Friday, September 6, 2013

An Ironic Turn Of Events . . .

If you want to learn something new, you must step into new territory. If you open your Bible, don't go to the familiar passages of faithfulness or hope or patience or love or whatever it is that you need to read about, because those principles are the foundation of God's Word. There is not a piece of paper between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22 that is void of these things.
So i encourage you to open to a random page, and start to read something new.
Take it for what it is, and take it for what you are.

Moments ago, i posted that on Facebook. I just tried it myself. I have come to the conclusion that God is a very humorous Being (mostly with ironic humor, it seems), and this is no exception.
1 Chronicles 5:23-6:32. Are you kidding me? This? Lineage. Ancestral record keeping. The descendants of the half-tribe of M'nasheh (Manasseh), the heads of their families, their exile, and then the list begins.
Nearly a page and a half of "The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The children of Amram . . ." and so on.
So i'm sitting here trying to figure out the hope, faithfulness, love, etc., that is here on these two pages.
It hits me. Lineage is legacy. What more evidence of faithfulness can be asked than to bear witness to the lineage of Levi, the tribe "set apart" by God?
Granted, i'm having a hard time reading the entirety of these two pages (it's dizzying, to be honest), it's truly a beautiful thing to see this heritage, this promise fulfilled, this grace bestowed upon an entire tribe from their ancestry.

God visits the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him (Deuteronomy 5:9). This is evident in the "half-tribe of M'naseh."

That may seem bleak, but there's a wonderful, beauteous flipside to it; the following verse says that He shows steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love Him and keep His commandments. The tribe of Levi comes to mind. How wonderful it is that the descendants of Levi are named and numbered.
What's even more wonderful about this is that when we're simply flesh-and-blood, we are bound to the ancestral curses (call it what you will, as many who do not take the Bible to be literal would prefer a different terminology to give credence here, but i see it as wholly literal and, therefore, will call it an ancestral curse). If your great-grandfather hated God, chances are, God will visit that iniquity upon you, because He does not fail in keeping His Word. However, when you give up your flesh-and-blood nature and become a new being in the Spirit, through Christ, you are no longer bound by this, because God becomes your Father--and He keeps His commandments. He will bless to the thousandth generation because you are His child, not a child of this earth.

See in this; "Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
"And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’" (Ezekiel 16)
You have no place in this world anymore, and only God is your Father. He makes a covenant, He makes beautiful, He restores that which is no longer of this world. In this chapter, the girl found is Jerusalem, and she turns away, but God remembers His covenant.

And look at this; "Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life." (Ezekiel 18:25-27)
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” (v. 30-32)

The patrimonial curse is nullified when God becomes your Father, and you receive Him as such. It turns, instead, into ancestral blessing.
Your lineage is not one that can be simply bound in a book because it exceeds time itself. Your ancestry is Divine and Eternal.
Just imagine, opening a book and seeing five words: "The children of God: You."
Now i'm fully convinced that there is hope, life, faithfulness, and love emanating from each and every half-opaque page between the flyleaves of a Bible, even if it's but a list of names.

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