From Strong Supplanter To Limping Prince

When he was strong he plotted
Beginning from his mother’s belly
Snatching first place was second nature
Winning was game-unfairly
If needed he would drag the heel
Trip others and slip like an eel

He gave his father the slip
When old and blind he spooked
Him with fake hairy fur
To think he was favoured Esau
He scooped his father’s blessing
Leaving his elder to rue the lesson

A great lesson it was
For trifling meat in scorching heat
Esau sold his birthright to Jacob
And for pottage messed his heritage

Twice denied and deprived
Esau began to hunt for his prey
But the Supplanter is more attuned to flight
Than an honest bare-knucled fight
So he fled to his mother’s land

There he flourished too
A servant that became greater
In all respects than his master
Contriving to thrive by sleight of stick

His flock was great and stock greater
But reckoning was drawing near
A danger that no art could neuter
There was lurking-an angry brother

As Jacob went on his merry way
He was told the news-the scorned
Was bearing the rod of vengeance
Easu was hunting with sunburned
Hate-simmering for an explosive chance

Strength in the conjuring arts
Useless in realm of martial arts
Was all he had to face the foe
Collision would be one-sided woe

Then he met the Angel
And wrestled all night
To settle the question for the ages
He held one till he was blessed
Transformed to one of the sages

The Angel touched his thigh
The sinew shrank
Producing a limping limb
He changed Jacob’s rank
Made him a Prince with God
Israel the elect of the Lord

If you had seen a sleep-deprived man
Wearily limping after dawn
The doppelganger of an astute supplanter
Would you have thought him stronger
Or weaker for the encounter?

But the limping man was greater
Than anything the shrewd and strong
Ever was-no earthly prince
Could stand before him
Out of weakness he became strong

 

Strong Saviour Of Weak Adam

OUT OF WEAKNESSWhen Adam was at his weakest
And sin’s arrow was draining his life
As blood spilled on Eden’s pristine soil
He and wife like ‘Jude the Obscure’
Were certain to face a wrathful future
Destined to die-huddled and tired
Forget the masses-they were not sired
God came on the memorable scene
With first aid to bandage the wounds
Lacerations of serpent’s roving rampage
The skin of innocent substitute stanched
The patient was well and truly patched
Strong enough to wait for the Redeemer
To arrive with knife of heart concision
From weakness then to strength
From destruction then to redemption
From hell’s despair to a home in the air

 

Word-Vision

For the simple joy of knowing
God is ever near you
That He is not hard of hearing
Nor incapable of speaking

Then you might say
I prayed but heard naught
I sought but found not
I waited but got naught

And the only thing worse
Than waiting is silence
‘I expected a revelation thus’
Not a psalm of patience

But if you want a vision
You only need to open
Your eyes like fearful Gehazi
And read writ of the holy pen

Prayerfully open the Bible
Then you will see a vision
Every promise is a revelation
Random flicks yield tailored finds

Say not ‘there is no open vision’
Or that days of prophets are gone
Look and see timeless inspiration
As each verse is a mine of unction

Wisely Unwise

It is a paradox when the wisest man that ever lived – King Solomon, advises us not lean on our own understanding. Surely the purpose of wisdom and knowledge acquisition is to have a foundation, a base of our thoughts and actions?

If we are are to acquire wisdom, what good does it do if we cannot rely on it?

Instead, Solomon says ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart’. This reveals the dichotomy of wisdom versus faith. Reasoning and believing are binary options we must choose from.

In the days of Christ’s earthly ministry (A Greater than Solomon), He came to a startling conclusion. He thanked the Father that the truth of the age was hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed to the ‘babes’ and simpletons.

How could it be? The Pharisees were the intellectual giants of Jewish theology. Each of them had invested many years of learning, discipline and argument to attain to the scholastic levels required to be a teacher of the law. The scribes and the priests too who were custodians and devoted students of the prophetic scrolls were wise and prudent. Yet they failed to see that Jesus was the Messiah.

They were leaning to their understanding and missed the object of their learning: the desire of all ages – Christ. What they sought was simply revealed to those who could accept it in its simplicity.

Which brings us to revelation. No one can ‘learn’ God except it is revealed to him. The knowledge of God cannot be attained by intellectual deduction. If it was, the Pharisees and scribes would be chosen for the twelve disciples. Infact, Jesus would have been crowned the High Priest, instead of suffering a cursed death for our sins.

It was revelation that opened Peter’s eyes to the identity of Christ. He rightly identified Him as the Son of God.

To the greatest thinkers of the age, Christ was an impostor, a Beelzebub, the Prince of devils masquerading as a holy man.

These learned folk admittedly were a minority of the Israelite population at the time. Forty years later, in 70 A.D, when Jerusalem was destroyed, the flower of Jewish learning was destroyed as well. The intellectual elite perished in their numbers. Why? The were blinded by their superiority complex and had missed their day of visitation.

The Christian folk, largely ‘ignorant and unlearned’ escaped the destruction. They had been warned by revelation. They were instructed to watch for the signs. Once the signs were manifested they were to run for dear life. They did.

Revelation comes only to the trusting not the knowing. Those who hearts are wide open will receive the knowledge that comes from above. Those who are proud and knowing will not know, while those begin from the point of unknowing will become all knowing. From knowing in part of earth, then they will know even as they are known.

Trust in the Lord, lean not to the understating garnered by years of manmade gospel.

In the great, bloodless contest with reasoning and revelation, leaning to revelation is the only option for those who want to stand after the storm’s judgement wrath is passed.

A Famine Of The Word

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God , that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord : And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord , and shall not find it.

Amos 8:11‭-‬12 KJV

 

We live in curious times. A time of material plenty and unprecedented prosperity, yet is it is also a time of hunger and famine in the world. It is a paradox of abundance that starvation occurs in a world of immense food waste and spoilage.

As it is the natural so it is the spiritual. The prophet Amos tells us a coming end-time famine, not of bread and food for natural sustenance, but of the Word of God.

At this time people will be starved of the Word. They will be spiritually famished in the midst of apparent plenty.

There is more religious literature, more sermons preached, more churches, more prolific christian media, than at any time in human history, yet astonishingly, we are, by prophecy, in the straits of a severe famine.

The Famine is here as prophesied by the infallible Word of God. Yes, there is a superfluity of food. Spiritual food abounds. What kind of spiritual food is plenty during a famine of God’s Word?

In the natural world, man’s reaction to the inadequacy of farm yields to feed the burgeoning population, has been to genetically modify or ‘hybridize’ the seeds. This has ensured a rise in output, but a decrease in the consumption of wholesome food.

Spiritually, the same has happened. To feed growing congregations, to appeal to the new frontiers of Christianity, to expand into other demographics, ministers have tweaked, modified and diluted the DNA of the Word. Inedible weeds have mixed with edible wheat in a potpourri. Now there is death in the pot.

Just like the first hybridization of the Word in Eden, brought death, this is leading to nowhere. God is not obligated to accept a service from a church based on the adulterated word.

New demographics may have been added, new market segments may have been conquered, but there is still a famine of the true Word.

In the midst of the plenty fanfare that accompanies the current feast of religiosity, the timeless truths of the New Testament church have all but disappeared. The guests at the feast, knowing no better, believe they are eating a whole grain diet. Sadly, there are consuming sugary chaff. There is an illusion of sweetness and satiation, but little long term nutrition.

What’s the way back? Is there any? In a general sense no, for the prophecy must be fulfilled on a macro level. However the injunction to the individual; is what Peter said to the curious Jews in Acts of the Apostles. He said “Save yourselves from this untoward generation”. The path to salvation lies in the individual, not the collective.

This beaten path leads back to the Word, to the ancient landmark, away from the glitz and glamour of compromise. It will be a lonely path, trodden by a tiny group.

To those few, food will be abundant. They shall have the Bread that gives life even more abundantly. While on the other side there will be a famine of the wholesome grains, these few will feed and feast on the Word of Eternal Life.

A Tale Of Three Suppers

 

One day in the life of Abraham, he was informed by escapees that his nephew’s city had been attacked by an alliance of kings. The invading army overpowered that of the King of Sodom and his allies.

As a result most Sodomites were captured and become spoils of war for the victors.

Abraham could have demurred at that point. And why not? Lot had deserted him. He had chosen prosperity over solidarity with he that had the promise. Abraham had a good reason to shrug his shoulders and move on.

He did not. Instead he armed 318 servants (all born within his house). Abraham and this fledgling, untrained army went to war. God granted them victory against the might of gleaming swords wielded by battle hardened veterans.

He liberated all the Sodomites captured by the enemy kings including the errant Lot and his family.

Victory Supper

As his cobbled army marched back home, weary but victorious at day’s end, they met a mysterious figure named Melchizedek.

Abraham, stirred by revelation, realized who He was. Melchizedek was the Priest of the Most High God. Abraham paid tithe to Melchizedek and in return Melchizedek blessed him and gave him, bread and wine (Genesis 14:18-20).

Bread and wine. This foreshadowed the communion that was to instituted in the New Testament. This Bread and Wine was served to Abraham at the end of the longest day of his life. A day of battle, a day of winning back erring brothers and sisters, a day of fighting the enemy who came only to steal, kill and destroy.

Last Supper

God promised that He will raise up a descendant of Abraham through whom the people of all nations will be blessed. This Man would also be a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4). Who is this Man, whose coming is prefigured in the Abrahamic covenant and the priesthood of Melchizedek?

That Promised Seed was Christ. He came to earth among His own. He toiled for three years and some, preaching the gospel and trying to win back his fallen brothers. His chosen people, His kinsmen in the flesh, had been captured by doctrines of devils. Lot was in physical captivity at the time Abraham rescued him. Israel was in spiritual captivity at the coming of Christ.

When Christ came to the end of His good fight, He called for a Supper, where He served exactly what Melchizedek did many centuries before.

It was at the end His earthly battle, in the evening of His Messianic day and ministry.

Marriage Supper Of The Lamb & Bride

Intriguingly, He left us a promise of another Supper. He said “I will not drink this cup again, until I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

He had come to the end of earthly ministry, then He instituted the Supper with a solemn promise.

This promise is to us and ours, for in the book of Revelation, we see that prophecy being fulfilled.

There is an invitation to attend another supper of bread and wine – the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

As with the two others before, it is a victory supper, a feast for only the over-comers. The rest of the dead ‘lived not for a thousand years’. (Revelation 20:5)

The Church (as the Bride of Christ) is toiling to fulfill the Master’s mission. She is fighting battles to redeem and rescue her fallen brothers like Abraham did and Jesus did during His ministry.

After the day is done and the battle is won, in the evening of her triumph, a Marriage Supper will be convoked (Revelation 19:9). The Bible was clear that it is a Supper, not a lunch or breakfast. Anything else would be breaking the congruence of the Word.

When Christ, the Melchizedek of the New Testament welcomes his victorious church after her hard-fought battle, He will as promised, drink the fruit of the vine with us again in the ramparts of heaven.

Till then, fight the good fight of faith. The reward of communing with Christ in that great Supper is for those whose swords slack not. If we are the Seed of Abraham, we shall attain with unflinching resolve, the reward of Abraham.

 

Underserved Atonement

Numbers 16:41-50

On Israel’s march to the land
Promised to them by Grace
Some men rose on pride’s wings
And flapped at the Moses’ face

It was a rebellion of equality
For as they said Moses was not
The only man called to lead
None in Israel is a robot
To follow commands without question
And rely on fabled inspiration

God in anger slew the rebels
They descended into dark hades
No tombstones or relics
No graves or digging spades
The earth swallowed them
Like you furtively swallow phlegm

Israel was aghast; Moses and Aaron
Had conspired to kill great men
They failed to see it was retribution
For defying the Anointed men
They mourned instead of learning
The sombre lessons of usurping

God’s judgment descended
A whip of a plague for the sinful
Moses with the Mind of Christ
Began to intercede for the scornful
And Aaron with censer of sacrifice
Raced through the camp of vice

The plague was stopped in its path
Pardon for the sinners obtained
They sought not but they found
Mercy over judgement had prevailed

So it was two millennia ago
While men walked in sin and scorn
Flourishing in reprobation
Defying the Royal Firstborn
Christ came to intercede
Giving mercy-our unknown need

Israel chose Korah over Moses
Again Barabbas over the Messiah
Still He pardons our ignorance
Saving us despite our desire
Let us be glad and rejoice
For He has made us His choice