November 13, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2.15-16)
“For we know that if the earthly habitation we now live in is destroyed, we have one from God, an eternal home in heaven [waiting for us] not built by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5.1)
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband [the Lamb of God.]” (Revelation 21.2)
In all of this, I urge each one of you, mighty ones of God, to remember the true governance of humankind is not made by human hands but placed there by the One whose hands formed and fashioned all life into being. While we possess the gift of free will, a bane or a blessing, what we do not have is freedom from accountability to that true governance. Satan sought to “choose” such freedom and found only justice aligned with righteousness. But, even unrighteousness is not freedom from accountability to God. Unrighteousness would not be known apart from righteousness. Perhaps this is why the enemy of God and humanity desires to eliminate all sense of righteousness from our working vocabulary in this world. Without the baseline of righteousness all things would seem to be “right and good, acceptable and pleasing.” But, we know that it is not.
To this point I would refer us to the story of Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel offered to God sacrifices of thanksgiving which represented the work responsibility that was theirs. Abel was a shepherd of the flocks which belonged to his father Adam. Cain was a farmer like his father who made a living with the “toil of the soil.” Without question both industries of “farming and ranching” were needed and needful. But, only one sacrifice to honor God for the blessing of life was “right and good, pleasing and acceptable.” That sacrifice was Abel’s sacrifice of a lamb. This displeased Cain and he bore enmity toward Abel and in due part toward God. It makes me wonder if Cain was so pleased with the work of his own hands that he forgot the meaning behind the work of both his and his brother’s hands. Cain would not submit to ask his brother for a lamb to offer for himself to God. That lamb sacrifice was probably representative of the sacrifice which God made in order to provide clothing to hide the shame of Adam and Eve which came to light due to their wrong choice. The grain offerings of Cain were most likely representative of the “accountability sentence” put on Adam by God for Adam’s part in the “insurrection” produced by Satan’s tempting of Eve. God did declare to Adam as He sent both Adam and Eve out of the Garden, “…from the soil you will toil to make provision for your life.” In the Garden, all was provided that was needed. None of it was made by human hands. The Garden of Eden was a holy habitation on earth emblematic of that which exists in Heaven. The grain offering was the “bane” of free will. The lamb offering was the “blessing” of free will.
We see a similar illustration in the next story of “two brothers,” Jacob and Esau. In this story, Esau was not a farmer but a hunter of wild game. Esau did not cultivate from the soil but drew his livelihood by the works of his own hands with a bow and a sling. Jacob, on the other hand, was a shepherd who tended his father’s flocks. But, as Esau was the eldest of the two, the blessing of the inheritance belonged to him. It was a cultural and traditional understanding fundamental to the legacy of life. Yet, Esau valued himself more than the inheritance. He was a “wild” man who lived in the wild. His vigor pleased his father as well as his “red stew.” But, he didn’t relate well to the notion of theology as much as he did to the notion of me-ology. So, for some of Jacob’s already prepared stew, he traded his birthright to fill his stomach. He choose “flesh over spirit.” So, with the birthright came the need for his father’s blessing. It would only be given to the eldest, Esau. So, a plan was devised to trick Isaac into believing Jacob was Esau. This is what happened and Jacob then became the “legal” heir of the promise. But, think of this. Regardless of what Esau did in relationship to Jacob, if Isaac had not been tricked Jacob would have never been blessed. Jacob would then have had to resort to other means, including murder as was the option of Cain. Sad that it always seems to come to this- death of a human being must be secured in order to secure the blessing and gain of favor.
We know there had to be “one” more death in this faith history. It is the death of Jesus. But, it is different because in His death all believers in Him receive the blessing and gain of favor of the Father. He did not die so that He would live. He died so that We would live. He did not had to trick or connive to lay hands on the blessing for us. He gave the blessing to us of His own free will. We certainly did not deserve such a blessing because we, all too often, choose “me” over “Thee.” Even in our state of salvation we have not yet secured the full handle on the blessing which will come at the end of our life and of all lives on earth. That blessing comes when the Father accepts our “sacrifice of life in service to Him” with the blessing of “well done, good and faithful servant.” It is then that we enter into our true sabbath rest. That rest is where the governance of all life exists apart from any work we have done or words we have spoken. It exists in the surrender of our will to the will of our Heavenly Father whose righteousness endures forever.
So, in this current state of affairs, as the debate over Republican, Democratic and “Other” parties right to rule over this nation rages on and will continue to do so long after the final vote is tallied, we must continue to remember that our true governance is not made by human hands, regardless of allegations of legality and illegality. We have a choice to make apart from the “laws of the land.” We must choose wisely to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We must allow His will to be done before ours. We must abide in the hope of His will finally becoming our will. This will happen as we surrender our trust into His hands. Then and only then will we understand and receive fully the blessing which has always been promised to us: to dwell in His House forever!
Your will be done! AMEN.