The Parable of the Medicine Cabinet

Scissors

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The Bible says that even in nature the existence of God is expressed to humans.  So much so that people are without excuse for not believing in Him.  Well, last night, a pair of scissors inside my medicine cabinet helped me get a sense of what Paul was talking about in the first chapter of Romans.

I bought the small pair of grooming scissors at Walgreens not too long ago and had used them only once or twice.  They should’ve been in pristine shape.  When I opened the cabinet door, though, I noticed that small amounts of water had made their way over to where I laid them, and now they are covered in rust.  I just bought them, and they’re already ruined!

God seeks to teach us things about His kingdom even through the things which have been created. And now that the curse of sin has marred the earth, even the effects of that curse show us, like a parable, the truth of God’s word. In something so small, we’re reminded that everything that we see is corruptible and subject to decay.

Cars rust.  Pipes burst.  Wooden beams are eaten away by termites.  Moths eat holes in Burberry shirts as easily as they do the Wal-Mart variety.

Cuba Gallery: Orange / vintage / retro / car / door handles / rust / texture background / grass

Jesus said,  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

In the end, only the Word of God and those who keep His word by the power of the Holy Spirit will endure forever.  Everything else, without exception, will turn to dust.

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.  1 John 2:17

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

  • What is God teaching you through your day to day life?
  • Where is your treasure?
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The Sign of Jonah, the Walking Dead

Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. Jonah 3:4-5, NASB

I just read the above passage and asked myself, why would these people just believe Jonah, just like that? The passage itself doesn’t give us any context as to what the Ninevites already knew about the God of the Hebrews. But a fascinating thought occurred to me.

Could it be that the story of what had happened on the boat three days earlier had already reached Nineveh? He had been thrown overboard into not just a sea, but a raging sea. Beyond that, he was missing for three days. We know the ship was nowhere near the shore because people on the boat tried desperately to get back to shore so they wouldn’t have to throw Jonah overboard. There’s no humanly possible way someone could survive something like that, especially considering the violence of the storm.

If his story had reached Nineveh, imagine the awe of the people when he strolled into town. Perhaps some of the men that worked on the ship had already returned to town. They had seen Jonah, watched him sink into the turbulent waves. They would’ve done a serious double-take when they saw that familiar face and heard the familiar tones of his voice pronounce their doom. Can you visualize the look of terror on their faces as they beheld the walking dead man? This could explain their quick acceptance of the authority of Jonah’s God. Though everyone on that ship called to their gods for help, Jehovah was not only the God who controlled the storm and sea, but life and death – He brought a man back from the depths of the earth safe and sound.

What an amazing foreshadowing of the appearances of the resurrected Christ that would take place so many years later!

I still think it’s a credit to the Ninevites that they accepted God’s message from Jonah. We’ve seen many biblical examples of people refusing to believe in God even after seeing marvelous displays of His existence and power.

It teaches us that we must be quick to believe God, and listen to His voice.

Innocent Blood


Un bacio, originally uploaded by Mr-Pan.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” Matthew 27:3-6, NASB

I find it deeply ironic that the priests, the ones who professed to cleave to Moses’ law with a vice grip – the men who were responsible for helping people make propitiation for their sins through the sacrificial system – were the very ones who told the remorseful Judas, when he admitted his sin, “Hey, that’s your problem!”

They didn’t know it, but that attitude accurately reflected their new role. No longer would they have anything at all to do with the forgiveness of sins. The One whose murder they cherished with all the strength of their fierce jealousy would now be the means of direct access to God, and forgiveness could be obtained directly from His throne. The words of the prophet Ezekiel were coming true before their eyes:

‘Thus says the Lord God , “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? … [the] sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them… therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord … “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep… Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out… I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest” … (Ezekiel 34)

Jesus took their place – He is our Shepherd and High Priest.

Judas obviously understood the concept of blood-guiltiness as set forth in the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 19:10, 13). He now had the guilt of innocent blood on his head (the priests would later take the guilt upon themselves and declare it over their children as well). In the Old Testament, blood-guiltiness was not incurred, or could be forgiven, if the person didn’t mean to kill the other person, or if the dead person was found within the city limits but no one knew who had killed him or her. Only if the murder was pre-meditated and motivated by hatred did the victim’s closest of kin have the right to kill the guilty one.

And so, the priests, too, took upon themselves the unforgivable kind of blood-guiltiness. As we will see in the following verses, the Scriptures set this concept up in the minds of its readers through types and enacted parables:

  • Jonathan, speaking to King Saul about David, a type of Christ: “For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; … why then will you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death without a cause?” (1 Samuel 19:5). In Ezekiel 34:23-24, written long after the historical King David died, Jesus is referred to by God as His servant David.
  • Jeremiah, also acting as a type of Christ, having been sent by God to prophesy to mankind, uttered words that could well have been spoken by Christ Himself: “Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.” (Jeremiah 26:15)
  • See also 2 Samuel 3:28, Jeremiah 7:6, Jeremiah 22:3, Jonah 1:14

See, their hearts were full of murder, they brought false witnesses, they coveted what was not theirs, and committed idolatry in placing their traditions over the word of God; they would murder the very Son of God, but they were still concerned with how “lawful” it was to put the 30 silver shekels back in the temple treasury. Talk about hypocrisy.

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What Happens To Those Who Murder In God’s Name?


scales of justice, originally uploaded by cyrus_patton.

Then they brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; thus the LORD has given my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and his descendants.” 2 Samuel 4:8, NASB

Rechab and Baanah must have been pretty shrewd political operators. They could see that David’s kingdom was on the rise and their master Ish-Bosheth’s was waning. They must have thought that taking Ish-Bosheth out for David would be a sure way to win his favor. It sounds like the kind of idea a modern-day political strategist or power-hungry wannabe dictator might come up with, right? These guys had what they thought was a perfect opportunity to catapult themselves to power and prominence. The only question was, would King David see things their way?

David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, when one told me, saying, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him in Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. “How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood from your hand and destroy you from the earth?” Then David commanded the young men, and they killed them… 2 Samuel 4:9-12

Not exactly the outcome they would’ve expected. This reminds me of what Jesus says in Matthew 7: not everyone who says to Him, “Lord, Lord,” will be saved, but those who do the will of the Father. If you continue reading, you get the impression that the misguided people of whom Jesus speaks sincerely think they are doing something good in His name. Perhaps they were zealous for King Jesus’ favor because they were expecting temporal rewards, much like Rechab and Baanah.

David is one of the biggest types of Christ we find in the Old Testament, the only man that God calls a man after His own heart. So what does the way David ran his kingdom tell us about how Jesus runs His? David could’ve killed his mortal enemy twice, but he refused to lift his hand against Saul, saying to him, “May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you” (1 Samuel 24:12).

So, God says we shouldn’t take our own vengeance on others, and He will punish those who murder, even if they convince themselves that they did it in His name. I suspect that those who killed believers in centuries past and did not repent will also find themselves on the wrong side of the King.

Jesus, help us to trust our avenging to You, our goel.