Rule #214 of living on the mountain: Our God is God
It is late Thursday morning. Insects buzz the ears upon stepping out of the cabin. Walking more rapidly works to leave them behind. Bright green and dark green leaves, high up in the trees, are moving constantly, shimmering in the morning sun. Several vegetables in containers on the porch are chewed off, the leaves totally gone. A single loud bird shouts from the meadow to the north, “walk-walk-walk”. The bird remains hidden. Only the slightly curved lines of trees, adorned with green, can be seen. Every foot step is felt as it strikes soft cool sand. Every bird call is heard, unique and persistent. The gurgling sound of running water is echoing all around. Down near the dirt road is a prize. It’s the tender end of a greenbrier vine. The taste is not yet bitter, but sweet and tangy. Raspberry leaves are bitter, but the blossom is sweet. Handfuls of greens and blossoms will go nicely mixed with eggs for breakfast. On the walk back to the cabin, clouds suddenly block out the direct sun. It creates a cozy tunnel of cloud above, dirt below and trees lining both sides. For the one walking down the road, it is the way back home.
In the book of Daniel, chapter 11, a heavenly being explained the future of kingdoms to Daniel. He tells of a king in the North (likely Antiochus Epiphanes of Persia) who was an extreme tyrant. Antiochus spent time with the king of the South (likely Ptolemy of Egypt) and then left for home.
“Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land. At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. For the ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action…”
Those verses describe the actions of Antiochus (Persia) from 170-168 BC, approximately. Antiochus failed to totally take over Egypt. Rome sent ships full of warriors to keep Antiochus in check.
So in his next move, he set his desires on Jerusalem to be a center of worship of Jupiter/Zeus. He mandated worship of Jupiter/Zeus. He murdered adults and babies over it. He plundered. He set up an image of his god in the temple and sacrificed a pig on the altar around 168 BC.
Antiochus set out to totally corrupt or kill all the children of Israel. He took over the temple. The setting up of an image of Jupiter/Zeus with the face of Antiochus and the sacrifice of a pig could have been the abomination of desolation that was prophesied. That is, an idol for worship is an abomination to God and it happened during an era of desolation.
BUT I wonder.
No doubt he was satanic. One hundred seventy-five years before the birth of Jesus, Antiochus decreed himself equal to his god. Was the devil trying to water down the holiness of Jesus by claiming Jesus was simply following in the footsteps of Antiochus? It IS a point currently made by pagans.
It seems important here to remember that there is only one God who is truly worthy of our praise.
Antiochus failed. God is still on the throne. It is a point to remember, especially if we are now approaching the end of days. Another Antiochus will arise, but after all even he will do, God will still be on the throne.
Our God is God.
Autism. My diagnosis of autism was a great gift. Imagine yourself being unable to tolerate many people, many foods, many noises and then being told that you were just plain old weird and could be successful if you would just put out an effort.
A teacher wrinkled her nose in a familiar fashion and told me, “There’s no disability here. Disabled people can’t walk or talk or something like that. There’s just something wrong with you!”
It’s sad that she said that.
I’m a mirror.
Evil people see my blank expression and assume I’m evil. Good people see my blank face and assume I’m good.
I must be a mirror.
People inadvertently tell me their sins by accusing me of things which I never knew. While I can justify their behavior like that, I still have to get past the bitterness I feel toward the accuser. I have to rise above being punished for their sin instead of for mine.
I don’t want the hurt, or the bitterness that follows. I have to both forgive AND repent.
God is so good to me. He gives me room to cry to scream to ask why He let me live. Then He leads me to repentance. He leads me to forgiveness. Then I just feel clean. It’s amazing.
Look, I’ve tried other gods: logic, ancient rituals, spiritism. They all turn out to be demonic sooner or later.
The God of our Lord Jesus IS God.