In the past I’ve had wrestling matches with illustrations or analogies that would help understand the Tri-unity. All of the illustrations seemed to have a major flaw and it’s understandable that a finite metaphor breaks down when it comes to God. I’ll need your help in finding out at what point this illustration comes apart from reality.
…no longer walk as the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind? – Eph 4:17
The time of the Judges was a time where the children of Israel were living in the Land by the rule of their own lives. They did not yet request a king, but they found themselves being judged by people who God had raised up.
This particular illustration is from the third captivity of the People of God (Judges 4 and 5). If you remember, the Children of Israel would disobey God and backslide into some form of sin and subsequently one of their enemies would come up and oppress them. Holding the People of God under captivity and oppression, these gentile nations would hold them underfoot until the day God would raise up a judge out of the People of God. These Judges would be God?s hand to lead the Children of Israel out of captivity.
Sisera, a commander and chief of King Jabin?s, army enforced this third captivity. Sisera lived in Harosheth of the Gentiles (hagoyim). It is curious that the Holy Spirit has decided to label these Canaanites as ?Gentiles? when we know that the other captivities were also by Gentiles but they were not labeled as such.
Let us once again enter into the Temple made from the pattern of the tabernacle that was made from what was shown to Moses on Mount Sinai. Years have passed since God?s commandment on how He is to be worshiped. Years have passed since Nadab and Abihu?s sin of the strange fire, doing that which God had ?commanded not?. Years have passed since Jeroboam?s sin of degrading what God had commanded concerning the altar to convenience by setting up worship centers in the North. If we recall, there was also a certain King Ahaz who set up two altars in the Temple, one based off of man?s pattern, offering a choice to the approach to God.
In this temple that we enter we may quickly note some things. It is not as glorious as the temple of Solomon?s day but it is also imageless. Some years have passed since Israel had polluted the land with their idolatry, eventually getting sacked by the Assyrians and subsequently the Babylonians. Some years have passed since Cyrus? mandate to rebuild the temple and here we are, sacrifices are being offered up and the priests are doing their duty. From this distance in the outer courtyard, everything is as it should be. Israel has learned his lesson and now is worshipping as he should.
Yet, as is often the case with appearances, there is something wrong that we cannot see from this distance.
Everyday I am bombarded with decisions and doubts. What’s worst is that even though I don’t know what I should do, I should be thinking what God wants me to do. In any and all of my decisions I should be looking for God’s Will, but I have a problem. I don’t think that I have ever seen a shaft of celestial light illuminating the correct decision. How do I know the will of God for my life? After all, it is a great concern in Scriptures this ?knowing the will of God?.
When Jesus makes such strong statements as those who do the will of God being the ones who are actually his family (Mk 3:35 ) what are we left to think about those who do not do the will of God? We have an account of a certain prophet who knowing the will of God by direct revelation, ran the opposite direction because he didn’t want to deliver the message. The account of his tale closes with this prophet scowling in the hot sun, the smell of fish permeating his flesh and a cruel enemy unscathed and saved (Jonah 1-4).
We also have Paul telling the Roman believers that they are to offer up their bodies as living sacrifices which is their reasonable service of worship and in thus doing they must separate themselves from the world by a transformation. Concerning this transformation he points out that these believers will be testing and approving the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom 12:1-2 and emphasis mine).
What will of God?