Sleeping with the Enemy

September 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Weeping Creeping and Sleeping with the Enemy | 1 Comment
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In a previous lesson I discussed the blessings that Phinehas somewhat surprisingly received from the Lord for his violent attack on Zimri and Cozbi. When thinking through the reasons for this it is important to remember that Phinehas, unlike so many of his compatriots, had not joined himself unto Baal, and so his thinking was not cloudy or unclear or tainted by self-interest. He was thinking like God, and therefore He had a zeal – even a violent passion – for the holiness of God

Phinehas expressed God’s wrath in an atoning way. He did not kill the offenders because Zimri had personally ticked him off. It wasn’t because he was jealous that Zimri appeared to be getting away with what he wanted to be doing. It wasn’t because Phinehas wanted to show off, or because he was a sadist who just liked a good spearing. What motivated Phinehas was his intense hatred for what Zimri’s actions said about the Lord his God, and he discerned that it was time for something extreme.

As stated in the previous lesson, though, extreme physical violence inflicted upon sinners is not commanded for New Testament Christians. A principle to be taken from Phinehas’s attitude, however, is that there is a time for something as extreme as telling the truth in actions, not just words. Too many Christians today are sleeping with the enemy – if not physically, then intellectually, practically, and even spiritually. This is seen most blatantly in the ecumenism invading Christian churches, homes, and families. An adulterated, watered-down version of the Gospel deserves pointed and harsh truth. A hybrid bastardized version of the Gospel – part Christianity and part pragmatism, right in the midst of the camp, right in the middle of a ministry that calls itself by the name of the Lord Jesus – deserves pointed and harsh truth.

When Phinehas took up his spear, it looked like it was over – like it was too late. Have we lost the battle for the truth in our culture? Is right now wrong, and wrong now right? Are there now just no such things as “right” or “truth?” This is going to sound bad, but, in a way, I hope so. I hope the battle that we’ve been trying to win in our strength is over – that we’ve lost – that it’s too late. God often comes to the rescue when all seems lost. It was too late when Phinehas stood up and executed judgment. It was too late for the Israelites, and it may be too late for us, but when it’s “too late” by our estimate, that is often when God shows up – when He sends someone with the courage and the conviction, with the disregard for popularity, to take a stand and to symbolize atonement.

Phinehas stopped the plague because God really stopped the plague. Jesus didn’t make atonement by impaling us sinners on the point of God’s wrath, although that’s what we clearly deserved. He stopped God’s wrath by offering Himself as the atoning sacrifice. Will you and I weep rightly? Will we stop creeping around with the enemy? Will we stop sleeping with the enemy? Will we get out of bed with the enemy and get on board with God? May He help us.

Five for Fighting

January 2, 2014 at 11:33 am | Posted in Biblical Violence | 2 Comments
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Tomorrow will be the fifth anniversary of The Deep End. During the past five years I have enjoyed studying Scripture and writing posts based on the Truth of God’s Word. As always, He has been exceedingly gracious to allow me to continue. I pray and hope that what readers find here will be challenging, thought-provoking, comforting, and profitable, and that the Lord Jesus will be magnified and exalted. The Lord is certainly the Prince of Peace, but I have learned that He is also passionate and zealous. These things are not mutually contradictory, but the result is that – more often than we think – God deals in the reality of clashing perspectives and strong emotions. It’s one of the lesser-known facts of Christian theology that the God of peace sometimes works through violent conflict.

In honor of this anniversary (and in recognition that Jeopardy is now ripping off my blog for category clues!) I am posting the links to the category called Biblical Violence:

1. The God-Mastered Man
2. When God Condones Violence
3. Panicked Pressing
4. Frightening Words
5. The Grudge-Match of the Century: The Lion of God vs. Double-Wicked Cushan
6. Up for the Count
7. The One that Didn’t Get Away
8. The Raptor and the Captor
9. Righteous Jealousy
10. Eternal Destruction
11. Faithful Wounds
12. Faithful Wounds Part 2
13. Stand Your Ground
14. Breaching Reality
15. Are You Struggling?
16. Smiting the Gods
17. Evil Angels
18. Beware the Fight with the Flesh
19. Beware Falling Formations
20. Beware the Feeble Fortress
21. Beware the Flattened Fence
22. Beware the Fearful Force
23. Beware the Facial Fall
24. The Bold Pair in the Enemy’s Lair (Part 1)
25. The Bold Pair in the Enemy’s Lair (Part 2)
26. Beware the Flagging Finishers
27. Strange Weapons: The Prod, the Peg, and the Pitcher
a. The Prod (background) (Judges 3:31; 5:6)
b. The Prod (comparisons and conclusion)
c. The Peg (introduction and narrative) (Judges 4)
d. The Peg (illustrations) (Judges 4:18-23)
e. The Pitcher (factual summary) (Judges 6-7) *
f. The Pitcher (spiritual application)
28. More Strange Weapons: A Stone and a Bone
a. A Stone (narrative) (Judges 9)
b. A Stone (God’s Will Is Foundational) (Judges 9:50-56)
c. A Stone (God’s Will Is Functional)
d. A Bone (Singular and Surprising) (Judges 15:14-16)
e. A Bone (Simple, Silly, Serious, and Successful)

*most-read post in category

Goin’ off the Deep End

June 18, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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To the faithful readers of this blog – all five of you (you know who you are!): I will be offline for a little over a week. But, by the grace of God, unless Christ Jesus comes for His Church first, I shall be back.

In the meantime, if you find yourself struggling with insomnia, feel free to read up on some Biblical violence, Biblical parenting, Biblical doctoring, Quarterback Commandments, highlights from the Book of Acts, or other assorted posts.

Thanks!


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