His name is proclaimed.  So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.  Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on cymbals, and with trumpets.  And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled.  Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.”  “David was afraid of God that day saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?” (vs. 12).  When I first read this story many years ago, my initial response was “Wow, God killed him and it was an accident.  He was just trying to protect the ark.”  I may have thought then that it was an extreme response, but what it demonstrates is (1) God expected people to respect his holiness in that the ark represented his presence and (2) The good intentions of men can never usurp the divine intentions of God.  Note that the people was singing, playing harps and cymbals and trumpets with all their might.  They were having a good ole church time praising the Lord.  God did not care about any of that. 
            So what does God care about?  He cares about detail and about people not substituting their own judgments for his commandments.  In the case of the ark, God had a people who he designated and called to handle the ark.  People could not just willy nilly decide someone else could take their place.  David having learned this lesson attempted to bring the ark up a second time, but this time he acknowledged, “No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever.” (I Chron 15:2).  Men have an inclination to look at the universe and see creation coming together haphazardly, chaotically or by happenstance as with evolution.  But the detail of creation reveals that it is anything but the aforementioned and God in his dealings with Israel validates this particularity for detail. If He is the same yesterday, today and forever than he is still prophetically particular about detail and that includes the people whom He called as a nation naturally and spiritually.
            A wise man once said, “The good is the enemy of the divine.”  In my own walk I have learned you can do a good thing, but it may not be the right thing.  The flaw of Israel, the church and even humanity is that we eschew following directions that lead to life often to our detriment.  We do good things that look good on the outside, but we fail to inquire of God as to what it is that he wants leading to the budding of fleshly fruit which dies instead of spiritual fruit which lives.  For we would do well to remember as Isaiah 55:8 reports, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways my ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts, “says the Lord."

1 comment:

  1. Regarding your essay on particularity. There is another aspect of God's particularity that came to mind while reading it. Institutionalize or organized religion is stumbling block to mankind and is to be avoided. Why do I say this? Well, I recall reading somewhere that "we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling". I cannot find support anywhere in the Christian Greek Scriptures that God wanted to establish a "church" with his Son as the centerpiece. Instead, what I find is His Son condemning the "religion" of the Israelites, which had been reduced to adhering to "the traditions of men, rather than the Word of God". Throughout the so-called "churches" we see this phenomenon. The "churches" and religious "leaders" have gotten in between God and the congregation, the real church. Where did a "paid clergy" and "lazy laity" concept come from? Our oppressors. Where did an "organized, institutionalized religion" come from? Our oppressors.
    Let us return and accept personal responsibility for developing an intimate and personal relationship with the Most High, without interference of "organized religion". As I understand it, global organized religion is the first thing of satan's system that will be destroyed. Doesn't God tell "his people" to "get out of her"? Will be obedient and respect God's particularity, in this case?