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His Sheep

Christians will agree that sin is destructive. One might say that they are a bigot to say so. True?

Someone might say "God doesn't hate anyone." Yes, true...God is Love. Yet One who truly, steadfastly, compassionately loves us defines what destroys us and instructs us how to avoid that.

I had an awful nightmare last night. Awful. All day it's been playing in my head. We were in a beach house, with very high decks. All of my children piled out the door onto the deck...until I saw that there was MASSIVE, POWERFUL, TERRIFYING waters coiling, spilling around the side of the house, above the height of the deck and swirling around beneath it. In reality, the house never could have remained standing with the power of these waters. But as it was, I vehemently told all my children to scurry back inside. Already, boards of the deck were missing by the tearing of the waters. My oldest son did not listen to my husband. So my husband picked him up, dropped him in the gap where the boards had been torn off. Reason even kicks in, when you're in a nightmare so I thought "He didn't see the wave. He thought he'd be able to catch the deck and swim back to us." But I was horrified as I watched him yanked over toward the most massive scary current...bigger than those I saw at the top of Niagara Falls as the waters hit the edge and rolled. Much higher, too. I knew there was no chance of ever getting my son back out of this water. I woke nauseated and emotionally very disturbed, fighting not to be angry with my husband.

This is not the way of Our Abba. He is firm, and gives us time to repent. But He does not tell us that what is dangerous to us is actually okay, because HE IS LOVE. He is not merciless, to drop us into raging waters...but He expects obedience for our own good. Grace and mercy means He still wants to be our Father despite our rebellion and ignorance, but it also means He wants to pull us out of the danger of destruction that we enter into so willingly.

Now lets imagine this. As a child, you were probably instructed never to pick at ABC gum on the bottom of a restaurant table. When you grew up, you already knew that it was too unclean and abominable to even want to touch. 

As a mother, I want my kids well-nourished. I want to give them what brings them full life, so I pay attention to The Word, and offer them Good Things. I care because I love them. I don't generally offer artificial, toxic, diseased or spoiled food because it cannot give life. Even natural gross things like slug trails and bug poop on my veggies get washed off. Modern parents also have criteria for what is suitable as food; most won't give their kids raw eggs. If we are more concerned about what the USDA says is "unclean" than what Our Father, Who Is In Heaven has said, what does that say about us? Sheep or goat? It was His love for Israel that caused Him to define Good Things for them, just as with Adam and Eve. In my home, I want to provide the best I can for my children, because they are My Children.

As the Creator of it all, He knows what offers life and fullness and satiety. Do we trust Him enough to listen?

Before I listened more carefully to the Word of YHVH on creatures that He describes as "unclean for Israel", my second daughter fell in love with smoked oysters. She could eat a can of them in such a hurry, I thought it was cute. Every week, at Trader Joes, she asks for them. I now respond "Actually, those are ocean cleaners". The creature isn't "bad", it just has a different purpose than to serve as our food.

This afternoon I imagined how Abba sees the things He created for the regeneration and cleansing of the earth and sea, and I can't think that eating the wastewater treatment species of the earth would be a Good Thing. Most people compare a shrimp to a cockroach. I feel a special abhorrence for cockroaches. Additionally, swine offer the same janitorial service to disgusting places of the earth, so that what is dead and rotten does not continue to infect the earth. This means that what they are removing from the earth is now within their cells. Pathogens, chemicals, disease, mold, dead and dying matter. As they do this, it becomes what they are made of, and our Good, Good Father, who defines what is beneficial and what is deadly, is so kind that He offers us as food a multitude of species, that are not comparable to rats! What a variety of Good Things! As we focus on what we "can't eat", we are listening to the Serpent in the garden...that one fruit that He said was a "no"? Do we give ourselves reasons (metaphors out of context, maybe?) as to why The Word has changed, despite that never being a character trait of The Word. He (Yeshua/The Word) is Good, it has been Good, and always will be Good. Just like now that you're a fully grown adult you could choose to chew ABC gum and wouldn't, you could of course eat something that isn't food, but why would you?

Heaven is clean. Nothing unholy or unclean can enter. The tabernacle/temple displayed that, as a shadow and copy of the heavenly dwelling. All who came to offer a sacrifice must be washed, consecrated so that the Holy Place was not defiled. Nothing like this enters His presence.  Now that our very bodies are His Temple, what does that say about how we might respond to His opinions? If we are no longer "The Nations" but One New Man under Messiah, we also have been made a part of the Holy Family. 

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were set apart, but you were declared right in the Name of the Master יהושע and by the Spirit of our Elohim. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Some will say Jesus didn't come to judge, Jesus loved everyone. But we need to be really careful to remember those he offended thought they knew God better. They thought they already had the truth. They couldn't hear Him because He didn't say what they wanted to hear. He spoke truth without sparing their feelings...because Love. Whether we want to hear the truth or not is how we know if we are sheep or goats.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27


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