The Spirit in setting forth the Bible makes a case for approaching it as God document. God is a Spirit and in order to get to the divine Will reading merely with sense is skimming the surface. A century of controversy over God’s creation account has been going on and battle lines were drawn between believers and skeptics on Creation vs. Darwinism. Lately those who read it literally slightly altered their stance by imputing Creation to an Intelligent Design. Do we wage war with Satan with our puny intellect or with the Spirit of the Lord?
We read this verse in the Bible: when the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall raise a banner against him (Is.59:19). Without comparing spiritual things with the help of God how can anyone withstand his wiles? God is a Spirit and his armor provides for sword of the Spirit (Ep.6:10-18). From the controversy cited above the John Scope trial was merely a symptom of what weapons Evangelicalism in the US chose to fight the skeptics. If we should now see prosperity preachers waging war with the liberals and the left on other it goes to show carnal wisdom shall find some topic to show of their scholarship. In Judaism it was thus and in our time Christian Right is following the script written not by God. These ministers mouthing words from the scripture but in denying the power of God has a form of godliness prove whence comes their fighting spirit. Wisdom from God is peaceable “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy (Jas.3:17). So what is their fight all about? Christian Right stand for Christian ethics. Their lifestyles show different from the gospel preached by the Savior. Jesus said,”And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also (Lk.6:29-30)”. Liberality of Jesus would have ‘love your enemies’. So those who handle the word but denying its core value in truth denies Jesus Christ. By the same token accuses him indirectly his liberal view. Thus modern churches fritter away their talents. God shall certainly call them to account.
Jeremiah in this chapter compares God with idols. Children of light and children of wrath. The Spirit has set the law of gradation which is very much in evidence from the first book to the last. In Genesis God separated light from darkness apart from the light distinguishing day from the night. In the closing chapters we are told there shall be no night in the holy city of God it is crystal clear that the Spirit is annotating on the general narrative by means of symbols events and persons. The entire typology relies on the Father Son relationship So God as Spirit and the Spirit of Christ throws light on each other. ‘And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (Ge.1:3). Separating light from darkness we see in the final chapter two groups children of light and darkness. God’s Will and fulfillment go hand in hand in perfect amity. Israel circumcised outwardly which is compared with Israel with uncircumcised heart. It is thus literal and its corresponding spiritual significance are graded. For example Isaiah faults Israel observing Sabbath without fulfilling divine Will. How is that possible? Read what the prophet has to say, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?(Is.58:6,13)” The will of God is different from how we fulfill it, is it not? Life of the Son of man was as one who fulfilled the mandate of his Father (Jn.3:16). So we see literal sense rigorously applied and a spiritual meaning echoing the Father Son relationship. Where there is Spirit there is freedom. Circumcision would want punishment by stoning and spiritual interpretation would instead require a different approach. This is what we see in the incident in the Gospel of St John. “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,/ They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act./ Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned:….And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: (John.8.3-5,9)” Jesus did not have to say a word but conscience of his interlocutors convicted each of his true state. Here is a clear evidence of the error of interpreting the law literally.
What is conscience? We get an idea from the Pauline dictum Ro.1:20. It is written on fleshy tablet of heart. It is what the term inner man signifies. Spiritual discernment is not by carnal wisdom but by wisdom which is from above. In the epistle of James we have the difference. God gives it liberally to whosoever would have it. So ministers of God who harp on prosperity theology have no excuse. In applying wisdom which is carnal they are shown holding truth in unrighteousness. What does the Spirit want but to instruct every one of us in righteousness (2 Ti.3:16).
Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The Lord of hosts is his name.
17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.
18 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.
19 Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous; but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.
20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.
21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
22 Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.
23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
24 O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.