God only knows

1 Samuel 23-24

In Ch 23 verse 6 we are told that Abiathar, who was the son of the high priest Ahimelech, had an ephod or priestly garment with him. The ephod contained something Called Thummim and Urim which was like a 2 parameter dice. This was used to enquire from God. Its exact function is unknown but it seems that the priest asked a question of God and the T and U responded with either yes or no. We see here that David is totally faithful to God. He won’t make a move without the direction of God.

Saul is after David with a force about 5 times the size of David’s army so David runs off to various places in the desert. David is tempted to save his own life when Saul comes into the cave where David is hiding. Instead, David secretly cuts off a corner of Saul’s robe to prove that he had been that close to Saul and he could have easily killed him. Now when David confronts Saul with this evidence, that he could have killed him, Saul is ashamed and gives up the pursuit, convinced that God is on David’s side.

How often are we tempted to take matters into our own hands rather than trust God? Even when it seemed like his own life was at stake, David adhered to his principles and refused to raise his hand against The Lord’s anointed. Bring back the Thummim and Urim I say!

Rev 13:-14

The trick to reading Revelation is to remember that all of it is a vision that John saw. Not just some of it, all of it. Obviously when we read the description of the beasts of the sea and the land we do not imagine that such an animal exists, but rather that they stand for someone. A person.

Also remember that the descriptions are often representative of a spiritual kingdom of which we have no direct knowledge. I remember when bankcard was first issued, it contained some graphics of the lowercase letter “b” outlined in red, orange and yellow which some Christians claimed represented 666. They cited this passage in Revelation claiming that we would all be forced to use this system to buy and sell. Of course bankcard was just an Australian phenomenon and has since become defunct. This is the big problem with claiming to interpret this kind of literature. There is nowhere to manoeuvre when something historical happens (like the collapse of bankcard).

Of course few people would take the number of 144 000 people literally, but what about the fact that they are all apparently male virgins and they were all blameless? I don’t care how many it symbolically represents, I am going to say that if you start wondering which group of people this might refer to then you are going to do a lot of wondering. Are the first fruits purchased from mankind and offered to God all male? Are they all “undefiled by women”? Are they all “completely blameless as no lie is found in their mouths”? The Bible says they are. Well there we go again trying to imagine that such people exist! The dragon and the beast with seven heads do not exist. They are symbols of people yet to be born we think. Therefore the 144 000 male, honest virgins likewise do not exist. They are symbols for something else. Sorry I cant help you there other than to reiterate that we should not fall into the trap of thinking that some of Revelation is symbolic, like the dragons and the beasts, but some of it might be literal. No, it is all symbolic of something else.

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2 thoughts on “God only knows

  1. Thx Jim. I too remember the bankcard thing as a young Christian. Many were superstitious of getting one because of just what you said. It was a bit the tenor of the times I think (last days type preaching, nuclear holocaust, “I wish we’d all been ready”)…….funny to look back on it now

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