The Heart of the Law

Posted: 28 June, 2014 in Uncategorized

I am a fan of J.R.R. Tolkiens great novel, The Lord of The Rings. Recently I had the opportunity to read the book again and I was struck by the following passage. For the sake of context, the Fellowship of The Ring which was made up of four hobbits, two men, an elf, a dwarf and a wizard has been broken up. Frodo and his faithful servant Sam have gone off alone towards Mordor but Merry and Pippin, the other two hobbits have been captured by a band of Uruk hai and are being pursued by Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. In the land of Rohan they meet up with a group of horsemen led by Eomer, the nephew of the King of Rohan.

‘How shall a man judge what to do in such times?’ ‘As he has ever judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.’ ‘True indeed,’ said Eomer. ‘But I do not doubt you, nor the deed which my heart would do. Yet I am not free to do all as I would. It is against our law to let strangers wander at will in our land, until the king himself shall give them leave, and more strict is the command in these days of peril. I have begged you to come back willingly with me, and you will not. Loth am I to begin a battle of one hundred against three.’ ‘I do not think your law was made for such a chance,’ said Aragorn. ‘Nor am I indeed a stranger…’

As I read this I was reminded of what Jesus said in reply to the Pharisees who accused his disciples of profaning the Sabbath in Matthew 12:1-8:

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath.’ He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? And if you had know what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’

Without going in depth into the Sabbath law, the Pharisees were ridgidly applying the Law in ways that God had never intended for it to be applied. The Law of God reflects His Holy character, it is not a set of arbitrary rules. This, of course highlights the need for the transformation of our minds and an earnest pursuit of God, that we may know Him and live as He intended, rightly dividing and applying the Word of Truth.

Leatherman Overhaul

Posted: 30 October, 2013 in Uncategorized

After 6 years of active service I decided it needed a proper maintenance session:

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God The All

Posted: 4 September, 2011 in Literature, Prayers, Theology, True worship, Worldview

O God whose will conquers all,

There is no comfort in anything

apart from enjoying thee

and being engaged in thy service;

Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what to me

thou makes them, and no more.

I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is,

or should be in all respects,

And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair

I would choose to refer all to thee,

for thou art infinitely wise and connote do amiss,

as I am in danger of doing.

I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal,

and it delights me to leave them there.

Then prayer turns wholly into praise,

and all I can do is to adore and bless thee.

What shall I give thee for all thy benefits?

I am in a strait betwixt two, knowing not what to do;

I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer,

and can only rejoice that thou doest all,

that none in heaven or on earth shares thy honour;

I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name,

but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to thee,

I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith,

that the whole work of redemption is thine alone,

that every good work or thought found in me

is the effect of thy power and grace,

that thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do

is for thy good pleasure.

O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much

about man’s creaturely power and goodness,

when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment,

we should be devils incarnate.

This, by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself.

THE VALLEY OF VISION

Exodus 3:13-14  Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 
'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' 
what shall I say to them?"  (14)  God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, 
"Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Joh 8:56-58  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was 
glad." (57)  So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you 
seen Abraham?" (58)  Jesus said to them, 
"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
Joh 4:25-26  The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming 
(he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things."  
(26)  Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
Joh 5:37-40  And the Father who sent me has himself borne 
witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his 
form you have never seen,  (38)  and you do not have his 
word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom 
he has sent.  (39)  You search the Scriptures because you 
think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they 
that bear witness about me,  (40)  yet you refuse to come 
to me that you may have life.

Today I was privileged to attend the marriage of two of my friends. One, an old friend, and the other a newer one whom I look forward to getting to know better.

This wedding was singular, not only because it was the merging of two cultures, South African and Indian, or because there were 3 pastors and two pastoral students involved. It was unique because it was obvious that the couple had given much thought and prayer to making this wedding an earthly representation of the love Christ has for his bride, the church.

During the brief message, the pastor said that just as God had been faithful in countless other marriages, He would be faithful to theirs too. It suddenly struck me as odd that God would be faithful to two sinners, or to countless other godly marriages. It didnt add up. Who are we that God would help us? And who are we that God would sanctify us as the church to one day return and take us as his bride? Why would he want to do that at all, when he knows our hearts?

And so I was able to appreciate the atonement once again, in a very tangible way. Christ will be faithful to us, he will love us and return to us because He gave himself for us, and washed us with his blood. He took our sin upon himself, “so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

“What a faithful God have we!”