We’re Not Past the God of the Bible

My man & I believe our lives are often a parable. There’s a saying we’ve heard many times: “the man is the message”. It strikes us being completely true. The bare naked truth. We can’t explain many things in our lives. Some of which we endure, some of which break upon us, some of which we seems to be an evident display before the people around us. God speaking in subtle ways. But why?

“To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again and be forgiven.”
 Mark 4:11-12

We’re not past the God of the Bible. We haven’t outlived the God who speaks, moves, and acts boldly. Jesus didn’t come to appease a wrathful God. Jesus came to represent a loving God, but a Love which we’re not familiar with. An enduring love.

But I’m not sure how much modern Christianity teaches us to pay attention to God (and God’s heart) except in our time of need. It’s like God is a given. There’s no need to stir ourselves to deeply consider God’s heart. Or so it seems that this is the message which we are given.

Yet God longs to be acknowledged. That is a constant theme throughout the Bible. When we forget to acknowledge God we don’t even acknowledge one another, at least not as that which God has created us to be. Instead we use a doctrinal filter to look at one another and decide if any given person is correct or correct enough (ect). All too quickly we don’t even see another person. We see a problem, a solution, a teacher, a heretic, but we neither see nor hear God’s heart about the person in front of us. A problem which started when we stared using God as pintrest board.

I know people often don’t see us or believe us to be much of anything. Yet I believe that God causes for us to live as parable to many.  A different parable to many different people, but I think God is speaking.
I suppose we so often missing seeing God because we often believe that we are God’s representatives and we don’t look for God among “the least of these my brethren” (Matthew 25:31-46). We believe we are bringing Jesus. Sometimes we do, but not quite the way which mission trips would have us to believe.

For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!  To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.  And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;  being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.

 – 1 Corinthians 4:9-14

Sometimes we are a parable.
He who has ears let him hear.

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Women Facing Stones

There he saw a well in the open country, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
“Why don’t you water the flocks so they can get back to grazing?” Jacob asked. “They’ll be hungry if you stop so early in the day!”
“We don’t roll away the stone and begin the watering until all the flocks and shepherds are here,” they replied.
As this conversation was going on, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother.
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.
 
Gen 29:2-3; Gen 29:7-10; Mark 16:1-4
Three flocks, three women. One well in the open county, one tomb in a lonely place. A large stone.  “Who will roll the stone away?”
How can we go on with our lives if the large stone remains as a cover for that which we seek to get to? Whom will we have to wait for? How long will we have to wait?
Yet there is one who has the promise to bless all nations within his body, who is able to roll the stone away. Who will not wait for the “correct” setting or correct time. Now is the time for the one who carries the promise of the Messiah within himself.
My husband and I have been going through studies, material, scriptures, and thoughts all searching through this idea of women in ministry. God vs women. The curse, the restoration of all things, the Messiah and Eve (and Adam). Who wins?
As people who are interested in this debate, we are those who are coming forth in the open country side. We ask ourselves, what will it take to find our identity in an eternal God who is not gender bias?  The scriptures themselves have been taken by bad shepherds who merchandise in the souls & flesh of men, and they have laid a large & heavy stone over top. Sealing us outside the source of what we so desperately seek to come unto.
Our journey has been hard.
Yet, we’ve been surprised by the picture set before us, as we come closer and closer. Something very strange. Something very different than we expected.
It’s not there.
The very large stone, that had always kept us waiting in line, and had made us waste precious hours of the day. It gone. It’s been removed. Now there’s a new man standing, waiting. Familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Loving and broken hearted. Excited, relieved, tired and renewed. Who is it that stands before us?
 “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”  And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it.  And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.  Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Rev 5:2-5
For better or worse, the Lord opens to us that which no one else can open. Our delight is that this opening, revealing gives us a sending. The times ahead maybe perilous, but the compare to the glory that is about to be revealed, it’s a small thing to endure.
There is something beyond us. Bigger than us. Yet we all get stuck on small biers. Thistle and thorns have kept us from coming sooner. Bad fruit that we were given to eat. It didn’t seem right at the time, and it surely wasn’t. It didn’t take us where it promised; it didn’t lead us to where we wanted to go. But there is the promise of redemption still.
In our journey to seek God’s face, to see how God feels about women, and what the whole of the Bible says, we have found ourselves aligned with stories of those who have fallen. Fallen for sin, or fallen for Love. Every turn has redemption in it.
We find it impossible to read all the way to the New Testament and find grudge-holding to be God’s ideal. Neither does the blame-game seem relevant anymore.  Instead,  when to comes to the issues of women, we have found God there in every turn, with love in his eyes. Heartbreak and love. Love always wins with God. God’s love swallows the heart break that was once there, until there is only love. It’s like Jesus…
It’s like Jesus and the women who was “caught in the act of adultery”. The whole issue seems to be summed up here:
“Where are your accusers? Are there any left?”
“No.”
“Then neither do I accuse you.”
Throughout the Bible there is reconciliation and redemption. Eve, Adam, and God. Paul, Junis, scriptures. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
There are no long held grudge match against women in scriptures. So where are those modern scholar’s who are without sin? Will they continue to hold their stones and point at women’s “short comings” while denying their own ancient faults? It’s impossible to be justified before Christ while holding onto that stone, holding onto that power, and holding onto the blood thirst.
As it turns out, even if no one else will place aside the stone (whether large or small) God has already set a redeemer to his Beloved, and the daughters of God no longer wait on anyone else.
The well is open, the tomb is empty, redemption has begun. It is up to each of us now, to decide whether we’ll drop or stones as well, or wether we harbor contempt for a woman who was set up and deceived. And where is that man who fell into sin with her? Has he alone been redeemed, forgiven, set free?
We must reconsider that facts, from God’s point of view. Least we let the letter of the law ensue within us blood thirst for one of God’s precious ones. Careful now…

How to Not Become What I Hate

I have the luxury that not too many time on my news feed do political things come up. However, the do come up. I can’t help but laugh at the slogan “not my president” like an individual needs a president, instead of that which it truly is, a country receives a president. I can’t help but notice the venom of not getting everything “my way”.
I’m surprised how many people have fallen in line with this. Surely there’s other ways to reasonably express the same thing. So much time spent on something so disliked. …and why? What difference will it make in the end?

What happened to be the change you want to see? Or is hate a hot seller right now? I wonder: How do we not become the thing we hate?

It’s not just about politics. It’s actual life and character that are at stake daily.  I ask myself this questions not because of politics or news feed propaganda, but because I’ve come across (and walked away from) people who cannot be reasoned with. People who are destructive, manipulative, cunning & deceitful yet claiming to be innocent. The struggle was all too real. Too close to home. Too appalling. In the end, I got nothing. No one heard me. I was the trouble maker for pointing out the lies. In the end all I had was this questions: How do I not become what I hate?

In our lives, I believe we learn not just from good examples, but also from bad examples. Yet either way, we can find that this path markers can become more like our aim or goal. We focus on them too much and we never get to enjoy the path ahead of us. We can even get into messy situations or get lost.

If I focus too much on what I despise (for the sake of not being that) there’s a chance I could actually accumulate those same traits, that same path. I could find myself almost hypnotized by it. I don’t want that to happen.

I have to keep a balance. I have to remember that goal and not just the means or the markers. I have to remember I am not the things that I’ve been “shunned” for, and that those who would shun me, don’t know me. They’re unwilling to know me. I have to know who I am, not based upon the accusatory things that others say. I have know truth apart from opinion. …and that’s ridiculously hard. But If I don’t it’s consumingly destructive.

Sometime I get lost in destruction. I forget to move. I forget to cover up and protect the necessary core. I get worked over by those who don’t intend good for me, but wins for themselves. I am in the way. …to them.

These moments can’t define me. I am more than my weakness. I am greater than my strength.  It’s something that takes training and self-diagnostics. It takes refocusing and breathing good air. I have to remember what is beautiful, and let that also be an inspiration. I cannot fill my head with what I despise, and then expect that I’ll become better than just that. I need to consider that there is beauty which is still waiting to unfold. I need to remember that I can be part of that (regardless of what others say I am). I need to protect that…delicately.

I need to remember that no matter who “won” that there’s a lot of work to do. Good work.

I am becoming something that I wasn’t before. I need to cultivate that into the good that I want to see. I need to keep my eyes on prize, and not dredge down into previous failings. I need to move forward, because there’s more than just me at stake.

I need to consider whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise… then these thing shall also obtain a place in my mind and my musings. I will not be overcome by imbalance and injustice. I will strive for beauty’s sake.

 

A Spirit Crying Out

I have this sense, that what we see around us isn’t the world going crazy, in so much as it’s every person with a spirit crying out for a very similar thing. A Messiah.

It’s clear enough to see that most people perceive something wrong with the world or culture that we live in. Many people believe that by the hand of force they can make a difference. Others believe with the correct ruler or god or president, that this world will become more of what they imagine Utopia would be like. Some still believe if we follow the correct system, that will eventually work everything out in the end.

Whether we imagine we’re seeking justice, love, equality, truth, authentic, holistic, prosperity, or perfect …we’re looking for a way to make that happen. Usually with a leader of some sort to get us there. Someone who can see the problems and have a quick decisive way to bring order. Maybe even something that lifts up our own values.

The simplicity of this, doesn’t really sound like a world gone crazy to me. As matter of fact, the Bible might even explain this as birth pangs. A longing for something new to be birth, and to bring things into correction or fullness or redemption.

We call it “the restoration of all things”.
I see it everywhere.
Black Lives Matter, anti-Trump, pro-Trump, Isis, Jihadist, ect.

I find it really isn’t so different than these that took place while Jesus was on the Earth. Different names, yes. Different faces, I suppose. But the pushing, the waiting, the anxiousness and urgency -very much the same.

Sometimes (maybe often) we feel like God doesn’t work fast enough. Maybe that God doesn’t understand what it’ll like to have this trapped feeling of want something greater but not being able to affect change. Maybe God doesn’t understand time and history, because maybe he gets to live outside of time. Maybe God doesn’t care as much as we’d previously assumed, because nothing is worse than feeling stuck and watching glory & hope fade all around you.

Then again…

Maybe God does understand this. Maybe the only reason we even feel this way is because God felt it first. Maybe the push and the urgency within us isn’t just about a sinking ship, but it’s our spirits feeling a deep wind of change. A kingdom that has come and is coming into fullness. A world that’s beyond even the concept of Utopia or “heaven” and is more real the the turmoil we wake up and face everyday.

Maybe our spirits are intuiting birth, newness, life, …and yet it feels like its just beyond us. But how could it be beyond us, if our spirits already feel it? Already thirst for it? And already pushing to come forth into this life?

I get this sense of we are creating our own hell, because we don’t understand how to make heaven. We are actively involved the destruction of something beautiful, because we want it to unfold in our timing. Our curiosity needs fed, and it won’t wait in line. If there’s something great to be found from the hand of God, let us have it now! …Or so we often feel this way. Many people feel similar. Many are willing to takeover and show God how it’s done.

But Jesus faced the same thing in his day. This isn’t new.

The words he spoke aren’t irrelevant or old or un-relatable. They may even be the sharpest light into our own times.

The more the media kindles the fire and promotes fear, the more absurd things become. The more extreme “good people” start to think. The more we create our own hell within the distractions that pull us way from what are spirits are saying. “This isn’t truth. This isn’t right. There has to be something better.” And that would be the most correct thing that could be said.

There something better. There is a culture that brings us into fullness. There is a Promised One who brings justice, who rewards the hard-worker, who empowers the forgotten & oppressed people, who sets the world in way that allows fullness, purpose, order, fulfillment can easily flow.

There is that Promised One, a Messiah who brings the restoration of all things. One who doesn’t have a particular bent of a particular cause, but has in mind the way to bring all things into the beauty of what they were created to be from the beginning.

We are not too far gone. We not even as far as we imagine. God isn’t unaware or inactive. Instead, I purpose that there is a fighting, a pressure, a contending because there is something new, beautiful, and fulfilling taking place, even at this time. Our spirits feel it. How we respond is up to us. But there’s only one Messiah who can bring us into the restoration of all things. There’s only one “peace on Earth” that is truly peace for all mankind. There’s only one Promised One who truly knows and understands justice. We must be careful, not to pick an idol.

The world, our spirits, and heaven itself awaits those who will hear the call and respond to a gracious, humble Messiah. Not that we may have riches and wealth for ourselves, but that we may be servants who bring the restoration of all things. Who bring children to the maturity of becoming heirs of the Father. Who brings servants up into being wise & faithful stewards. Who can see hurt and know it’s birth pangs of something beautiful coming forth, and who can midwife that birth in its proper time. Therein bringing mother, child, and even the father into joy and fullness.

We are the people of God, through Christ Jesus, and we believe the Holy Spirit testifies to Yeshua HaMashiach bring us into the restoration of all things.
(Yeshua HaMashiach is the Hebrew name of Christ Jesus. The one and the same.)

Fools On Display

“Sometimes I think God has put us apostles at the very end of the line, like prisoners soon to be killed, put on display at the end of a victor’s parade, to be stared at by men and angels alike.”
– St Paul

Strangely, I get the impression this isn’t one of the first five things anyone thinks of when they think of the Christian Life or walking by faith. …and I wonder what it’s like to be that person who walks along without this weight. I wonder what it’s like to think of Christianity in terms of things done in or pertaining to a “church” building.
I imagine it’s terrible and boring.

1st Corinthians chapter 4 is very powerful in a humbling way. It’s like reading a story of how my ancestors got to America and got established into our modest life. It’s a reminder that we aren’t just trusting God for our day to day life, but we’re part of something greater. It’s a reminder that it isn’t just about what’s happening now, but our “now” is part of greater chorus which has been sung out in faith. We join those who have believed before us. We join those who believe now, and we join those who struggle to believe but keeping living for one more day, searching for truth…if there be any left in this world.

This is a challenge. This is a weight.

Later on, in 2nd Corinthians, Paul uses the phrase “eternal weight of glory”. A small phrase that has baffled many. What could it mean?
I think it means, when we get connected into the roots of our faith, and into the forefathers of faith, and we start wanting to be a part of their faith, knowing their God, and living that faith…then we’ve connected to something that eternal. Something that’s glorious. And there’s a weight to it all. “the eternal weight of glory”

When we think of the long lineage of history that has processed our stories and brought message of a living God down throughout history, we look small. Yet…in our “now” state of being, we feel so worthless, so insignificant, and sometimes so forgotten by God.  We feel like God puts us on display in the worst way. We feel foolish. We like stoning up our hearts, instead of opening them up. We feel like we have no faith at all. We feel insane. …but we keep going.

There is no alternative.  There is no following the system into a happily-ever-after. There is no daydreaming and one day  it’ll come true. …not without an attempt. Not without skidding through some failure, bristling through some doubt, drowning in stares of people who “admire” your “cute faith” but they sure don’t want to be you or live their own faith in the same “admirable” way.

Yet not everyone can.
Someone has to be at the base. Someone has to discover that old path that now seems overgrown and hidden. If it ever was here, then it’s still here. But my God, it isn’t easy to find, and to keep, and follow. …Yet if that’s all we had to do, it’d be easier than this. Yet we know, behind us will come those who are looking for this same path, and we need to put signs out for them. We need to clear some of the brush. But we need to make sure, it is the right path at the same time.

To say it’s hard is an inadequate understatement.

We are on display, and this display makes us seem like fools. We know. Yet we must. It’s not just for our sake anymore. When we enter into an ancient and eternal faith, then we become part of legacy. One that must be preserved. One that must be given to the next generation. And I just don’t have the faith to believe that our “church” systems are going to be the ones to pass on a living faith with a Living God, where even the words of God are still alive to us today.

To be eternal means there is no “Old Testament” God vs “New Testament” happy-go-lucky Jesus. Just one triune God working throughout all of history. Including now.

There is an eternal weight of glory, and it’s exactly what Jesus was talking about when he said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. We preserve, because if we quit, we will never know what the saints of ol’ saw. We’ll never know why the cloud of witness is cheering us on. We preserve because there’s other children coming after us, and if we were kicked out of the church for seeking deeper truth in our perilous times, then what will happen to them?

This is why we are part of a faith that is on display before men and angels. Because God has a plan. …and that’s something that I want to be part of.  So here’s to one more try…

What’s the point in the now?

What’s the point in having faith when (as far as I can tell) nothing is actually happening in the external world? If there is something, even something minor happening, how am I suppose to assume that has anything to do with me anyhow? I’ve felt so stuck and nullified, that I begin to wonder what difference does any of this make? But I know I am not alone. So maybe, but just maybe, I am learning something here?

I wrote to my brother. I needed advice. I always take my brothers’ advice …well, almost always. I wrote a small question, and waited for an answer that would say more than one little answer is suppose too. He wrote back with a small simple answer. I was satisfied. I’m not losing my faith, and I’m not losing my mind, so what else is this strange feeling?  I feel so incredibly anxious to move onto the next step in my life that I wonder: What is the point in the now?

This morning a little phrased popped into my head, and I looked up the fuller context of what it was. It was Abraham, the father of faith and the father of many nations.

Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

– Romans 4:18-22

What’s the point in the now?  Abraham, the father of faith, believed and it was accounted to him as righteousness. In the midst of Abraham waiting for God to begin the necessary steps to fulfill a big promise and a future for Abraham’s family, it’s recorded as Abraham believed. That’s not a very external list of what happened, but somehow, the saints who record this story know that this is the more important detail to be recognized than a do & don’t list or a list or events.

This is very odd concept. Because Abraham believed (a continuous belief), God accepted that, more than any doing, as an act of righteousness.

Righteousness is something which we usually say something like, it’s doing that which puts us in the “right” before God (meaning in good standing with God). Some people are convinced that their love in the hearts for their family and lack of murdering other people will count was righteousness, should they ever have to stand before God. But the Bible say some weird things about righteousness and being counted as a “good person”.

We are unfit to worship you;
each of our good deeds
    is merely a filthy rag.
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
Isaiah 64:6

At one time Jesus says something like, “No one is good, except God alone” which seems a little extreme… but then again I’ve had some sad times where I had a similar opinion. But there’s also place where the Bible seems to imply everything we do with our own strength is meager.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
    the guard keeps watch in vain.
 It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives sleep to his beloved.
Psalms 127:1-2

Which again might bring about the question: What’s the point in the now?  Which also takes me back to Abraham.

Abraham believed God and God’s promise(s) and it was accounted to Abraham as righteousness. Abraham obtained righteousness for not for his actions, reactions, or self-control, but instead it’s recorded as his faith in God and God’s words that put him in right-standings before God. Out of that also came actions, reactions, self-control, and so on, but these sort of things are secondary and aren’t the true symptoms that something or someone is good or bad. Instead it what comes out of the deeps of who we are.

Somehow, who we are, what we choose to believe, and how deeply we believe anything starts to define what’s really in us …good or bad. But that’s not what our society says. We have responsibilities, we have obligations, we have limits, we have temptations, and some people even believe that each of these things are a test, and depending how we do on that test we effect our levels of righteousness.
So how does Abraham fulfill God’s longest desire simply by faith?

Maybe righteousness isn’t so much about getting to place of right standings before God. Maybe it’s something more like willingness to commit to working along side of God. Maybe that’s the kind of people that make God say, “I call them my righteous child”.

My husband and I live in an odd situation where we feel God has called us out of many of the systems of this world. It makes people scoff. It makes people wait for our doom. Afterall, you can’t fight the machine. Things have been like this for generations, you can’t just change it now. These are tried and true methods of a “happy” life. We’re willing to test them anyways. We’re willing to leave the tried and trued, and to take that path of “no return”. We’re willing even to put up with some scoffing.
But it’s been a while, you know, and sometimes it seems like nothing’s happening. We’re anxious for the next step in life, but we’re waiting. Waiting brings questions. Questions are belligerent company on a path less traveled. But our hearts are 100% here in the unknown. We pray for miracle frequently, daily. We study, we learn, we research, we smile, and we even cry. But sometimes it seems nothing is changing yet.

Abraham was a man in an impossible situation. Throughout his life’s story he had many crazy hard situations. Maybe sometimes he made better decisions than other times. I’m not really in place to judge that, because at the end of it all Abraham is remembered as the father of faith. He’s remembered as something even greater than a saint. All this was not because of external factors, but something that came from the deepest part of Abraham.

One of the sayings of Jesus that I like to use as a compass is: “If you were children of Abraham, then you would act like it.
Maybe I don’t see the external factors, but maybe something is happening. Maybe we’re not making great impressions on the people around us, but maybe God is satisfied. That would be cool. I’d be happy to fulfill God’s heart merely be taking God at his word. I don’t know if it works like that in my situation, but that could be a beautiful beginning to a great story of humble saints.

Wish us luck, say a prayer, but whatever you do… Let’s all journey on together. There’s more life coming soon.

Sins of the Forefathers: un-sever?

I read an interesting story this morning. A story about a few kings in distress who seek a prophet of God so that they may know what will happen to them. The fact that they sought the LORD, I would think to be a good thing, but the prophet “welcomed” them with quite a different attitude. I thought this strange at first, because it seems like God always welcome those who truly seek him. …but maybe that’s the problem?
In the book of 2 Kings chapter 3 the king of Israel (the northern kingdom at this time in the story), the king of Judea (the southern kingdom which had Jerusalem and therein follow God…{more often}), and the King of Edom (neighbors and sometimes enemies of the people of Israel, but apparently not enemies at this time in the story) all allianced together to war against the king of Moab. The get stuck out in the wilderness area, running low on rations and water, and they start to question their master plan. The king of Judea ask, out loud, if there is any prophet whom can speak to God on their behalf, and someone answers that there is one close by. Elisha the prophet, who is quite a man of God indeed, was the very prophet to whom they came.

Elisha coldly greet the king of Israel, of whom it says he lived better than his father & mother’s example (for they were they most wicked rulers of the northern kingdom) but he did not consecrate himself to the LORD God but continued in the sins of the man who first split Israel into two kingdoms. And apparently this is why Elisha the prophet of the LORD God spoke to him so disdainfully.

Now God in his mercy allows everything to turn out well for this kings who sought his words, and you’re welcome to read the story, but what catches me is Elisha lack of cordiality towards a king who has done at least some better than his wicked parents. It’s curious to me. Yet knowing Elisha is to know that he could perceive the wickedness in a man’s heart, so I don’t discredit his reaction. I merely wonder what is to have the authors of this book give the king of Israel some little bit of credit, but yet the prophet of God gave him none.

In my opinion, one of the factors we’re looking at here is the over-simplicity of what it is to do good, perhaps. To turn away from wickedness that is blatantly sinful is certainly an idealistic beginning, however if that happens to be all the further one goes, then honestly, it’s only a “down grade” of wickedness at best, and not a turning to do what is good.

In a similar situation, I strangely think of how Christianity itself is reported to have started within Jews, but now is proudly considered its own religion which only occasionally has anything to modern Judaism or Jews. …It’s almost like when Israel and Judea became two separate nations.
I think we could argue whether this was destined to happen or whether the two kingdoms should have reunited at some point as one… but arguing the past doesn’t deny the similarity of modern history’s pattern.

So could be that one of the reasons this king of Israel received such a cold greeting from Elisha, the prophet of God, might just be because this king was still endorsing those things which were meant to keep Israel and Judea from reuniting in the future? …and therefore he himself was keeping the northern kingdom from truly/fully becoming the people of God, but first & foremost the people of Israel?
Do we also suffer from this in modern times?

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord. “In those days people will no longer say,

‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
    and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin;
whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,
declares the Lord.
 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Jeremiah 31:27-34

Certainly God has a plan. However, sometimes we get caught up in our own ideas, our own plans, our own righteousness. We know how the system works, and how to work the system when necessary. The man who original separated Israel and Judea, separated them not only as two geographical nations (1Kings chapter 12), but he separated them in their religious believes, historical accounts, and even ways of seeking truth. That man was so afraid that he might lose his own power (the northern kingdom as its own separate kingdom), that he purposefully lead the future generations to believe a lie. That lie then lead the people to continuously sin, and for some reason those lies were never debunked.

Guess what..?
We’ve been lied to as well.
Now, as I look into the history a little bit, it’s hard for me to say if the lie we’ve received was on purpose or merely degradation over time. Maybe both.

There are too many church fathers who willing sacrificed Biblical truth & principles to replace them with “modern wisdom” and modern philosophies. They held up the name of Christianity above the Covenant given to the Jews, and shoved their Jews brothers out, telling them they’d have no inheritance together and calling them enemies.  This isn’t how Christianity was suppose to be.

Sadly this story isn’t in the past. We have downgrade our prejudices to correspond with modern society, but much of Christianity still believes that the Jews are part of one kingdom with their idea of God and Christianity is in another kingdom with it’s own idea(s) of God. It’s like we don’t know that we come from the same history. It’s like we don’t know that it was the same God who’s brought us this far. It’s like we think it’s a pure coincidence we exist so closely together.
This is the sins of our forefathers.

Even though the king of Israel (in the story of 2Kings chapter 3) didn’t commit the same sins of his direct biological parents, he did essential continue in the same sin of his forefathers, in a matter of speaking. Although this king must have realized some of these things were wrong, he did not go down to the root of the matters. …but we must!
With all my heart & mind I do not believe that the church will be able to continue as it is for more than 2 more generation. I believe that we have to do more than ask the pastors and Christian authors for advice of how to be “deeper”. We ourselves must look at what has brought us here, and we must sift through our history, our beliefs about God, our beliefs about how we got here and why we are here, and go all the way down to the roots or else we will not survive.

We need to know truth exist in even purer forms than we’ve been taught thus far. However that kind of truth comes from the Holy Spirit to those who are willing to prove themselves faithful & meek in many, if not all, things. We need to go further into what’s truly God’s heart on what type of people we are to be in our own generation, than even our forefathers, who have stories of glorious revivals, have done. And I say that we need something more and purer because all that they have done has only brought us here. Maybe it’s instinct or maybe it’s obvious, but there’s a piece of the puzzle that’s still missing in our holistic gospel, and I have this hint that it back before we split ways with the Jews.

We need to be willing to find out that we’re the center of the universe, so that we can find truth. Truth will cost us something precious, and will give us something even more precious than before. We need to go beyond the revival saints, and find the core issue that has to be dealt with today. If that means giving up our northern kingdom for the glory of God, then give me God’s glory. For that I pray.

Are you willing to make this journey?
Please let us walk together dear friends. It could be beautiful, indeed.