Weekly Reading Portion for 5/28/11
Think Civilly! It’s A Specialized Military!
The goal was to create a military that could stand against adversaries outside of the body of Israel, and could stand against adversaries inside of the body of Israel. It was a military unit within the body that was threatening to anyone who dealt falsely; including itself– including yourself!
No one knew what God was building in the wilderness. If his adversaries had known, they would have done everything to stop him. In the wilderness God established: weaponry, a standard, and a strategy of camping and marching in ranks by position. In addition, from that military, God separated for himself a priesthood that was part of that military and still separate from it. Their service was before the Lord on behalf of their brothers. The firstborn of each house belonged to the Lord, but instead God taught Israel how to pay a ransom price. Israel paid for their first born by sacrificing the tribe of Levi. Then within the tribe of Levi, God separated Aaron’s descendents and made them responsible for the sanctuary. God’s divisions were as follows:
1. Complete military divided by tribe and ranked accordingly, trained and positioned in their expertise within the structure of Israel (the body).
2. Within the body (military) God separated one tribe from the body and this tribe was solely responsible for mediation between God and the other members. They were required to sacrifice and to serve the other members of the body; that was how they functioned in the”service”. That was their military service.
3. Within the military (body), even within the tribe that was separated from fighting and was called to serve, there was yet another separation- a particular family. This family was required to tend specifically to the tent of meeting.
4. Then within the particular clan there was a family (Son’s of Aaron) who were responsible for the dismantling of the sanctuary. They were the only ones permitted to dismantle the sanctuary. If a Levite who was not from this family took part in this service, he would die. He wasn’t qualified for it.
God designed a highly technical RE: chip
Every member of the body was qualified for their specified position and not qualified for the position of another. It was a particular army; a peculiar army. And it was designed to manage sin.
Regarding sin, there is only one military program: repent, return, reset, reboot. Israel was designed to be the people of God. Everything in Israel is designed to work for God. If Israel functions poorly for God, she will work against herself. But when she turns back to God, every single experience she has ever had actually becomes converted to being useful to her. Literally Israel is like a machine that gathers trash to her detriment, but when she returns to her design she remembers that trash is converted to energy.
In the book of Hosea, God begins to recount to Israel the tale of her trash, all that she has stored in her and then he takes her into the wilderness and teaches her how to use the trash the way that it was meant to be used. She burns it. She burns it like calories, like fuel. She is reminded of her design. She burns the trash with his every instruction. Israel re-sets herself back to the beginning of her program and remembers her purpose. She was written with this code: In the event of contamination, return to the Lord and the contamination becomes a re-fueling system.
God discharged a professional release clause
The story is about David and Jonathan. Sometimes you know something so deep in you and you don’t know why or how you know. It’s illogical for you to think what you are thinking because it doesn’t make any sense. How can someone be both a mentor and an adversary? How can you be expected to work under someone who wants to kill you? Why are you designed to love someone who innately hates you? But God answers: To learn.
David had to wait outside of the castle in the wilderness hidden in a field, all alone. He laid hidden, unable to eat, unable to fellowship, unable to live, because something inside of him was telling him that his life was in danger despite what everyone else was seeing. But he couldn’t leave on his own. He had to be released. There had to be someone who stood between him and his adversary who was a witness to the fact that David had left for the right reason. There was only one reason that mattered– that he was dismissed from his service in that part of the body (serving Saul). The assignment had to be over.
Jonathan was the only one who could give a clearly unbiased opinion because he loved them both. So David tried to convince Jonathan that it was time for him to go. He would not depart until he heard back from Jonathan. If Jonathan desired to trick him, David was in his hands. Although it grieved Jonathan, he came back to David and confirmed the truth. Saul would no longer allow David’s service. And how could he? While David served him, he was in very essence replacing him.
God designated a witness protection plan
Everyone has a role and a position in the body. Sometimes the roles get tricky. Sometimes those who are in higher authority laud themselves over the positions that are weaker in rank and are suppose to be submissive. When that happens, there is no way to ensure that justice is served because the one who has been determined to be the judge is corrupt.
What happens when a member of the body uses his knowledge and authority to abuse his position? Without a fair arbitrator there would be no one who could contend with the alleged abuse. But God uses a witness protection plan. God plants witnesses in the body who are unknown and unnamed for their protection. These people observe ill behavior and report it back to God and alert the rest of the body of the truth. They are alarms in the body. The difficulty in their position is that often they lose their lives or their jobs at the end of their assignment, not by God’s doing, but by those who hate the protection they provide.
John the Baptist was on the witness protection plan. No one knew who he was until something had gone so wrong in the camp that the military lacked the power to protect itself and its civilians; because the corruption was in the seat of power. But God had designed his military, from the beginning, with the ability to withstand corruption; even if the corruption was coming from the inside.