Posted in theology

Why does mankind resist certain fictional narratives?

By Elizabeth Prata

Philosophers are a funny breed. They have great thoughts and important discussions and some of them, even, contribute to the world in useful ways.

For the most part though, philosophers are to be pitied, for they pursue wisdom apart from God’s word. This is a vain pursuit.

Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition, in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, rather than in accordance with Christ.”

The word philosophy here means, according to Strong’s Concordance,

5835/philosophía (“philosophy”) in Col 2:8 refers to secular philosophy – elevating human wisdom over the wisdom of God. Such 5385 (philosophía) is loving one’s own thoughts (secular wisdomat the expense of God’s Word (true wisdom).

And that is exactly what most philosophers do.

I came across a new sub-sub genre of philosophy the other month. It’s the study of “imaginative resistance.”

Our imagination will accept a book plot that involves flying cars or talking cats or aliens from other worlds readily enough. The problem is not with imagination. The problem (or ‘puzzle’ as philosophers state it) comes in when an author writes a fictional narrative that includes elements we deem morally reprehensible. Our imagination resists it. We won’t go there as a reader or movie watcher.

Morally deviant narratives are almost universally resisted by readers or viewers. Factually deviant fiction is no problem. We suspend disbelief to allow our imagination to go along with warp speed or giant guardian talking trees and closets that lead to another world. Yet morally deviant fiction is a huge problem. We reject infanticide and slavery as being deemed ‘good’. The evil villain who gets away with it doesn’t sell as many books as the one who receives justice in the end. People won’t consume it. Why this happens is a puzzle to philosophers. This paper explains further:

When engaging with a work of fiction we readily imagine all sorts of things, many of which depart from the world as we know it. Moreover, we tend have no trouble imagining such factually deviant propositions; our knowledge that, e.g., there are no such things as hobbits does not get in the way of our imagining the world described by Tolkien. Matters are different, however, when we are asked to imagine morally deviant propositions. If told: “Giselda gave birth to her fourth child,” we go along with the author.  But if told, “In killing her baby, Giselda did the right thing; after all, it was a girl,” we tend to resist. How to explain this asymmetry has come to be known as the puzzle of imaginative resistance”. Source

This philosophy blogger said, “Without the slightest resistance, we accept invitations to imagine scenarios that contradict the known laws of nature or that rewrite some large or small fragment of the history of the world.”

Our imagination is inhibited by very few restraints, as confirmed by the fact that fiction has been alive and well since almost the dawn of history. However there IS a constraint upon imagination, there are some things our mind does resist treading toward and over a certain line. And that this is a generality that seems true across cultures and times, for almost the whole of humankind, indeed must be a puzzle to those who do not know the Lord.

For example, speaking of rewritten history, the television series “The Man in the High Castle” was an extremely well done and by the way, successful show that revised history to spin out what America would be like if we had lost to the German Nazis in WWII. It was an imaginative puzzle of interesting ramifications and scenarios that the show’s writers dealt with in ingenious ways. The Nazis were repugnant and their regime was a horror. Still, though, the author could imagine a world run by Nazis, and readers and TV watchers did also, but … we don’t normally accept imagining a world where the adulteress wins.

Famously, the 1987 movie Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer had an ending that we never got to see. The plot centered on Michael Douglas as Dan, who was a (supposedly) happily married man and his weekend-long sexual encounter with a woman he’d just met. When the weekend was over he assumed the relationship would end, too, but the woman, (Glenn Close, playing Alex) became dangerously unstable and refused to let go. She performed increasingly dangerous intrusions into the family, at one point, boiling the family’s pet bunny. This is where we get the term “bunny boiler.” The climax came when she appeared in the married couple’s bathroom and tried to kill the wife (Anne Archer). Michael Douglas’ character drowned Alex in the tub, but she wasn’t dead and popped back up, but by then Anne Archer’s character was ready with a gun and shot Alex dead. Cue the end.

Audiences loved that ending. It was satisfying. Especially because 35 years ago, the woman was much more looked upon as the person more in the wrong in any adulterous affair. That she got what was coming was fulfilling to the audience. But that was not the ending the screenwriter put on the page at first.

Originally, the Alex character slits her own throat and frames the Michael Douglas character. She commits suicide and dies a lonely death in her bathroom. This did not please audiences at all, who clamored for a more theatrically potent and a more morally just ending.

Director Adrian Lyne reminisced, “Somebody said that the only innocent party in the movie is Beth, so it had a certain logic that [Alex’s death] would come from her,” he says of how he approached Archer’s revised role.”

Imaginative resistance refers to the way readers are willing to give consent to all sorts of implausible things in the context of a fiction, but become uneasy when asked to imagine that something they consider morally or ethically reprehensible is good. Source

Texts in quarantine: Karl Barth, biblical interpretation and imaginative resistance | Scottish Journal of Theology | Cambridge Core

That this resistance is a puzzle to philosophers is not puzzling to Christians. God has instilled in every person’s soul a moral compass, vestigial knowledge of the Ten Commandments impressed into the heart, and a conscience.

William Fenner, English Puritan, wrote, There is in every man a conscience: “their conscience…bearing witness.” There was a conscience in the scribes and Pharisees: “being convicted by their own conscience” (Joh 8:9). There is a conscience in good men, as in Paul: “our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience” (2Co 1:12). There is a conscience in wicked men: “their mind and conscience is defiled” (Ti 1:15). As it is impossible the fire should be without heat, so it is impossible that any man should be without a conscience. 

We all have one. And why is that? Do worms have a conscience? Do mice have a conscience? Do butterflies have a conscience? No. Only humans have a conscience, and this mental activity inside us that accuses or excuses did not “evolve”.

AW Pink wrote, “CONSCIENCE is the faculty of the soul that enables us to perceive of conduct in reference to right and wrong, the inward principle that decides upon the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our desires and deeds. Conscience has well been termed the moral sense because it corresponds to those physical faculties whereby we have communion with the outward world, namely, the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Man has an ethical instinct, a faculty or moral sensibility informing and impressing him.“

We suspend disbelief, we can imagine illogic, we can set aside physical laws, but for “some reason” we humans almost universally cannot go beyond some aspects of moral imagination. Why? I put it to you that it is because we have an innate sense of the line that is drawn of ethics, morals, and values as humans, and that glimmers of the knowledge of our accountability to God restrains us. The Common Grace of the Holy Spirit in His restraining activity enacts this.

The Greek word for conscience appears in the New Testament 31 times, writes RC Sproul. Its use is two-fold, it accuses as well as excuses. “When we sin, the conscience is troubled. It accuses us. The conscience is the tool that God the Holy Spirit uses to convict us, bring us to repentance, and to receive the healing of forgiveness that flows from the gospel,” he said in “How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience?“.

How is the conscience informed? God’s word informing God’s principles to the person’s mind. How is the conscience breached? By constant sin unaddressed, which hardens the mind and dissociates the soul.

The conscience excuses as well as accuses. We are living in a time when that moral line of resisting moral deviance in fiction, as well as resisting it in real life in all arenas, is rapidly evaporating. Sproul continues,

“It’s interesting that we can always find someone who will give an articulate and persuasive defense for the ethical legitimacy of some of the activities that God has judged to be an outrage to Him. As humans, our ability to defend ourselves from moral culpability is quite developed and nuanced. We become a culture in trouble when we begin to call evil good an good evil.”

What happens when the puzzle of why humans resist going over certain morally deviant lines erodes to the point when anything and everything is good, or at least, should be tolerated? It is prophesied that the cycle of evil over human history will always devolve to the point of calling evil good and good, evil, says Isaiah 5:20.

We have after-birth abortion which is just another name for infanticide, drag shows to children, homosexual marriage, torture and defacing of children in pursuit of another identity, riots that are called peaceful and peaceful protests that are called riots, and much more and worse. We have this now. What do you think will happen when the Spirit ceases His restraining hand and like the line of children playing tug of war, fall down, all moral restraint collapses and falls all at once?

GotQuestions mulls this over:

Of course, the Spirit works through believers to accomplish this. The church, indwelt by the Spirit of God, has always been part of what holds society back from the swelling tide of lawless living. At some point, Paul says, the Spirit will “step aside” from His restraining work, allowing sin to have dominion over mankind. Second Thessalonians 2:7 can be literally rendered, “The secret of lawlessness is already working, only it cannot be revealed until he who now withholds disappears from the midst.” We believe this “disappearing from the midst” will happen at the time the church leaves the earth at the rapture. The Holy Spirit will still be present in the earth, of course, but He will be taken out of the way in the sense that His unique sin-restraining ministry—through God’s people—will be removed (see Genesis 6:3). Source

Can you imagine? Literal hell will break loose on earth.

Philosophy is all well and good for those who stumble in the dark. God’s word says of philosophy,

We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (1 Corinthians 2:13).

Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly, empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— (1 Timothy 6:20).

It is admittedly a distressing state to sit in a seat of light and truth and knowledge, and watch philosophers and ethicists and sociologists the unsaved elites grapple with these issues of morals and conscience. It’s worse to see these people informing our leaders in government based on these horrific principles. The Lord in His wisdom bestowed true knowledge to His people, yet the unsaved stumble in the dark and fall into a pit. O, the Day when He comes to show all who He is and that the Light is pure and Holy will be too late for many.

For the Christian in these times, protect your conscience. It is valuable and is the guiding light that informs our mind of sin, grows us in accusing us of sin, which drives us to the Father in repentance. Be a believer, not a philosopher.

Further Resources

The Conscience Revisited, Grace To You article

Everyone Has a Conscience, William Fenner (1600-1640)

Suppressing the Truth and Searing the Conscience, The End Time

Posted in theology

Suppressing the truth and searing the conscience

By Elizabeth Prata

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (Romans 1:18-19).

What did they suppress, exactly? And where? Or how?

They, meaning unbelievers, deny in their minds that there is a God. They suppress that He made everything in creation. They hate thinking of the fact that He made them, which would mean they are accountable to Him at judgment for their words, their deeds, their lives. They squash their conscience when they do evil.

Continue reading “Suppressing the truth and searing the conscience”
Posted in Kay Cude, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: Conscience

Kay Cude Poetry, Conscience. Used with permission. Right click to open in new tab a bit larger, if you need to.


I recommend the book by John MacArthur “The Vanishing Conscience“. It explains about how our conscience works in sanctification, and how violations of our conscience (sin) works to inhibit it.

Here is a short devotional from Ligonier about the conscience.
And another, even shorter Ligonier devotional about listening to your conscience

Posted in encouragement, theology

The Inner Life of the Cell

By Elizabeth Prata*

Harvard’s “Inner Life of the Cell” is a success story in unexpected viral interest. Originally developed for classroom education, it went viral on the internet after a showing in 2006 at the Siggraph Electronic Theater. The video below is the shortened version and contains the beautiful musical soundtrack.

Watching this with the Creator in mind as the One who planned us down to the cell and beyond, brings tears to my eyes. Evolutionists believe the cell activity evident in the animation was developed by accident over time. Yet how can such a bustle of activity in each cell be happenstance? It cannot.

This version is the full 8 minutes with music AND narration:

This link gives a longer an explanation of the series, its genesis and intent, along with information about the animation. Go here. The synopsis is below:

Inner Life of the Cell” was originally intended for undergraduate life sciences students at Harvard. However, the animation went viral after being shown in the Siggraph Electronic Theater in 2006. The mix of publicity, criticism and acclaim proved that there was an unmet demand for compelling scientific visuals that educate as well as inspire. “It’s quite clear that we understand the world primarily through sight,” says Dr. Robert Lue Ph.D., Director of Life Sciences Education at Harvard and a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. “Somehow we don’t use that in teaching science as we really should.” (Source)

While watching the video, I feel moved beyond description, and it is because I am seeing my insignificance compared to His wonderful Glory.

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:3-4)

That though this is an animation I trust that it accurately depicts the life of the smallest parts of our body, and I know: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

I praise Him! “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

The Bible is replete with statements attesting to His power, creativity, and glory in creating all there is, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” (Isaiah 45:12)

Please take encouragement from this video, which illustrates His power and in so doing, remember, though we are insignificant compared to Him, He created us to have a relationship with Him. I pray yours deepens today, and if you do not know Him, begin a relationship today by asking Him to forgive your wrongs and to take you unto Himself as saved sinner, and His friend.

*First appeared on The End Time in Oct 2010

Posted in encouragement, theology

Complaining About the Manna

By Elizabeth Prata

You know the story. Yahweh had delivered the Hebrews from slavery. He delivered them using 10 miracles (plagues). He delivered them via parting the Red Sea. He sustained them by giving them water. He sustained them by giving them food. Literally, bread from heaven. (Exodus 16:4, Nehemiah 9:15).

It tasted like “wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:31) and “fresh oil.” (Numbers 11:8).

The manna (literal translation, “What is it?” Exodus 16:15) was nutritious, delicious, and since it was from heaven, didn’t have the curse of the ground upon it.

But they grumbled. They didn’t know what it was. They wanted meat. Continue reading “Complaining About the Manna”

Posted in discernment, theology

Is your ‘check engine’ light on?

By Elizabeth Prata

All humans are sinners. Some are saved by grace, and others aren’t. But all humans have the same mechanism to help restrain sin in their lives: the conscience.

Our conscience is part of a person’s internal rational capacity and is not, as popular lore sometimes suggests, an audience room for the voice of God or of the devil. Conscience is a critical inner awareness that bears witness to the norms and values we recognize and apply. ~Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Conscience

As an unsaved person I’d often wonder why it was that everyone knows not to murder another person. Continue reading “Is your ‘check engine’ light on?”

Posted in theology

An example of a seared conscience

By Elizabeth Prata

The Bible mentions a seared conscience. The ones who bring false doctrine to the believers,

through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, (1 Timothy 4:2)

According to Strong’s Greek lexicon, the word seared is cauterized, which destroys the “spiritual nerve-endings.”

Witness the scene in the desert among Joseph’s brothers. The brothers have been nursing a hatred of Joseph for many years. Jacob obviously loved Joseph the most, and such favoritism was a wedge between the brothers. It incited resentment. (Genesis 37:3-4).

Then Joseph told the brothers about his dream whose obvious interpretation was of prophesied superiority over them, which inflamed the resentment to hatred. (Genesis 37:8).

Then Joseph again told his brothers of another dream which confirmed the coming rulership over them, (Genesis 37:9), and the brothers hated Joseph even more and were jealous. (Genesis 37:11).

When the brothers were keeping flocks at Dothan, Jacob sent Joseph to them to bring back a report on how the flocks were doing. The brothers saw Joseph coming from a distance. Now, this isn’t in the Bible but human nature being what it is, I am sure that the brothers had been discussing Joseph’s dreams, the situation of favoritism with the father, and their hatred and jealousy. Such discussions, re-hashings, and tidbits are juicy and the flesh wants them more and more, and I’m sure that the more the brothers talked about it the angrier they became. They were pretty whipped up by then, I’m guessing.

And this next part IS in the Bible, Genesis 37:18, the brothers plotted to kill him. Reuben and Judah could not go quite that far when the moment came, so instead they decided to throw Joseph into a well.

Then they sat down to eat.

The Bible does not record whether Joseph cried out to the brothers while he was in the well. But human beings being like we are, I’m pretty sure Joseph would not have remained silent? “Guys, this joke’s gone far enough…Hey guys, can you get me up?…Reuben? Judah? Anyone? Anyone? Help! Don’t leave me!”

Amid this act, and whether Joseph stayed quiet or whether he cried out, the brothers ate. I don’t know about you but when I’m agitated, conscience stricken,, upset, I cannot eat. Yet their consciences were so seared they went about their usual business while their own brother was busy perhaps dying in the well.

We are sinners from the womb and there is no doubt about that!

The Lord graciously gave them a spirit of repentance later in life and the brothers were reconciled. This is not always the case with false teachers that the opening scripture speaks of. In fact, some false teachers are already marked for condemnation. (Jude 1:4).

How does a conscience become seared? Ignore it. Keep suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and see the inevitable hardening process that Romans 1:28-32 engenders. If you feel guilty about something, seek the Lord in repentance. Don’t let your spiritual nerve endings become insensate. A conscience is one of the mechanisms God graciously has given us to stay in right relationship with Him. Don’t sear it.

The well in town

Posted in theology

What is the conscience? Can we be led astray by it?

By Elizabeth Prata

My friend Pastor Phil wrote this on Facebook. It got me thinking about the conscience. What is conscience? Dare we obey it when it is scarred by sin? Does the person know when their conscience has become seared? First, Pastor Phil’s thoughts, then some scriptures and thoughts musing on my questions and Phil’s.

Phil Andrukaitis:
Proverb for Today

“He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known” (Proverbs 10:9).

The lesson: A person whose reputation, career, and/or character are based on deception will be humiliated and brought to ruin.

Therefore, here are four actions to help each of us to walk with integrity: First, listen to your conscience; obeying the Scripture will never lead a person astray. Second, cultivate your relationship with your family because your example will impact their lives forever. Third, respect and obey governing authorities as they are commissioned by God for our good. Fourth, become intimately involved with a local church that honors Jesus Christ. After all, every Christian needs other believers to mature in Christ.


Pastor Phil answered a question from a friend who had posted a reply, this way:

Conscience is that “device” God has given to each of us because each person is made in the image of God. Having a conscience is one of the distinguishing ways separates a person from the animal world. Conscience is a personal authority to which each of us either listen to or ignore.

Second, beginning with Adam and Eve, I believe God created us and fashioned our hearts to know the difference between right and wrong (Romans 1:18-19). But when they sinned, their sinfully marred spiritual DNA was passed down to each of us. Yes, we still have a conscience and it is scarred by sin, but it still is the first means by which God speaks to us. Even without the knowledge of the Scripture in our minds, even before sinners are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture, we know the difference between right and wrong. Therefore, conscience will scream at us saying, “STOP!”

Third, I see your point in that we can be led astray with our conscience. I believe this occurs when a person continually ignores his conscience and the Scripture. When we ignore our conscience, though it has been impacted by sin, and experience the painful consequences of our actions, remember, it was our conscience – a gift from God – that warned us to stop. Sadly, when we ignore our conscience, we also tend to ignore, distort, and eventually reject the Scripture. And the consequences are far more painful as our hearts become hardened; God withdraws His hand [influence] from our lives.

————————end Phil’s Facebook comment and reply————————

The heart/conscience is mentioned in the Bible explicitly over 1000 times. For example, in Romans 2:15,

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

And in Hebrews 10:22,

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

and in 1 Peter 3:15-16,

But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you will be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ

and Titus 1:15,

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

And so on. So, conscience IS a thing.

J. I. Packer wrote in Rediscovering Holiness,

An educated, sensitive conscience is God’s monitor. It alerts us to the moral quality of what we do or plan to do, forbids lawlessness and irresponsibility, and makes us feel guilt, shame, and fear of the future retribution that it tells us we deserve, when we have allowed ourselves to defy its restraints. Satan’s strategy is to corrupt, desensitize, and if possible kill our consciences. The relativism, materialism, narcissism, secularism, and hedonism of today’s western world help him mightily toward his goal. His task is made yet simpler by the way in which the world’s moral weaknesses have been taken into the contemporary church.

Is the conscience different from “the heart”? In my opinion, yes. Bruce Waltke wrote in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary,

The heart functions as the conscience. After David showed insubordination against the anointed king by cutting off the corner of his robe, his heart smote him (1 Sam 24:5 ), and after Peter’s sermon the audience was “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37 ). The heart may condemn us, but God is greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20 ). David prays that God would create for him a pure heart to replace his defiled conscience (Psalm 51:10 ).

John MacArthur wrote in The Vanishing Conscience Revisited,

The Hebrew word for conscience is leb, usually translated “heart” in the Old Testament. The conscience is so much at the core of the human soul that the Hebrew mind did not draw a distinction between conscience and the rest of the inner person. Thus when Moses recorded that Pharaoh “hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15), he was saying that Pharaoh had steeled his conscience against God’s will.

What is the seared conscience? 1 Timothy 4:1-2 mentions it,

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared

JI Packer wrote, “when moral and spiritual light has been resisted it may become ‘seared’ (i.e. cauterized, rendered insensitive) (1 Timothy 4:2; cf. Ephesians 4:18).”

mind of christ orig

Posted in encouragement, theology

An encouragement: Keep a tender conscience

By Elizabeth Prata

I hope this fine late summer week has offered you beautiful glimpses of God’s creative intellect and His wonderful power. I posted the other day about a rainbow extending from left to right directly in front of me, and how for the first time I even saw the end of the rainbow pooling in colors right there on the ground. (No pot of gold, sorry 😉

I’m looking forward to the weather easing into fall. Though this summer was quite mild, not brutal like those hot box summers in Georgia of the recent past, I’m still looking forward to pumpkins, fall leaves, and cooler temperatures.

We always enjoy the march of the seasons. “He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.” (Psalm 104:19, KJV).

Wherever we are in the world, reading this blog, we see and understand the times and seasons. In spring, we look for the robin, the crocus, the ladyslipper. In summer we look for puffy clouds, rain showers, cicadas. The orderliness and consistency of the seasons since His ordination of them is a comfort. Yet even in Jeremiah 8:7 it is said of the seasons, meaning HIS season,

Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.”

In the natural history of Israel, Barnes notes explains, “Jeremiah appeals to the obedience which migratory birds render to the law of their natures. The “stork” arrives about March 21, and after a six weeks’ halt departs for the north of Europe. It takes its flight by day, at a vast height in the air (“in the heaven”). The appearance of the “turtle-dove” is one of the pleasant signs of the approach of spring.”

As for the part of the Jeremiah verse which speaks to His judgments, Matthew Henry holds sway here:

“Sin is backsliding; it is going back from the way that leads to life, to that which leads to destruction. They would not attend to the warning of conscience. They did not take the first step towards repentance: true repentance begins in serious inquiry as to what we have done, from conviction that we have done amiss. They would not attend to the ways of providence, nor understand the voice of God in them, ver. 7.

They know not how to improve the seasons of grace, which God affords. They would not attend to the written word. Many enjoy abundance of the means of grace, have Bibles and ministers, but they have them in vain. They will soon be ashamed of their devices. The pretenders to wisdom were the priests and the false prophets. They flattered people in sin, and so flattered them into destruction, silencing their fears and complaints with, All is well. Selfish teachers may promise peace when there is no peace; and thus men encourage each other in committing evil; but in the day of visitation they will have no refuge to flee unto.”

How perfect and prescient His Word is! Let us enjoy the seasons of grace that Jesus offers His children.

In Numbers, where God is dispensing instruction to the Priesthood, God said, “I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift.” (Numbers 18:7b). It is a gift to serve Him. It is a gift to dedicate one’s life to him. It is a gift to be close to Him. It was a gift to the people who needed priests. He also gave the Prophets as a gift and in the New Testament, the gift of prophecy is also a gift. (1 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 12:6).

I feel deeply for Jeremiah the Prophet, who was known as The Weeping Prophet. Jeremiah lived in a time when the People’s pride was dragging them backward into sin and away from the LORD. (Jeremiah 13:15-27- “Pride precedes captivity”.) He lived when the people’s sins had piled up. Jeremiah was the last prophet sent to preach to the Southern Kingdom. The searing effects of their sins had hardened them so much that no one ever listened to Jeremiah. He never had one convert. “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” (Jeremiah 7:24). Seasons of sin means seasons of bondage.

We speak of His love these days and His joy, peace in knowing Him. All these things are good to have and feel and be. But where is the grief? Where are our weeping prophets (Christians) today? Do we repent in grief for our sins?

Jeremiah begged them not to succumb to the false gods who lulled them into security and which did not make them feel guilty or convict them of sin. They did not listen, and they were destroyed. It shall be so again.

Meanwhile, keep up the good fight, persevere. Repent of the big things and the little things. Keep a tender conscience. Enjoy the gift of His Spirit and His people, and His church, and His word. Soon enough, our faith will be made sight, and we shall see Him as He is. What a day that will be!

hope 7