Psalm 131

This is specifically attributed to King David. It’s a beautiful portrait of someone who has learned the hard way to dismiss ambition and pride.

David begins confessing what a might work God has done in his heart. He does not bristle at the idea of having to deal with ordinary people and mundane tasks. There is no one beneath his dignity to offer standard human courtesies. His head is not lost in great and burdensome cares of his throne. He remembers being just a shepherd boy.

Let’s not get lost on the question of weening. For all we can tell, Hebrew children were given much latitude to ween themselves when they felt ready. It has as much to do with a sense of security as physical health. The point here is that David no longer feels pulled by the insecurity of a man seeking to feed his ego. He’s ready to face the real world and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

This is what’s behind the very common message: Put your trust in God. Here is the king warning people not to put him on a pedestal. He would still be a shepherd boy were it not for God. And it was a shepherd boy the Lord wanted, so something in that role carries over to his reign as king. It was a shepherd boy’s faith that made ruling possible.

Moral Complexities

It is a real challenge to stick to a heart-led conviction and wade through the mass of lies. For those of us still learning how to live by divine conviction, seeking to shake off generations of false religious teaching with false moral values, we need a lot of time in prayer and contemplation to catch up. I encourage you to get close to Creation and learn to hear the voice of God in communion with unfallen nature. Learn to pray and worship outdoors in relatively wild settings; get used to just sitting and absorbing that personal moral truth of God’s character. It’s not so much a matter of pristine untouched wilderness — though that is good if you can find it — but a place where the normal noise of human traffic is far enough away that you can hear the sound of nature singing the praises of God.

And then, I encourage you to keep that thrumming song of glory alive when your human responsibilities pull you away from those moments. Stay heart-led; keep an ear on your convictions. This is how we overcome our own sinful tendencies. This is how we restore justice to as much dominion as God grants us individually.

This way, you’ll be in a position to understand when I tell you that a critical element in divine justice is living in that tribal social structure. While it may mean blood kinship, the real point is covenant kinship. That business of shared covenant is the core of divine justice in this fallen world. This is why I characterize shalom as “social stability” — you cannot possibly have genuine social stability any other way than to elevate the covenant to the status of divine law in your thinking.

Of course, we never lose sight of the vast difference between our world of divine justice versus the world around us. Our lives are characterized by the eternal conflict between what is versus what ought to be. We do not control the outcomes; we can just barely control the process within ourselves. Adam — symbolizing our fallen nature — is like a zombie that won’t stay dead, won’t stay nailed to the Cross (Galatians 2:20). We should hardly be surprised that the world around us lives like moral zombies.

I don’t expect the world to understand this kind of talk. It’s not just the way I use language, but the whole thing rests on a moral awareness that only God can give. Instead, I have to speak to the world just a few things that represent their best interests in terms they could understand if they wanted. Instead of talking about the tribal covenant orientation, I refer to nationalism. Whatever bad things might come with that, it’s far better than what comes with other political agendas. If I can persuade men to embrace a nationalist agenda, it’s about as close as they’ll get to social stability and God’s divine blessings.

We are not going to escape death in this world. It’s not what God intended for us, but now it’s the only way out of this mess. But as noted in my previous reference to Galatians 2:20, we can choose death before we actually die. We can sacrifice our sinful nature and God will grant us a trans-dimensional awareness that means we get some kind of taste of the Tree of Life. We face the Flaming Sword at the entrance to Eden and use it on ourselves; it accomplishes the same moral purpose that way. So we become aware of things we can’t really expect to experience in our fallen existence. We see not just the conflict, but the full meaning of the conflict. We can discern the nature of things and characterize for others a vision, a path that leads them somewhat closer to that Flaming Sword. We tell them to embrace nationalism and already know that it means people have to bleed and die. We understand that the Canaanites had to be slaughtered or God could not bless Israel in the Conquest.

A lot of Israeli warriors didn’t quite have that deep moral vision of the Covenant, but they did have a certain useful bloodlust. Humans have a capacity for violence and it’s just plain goofy to suggest that violence is inherently sinful. It has its place in the fallen world. Don’t try to overly analyze this with your reasoning; God commanded His people to destroy and kill because it was part of His inscrutable plans. The problem was that Israel got lazy about it; it’s the sin of Adam in eating the Forbidden Fruit. Fighting moral evil is a dirty job and Adam had competing interests to distract him. He should have attacked the Devil. And Israel failed to bring God’s wrath against the Canaanites in full measure. That violent human tendency does have a godly purpose, but it requires some strong preparation to see what’s the real threat that needs killing instead of seeking fleshly convenience.

Don’t ask me why God would desire whole portions of humanity to die in their sins. This the world in which we live. It’s sad to see so much potential lost that way, but the real problem is our moral blindness. Our intellect is arrogant and imagines it could find a way to redeem those folks and make them more useful. As if we could succeed where God has closed the door…

We aren’t living in a society that embraces the Covenant of Noah, and I’m not appointed by God to take political leadership. I’m not going to tell you whom you should go and kill with any kind of moral authority from God. Rather, I’ll tell you that the question of using violence is valid under Biblical Law; it’s a valid question for those who follow Christ. But you have to get with God and know for yourself what He wants. We don’t listen to the shrill false morality of our society because it stands on a false moral approach to everything. It flies in the face of God and His revelation; it makes the State your god and demands you do violence only at government behest. Some of you reading this will, in the near future, be confronted with moments when violence is God’s will for you, never mind what government says. I’m utterly convinced I will face those moments. God can redeem our bloodlust, too.

For the rest of humanity in our current American political context, I would say that violence against the likes of the Antifas is justified. But I would also say don’t get lost in that. You may need to save some for the real threat: the globalists behind the Antifas. Do you honestly imagine those folks will peacefully surrender their political power? They are the ones funding the Antifas. Sure, wait for them to force your hand — they will. They most certainly would not hesitate to kill you as a simple matter of convenience.

Would you rather we just keep going in the same muddled direction where the plutocrats plunder everyone of everything? How bad does it have to hurt before you act? If you want to stop the oppression, the path is to take down the globalists first, then the imperialists — the former is shielding the latter. As the linked article notes, there will come a time when the imperialists will send out fake Antifas to keep you distracted from attacking the imperialist agenda. So while you have a little fun punching out the Antifas, don’t get confused about the real threat.

In the end, the thing you imagine you are protecting or recovering will lie shattered on the ground. In the back of your minds, realize that the system as come to an end already, and it’s time for you to build something new once you have broken the plutocrat power over you.

Europeans: I can’t help you much. The globalists own you already; God has delivered your countries into their hands. Your lands are already swamped with implacable foes and your future is lost. The Islamic conquest fended off in 732 at the Battle of Tours has now been embraced by your political elite. You folks will have to find your own answers. The tide cannot be turned back now. You’ll need to learn violence merely to survive on a daily level. God help you.

For those of us who walk the heart-led way, don’t get trapped in political concerns. Learn to recognize what’s happening and be ready to exploit the opportunities for Christ’s glory.

A Divine Mandate

I have a divine mandate, a calling from God. We all have one, so I’m not that special. However, my calling is pastoral in the sense of shepherding the people of God. Unlike most pastoral people, I don’t decide who shall be in my flock; it’s the flock that decides. In that sense, it is God who decides and leads people to give some regard to my pastoral leadership.

In this virtual setting, most of my leadership is exerted through persuasive writing. I’m trying to keep an eye on ways I can help God’s people get out of Satan’s domain. There is no image here of perfect escape, but of selective escape for certain issues that I have been granted to understand. On another level, it is a calling to understand something of the nature of Satan’s dominion so that people can discern for themselves how to look for ways to be free. Thus, I tend to offer my specific ideas as examples of how to approach the whole question.

One of those issues is the broad cultural trap in which we live. The best ally Satan has in keeping you under his thumb is the social mythology of our Western world.

We know that humans are inherently vulnerable to certain threats. That’s why there is such a thing as bulletproof vests, for example. They are expensive and their effectiveness is limited, while the act of wearing one is burdensome in itself. But if you spend very much time exposed to people inclined to fire bullets at you, it’s worth the expense and trouble.

We are also vulnerable in other ways. That includes a great deal of psychological vulnerability. The human mind remains open to some kinds of threat simply because that’s how we are wired. In order for us to live here in this environment, we have to take certain mental shortcuts. But those shortcuts can be exploited by other people to manipulate us into doing things we shouldn’t. Naturally you would expect the predators to lie and play down that weakness, saying it’s all a bunch of hoopla and scare-mongering. They have allies who dismiss the threats by saying you should simply ignore the manipulation, as if there is no cultural atmosphere that disarms us and makes it too painful to argue about it.

Precious few are born with the will and presence of mind to fight the system. And most of those are intentionally pressured and harassed until they stop exercising that will to resist. Our world makes it terribly expensive, even deadly, to take your own path. Distrust of the system will get you killed, or at least badly hurt. The system itself is predatory and demands that you keep yourself vulnerable.

I am my brother’s keeper; there are lots of sheep who aren’t wired to fight, so someone has to fight for them. I’m not a Darwinian about such things; I care. So it’s natural for some like me with a pastoral bent to make a lot of noise about things you need to consider changing. If I warn you about something the system seeks to do to us to deceive and manipulate, you can blow it off if you like; it’s really your choice. But if God starts knocking on the door of you conscience about this, then get with Him and work it out. If you start making noise about how people should naturally handle such things on their own, then you’ll be classed as an ally of Satan. Resistance has been beat out of them, so it’s my job work at healing the wounds and to provoke it back to life. Don’t be a calloused ass.

Advertising is inherently evil, folks. It’s one thing to let people know what you offer, but you’ll almost never see that in advertising; it’s so rare now you can’t call it “advertising.” Advertising is inherently manipulative, striving to prey on human weaknesses, both native and culturally derived vulnerabilities. By no means would I expect to change the system, particularly on the Internet. We are awash in advertising. What I am suggesting is that you as an individual consider the problem and decide whether God is calling you to act on this problem. I’ll offer ways to bulletproof your mind, both in restructuring the mind’s operations and in in blocking predatory input. There is no moral obligation to consume advertising, so fight it tooth and nail. That’s what Jesus did in resisting Satan in the Wilderness Temptations.

I’m not worried about some tiny slice of Internet users blocking advertising, as if this will bring the whole system down. The vast majority of folks won’t do anything about it. What I am worried about is the very real effort on the part of some to take that choice away from you. Those people are so evil they deserve vilification. These are people who want to hurt you. Given the right opportunity, I would consider taking more assertive action to stop them and removing the threat altogether. However, such opportunities are wholly unlikely, so I’ll stick with making noise about taking control of how you use the Internet. I’ll agitate for a few folks — that tiny slice of humanity who feel drawn to my message — to take more assertive action with how they use their computers.

That’s what God has called me to do.

Psalm 130

Our greatest difficulty in reading the Psalms is that we struggle to enter the Hebrew mind. This short piece sounds so much like David for its depth of passion, but there were others who caught the same fire for the Lord. In this short piece, we can catch a glimpse of that same path of devotion.

This song begins with recognition of our fallen nature. We live in the depths of delusion and sin; it is our natural state. But we were not made for this, and we know it instinctively, so we seek redemption, some small measure of restoration. From the depths of our cursed existence, we cry out to Jehovah. His court alone has jurisdiction for this sorrow. There is no other help, so we call to Him alone.

Should it be that God preserves the record of our failures, there would be no hope. No one but God is holy by nature. Yet in His holiness, forgiveness is also His nature. He blots out the record of our sins. The logic here is simple: If none are pardoned, then there is no one to give Him glory on the earth. For His divine justice to be apparent, for His fame and repute to live on the earth, there must be those who have been delivered by His justice and live to sing His praises.

The concept of “wait” in Hebrew here is binding together, of me wrapping my whole existence and welfare in His desires for me. What He reveals to me is life itself; His divine moral character is the fabric of existence. What He reveals is reality. Thus, there is no higher priority. Standing watch at night can be long and lonely, cold and exhausting, but a guard’s investment in relief at the dawn cannot compare to my depth of desire to know what God wants for me next.

And this passionate personal experience is not mine alone; it is the nature of our calling and covenant as the people of Jehovah. So the psalmist calls on his nation to join him in trusting Jehovah alone as the sole source of mercy. The Lord has more than enough redemption to cover every soul that calls on His name. Regardless how great our failures, He’s there to redeem it all.

It’s Alive

Mysticism is a struggle. We are always trapped in a system that cannot give full expression to what we can discern. Our postmodern Western society is designed to prevent everything that God intended for us. Even those wonderful mercies He offered after the Fall are hidden under vast piles of cultural trash. We wouldn’t even have to call it anything; there would be no need for the distinctions inherent in the term “mysticism” if our entire heritage were not so dead set on denying what is normal and natural for humanity after the Fall.

The whole body of Scripture presumes mysticism. The mindset takes it for granted as the foundation for everything that matters.

Do you understand that God speaks to everyone all the time? He hasn’t been silent for a single moment since the Fall. Every living thing can hear His voice except humans. We have to fight through our fallen nature to restore what is perfectly normal and — well, it’s supposed to be ordinary, but it seems extraordinary because we are born outside of it. Sure, children can do it almost by instinct, but we can’t stay in childhood innocence if we are going to obey the Lord. We have to confront the reality of the Fall. Redemption demands this. There are things we have to do that require engaging human capabilities incompatible with innocence. But we don’t have to lose our mystical capabilities when we surrender our innocence. It’s our culture that demands it; it’s not in the nature of the transition itself.

So it’s not as if we are all natural born prophets, but we can all hear from God and know what He requires from each of us. The mission of the prophet is to pull back from the normal activity of life to some degree and bathe their minds in the bigger picture of revelation. A prophet surrenders some measure of typical daily life in favor of seeing more consistently what other people tend to lose track of in terms of the broader scope of God’s revelation. Prophets forgo the daily commerce of life for this, so we are supposed to support them to make up the difference.

Even more so with priesthood. The idea is to be fully acquainted and focused on the protocols of worship. Priests can scarcely avoid a certain amount of prophetic awareness. They are supposed to be sensitive to the moves of the Spirit of God in worship. What does Our Lord want from us and for us at this moment? What does it take to stand in His glory? You can’t ritualize everything about it; the rituals are not the point. The rituals simply meet the protocols so we don’t forget certain important details. Priests go into a time of worship expecting the Spirit to direct contextual modifications because no two moments of worship are the same. God is a Living Person with all the same whims and moods, but none of our human flaws. Holiness does not mean “stasis.”

The measure of perfection in biblical terms is a mature relationship with a Person. It’s a living give and take. This is the nature of mysticism as an approach to life. We assert to the world around us that we deal with a living God in a living communion. It’s individual and variable; it’s alive and impossible to quantify.

Jesus warned us, as did many prophets before Him, that this is both the norm and wholly atypical. Don’t expect many to turn into this path. There is simply no way to make this a social norm. That is, there is nothing in human capability to turn the whole human race from destruction. Get used to the idea that mysticism will isolate you in many ways. Share what you can when you can, and get excited every time it seems to have an impact. But always remain cynical about even your own persistence.