22. Hebrew Worship: The Fear of the Lord


We now start the third triad of plagues.  Each group of three has its own dynamic.  The purpose of this group was to divide the enemy.

Moses announced the plague of hail coming on Egypt with the proviso that anyone who got their cattle indoors would escape the economic ruin.  By now the wealthy had spent their money to restore their herds which had been destroyed by the plague.  That represented a huge capital investment since all the cattle in Egypt had died in the first round.

So all the rich and famous had a tough choice to make.  They could stand in solidarity with Pharaoh and simply ignore the Hebrew prophet, or they could allow their neighbors to see that they did not trust the Egyptian gods to protect them from the Hebrew God.

In other words, fear of man or fear of God!

If they went with fear of man, it would most likely cost them a whole lot of money – all the money they just spent on cattle to restock the farm.  So far, the Hebrew prophet had not missed a single call.  (Wish ours were halfway that good!)

If they went with fear of God, one had to watch his back carefully for fear of retribution from Pharaoh who could be pretty deadly himself when he was unhappy with life.

By now, the fear of God was so widespread in the land, that huge numbers of people brought their cattle in.  And the day after, they could look their neighbors in the eye, because the neighbors had dead cattle to deal with – for the second time in a brief space.  What an offense.  Not only did your cattle die, but you have the added expense and inconvenience of dealing with the dead cattle – while your pesky neighbors are watching their live cattle graze, getting them fat for a market that once again is heading high!

Defiance in humans is common.  God waits long, but when He decides to bring people to their knees, He knows how to do it.

22. Hebrew Worship: The Fear of the Lord

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub

 

 

Below the Seat of Dominion


Full Disclosure Notification:  This is a half-baked potato.  Experiment at your own risk.

One of the problems with a long-term relationship with a survivor is that the placebo effect eventually kicks in.

Initially, a survivor is defined by massive, all-encompassing distrust.  Everyone and everything is improbable and the counselor spends a whole lot of time explaining that the weird things are not so weird and that the processes might work if the client will risk just a tad bit.  Clients tend to be hugely risk adverse.

After some months, there is no such thing as weird anymore, the counselor has developed a trust relationship with most of the parts and systems, and things move forward rapidly.  In that place, danger awaits.  The counselor has been right so many times about so many procedures and symbols and situations, that the parts and the client tend to believe deeply in the wisdom of the counselor.

The counselor in effect becomes a mini-god to the survivor:  wise and powerful.

When this happens, the client may immediately “see” in their inner being some dynamic that the counselor is asking about, when it doesn’t really exist.  It can be challenging for the counselor to lead the client in the healing process, without creating a non-reality in their mind, based on the vast, past credibility which the counselor has accrued.

This is where I found myself with one particular “Sally.”  We have worked intermittently for a few years, and she has a huge guinea pig anointing.  From time to time I have tried some wacky ideas out to see if they would work.  She is no stranger to weird.

She recently got in touch with me over some issue.  I can’t remember how it began, but the Holy Spirit led me to deal with the space in her brain below the Seat of Dominion.  This would be right behind the top of her nose, between the eyebrows.

I had no idea what it meant to “deal with it” but I threw out a probe and was immediately met by a defiant demon.  The Holy Spirit nudged me with the inside information that it was a guard.  I challenged it.  We found three very small parts.

After some altercations, the demon left and I had access to the parts.  Holy Spirit said they came from the point of conception.  We took them back there in time, did some clean up over a day or two and then integrated them.  All of that went quite routinely, without drama.

However, Sally’s life was massively destabilized from that time on.  It seemed with that work, she completely lost her grounding.  We spent about three weeks exploring stuff and found a variety of problems which we worked through, slowly getting her back to stability, but there was still something vague that was “off.”

Today I decided to go back to that spot below the Seat of Dominion.  There are a number of verses in Scripture that refer to “the deep.”  Overall there are 18 different Hebrew and Greek terms translated by the same English word, and there is a wide spectrum of meanings.  I wondered if something in that sector of theology had any implications.

I started with Psalm 95:4, AV.  “In his hand are the deep places of the earth:  the strength of the hills is his also.”

We proclaimed the importance of the deep places in the brain and the King’s ownership of all of her brain.  I asked The Almighty to repair and restore the physical brain in that location and all of the spiritual structures of “the deep” that belong there.

This produced a bunch of feeling in her brain and that makes me wonder.  Was God actually doing something, or was this simply the placebo effect of her trusting me because we have done weird things in the past?  I don’t know.

While we were both silent for a while and she was feeling what she was feeling, the Holy Spirit nudged me with the story of Ezekiel’s ordination.  The four living creatures prepared the way for God to come, then positioned themselves below the crystal vault as their ongoing provision for the sanctity of the throne of God which came down from above.

I cautiously played that card, asking God to establish whatever was right and appropriate for her in that space under the Seat of Dominion, to secure the well-being of her spirit and the Seat of Dominion in an ongoing way.  Again, there was a swarm of feeling in her brain.

In the time that passed, she reported a lot of vague, good feelings.  Since this happened within the last month, we don’t have enough perspective to tell whether there is measurable, verifiable, sustained change.  If it was the placebo effect, then she just manufactured the feelings in her brain because she wanted something to be happening.  If this was God, one would expect some substantive changes, on a sustained basis, but we have no idea what to look for.

And I don’t know whether this was a piece of repair work specific to her, based on what they did to her in the cult, or whether this is a principle that could be portable to a few others, or to many others.

So there you have it.  There was an experience.  That is all we know for sure.  How valid the experience was is the question.

I am tossing this card into the middle of the table for anyone who wishes to experiment with it and give us feedback here as to validity and portability.

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub

 

21. Hebrew Worship: Unambiguous Humiliation


The magicians of Egypt were a source of solace for Pharaoh.  Even though they had thrown in the towel during the third plague and conceded that they could not compete with this new God of the Hebrews, much less do one-upmanship, they still showed up for each audience with that pesky Hebrew prophet because they were on Pharaoh’s payroll and that was proper palace protocol.

On the 6th plague, which parallels the Teacher gift in the fractal of ten, God released a plague of boils on the Egyptians, and it was so severe that even the magicians had to stay home from work.  Not only could they not compete with the Hebrew God, they could not even protect themselves from His anger.  Pharaoh was deprived of their “help” for a season.

This was also a splendid divine slam on their goddess Sekhmet.  She was a complex character who was primarily the goddess of war, but also, on the side, their goddess of healing.  Go figure.  She sounds a bit bipolar to me.

The God of the Hebrews was utterly unconcerned about offending their goddess of war, and their goddess of healing was not even able to protect the upper crust of her worshippers.

So in addition to the surface battle of wills with Pharaoh, God continued His branding project, demonstrating why His brand was superior to all the Egyptian gods’ brands.

Unequivocally better.

We usually wish God to move quickly on our issues so as to relieve our pain.  Sometimes God has a more complex agenda – He wants to humiliate the enemy and invites us (or compels us) to be part of the process.

Join me in worshipping His majesty.

21. Hebrew Worship: Unambiguous Humiliation

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub

 

 

20. Hebrew Worship: The God of Business


The fifth judgment was a plague on cattle.  If we understand correctly, every animal of the Egyptians died.  I would like to look briefly at the process, then the impact.

The words in the NIV are “terrible plague.”  In the Hebrew though, there appears to be a complex play on words.  The word translated “terrible” means “heavy,” and it comes from the same root as the glory of God.   So there is a weightiness to the glory of God that is awesome, but there is a weightiness to the wrath of God that is awful.

And the word “plague” comes from the same root as “to speak.”  So God can speak a magnificent world into existence or He can speak it out of existence!

Language is such fun.

More to the point, ponder the market forces at play here.  The Hebrews by design were cattlemen.  The land of Goshen was the best grazing land and that was their turf.  Even though they were staffing the brickyard, they still had a lot of cattle.

Egypt on the other hand, had a huge appetite for good food, including meat.  Pharaoh had no intention of becoming vegan just because God had spanked him again.

So my mind says that suddenly there was a HUGE market for Hebrew cattle of all sorts.  It would take a while for the surrounding nations to get wind of the economic opportunity and start bringing in herds for sale to rebuild the local cattle economy, but in the short run, people needed meat to eat and the Hebrews had some in the next county over.

I think this was strategically executed by God.  He was planning for the Exodus.  Animals move slowly and take a lot of time to care for.  They also need water and grazing.  And grazing takes time.

On the other hand, gold travels well, doesn’t drink water, eat grass or need time to graze.

So God accomplished several things.  First He spanked Pharaoh.  Then He spanked everyone in the nation to make them consider hating Pharaoh.  He also made it possible for the Egyptians to really dislike the Hebrews and to be glad when they and their lethal God left town.

But in the midst of all that, God was just helping the Hebrews thin out their herds and flocks at the absolute top of the market and turn their non-liquid assets into pure gold.

Just good business.

20. Hebrew Worship: The God of Business

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub

Invisible AHS


“Sally” has been in counseling for a while for a particular issue, but whenever she goes in for ministry, her bladder acts up.  The team she sees is somewhat adept at deliverance, and they felt sure that it was either demonic or an AHS because of the consistent nature of the flare up.

However, after doing everything they knew how with no success, they finally gave up and worked around the irritation.

It got so disruptive she pinged me to see if there was anything new we could suggest.  I had nothing for her, but I pinged the Holy Spirit who said there was a mantle of invisibility over the AHS (plural), and it was held in place by a covenant that was rooted in a specific piece of land from her childhood.

Her team worked with her beginning with the land.  They asked her which piece of land and her spirit immediately knew.  They cut off the trauma bonds to land and all other ties to the defilement there.  Then they asked God to annul all unrighteous covenants coming from that land protecting the AHS.

Then they spoke in the direction of the AHS in her bladder, like they had many times before, and this time it immediately answered (albeit with quite a surly tone).  Under pressure it conceded that there were a total of eight AHS that had been protected by that mantle of invisibility.

And now they are gone and she can do her normal counseling with one less disruptive tool from the enemy.

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From Belgrade, MT

19. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Needs No Trade-offs


I live in a world of trade-offs.

Last weekend I was in Calgary.  I had a lot of people wanting my time.  I had a lot of tasks wanting my time.  I opted to invest in the people who were present.  That means I did not write my normal Giver blog for Sunday and I did not write a Hebrew Worship blog for Tuesday.

So I have already gotten emails from people who were expecting the blogs and they didn’t get them.  They are disappointed.  I have gotten emails from people who I spent time with instead.  They were happy.

I was not able to make both groups happy.

Not enough hours in the day.  Not enough gas in the tank.

Trade-offs.  I can’t have it all.

I continually worship God for the fact that He never has to make trade-offs.  He can embrace dozens of different agendas all at the same time and carry them off without any signs of stress.

So on the surface this is yet another spanking for Pharaoh.  By now the story line elicits a big yawn.  Most of us have heard it rehearsed for decades.  Flies everywhere.  OK.

And just below the surface is that fact that this time and every other time thereafter, God exempted the Hebrews from the consequences of the plagues just to drive home the branding project that Yahweh was the God of the HEBREWS, which is why He wanted them to go worship Him.

They now had worshipping motives after seeing the power of God on their behalf.  Kind of a first.

Again, old stuff.

BUT, hidden below the surface is the breakdown of the fractal of ten.  In the spiritual dynamics of the fractal of ten, it is always three + seven.  The first three represent the Trinity and the last seven represent the redemptive gifts.

And what absolutely amazes me is that whether we look at ten plagues or the Ten Commandments or ten biological systems or ten of any other system God created, they still divide comfortably at three + seven.

We couldn’t possibly do all that.  To run a branding campaign in Egypt, to educate God’s people on His nature, AND to meticulously remember to craft the project around the structures of the fractals is simply amazing.

Only God can maintain that much complexity without any stress at all.  But He does.

19. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Needs No Trade-offs

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub, still in the afterglow of a good trip to Calgary

 

18. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Plays a Mean Game of Cricket


The third plague was of gnats or lice, depending on which translation you read.  More to the point is the fact that Aaron caused the plague by striking the dust of the ground with his staff.  This is because it was a direct attack on one of their demi-gods, like each of the plagues was.

Khepri was the god associated with the scarab beetle.  It lays its eggs in the balls of dung and the young dung bugs emerge from the dung ball fully formed.  Through reasoning too arcane to interest me at all, they associated all that with creation, rebirth and the sun.  Khepri was the god of the morning, and Ra of the midday and some other one the god of the afternoon.

So to an Egyptian versed in the theology of the day, they fully understood that Moses and Aaron were overtly, publicly, defiantly proclaiming that their Yahweh God was superior to this god of the Egyptians when they struck the abode of the dung bug god.

Not only did Yahweh come through in a big way, but the magicians had to concede that they were completely outclassed this time.  They had kind of, sort of kept up with Moses and his God for two rounds, but on the third pitch, they fanned.

They were so completely beaten, they did not even try to spin it but overtly told Pharaoh that “This is the finger of God.”

As concession speeches go, that one was elegant for being utterly comprehensive while completely conceding the field to Yahweh.  They did not even try to compete in the future.

The point that grabs me is that God choose not to blow the Egyptians out of the water on the first play.  He allowed them to nurture the fantasy – for a season – that they could play in the big leagues.  Then He upped the ante and they folded ignominiously.

We humans have trouble with that.  We tend to feel betrayed when He lets the enemy bat first and run up the score.  Often we feel abandoned.  And ‘way too often we leave the playing field early because we are pretty sure He has too.

But that is not necessarily the right interpretation of a losing score.

About 15 years ago, I was in England and I learned a profound lesson about this.  I had come down from my room a bit early and arrived in the hotel lobby before my host.  While waiting for him, I flicked a glance at the two TV screens and saw that one of them was broadcasting a cricket game.

I know the game exists and very little more.  I was horrified when I noticed that the score was 515 to zero.  I could not imagine that kind of carnage in any game.  Where is the sportsmanship?

When my thoroughly English host appeared, I gingerly pointed out the score.  He understood my discomfort and with that exquisitely condescending attitude the Brits dominate when it comes to explaining their culture to dumb Yanks, he told me two things.

A cricket game takes about five days.  The score was so high simply because his side had not come to bat yet.

Then with a consummate confidence that marked me for the rest of my life, he said, “Come back tomorrow when we get to bat.”

That became a picture of God to me.

He is more confident than a Brit when He is playing His game.  In spite of the fact that it gives me the willies, He is quite willing to let the devil bat first.  515 to nothing does not intimidate God in the least.  Nor is God worried about the fact that I am worried over His letting the enemy run up the score.

And that is what He did here.  He was toying with the Egyptians, like a cat torments a rat it has caught.  He knew exactly what magic the Egyptians knew and what they did not.  He deliberately allowed them to pretend they were keeping the score tied, just to egg them on.

Then, like the cat that tires of the game and eats the rat, God decided He was quite done with humoring them, and He went to bat and as they do in cricket, He ran the score up and up and up and up.

Long before the game was over, it was clear that the Egyptians were utterly out of their league pitching to The Almighty, the God of the lowly Hebrews.

Today’s prayers are about the God who is the Finisher.

18. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Plays a Mean Game of Cricket

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From Calgary, fresh off the plane

17. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Shares Power


Spirit of slavery vs. spirit of sonship.

Every organization you do business with is somewhere along that spectrum.  You can tell very quickly by asking whoever you are talking to about a variation in the standard procedure.  In a company with a heavy spirit of slavery, the rules are made at the top and all deviations from the rules are also made at the top and only at the top.

In an organization with a strong spirit of sonship, there are principles more than rules, and the people at the lowest level understand the principles and are authorized to make a significant number of on-the-spot decisions.

The Hebrews had been enslaved for at least a couple of centuries, possibly longer.  And even though Moses had not personally been in the brickyards, he had more than a small dose of the spirit of slavery in his thinking.  Thus, it was important for God to begin to grow him out of that, into sonship.

One of the many ways God used was to share power.  Consider the sequence of the second plague – frogs everywhere.

First, God moved, controlling the timing.  He had a schedule He was watching since the Hebrews needed to exit Egypt 430 years to the day from when they entered.  Moses didn’t know that was the time line, and he didn’t know the number of plagues God would use, so it was appropriate for this to be in God’s hands.  God also was playing the PSYOPS game and knew where the national psyche was at any given moment.

So God initiated after seven days, sending Moses to Pharaoh with a little full disclosure courtesy note.  When Pharaoh ignored them, God instructed Aaron to use the staff to manufacture frogs.

Pharaoh made the next move, sending a message to Moses shortly thereafter, asking for relief.

What happened next is fascinating.  There is silence from God.  Moses somehow knew he was authorized to negotiate.  By now Moses was beginning to get in the game.  He not only promised Pharaoh he would get rid of the frogs for him, but he very confidently invited Pharaoh to pick the time, so Moses could show off just a bit.

Pharaoh picked a time slot; Moses confidently assured him he could consider it done.

THEN when Moses and Aaron were in private, he cried out to God and said, “Sure hope you back me up here!”  Exodus 8:12  BVV

God was perfectly fine with it, and the next day Moses had an additional measure of street cred in Egypt.

God was quite sure Moses was not going to get a big head and run away with the program.  With that confidence in his motives, God was comfortable letting Moses wield some power and build his own brand at the same time he was building God’s brand for Him.

A comfortable teamwork between The Almighty and Moses.

Moses was far from being a finished masterpiece, but God was so sure of His man, and so sure of His ability to clean up any messes that happened along the way, that He had no difficulty with power sharing from the very beginning.

What a great God.

17. Hebrew Worship: The God Who Shares Power

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub