Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Enchanted


Enchantment is given the following definition in New Unger's Bible Dictionary, it is "The practice of magic or the speaking of certain words whereby evil forces are invoked in order to achieve supernatural effects over human beings, animals, or natural phenomena. This category includes magic (Exodus 7:11), conjuration, exorcism (Acts 19:13-17), sorcery (Acts 8:9, 11; Acts 13:8, 10). This traffic in quackery or bona fide spiritism was forbidden by the law of Moses (Deut. 18:10). Sometimes magic is not easily distinguished from divination in the English versions (cf. Numbers 23:23; Numbers 24:1; 2 Kings 17:17; Jeremiah 27:9)." They include enchantment, sorcery, witchcraft, sooth-saying, augury (observing animals), necromancy, divination in numberless forms, and all kinds of magic article. They were a constant incentive to idolatry, clouded the mind with superstition, tended and were closely allied to imposture (Math.24:24). The term "enchantment" is found only in the Old Testament.

Divination means, " The act of divining; a foreseeing or foretelling of future events. The pretended art of discovering secrets or the future by preternatural means. An indication of what is future or secret; augury omen; conjectural presage (intuition); prediction"..."it is a foretelling of future events, or discovering things secret by the aid of superior beings, or other than human means". It is used, in Scripture, of false systems of ascertaining the divine will. It has been universal in all ages, and all nations alike, both civilized and savage."


We hold that the power to affect change lies within the culture in which we live, that it lies within us as Christians, the power of change lies in the things we worship and our willingness to exert whatever effort is required to acheive the goals, aspirations and purposes we desire. "The heart wants, what it wants." (Woody Allen) Our affections (those things we will bend our will to) are manifest in what and how we worship (what time and effort are devoted ), the manner and intent, the focus and object (the recognized power-base) and is reflected in the life that is lived apart from the time spent in praise and sacrifice (to what we believe assigns life's blessing) to our Lord (whoever or whatever that may be). It is the motivational import of who we see ourselves as on Sunday that maintains/retains the significant meaning of our existence through the week.

People will not believe, or submit their will to something that they do not understand as being worthy of their worship. The gods who are incorporated into their lives are the gods whom they believe are provisional and people are more desirous of a provisional, sustaining, benevolent god, then a God who requires sacrifice and repentance. The attitude that there is a superior power to whom people owe dependence and allegiance is an humiliating posture, and is an affront to pride and dignity. People are blinded by their obsessions and they are unaware of the price that is being paid, at the expense of family, community, fellowship, brotherhood and church, while they are writing cheques on an account to which they have contributed little or no resources.

Abject superstition never reasons. This is where the strength of superstition lies, it is in the fear-based mentality, the terror of the supernatural, the phobias empowered through the distorted, experiential manifestations and portrayal of power attributed to events or people for which there is the possibility of an unreasonable, and dubious understanding of the nature and intent. The then subsequent and/or probable entrenchment of occult spiritism or it's appearance as fear, dread,or dismay in people becomes a reasonable expectation. The knowledge of the will of God and His direction for His people and His church are the predominant topic of recent years. The discussion includes being seeker-sensitive, pertinent, attempts are being made to redefine Church so it is appealing, personable, relational, fears are raised with the thought of Church as it has existed and does exist being morphed into divergent styles, suitable and adaptable for any and all situations, people and belief systems. There are concerns that the decisions of today in some way will thwart the designs of God, or that our influence in society is determined by the shape and form of our buildings, or the music we play, or some other such observance of holy superstition imposed upon the leadership of the Church.

Leviticus 26:6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid;"
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

The call of the leadership of the Church may lie in the most simplest of discerning tactics, that being, calling people who profess Jesus as Lord, to obedience.
The Levitical law was profound in that it required the utmost of dedication to God through obedience to the caring for the people of the land, the people of the immediate community (neighbour), the poor and needy, a regard for the institution of the Church, the sabbath, the worship, the sanctuary and the subsequent spiritual blessings and promises. The cultic practices of the Old Testament were in contradiction to the cultures around them and as well our practices should be in contradiction to the norms deemed acceptable or relevant by that portion of the community setting the precedent.

The call to "be holy" was a ritual and moral obligation of the people of Israel, it was established in the Law through religious ceremony and observances and the distinctive lifestyle they were required to live.1 Peter 1:15 "...but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,..." The ritualistic and cultic parameters established by the Law were designed to maintain a posture where the opportunity for grievances were diminished. They also formed the foundation to establish the basis for identifying grievances.

2 Cor. 7:9-10 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." If we as the people of God sorrow after the wrong objects of desire, if we create a grievance because of the loss or sacrifice of some end or purpose, then what benefits can we reasonably expect to attain in terms of discernment, when we have committed idolatry? Yes we fear, the corruption of our moral state negates presumption of accord with God. The lack of the pursuit of holiness is what we should lament.

Question 1
What is the chief end of man?
Answer
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.

The point is to discover God's purposes and make them our own. The point is to learn ways of loving God above all and our neighbour as ourselves. To glorify God is to do these things and, by doing them, to make God's intentions in the world more luminous and God's reputation more lustrous. To enjoy God forever is to cultivate a taste for this project.

"He who has choice, has torment" The future looms constantly in our lives, in ominous foreboding or in marvelous expectation. I look for the portentous harbingers of the evil that could befall me. I gaze expectantly for the prospect of gain and nurture.

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