Tag Archives: Creation

A Lesson from the Leviathans

Today when we observe the whale, we see an affable, albeit mysterious fellow.  The sort of chap who is widely traveled and deeply learned, yet feels no need to share the full extent of his experiences.  (Whales seldom have Twitter accounts, much less write their own tweets.)  My point is that, should you encounter a whale, you will most likely be met with mild curiosity if you are deemed worthy of attention at all.  This isn’t noteworthy unless you consider that there are few other species against which we have waged such a bloody and far reaching campaign (excluding our fellow humans, of course).  Yet despite the previous hostilities, the whale’s primary concern remains, even around us, doing those things which whales do.  Herein, I think, lies the cardinal virtue of the whale: despite the challenges he faces and despite his grandiose size and power, he remains faithful to his divinely appointed business as a whale.  Sometimes, the issue we run up against is that, in the midst of our daily lives, we forget our divinely appointed business as humans.  Therefore, perhaps we can learn a thing or two by considering the whale.

Now as I hold up the whale for our reflection, it is not my aim or intent to try and outdo King Solomon who held up the ant for us in a similar fashion.  Rather, I wish only to follow his example (and that of our Lord Jesus Christ, for that matter) in pointing us to nature as a way to better direct our hearts and minds to God.

The first objection that may be raised against the whale’s example of living with and for God is that it is a brute beast who doesn’t possess the same level of intelligence or consciousness as we do.  This is undeniable.  However, what we can take away from this point is that while a whale is relieved of our level of intelligence, he is also relieved of much of the mental humbug that comes with that intelligence.  That is, there is an undeniable simplicity of thought which guides his actions: the whale’s pattern of thought always begins with God’s blueprint.  On the other hand, because we have the ability to engage in lofty thoughts, we are able to deviate from God’s blueprint for our minds.  This habit of straying from the straight and narrow is what we often call our sinful nature.  The cue that we can take from our cetacean planet-mates is to remember that our relationship with God has a, fundamentally, simple basis:  to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind.  This is what we aim to start from and allow to guide all of our thoughts and actions.

Another objection that may be raised is that the whale has the luxury of being able to focus on following God’s leading only because he is so large and is the master of his domain.  To the first point, about his size, I don’t think we can ascribe his calmness and clarity of thought to his size.  After all, in my reckoning, it is when we think of ourselves as big that we are most likely to be upset by trivial things.  To the second point, about being master of his domain, I think we have more in common with the whale’s situation than we may realize.  Recall, if you will, that the whale is a mammal who breathes through lungs living in a world of water.  It is only when he ascends to the surface that he is able to fill his lungs with life-sustaining air.  One might say that the whale is in the ocean but not of the ocean.  Similarly, as Christians, we are in the world but not of the world. This is why, like the whale, we must periodically ascend to the surface of the worldly ocean, spouting our prayers and breathing in God.

The whale, like all of nature’s denizens, helps us learn how to better live with God.  As more complicated members of creation, it is good for us to be reminded from time to time of the basics of life, that we should seek God first and foremost.  The whale also demonstrates for us the necessity of sticking our heads out of the sometimes turbulent and cloudy waters of life in order to be filled and refreshed by God.  So may we all endeavor to spout often and spout fully so that we may thrive in the sea that is life on earth, always looking above for our true fulfillment.  Thus concludes this little meditation on the mighty whale.

Chibi Whales


The Lost World

What is the first thing you think of when you think of dinosaurs?  Bones on display in museums? Blockbuster films?  What about when you think of dinosaurs and God?  The evolution vs creationism debate?  The question of how old the earth really is?

Consider the following:  there is sufficient fossil evidence to indicate that dinosaurs did in fact exist.  We also know that all of creation bears God’s fingerprints. (Romans 1:20)  Therefore, we can conclude that a dinosaur, or even a Wooly Mammoth for that matter, reflects God’s glory as much as any living thing we can see today.  They are extinct, but they are still God-created.

Take Tyrannosaurus Rex, the “king of the dinosaurs”, as an example.  This massive carnivore could be as long as 40 feet and as tall as 15 feet; making it a little longer than a typical school bus and couple feet taller than an African Elephant.  It possesses a massive, four foot long jaw filled with serrated teeth.  These teeth could be as long as nine inches!  With this awe-inspiring frame, it is no surprise that this creature received the name “tyrant lizard king” when it was discovered.  Yet despite its size and power, it was still a created thing in the hand of its creator.  When its time came to an end, this monarch also passed into the mists of history along with its kingdom.

This reflection on T-Rex is just one example of how these ancient creatures can turn our attention and adoration to their Creator and ours.  If we take them for what they are, and rejoice in the glory of God we find in them, we will find ourselves in a world that is both old and new and overflows with testaments to God’s majesty.

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

The Fear of the Lord

The fear of the Lord can be a vague-sounding term.  On the surface it seems to suggest that we are afraid of God.

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

Original image by Fiona the Awesome

However, this “godly fear” is not the same kind of fear which evokes our fight or flight response.  The fear of the Lord has its beginnings in our understanding that God is so much bigger than ourselves and is beyond our complete comprehension.   In this respect, the fear of the Lord contains an element of awe.  It is similar to the awe we might feel being up close and personal with a whale, elephant, or other large animal.  Another example is the sense of smallness we get when looking up at the vast expanse of the night sky.  The sheer size of these things commands our respect.  We might call this a reverential fear.  So it is with God.  By virtue of who He is, we, and all creation, are called to show reverence to Him.  Our recognition of God as God leads us to hold Him in special esteem.  Those who fear the Lord revere the Lord.

It remains to be considered how we are to understand Jesus’ statement that we are to fear God “who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:27-31)  Christ is talking about situations when we allow ourselves to be motivated by fear.  Even at times like this, we ought to obey God rather than men for God has more power over us than any human ever will.  If we are going to let the fear of men dictate our actions, so much more should we obey God since He is able to do so much more.  However, this base, animalistic fear is not fear that is holy for even demons have this fear. (James 2:19)  Christ immediately follows up by noting that even though God has such great power, He also loves us more than we can ever know, even to the point of knowing how many hairs are on our heads.  A single sparrow does not fall from the sky apart from God’s will and Christ says “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  Our fear of God is based on awe as well as trust in His love of us.

To get a better idea of what this fear of the Lord is like, we turn to David, king of Israel.  When he had sinned by trusting in his military resources rather than God, God sent a message to him by way of the prophet Gad. (1 Chronicles 21:1-15)  David is given three choices for the punishment that he and the people of Israel under his rule must face:  three years of famine, three months of being defeated by their foes with the sword of their enemies overtaking them, or three days of the sword of the Lord—a plague in the land with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout Israel.  In the face of such frightening circumstances, David begs that he would fall into the hand of God and not men.  Why?  Because “His mercies are very great.”  David would rather commit his fate to God than to men because of His reverence for and trust in God.  David places all in God’s hands precisely because he has a holy fear of God.  It is this holy fear of God which reveres and trusts God that David’s son, Solomon, would later write is the beginning of wisdom.

Squishing Spiders

What is the most common reason we have for squishing spiders whenever they show themselves?  I propose that it is because they strike us as “icky” or “gross”.  They just make our skin crawl.  Whatever the reason, we would just as soon step on a spider than look at it.

There are also many people who we would rather step on than look at.  Of course, we don’t literally step on these people, but Jesus did say that murder is ultimately a matter of the heart.  Therefore, we ought to think in terms of how many people we squish with our thoughts and attitudes.  How many people do we regard with the same cold disgust as a spider?

The preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards once used the metaphor of “a spider or other such loathsome insect” when describing how God sees our sinful and rebellious selves.  However, even though our sins are revolting to Him, God doesn’t love us any less.  Edwards’ full metaphor describes God as holding us, sin and all, in His hand which is the only thing that prevents us from falling into the fires of hell.  This image stresses the magnitude of God’s love and grace.  The love of God restrains the wrath of God.  It is this profound love that we are called to imitate:  “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)  God loves His spiders; therefore we also must love ours.

This most certainly is not an easy task.  Fortunately, God is happy and eager to help us with it.  He does this by filling us with His love so that we love others not by our own effort or whim, but from the overflow of God’s love within us.  We are not passive observers in this work of God.  Our role is to receive and cooperate with God.  We do this by spending time with Him in prayer, in reading the Scriptures, in worship, etc. putting ourselves in a place that allows Him to do His work on our hearts.

This overflow of love is not something that happens instantly.  As with many of God’s works, it takes place gradually over time.  We don’t wake up one morning and love the people who grind our gears, but we can wake up one morning and decide to love those people.  The difference is that the former represents the fulfillment of the goal and the latter is the start of the pursuit of the goal.  The freedom that we have in Christ is what allows us to choose this goal and to pursue it.  The work of God’s Spirit within us is the means by which we develop towards this goal.  We may begin by not judging others so harshly.  Then we may learn to recognize them as fellow sinners who are loved by God.  Eventually, by God’s grace, we will reach the point where we truly love our enemies and can see that they, too, are made in the image of God.

Who knows, perhaps after we have learned to love those who we find repulsive we may even learn to see the glory of God in His eight-legged creations as well.

Damage Control – Strawmen

If the stagnation approach doesn’t work to stem the spiritual tide flowing from the Enemy, you may attempt to use a carrot on a stick to lead them away from Him.  The use of strawmen is one of the most efficient and amusing ways to accomplish this.  Simply put, a strawman is an object that is used as a red herring or decoy to shift the focus off of a substantive point while still providing the illusion of success.

The same thing can be done in the Church arena.  Most often it takes the form of a cause.  What happens is that you take a cause and make that the focus and defining issue of the flesh creature’s spiritual life.  The scum then attends numerous rallies, seminars, and other events.  They may even become a well known and respected individual in their cause.  Yet at the end of the day, when the Enemy asks them “What have you done for Me?” they will have no answer because they have not been working for Him but for a cause.  More importantly, when He asks them “How much have you grown spiritually?” they will also have no answer to give.  You see, despite all of the hours they have poured into their cause, they never once included the Enemy in their work except as a figurehead used to dubiously justify their beliefs.

Remember that our business turns on keeping the human pestilence as far from the Enemy as possible regardless of whether they are in His camp or not.  It is especially vital to do this in the latter case because otherwise He will grow them into even more bothersome creatures.  It is an obscene process that is lumped in with that whole business of submitting to Him.  Suffice it to say that they are like plants that He provides with soil, water, and sunlight so that they may grow and produce fruit.  Indeed, it is a sickeningly lush analogy, but bear in mind that it was taken from His propaganda, so you know that it can’t possibly be completely true.  He obviously has some kind of hustle going, but our intelligence department is yet to figure it out.  The point is that we can use a cause to lead them farther from Him, resulting in them doing relatively little, if anything, to harm to our projects.

Leading the vermin away from the Enemy with a strawman produces a number of other useful side effects.  For example, as you move them further from the Enemy, you can use the extra space that would normally be filled by Him to accumulate a sense of hatred and resentment for those that are seen as being in opposition to their cause.  It should have been a basic part of your lab courses that hatred behaves much like a parasite:  it feeds off of its host and slowly consumes it, leaving a mere shade of the human behind.  The amount of hatred in a human is directly proportional to its unhappiness.

It is also possible to implant in the flesh creature’s mind a concept of the Enemy as hating certain parts of His creation (these parts are incidentally the same ones the flesh creature hates).  Granted, this concept of Enemy as hating people obviously runs counter to what He presents in His propaganda.  However, when the Enemy is cast in the light of hatred, the humans see Him only as a deity of justice (of the human’s own brand of course, if the Enemy really were just there would be no conflict going on right now as He would have seen the truth in our claims of equality with Him).

Now consider this:  what kind of relationship can the human mind conjure up with a deity of justice that hates people?  As you can hopefully tell, l— never enters the equation.  The perceived relationship is built on common hatreds.  The deception of l— that the flesh creatures thrive under is removed as hatred for others enters the picture.  To the degree that hatred rules their lives, to that same degree is l— removed from it and their souls languish all the more.  Now if hate holds sway in the life of the human, then they have essentially given their life over to hatred and, therefore, not to the Enemy and provided us with a victory.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Tempting 201 – Conclusion

By this point, if you have mastered all of the concepts above, you should be a reckonable tempter.  It will not be long now until you are deployed to a flesh creature to bring our skill to bear upon it.  However, do not allow your newfound knowledge to go to your head.  You must never forget that the Enemy is never far from any of His precious little science projects.  He is ready at a moment’s notice to snatch them away from us should we be careless.  The various areas of temptation covered thus far represent only miniscule portion of the battlefront.  This War that we fight, the true War, encompasses all.  Therefore we have had need to adapt to innumerable situations in our pursuit of victory.

Though we are constantly plagued by the memory of what we were (how exalted we were!) before the present conflict, the human pestilence has by and large forgotten what they were before we enlisted them in the struggle against the Enemy.  The memory of the Garden and the sort of life humans once lived there is but a sickly weed in the collective human psyche which we will eventually tear up by the root once we have ultimately emerged victorious.  In the meantime, although we rightly refer to the current conflict with the Enemy as the real War, remember that many of the humans have no idea that it is going on or else they dismiss it as pure fantasy.  If our prey is content to turn its back to us, why should we wish otherwise?  Soon enough we will be able to see the shock and despair in their eyes when reality finally crushes the illusion they so desperately cling to.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Romance and Sexuality – 1

As you should well know, when the Enemy first concocted those detestable hybrids called humans, He created male and female varieties.  This division of genders is quite confusing, but it can be just as confusing for the humans as for us.  The problem is that the two genders are different, but similar.  One typically finds that, psychologically, there are more differences within genders than between genders.  The most useful way of understanding this state of affairs is to liken it to the Enemy’s claim to be “three-in-one”:  one entity expressed in three distinct persons.  Similarly, the human creature is expressed in two persons:  male and female.  If these two genders coexist and work together as one, the result is not only distasteful but also unbearably troublesome to tear down.  However, the task of destroying this harmony is not impossible.  You need only look as far as the example set by Our Father Below when he went about bringing down the first of the filthy vermin.  As long as they know who they are in the Enemy, they will be able to put up a strong defense to your attacks.  What you must do, then, is force them out of this mental/spiritual tower.

You see, Our Father Below’s first brilliant move was to approach the woman with his questions about the Enemy’s decree.  Do not fall into the same intellectual pit as some of the flesh creatures and think that this has something to do with the woman being in some way inferior to the man.  Rather, it had everything to do with the roles of the man and the woman in the garden.  The man had been charged to be the moral and spiritual leader in the garden.  It was to the man that the Enemy gave His decree not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The woman was charged with helping and supporting the man.  The Enemy did not see it to be good that the man should be alone in his task.  The two are given complementary roles as each would support the other.  As long as the man and woman worked together as a unit, their connection to the Enemy would be as troublesome to attack as a Roman phalanx.

When Our Father Below approached the woman first, he upset the established order by addressing the woman as the spiritual and moral leader and the man as the supporter and helper.  In so doing, Our Father Below moved the upcoming battle to ground of his choosing.  The humans now found themselves distanced from the Enemy and from each other as the woman attempted to fill a role that she that she had not been given and the man withdrew from the situation altogether.  Again, do not miss the subtle nature of this movement by thinking it has to do with the man and woman’s respective abilities.  Each is equally dangerous to our designs.  The goal in reversing their roles was to lead them away from the Enemy’s influence and security.

You would do well to carefully study this maneuver.  It is rare that a tempter can get into a human’s head and suggest a transgression so directly.  Despite the flesh creatures’ inherent disposition to sin, it takes careful preparations to get them to follow through.  However, as you can see from the current example, the proper set up can get even those who have literally walked with the Enemy and known only Him to turn their backs.

With the set up complete (moving the humans away from their Enemy-given identity), all that remained to be done was to plant the seeds of doubt and the rest, as the humans so are fond of saying, is history.  As you can probably tell by now, the key when tempting in the area of romance and sexuality is maneuvering the humans into a position where they are uncomfortable with themselves; to take away the security blanket the Enemy gives, as it were.  Such preparation is what opens the door to further temptations.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.