Redeeming The Plagues: Part 7
This was what I really wanted to discuss last week… not a history lesson… but my writing partner (aka The Ringmaster of the Universe) had other plans.
Exodus 2:1-3, “Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. ”
When I first read the above verse my reaction was borderline contempt. “Well – duh – what mother doesn’t think their kid is special?”
And then I had to do some major rethinking.
There’s no recorded divine intervention for Moses as in the case of the other famous Bible babies. We’re given no clue – except that a mother who cared wouldn’t hide her child from the world and drop him in a river filled with crocodiles and hippos.
Hippos aren’t cute. They are territorial and known to attack people and boats. There were also rapids, commerce and crocodiles. Dropping a child in the Nile River is what the genocidal pharaoh had wanted to do with the Hebrews’ male children!
It kind of reminds you of the difficult questions of Christianity. Why put a tree in the middle of a fantastic garden, which would destroy everything? Its the spiritual equivalent of a placing a nuclear device into a playpen!
And how could a loving God put His own son on a cross to die for us, when removing a tree could have prevented everything?
I was taught as a child that Jesus died for our sins because God loved us and thought we were special.
Special turned cynical when the world’s population reached more than a mom, a dad and a child.
Cain and Abel were the first sibling rivalry and it turned to murder. The lie which was perpetrated in the Garden of Eden, “God is holding out on you,” had metastasized into, “God is holding out on you, and He loves someone else more.”
Multiply that statement by today’s population of over seven billion and you’re left with the question, “Why am I special if you’re God and you love everyone?”
Some might be content with leaning on God’s ability to love everyone by the simple default answer that “He’s God,” and “has enough love to go around.” Which sucks – because it leaves you feeling like the nagging Christian wife in a Kendrick brothers film attempting to get your husband’s attention.
Christianity was never meant to be a relationship in crisis.
It was meant to heal a relationship crisis.
In AD 69 the world was in chaos and it was changing due to the radical love of a new sect called Christianity. This was the generation after Jesus – they knew him, they’d seen him,, touched him and followed him. Or if they’d been too young – their parents had received Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ or Messiah they’d been searching for. In some manner or an encounter with Jesus or his disciples the average person had been won over and became a “little Christ” themselves.
These people know a Christ who wouldn’t have had the patronizing attitude of platonic love for the whole world – or given their children the answer of, “Well He’s God – He has enough love in Him for everyone in the whole wide world… I guess…”
Within a few decades there was rampant persecution of Christianity – matched with incredible growth of the church – throughout the Roman Empire. Early Christians couldn’t have gotten from nearly modern day Iran to England on the wishy-washy phrase, “I guess,” and a shrug.
The phrase, “I guess,” does not sustain prisoners who are bing fed to the lions. It is not a phrase echoed by a dying prisoner. Its not the courage which a Roman soldier witnessed and made him convert on the spot – only to be immediately imprisoned or mauled alive. (Adrian of Nicomedia, patron saint of mercenaries – the events differ depending on the accounts. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_and_Natalia_of_Nicomedia)
Since I could not find that radical faith-based courage to heal and love, I turned toward other evidence. Not in an act of desperation, but to discover how much effort God puts into creating each person. And to ask the question – if I’m saved, and my salvation is secure – why is God out looking for the person who hasn’t found Him yet? Is that lost soul more important than me?
It often seems like God has a teenage crush. He just can’t get the popular people to pay attention to Him… when He has a perfectly good crew of people to hang out with.
The desperation builds when we realize that even as saved salvationally secure people – we have not been touched by God. The generations after major biblical miracles stayed closer to God because they’d witnessed His power.We have not openly seen God’s power like that. Jesus hasn’t physically shown up in person and healed or fed you. We don’t have that intimate connection with God in the physically present realm. We have a long distance relationship. And no matter how hard we work – the physical distance remains.
With regard to the teenage crush, Jesus never pretended to be one of the cool or popular kids. He knew who he was and that brought people to him. He also built unconventional relationships, walking between worlds with his heavenly Father and his earthly father, family and buddies.
We have a massive disconnect.
A massive disconnect and a serious intimidation factor. We are the grumpy older brother in the prodigal son parable (Luke15:11-32) because, like in a marriage crisis, we’ve forgotten how to love – so we live in fear.
A lack of love starts with the inability to feel. Its easier to turn off your emotions than to process the spiritual devastation of our world and sometimes our personal lives.
The nerves in our fingers are connected to our fingerprints. Fingerprints are not flat – but small ridges, lines, valleys, swirls, tents and other designs. They are unique to each finger and each person. Not even identical twins have the same fingerprints. Fingerprints are formed in the womb within 9-10 weeks of conception when the fetus is only about 2 inches long. Which means, the method used to acquit or convict is already created and in place before the fetus is legally protected under the law.
These fingerprints allow us through their unique topography of ridges and valleys, to pick up objects, touch others, hold babies, feel pain… When these ridges harden or build up calluses they loose the ability to feel. This is especially common among people who work with their hands for a living, often in manual labor.
Jesus was a carpenter and stonemason. (The word in Greek implies both professions.) He had the roughest most callused hands – but he didn’t let his heart get that way, because he recognized full range of emotion was as healthy, natural and creative as fingerprints.
The calloused heart holds in the emotions – making an emotional wall – like a castle’s keep. A keep was a tower used as a last resort defense in a time of battle or siege. Its modern equivalent would be an underground bunker.
We have the ability to lower the walls of our hearts – but the king who lives inside our hearts has reign over the castle keep, regardless of the battle outside. It is this king who determines who we let in and how much we feel, just like the calluses on our hands.
I mentioned that fingerprints were made up of ridges and valleys.
When we flatten what God intended for us to feel – we destroy diversity and creativity.
This flattened topography makes us all the same and turns us into Christian zombies, repeating the same scripts and shallow teachings. Zombies don’t enjoy life. They don’t have life anymore. Their single focus is destruction and their own survival. A brainless shuffling mob mentality ensues….
Welcome to Christianity.
No wonder the world runs away in fear. Its not just about how Christianity or religion is stupid and the people don’t have brains anymore.
One of the main things which drew people to Jesus was his compassion.
Listen to the word… Com-passion.
Co-passion: Doing passion with God – instead of having a fear of passion and associating the word with lustful illegitimate love affairs.
Co-passion requires removing the calluses and letting the spiritual topography of our hearts show. Topography which is unique as our fingerprints.
Topography is also on God’s hands.
Our names are written on His hands. (Isaiah 49:16)
And those ridges and lines make up maps.
Maps show us our destiny. They lead us new places, through winding paths to forgotten ancient cities and to glorious treasures.
God mapped out our lives in His hands and the hands of His son.
Christ came to earth to find that treasure – Us.
And on the hands which were pierced for our mishaps, short comings, personal disasters, lack of passion, a lack of courage, and blatant rebellion through apathy… was the way back to Eden.
The way back to restoration.
The way back to our authority.
The way back so that we could feel, be in passion, and co-create with God and be free to feel His touch and love again…
That was on Christ’s hands.
These maps were thought destroyed when Jesus was thrown in the tomb.
But we know better.
And that is why we are special to God… because our fingerprints have touched His and we are one.
More importantly – His fingerprints are all over our heart and co-passion is what He breathed into us – just like Adam.
You’ll see why this is important in the life of Moses next week…
The Ringmaster of the Universe
Exodus 2: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus2&version=NIV
Hippo photo: http://nypost.com/2015/06/19/hippo-bites-crocodile/
Hippo information: http://www.hippoworlds.com/hippopotamus-aggression/
Nagging wife photo: http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/engagement-newlyweds/5-truths-i-learned-about-being-a-nagging-wife.html
Christian persecution: http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-27/persecution-in-early-church-did-you-know.html
Map of the Roman Empire: http://www.ancient.eu/Roman_Empire/
Adrian of Nicomedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_and_Natalia_of_Nicomedia
Luke 15: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15%3A11-32
Fingerprint photo: http://fphoto.photoshelter.com/image/I0000dQxF0PokM1w
Fingerprint information: Criminalistics 101 – Harrisburg Area Community College 2012. Professor Adam Barton (who has real-life experience being on a police force)
Fingerprints before birth: http://www.ehd.org/dev_article_unit10.php
Greek word for stonemason: http://www.mysteriesofthemessiah.net/this-book-and-more/ (I served as one of several video editors for this book. The video I referenced has not been uploaded at this time, however, the information is available in the .pdf file.)
Castle keep photo and information: https://www.castles-of-britain.com/keeps.htm
Zombie photo: http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/zombie-mob?excludenudity=true&sort=mostpopular&mediatype=photography&phrase=zombie%20mob
Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Close up. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/572731277581669745/
Isaiah 49: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+49&version=NIV