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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Israel, Still God's People!

As happens on occasion when I aspire to write on a political subject, God has a better idea.  Thus, this morning I was studying the book of Exodus, doing research for an article that I had a mind to make a companion piece to my last article “My People, My People!”.

I was pouring through the relation of the plagues as recorded in Exodus inflicted upon Egypt and the subsequent results leading to the inevitable liberation of God’s “peculiar” people.

As I read the very origin of the nation of Israel, I was struck by a passage which screamed forth from those bygone days, giving me an understanding of Israel’s nature and its still “peculiar” people today.
Specifically, I read God’s instructions to the Hebrews in regards to the marking of Passover, wherein God instructs:

Exodus 12:43-46
“¶And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: 44  But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. 45  A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. 46  In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.”

That was the set up; now here comes the bit that really struck me:

“47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48  And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49  One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.”

I must confess that, as a “born again” Christian, Israel is never far from my mind! I am always disturbed when the apple of God’s eye is impugned or attacked. Israel means so much to God and, by extension, Israel should mean a great deal to those of us who profess a faith in the God of Israel.

Last May, during an interview with Rabbi David Nesenoff for, when asked what she thought of the Israelis, Helen Thomas, the grand dame of the Presidential Press Corps, opined: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” Thomas went on to say: “Remember these people (The Palestinians) are occupied, and it’s their land.” When asked where the Israelis should go, she retorted: “They can go home, to Germany and Poland and America and everywhere else.”

Helen Thomas is wrong as to whom the land belongs. She is wrong spiritually, as well as historically. Israel’s claim to the land is unimpeachable to the unbiased student of history, a subject I will leave for a later article. The spiritual claim we will deal with in the here and now.

God is in the people-saving business and He never closes or takes a holiday! The Holy Bible makes it plain that it was not just Hebrews who left Egypt on the day of Exodus. God says there were others who were “Strangers” among the Hebrews.

When you examine Exodus 12 verses 48-49 above, God says that if the “strangers” will keep the Passover, and be circumcised, “they shall be as one that is born in the land.” God says under such circumstances the "strangers" that keep God’s covenant are covered by God and therefore God’s people.

It seems that Helen Thomas, whose Lebanese immigrant parents raised her in the Greek Orthodox faith, puts more credence in the doctrine of Lebanese Muslims than the faith she grew up in. The Bible also makes it plain to whom the land of Israel belongs:

Exodus 13:4,5
“This day came ye out in the month Abib. 5  ¶And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.”

God repeats it in verse 11:

“ ¶And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,”

Easy to understand and right there on the surface of the text, it says that God gave the land to the Israelis. As for the Canaanites, the Hittites and all the other “ites”, Israel was God’s instrument of punishment meted out to people who were by all accounts Biblical and secular, exceedingly wicked and vile.

In Scripture, there is always a surface meaning and a deeper spiritual understanding. The spiritual understanding is far more important but often missed by people whose only ambition is to denigrate God, His people and His Word!

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2: 14

This is certainly the case in the recounting of the first Passover. As an example of how God lays out dual meanings lying below the surface, let us take a look at Exodus Chapter 12:

Exodus 12:21-23
"Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. 22  And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 23  For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you."

The Hebrews acted in faith that the blood of a lamb would spare them from the wrath of their righteous God, and God was faithful to spare them by that blood. God used that same pattern again; He sacrificed His Son, the perfect Lamb of God on behalf of all the “Strangers” in the world. As Christians, we have faith in the blood of Christ shed for the remission of our sin.

As on the first Passover, God will see Christ’s covering and pass over us as well:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:28,29

Today, it seems God is using the ways of Exodus 12:47-49. God performs His promises down to the minutest detail. Exodus 12:46 quoted above, by itself could be the subject of at least three completely different messages. But, what sticks out as odd, is God decrying the Passover Lamb’s bones could not be broken.

In the prophetic Psalm 34 we see the message again:

“ He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. 21  Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. 22  The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

This is interesting when one considers the manner of Roman crucifixion to which Christ was subjected; On the cross, to hasten death, the subject's legs were broken. Yet, in the fulfillment of scriptural prophecy, not one of the Lord’s bones was broken.

“For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.” John 19:37

Helen Thomas is back in the news. It has been recently reported Helen took part in an in-depth interview for Playboy magazine. I suggest that she hearken back to her Christian roots and consider what God says about Israel before she follows the world.

The very existence of Israel as a nation in the modern world is a miracle! Israel was completely destroyed by the Romans. As an insult, the Emperor Hadrian renamed it Palestine after the Jews ancient enemy, the Philistines. The reforming of Israel, after a millennia long Jewish diaspora, is a testament to God’s power to bring to fruition what He promises.

Based on the world’s animus towards Israel, it is indeed a “burdensome stone”! Yet, the United States has always been a staunch supporter of Israel. I pray we remain so. In many ways of late, our present administration has been non-supportive of Israel. Helen Thomas, Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright, who also recently resurfaced with an anti Israeli screed, along with all others who call themselves Christians or Muslims or whatever, would do well to heed the Word of the Lord:

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

Christ’s work on the cross fulfilled the blessing “all the families of the earth” part. However, it does not follow that the cursing part has been rescinded.

Digital Publius

Friday, March 18, 2011

My People, My People!

In my last article “What Would Digital Publius Do?”, I make the simple point; if the 
Holy Bible were tampered with as so many anti-Christ opponents of God’s will maintain,
 the people responsible for the alleged malfeasance did a poor job of it. All of the 
tiresome things God put in place in His Word to restrain man from exploiting his fellow
man remain intact.

Indeed, the truth of the matter is, if one seeks to use Christianity as a medium for
 subjugation, you’ll find the unmolested Holy Bible a poor ally in the pursuit.

I assert in “What Would Digital Publius Do?”:

“No, my friends, when man seeks to usurp the Living Word of God, man does it from the 
outside, by casting aspersions upon the Holy Bible and placing human wisdom above
 what was revealed to man in Scripture. You don’t change God’s Word, you reject it!”

Hold on to your proverbial hats, gentles; I could not have wished for a better example
 of my thesis made manifest than Lawrence O’Donnell’s recent rant against Fox News
 commentators Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck! This video has to be seen to be believed!

“A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.” Proverbs 14:6:

Lawrence O’Donnell was chosen by MSNBC to replace the equally half baked and
exceedingly unwise Keith Olbermann as purveyor of all things secular and pig ignorant.
O’Donnell joins a lineup rife with Maddows and Schultzes who have nothing but disdain
for Christianity and everything wholesome and lovely.

That O’Donnell attempts to intimate Beck meant to suggest the happenings in
Japan literally are a part of the end of the world ontologically, suggesting Beck thinks we are
in the midst of Armageddon, is of course specious and purposely misleading. Though Beck is a Mormon, O'Donnell makes no distinctions and is unabashedly attacking Christians and the Christian faith.

This drives me headlong into the subject of this article and a question which is the goad
that keeps me writing Digital Publius: "My people, my people, how long will you ally yourself with the ungodly?"

I began Digital Publius in March of 2008 out of frustration and utter bewilderment as I
watched the people in my church celebrating the candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama
for President of the United States. Everything Obama stands for and stood for then,
was expressly against the precepts of the God we gathered together on Sundays to

Obama is wrong on spiritual issues like gay marriage and abortion. As I illustrated in my article “Comrade God?,” from a Scriptural perspective, Obama is also wrong on social issues. Moreover, when it comes to economics, he is enamored with the same socialist paradigm still failing everywhere it has ever been implemented.

The earlier Digital Publius articles were sent directly to an email list of my fellow church
members. It was my intent to spark discussion and to perhaps get people to look at
the election with the mind of Christ as believers should do with all things. This is best
accomplished by comparing what a candidate stands for with the precepts of God.

What I got was a bunch of people I really care about asking me to take them off my email list.

There is a disconnect when it comes to Black Christians and their ability to discern the
ungodly nature of the Democrat Party. Indeed, there is a disconnect between Black
people in general when it comes to recognizing the great harm that liberalism and the
secular humanist agenda advanced by the Democrat party has wrought in our communities.
Christians, however, ought to know better.

The truth of the matter is the only body of people who identify themselves as Christians voting for Democrats in any numbers, are Black Christians. If you are a Christian and you habitually vote for Democrats, regardless of race, you do so in spite of your faith!

Myself being a Black Christian I have the occasion to talk to other Black Christians every single day. Just last Friday I was talking to a group of ladies about the situation in Japan and one of them said:

“Well you know this is in the Bible don’t you...about the last days?”

What followed was a cacophony of "mm-hmms" and affirmations attesting to the truth 
of what the speaker had just said. The irony is every single one of them voted for 
Barack Obama and every Democrat directly preceding him.

Not long after, the subject of Fox News came up and they just as vehemently
denounced the station in favor of CNN and MSNBC! The incongruity lies in that they
agree with Glenn Beck but they never watch him and the stations they do watch are
openly hostile to what they believe at their very cores but they can’t see it.

They voted for the same guy that O’Donnell voted for. The same O’Donnell who openly
said on his show as aired by the MSNBC network, the Book they believe in is fiction
and the God they worship if they believe the Book of Revelation is a true testament of
what is to come, is a “ truly vicious God, a malicious torturer and mass murderer”.

Black folks don’t get it, despite the President’s profession of Christian faith, Christians
don’t “grapple” with issues God speaks plainly to. You either believe or you don’t! The
Holy Bible is a whole and you have to accept it wholly.

If you cannot accept the totality of God’s revelation, you are not a Christian; you are
something else entirely, and that’s okay! Be what you want, just don’t equivocate. You
cannot pick and chose the sayings of the Bible à la carte; you have to recognize, by
definition, Christians believe the Holy Bible is true. All of it!

Almost daily, I hear Black folks say, “We are in the last days!” --The last days as defined by the Holy Bible in books like Daniel, Jude and, yes, the Revelation of John, to name a few. Yet they vote for the same people who often ridicule what they believe, made manifest by President Obama’s statements lamenting the Pennsylvanians who find comfort in “clinging” to their religion.

Liberal Democrat candidates, championed by people who openly mock the Christian faith as a matter of course which was displayed by Lawrence O’Donnell’s rather tragic, nay, embarrassing appeal for more watchers. Where is the outrage professing Christians should feel towards MSNBC for employing a man who mocks the faith the overwhelming majority of Americans claim as their own.

Ask yourself what would be the repercussions if a Fox Host mocked the Qur’an and the god of Islam in like manner? The liberal left would be clamoring for the Fox Host to be pilloried for all to see at Rockefeller Plaza, his home razed to the ground, his fields salted and the hoary heads of his esteemed elders spitted upon pikes.

In Friday's conversation, I mentioned Star Parker, Herman Cain, Allen West and 
Thomas Sowell. They were all unknown to the ladies I was talking with. I said this is because you watch CNN and MSNBC--Neither station is big on Black pundits and
 politicians beyond Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. You almost never see conservative
 Blacks opining on any news organization other than Fox.

Fox News consistently has more Black pundits from both sides of the political aisle. The
 point is; the Black folks I talk to sound more like Fox commentators sustaining and 
voting for conservative ideas than the folks you see on the other networks who support and vote for Democrats. The opinions on the right certainly jibe more often with Black
 Christian beliefs, nonetheless we vote for the left.

My Bible says “A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.” This is certainly the case in the Black community! Our loyalty is divided between God and the world. That division is demonstrated in the way we vote and subsequently in our communities when we reject the precepts of God and elect fools of a singular, ungodly liberal perspective for decade-after-decade as our communities putrefy at an accelerated pace.

We all struggle with sin in our lives, but as Christians we are to aspire to live Godly lives and to be “salt and light” in a fallen world. No one knows what is in a man’s heart, if we vote for a politician who says one thing to get our vote, then does another thing once he has procured that vote, shame on the politician.

My question to fellow Black Christians: How is it you get behind leaders who openly support sin, and scorn the wisdom of the God of the Holy Bible?

“Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.” Proverbs 14:9:

Digital Publius