Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Half-a-Moon

Today we got only a half moon. I say only, because it could have been full. Is not a full moon better than a half? To me, it is. This half moon is at most halfway pleasing to me. If we could simply have a full moon today, then I would be happy. However, since I only see a half moon I will complain about it.

The moon today was ugly; it put me in a bad mood. It surely could have been bigger. It really could have been fuller. Brighter. Shinier. Clearer. Now that I am thinking about it, do we really need a moon at all? I mean if it is not going to be full, bright, and shiny, then what is the point of putting it up there? While I am at it, there were a few other things not quite right this morning. For one, my feet were sticking out, bare and cold, when I woke up. Furthermore, my coffee was a little bitter; I do not like that all. Not to mention the temperature drastically changed from the weekly average that we have been receiving. What’s the deal?

Now let me regain my composure. Well, now that I look at it again, these really do sound like silly things to grumble and complain about. Do they seem silly to you? They really do seem a menial and trivial thing when you take a step back and look at them from another point of view.  Though, I suppose, from God’s point of view, these things may not be trivial at all. They may have great importance in my life. I guess it is considerable to remember that God is the determiner of the importance of everything in each area of our life as it relates to His ultimate plan. So, maybe I should not complain about the half moon then. I really shouldn’t complain about anything. After all, I’m sure that Moses’ Israelites thought it was an insignificant thing to complain about having only manna and no meat to eat. Yet, Numbers 11 says this:
 1 Now the people began complaining openly before the LORD about hardship. When the LORD heard, His anger burned, and fire from the LORD blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried out to Moses, and he prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down. 3 So that place was named Taberah, because the LORD’s fire had blazed among them.  4 Contemptible people among them had a strong craving for other food. The Israelites cried again and said, “Who will feed us meat? 5 We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. 6 But now our appetite is gone; there’s nothing to look at but this manna!”…
18 “Tell the people: Purify yourselves in readiness for tomorrow, and you will eat meat because you cried before the LORD: ‘Who will feed us meat? We really had it good in Egypt.’ The LORD will give you meat and you will eat. 19 You will eat, not for one day, or two days, or five days, or 10 days, or 20 days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes nauseating to you—because you have rejected the LORD who is among you, and cried to Him: ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’”…
 31 A wind sent by the LORD came up and blew quail in from the sea; it dropped them at the camp all around, three feet off the ground, about a day’s journey in every direction. 32 The people were up all that day and night and all the next day gathering the quail—the one who took the least gathered 50 bushels—and they spread them out all around the camp.
 33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the LORD’s anger burned against the people, and the LORD struck them with a very severe plague. 34 So they named that place Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved the meat.

Monday, February 13, 2012

To Judge or Not To Judge; That Is Romans 14

                In Romans chapter 14, Paul uses the analogy of one person judging another’s slave, according to their own standards, in order to show the absurdity of one person judging another Christian—mind you, this only works with believers and not unbelievers, who are not slaves of God. The absurdity comes in at the idea that says that the one judging knows the end of the slave’s task or works. He does not.
                One very large and important inference we can draw from this argument of Paul’s is that one cannot tell whether a slave of Christ is where he should be, because that slave of Christ has one very specific and predetermined goal: to glorify God; one certain end: to be sanctified. In order to judge, then, this servant of the Most High, we would need to know the order in which this life of sanctification is taking place and the means that God is using for this end.
To exemplify this point we can look at one other analogy. Consider a particular historical figure who had his own personal secret means to another certain predetermined end. Consider Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (a.k.a. Michelangelo) the sculptor—the artist. When Michelangelo was commissioned to create a certain work, the one paying the artist would often have a very good, if not total, idea of what the end would look like. However, if the commissioner came to the sculptor prior to the works completion and at various times, would he be justified in judging the work or not? Would he be right in telling Michelangelo that his partially carved piece of stone was not where it should be? No. He has no idea of where it should be. Even another artist would be unjust in making a premature judgment of a piece of art. How much more, then, should we not judge another Master’s work of arta work of holiness?