Monthly Archives: November 2008

Reformed Theology: Concerned with character of Creator-creature relationship

“In His relation to us, God has only rights and powers; He binds Himself to duties sovereignly and graciously only by way of covenant. In covenant, He assumes the duties and responsibilities of being a God unto us, but that does not detract from His being the first cause and the last end of all things. The universe is ruled not by chance or fate, but by the complete, sovereign rule of God. We exist for one purpose: to give Him glory. We have only duties to God, no rights. Any attempt to challenge this truth is doomed. Romans 9:20b asks, “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast though made me thus?” God enacts His laws for every part of our lives and demands unconditional obedience. We are called to serve Him with body and soul, in worship and daily work, every second of every day.

To be Reformed, then, is to be concerned with the complete character of the Creator-creature relationship. It is to view all of life coram Deo, that is, lived before the face of God (Joel R. Beeke, Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism, p. 41).”

Israel: Enemies of Israel

Israel was led out Egypt/slavery and the Lord promised to fight for them against their enemies (Deut. 20:4). This is always true, even when Israel becomes its own enemy. The Lord will fight against Israel when she is an enemy of Israel/enemy of the descendents of Abraham/promise. This happens when Israel becomes wicked and does not follow the Lord’s commandments. The Lord will fight against wicked Israel because she has become a type of Egypt, and she too will receive the plagues/curses of Egypt (Deut. 28:58-61).

The Lord will diminish the numbers of wicked Israel (“And ye [Israel] shall be left few in number,” Deut. 28:62), therefore, ensuring that obedient Israel will always remain “too mighty”; obedient Israel will remain numerous, like the stars – she remains that way because she serves the Lord who led her out of Egypt, the Lord who goes with her, the Lord who fights against her enemies.

Israel: Too Mighty

Deu 23:3 “No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever,
Deu 23:4 because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
Deu 23:5 But the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loved you.

In Numbers 22:6 we learn that Balak sends for Balaam to come and curse Israel because “they are too mighty.” But Israel is “too mighty” in several senses:

1) Israel is “too mighty” because they are too numerous (causing fear in Moabites, Numbers 22:3)
2) Israel is “too mighty” because they are the descendants of Abraham, the descendants of promise (“shall surely become a great and mighty nation,” Genesis 18:18)
3) Israel is “too mighty” because the Lord does not listen to the wicked (the enemies of the descendants of Abraham/promise)
4) Israel is “too mighty” because they serve the Lord (whose lordship extends over blessings and curses); the Lord, who for the descendants of Abraham/promise, turns the curses of their enemies into blessings

Narnia: Farewell to Shadowlands

“I see,” [Lucy] said at last, thoughtfully. “I see now. This garden is like the stable. It is far bigger inside than it was outside.”

“Of course, Daughter of Eve,” said the Faun. “The further up and the further in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside.”

Lucy looked hard at the garden and saw that it was not really a garden but a whole world, with its own rivers and woods and sea and mountains. But they were not strange: she knew them all.

“I see,” she said. “This is still Narnia, and more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the stable door! I see . . . world within world, Narnia within Narnia. . . .”

“Yes,” said Mr. Tumnus, “like an onion: except that as you continue to go in and in, each circle is larger than the last” (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle, pp. 206-207).