Monday, March 22, 2010

Strange Fire

I am sick at heart because of the news that the health care bill passed. I cannot believe what depths and lengths these people have sunk to in order to promote and pass the bill. They bluntly do not care about the wishes of the American people and clearly want their own agenda. The turmoil and the frustration going on inside of me is beyond words. How America got to a place where they elected such a man as President and his ilk to congress is unbelievable. Today I do not want to hear the news or see the faces of democrat leaders and I especially do not want to see the face of the President. Perhaps I am learning this behavior from my grandkids. When any ugly, evil, or questionable character or person appears on a DVD, we either have to fast forward through the 'bad parts', or never watch that particular DVD again. How I wish I could fast forward through this, but we cannot. This is reality and not a DVD. The only comfort comes from the fact that God is in control of ALL things, and He is not blind to what is taking place. Our God is a holy God and requires believers to be Holy as He is holy. We must keep our hands clean and our hearts pure and continue to be obedient to the calling of the Lord. Obedience brings about two major results: that we may become targets of blessing and that He may have the pleasure of bestowing it.

The Bible gives many examples of people who were disobedient to God's instructions resulting in their deaths. I will focus on the deaths of two of Aaron's sons found in Leviticus 10:1. "Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered unholy fire before the LORD, such as he had not commanded them. And fire came forth from the presence of the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD." {Lev 10:1-2 RSV}

The very same Shekinah which had consumed the sacrifice now flashes out again to destroy these two priests as they minister. What a shock this must have been to Aaron, to his remaining two sons, and to the whole camp of Israel. There is disagreement as to the reason for their demise. Some commentators say they took strange coal to the altar. In Lev. 9:23-24, when Moses and Aaron came out of the tabernacle and blessed all the people, the glory of the Lord appeared and fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering. We read in Leviticus 6:12-13, that the fire was to be kept burning. God had lit the fire from His own holy hand. Only fire originating from Himself could truly purify and consume, or approve an offering. Therefore, the fire must not go out. God lit the fire, but human hands had to fuel it. Some believe the coals Nadab and Abihu used were lit by their own hands and not taken from the altar of God's perpetual fire.

Some commentators say Nadab and Abihu used incense not approved by God. In Exodus 30:9, God tells the priest exactly what incense to use and says "offer no unholy incense." In either case, a substitution was made contrary to God's instructions. It was not a sin of ignorance, but of presumption. They knew better. They had been forewarned, but they did not heed God's word, and insisted on their own way.

Now, we have a health care bill that contains parts that fly in the face of Godly instruction; specifically the funding of abortion. It is a form of stealing, and substitutes our government in the place of God. (trust and look to the government rather than God.) It is not about health care, but control. Our democratic congress and President are insisting on their own way. Ray Stedman offers great insight pertaining to this kind of thinking.
"Incense, in the Scriptures, is always a picture of prayer. It is a beautiful picture. As the clouds of incense arose before the sanctuary in the evening air, they were a picture to all the people of how the prayers and thanksgiving of our hearts ascend before the God of glory. Incense is intended to be a picture of the prayer and commitment arising out of obedient and thankful hearts. And frankincense pictures, not merely thankfulness for the ordinary blessings of life, but, primarily, thankfulness for the hardships and the difficulties which burn us, the "fiery trials" we must pass through which Peter mentions in his first letter {1 Pet 4:12}, the ordeals of our lives. That is what God is trying to teach us -- that it is a sweet, fragrant odor, a delight to him, to see a heart that is filled with praise and thanksgiving because of the trials we have passed through, a heart which has learned to rejoice in the fact that God has provided opportunity in these difficult times for us to manifest his character, and has taught us great (though oftentimes painful) lessons about ourselves through them. This is what delights the heart of God. And this is what God is trying to teach by the prescribed ritual of offering frankincense each evening and morning.

But that lesson is marred and altered and we are taught a false idea about God by the offering of some other kind of perfume. If perfume is a picture of our happiness and our thankfulness then mere perfume of some other sort would teach that God exists only to make us feel good, that he is there only to produce a modicum of human happiness. The implication of that notion is that whatever makes us temporarily happy is from God. That is the philosophy which today, as you know, is destroying thousands, millions -- the philosophy of hedonism, i.e., that anything which makes you happy is the reason for life, anything which produces any sort of temporary, passing pleasure must be right, because that is what God exists for and that is why we are here. That approach to life is what is destroying so many today! It encompasses the idea of getting a temporary thrill from a shot in the arm with a needle, or of losing a sense of the ugliness of life in an alcoholic haze, or of retreating to some round of transitory pleasure which helps you to forget reality, which makes you happy for awhile. And it rests, ultimately, upon the misconception that all these things must be right because God exists to provide them.

But that is a lie, a lie about God! That isn't what makes us happy. Happiness does not come from some momentary pleasure. It comes from a relationship of freedom, of giving oneself to the God who made us and thus being able to experience our true humanity for the very first time, really, as we learn to yield to God, to give up, to lose our lives and thus to find them again, as Jesus has said."

The whole sale of the health care bill was founded on a bunch of lies. I pray in the following days, the truth will be revealed and the bill be overturned. Our God is a consuming fire. His authentic flame was put in us the minute we became believers and we are told in 1 Tim. 1:6 "For this reason I remind you to fan the flame the gift of God, which is in you." We are to fan the flame to keep the perpetual fire burning. We are the light in this dark world and we must let that light shine so all men will be drawn to Him. The power of prayer is mighty. Continue to pray for our country.


Anonymous said...

That is very good. Evil is alive and well in Washington DC, but this is not unexpected if anyone really listened to what the democrats said they were going to do. We do need to continue to pray, but to also get involved in removing these "leaders", and replacing them with people of character and Godly principles.

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