|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
(Due to the length of this issue, I had to break it into three
parts so I could post it with Page Mill. Page Mill does not like
long documents, so the following TOC covers three separate documents.
This is Part I. All of the articles can be reached from this TOC.)
In This Issue,
It's a mad, mad, mad world
Social Phobias , Killer Kids and Kid Killers
Mourning , a Biblical Perspective
Explanation (for those who have followed my wife's passing)
Edom in Bible Prophecy: Are the Arabs Edomites?
State Favors Result in State Control of the Church
Illegal Money & Rising Gas Prices
Personal -- Medical
Rape of a different kind
A short Bible Study -Zephaniah
Lighten up a little -- Notes from Frank , an Inexperienced Chili Taster
Alert for Michigan
Michigan Action Alert
The 9 Assumptions of Modern Schooling
(Note: The following goes with the article, "Social Phobias, Killer Kids and Kid Killers.)
"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World" was the name of a good movie some years ago. And we can say that about our world today, only it is not a comedy as was the movie.
We see kids randomly shooting others, parents killing their own children, all kinds of crimes taking place, violence laden 'entertainment,' and the acceptance of the most vile, obscenity-laced music that praises the most wicked and debased levels of human behavior, winning the music industry's highest awards.
For all his offensiveness, Eminern makes one salient point on his album. He asks why parents who blanch at his music don't keep their children away from it and other forms of destructive entertainment. If they did, Eminem and others like him would quickly fade away instead of being honored with awards. (Indianapolis Star, 1/6/01.)
So we must add to the madness the fact that parents refuse to restrict their children from the vile entertainment that is so prevalent in our society, including video games.
The Reader's Digest asks, "How Safe is Your Kid at College? expressing the serious concern of very unsafe college campuses. (April 2001.) Middle and High schools must hire armed guards, and even that does not prevent the shootings and violence: "2 killed, 13 wounded in shooting at California school" though the school had armed security guards. (Associated Press, March 5, 2001) The problem is, however, that these institutions love death, so they cannot avoid it. (Pro. 8:36.)
Meanwhile, the Medical Industrial Complex continues to 'discover' new illnesses, particularly new phobias andmental illnesses, for which they develop high-priced drugs. How many of these newly discovered phobias are "manufactured" by the Medical Industry for the money? How many phobias brought about by the ungodliness,e.g., music, around us, and maybe even GMOs (See winter 00-01 TBE)? How many are the result of medical malpractice, e.g., metal toxicity (see parenthesis below)?
Social Phobias and Saul
What is the Biblical background for the madness going on around us? There are no doubt several illustrations in Scripture revealing the root of the problem, but the most obvious is what took place with Saul; the story of his kingship is well known.
In 1 Samuel 10, Samuel anoints Saul to be captain over his inheritance. In chapter 10, Samuel reminds the people that in their demand for a king, they rejected the Lord God who had been delivering his people out of the hands of their enemies. After the reminder, Samuel then had all the tribes pass before him, and Saul, who had a "kingly" appearance, was chosen to be king. And God thus gave the people the kind of king they had demanded. Though Saul hid himself among the stuff, he was found, brought him before all the people, and Samuel pronounced that Saul was the man they had chosen as their king. But not everyone was pleased with the choice.
In chapter 11, the Ammonites made war against Jabesh. Messengers from Jabesh went out with the plea for help. The message came to Gibeah of Saul, and the people of Gibeah wept when they heard the news. Hearing the commotion, Saul, who was working in the field, asked what was wrong. When he was told of the distress of the men of Jabesh, the Spirit of God came upon him, and he called Israel together to go defend Jabesh. The people united behind Saul, and God wrought a great victory. And Saul was established as king of Israel, 11:15.
In chapter 12, Samuel prepares the people for his departure. In his farewell address, he also tells them that though they had rebelled against the Lord God as their king in their demand for a king like all the pagan nations around them, if they will fear the Lord, serve him, obey his voice, and not rebel against his commandment, they and their king will prosper. And to confirm that he was speaking for the Lord, he called for thunder and rain, which the Lord sent.
During the first two years of Saul's reign, and under Jonathan's, Saul's son, leadership, there were victories over the Philistines, for which Saul took credit, 13:3, 4. The defeats stirred up the Philistines, so they gathered together to war against Israel. Their formidable force unnerved the men of Israel, so many fled to places of safety.
Samuel had instructed Saul to wait for him seven days at Gilgal, where Samuel would make an offering before Israel went into battle against the Philistines. Saul waited six days, and on the seventh, he became concerned; the last day was drawing to a close, the men he had left were scattering from him, and Samuel had not appeared as promised. So Saul took it upon himself to make the offering. Of course, he no sooner made the offering than Samuel appeared. The problem was not that Saul made the offering, but that he could not wait for Samuel as instructed. And thus Saul went further than he was commanded to go--rather than wait as Samuel had commanded, he made the sacrifice, 8-14.
Samuel rebuked Saul for not waiting - "Thou hast done foolishly: thou has not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established they kingdom upon Israel forever." Samuel then tells Saul that the kingdom is removed from him, and is given to another. Saul made no effort to repent, and Samuel returned to Gibeah, leaving Saul and Israel subjected to the Philistines, 13:16-23. However, the Lord intervened, and delivered Israel from the Philistines through the godly courage of Jonathan, 14:1-23.
On the other hand, Saul only distressed Israel with unreasonable demands upon the army, forbidding them from eating anything until Saul was avenged on his (not God's) enemies. The army smote the Philistines, and Saul built his first altar unto the Lord, 14:35. Saul's victory over the Philistines was not complete, and Israel and the Philistines went home, v. 46. Saul continued vexing all his enemies on every side.
In chapter 15, Samuel came to Saul, and told him to utterly destroy Amalek for what Amalek did to Israel coming out of Egypt. Saul was to also utterly destroy all that they had, including woman, infants and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Saul gathered the people together, and went to war. The LORD gave Saul total victory over Amalek. But rather than total obedience to God's word when he had it in his power to do so, Saul kept the king and the best of the live stock alive. Saul only destroyed everything that was vile and refuse, v. 9.
The LORD sent Samuel to Saul to rebuke Saul for refusing to obey the command of the LORD. Saul tried to place the blame upon the people, but the LORD through Samuel held Saul accountable with the famous words:
Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (Vv. 22, 23.)
Saul then confessed that he had sinned in transgressing the commandment of the LORD. But his confession was very hollow, for he still blamed it upon the people -- I sinned because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice over the command of the Lord. As Samuel turned away from Saul, Saul laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and rent it, trying to get Samuel to honor him again before the people, which he did.
The first key phrase for our purpose is 15:26,
for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee...
The LORD'S rejection of Saul did not come "out of the
blue," for Samuel had previously told Saul,
Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: (13:13, 14.)
But Saul was hardened in self-esteem, so he continued esteeming himself above the commands of the LORD.
Chapter 15 ends with Samuel doing what Saul should have done -- he hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
In chapter 16, we have the account of the LORD sending Samuel to anoint the young man David to be king over Israel. It will be many years before David is actually made king, but here we see who will replace Saul, and we see the steps God takes to prepare David to replace Saul. Note that the Lord was not going to use David to overthrown Saul, but he was going to replace Saul. There is a world of difference.
The next phrase for our purpose is 16:14,
The Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
Keil's comment on this verse is interesting:
Vs. 14. With the rejection of Saul on the part of God, the Spirit of Jehovah had departed from him, and an evil spirit from Jehovah had come upon him, who filled him with fear and anguish. The "evil spirit from Jehovah" which came into Saul in the place of the Spirit of Jehovah, was not merely an inward feeling of depression at the rejection announced to him, which grew into melancholy, and occasionally broke out in passing fits of insanity, but a higher evil power, which took possession of him, and not only deprived him of his peace of mind, but stirred up the feelings, ideas, imagination, and thoughts of his soul to such an extent that at times it drove him even into madness. This demon is called "an evil spirit (coming) from Jehovah," because Jehovah had sent it as a punishment, or "an evil spirit of God" (Elohim: vs. 15), or briefly "a spirit of God " (Elohim), or "the evil spirit" (vs. 23, compare ch. xviii. 10), as being a supernatural, spiritual, evil power; but never "the Spirit of Jehovah," because this is the Spirit proceeding from the holy God, which works upon men as the spirit of strength, wisdom, and knowledge, and generates and fosters the spiritual or divine life... (Keil)
Thus, we have two points here. First, Saul was mad, and second,
the LORD sent a supernatural evil spirit totrouble him. Saul
rejected the command of the Lord. After Saul's second
rejection of the Lord, he is given over to fear, anguish and madness;
he becomes jealous, irritable, vindictive and melancholy, i.e.,
a constitutional tendency to be sad, gloomy, depressed; from Middle
English via Old French, 'black' + 'bile'.Saul's emotional distress
was a result of his departure from the commandment of the Lord.
We are surrounded with people overtaken with emotional distress.
The public battle rages over the LORD'S place in this nation's
life. (The judge who defied a court order to hang the Ten Commandments
in his courtroom is now the chief justice of that state's Supreme
Court. On the other hand, two of the house managers involved in
the Clinton Impeachment lost their seats.)
We are surrounded with the results of people rejecting the command of the Lord, as revealed in His word, as people are overtaken with fear, anguish and depression. This emotional distress among the population today has opened a vast, new, and highly profitable prescription drug market.
Geneva's comment on this verse is good:
(e) The wicked spirits are at God's commandment to execute his will against the wicked. (Geneva)
This was not the Lord's fault. Saul is the one who refused
to kill Agag, and to obey the Lord. (See 15:33.) Any time we refuse
to obey the Lord, there will be a Spirit from the Lord to trouble
us, if we are His. I have had to go make several things right
because the spirit of the Lord troubled me. (I remember that I
had to go make home visit one Sunday before I could teach my Sunday
Notice also that Saul's servants called it an evil spirit from God (16:16), when actually it was a spirit sent by the Lord to trouble him over his sin. LORD = the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament who was calling Saul to repentance. (v. 14.)
Saul spent the rest of his life trying to cover the troubling spirit, and we can read the ways he tried to do it. How much easier it would have been to submit to God in this area. But God's plan was to replace Saul with a man who was willing to confess and forsake sin as soon as it was brought to his attention. God can use anyone who is willing to obey Proverbs 28:13, 14.
Question: Does not God have to give the spirit of repentance? Thus he did not deal with Saul with that spirit.
We should mention that Saul's rejection of God's word left him easy prey for an evil spirit:
... If God and his grace do not rule us, sin and Satan will have possession of us. The devil, by the divine permission, troubled and terrified Saul, by means of the corrupt humours of his body and passions of his mind. He grew fretful, and peevish, and discontented, timorous and suspicious, ever and anon starting and trembling; he was sometimes, says Josephus, as if he had been choked or strangled, and a perfect demoniac by fits. This made him unfit for business, precipitate in his counsels, the contempt of his enemies, and a burden to all about him. (MH)
PLEASE NOTE: I found out the hard way with Carol that much of the emotional distress today is brought about by chemical imbalances in the body. I believe a very large part of her problem was mercury poisoning. She had had mercury fillings in her mouth since she was a very young girl, and her mercury level was off the chart in her blood tests. However, her body's defenses had already broken down by the time we found the mercury problem.
We found that mercury poisoning can cause serious mental as well as physical problems. Since that time, I have met many folks who are in very bad emotional and physical conditions because of heavy metals in their system. (I met one lady who could not get out of bed by herself because of the mercury toxicity in her system [from seafood]. I met another lady who has been unable to work as an airline stewardess for 6 months or so because the toxicity affected her ability to think. It now takes her many days just to read a chapter in a book, and then she cannot remember what she read. I met a man who works for UPS--though able to continue working, he was unable to talk because of the mercury toxicity; his insurance was paying to have the mercury removed.)
After my experience with Carol and her cancer, one of the first things I would urge people to do who are having emotional and/or physical problems is to have their system checked for toxicity.
Heavy metals were not a concern until the industrial revolution. But since, they are a serious problem in our modern society. I have found it quite distressing the way the medical profession looks at mercury. A high school science class in Indianapolis last spring ('99) broke a thermometer with mercury in it, and the hazardous waste recovery team was called in to clean it up, and the "exposed" students were sent to the hospital emergency room. A spot of mercury was found in a package handling area at the Indianapolis Airport last summer ('99), and it made the evening news. Yet mercury is commonly used to fill teeth, and has been for years. I have also been told that mercury is used with some injectable prescription drugs. Many dentists will consider you strange if you demand that no metals be used in your mouth, including mercury fillings.
I am convinced that those suffering from emotional distress should first have a good physical exam and blood work. Sadly, though, insurance will pay for the prescription drugs to cover over the internal pollution problem but will seldom pay to take care of the problem. (I must say, however, that our insurance did pay to have Carol's mercury toxicity removed through EDTA chelation.)
Some symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, particularly mercury, which is the most common:
Irritability - Anxiety/nervousness, often with breathing difficulty - Restlessness - Exaggerated response to stimulation - Fearfulness - Emotional Insatiability - Lack of self control - Fits of anger, with violent, irrational behavior - Loss of self confidence - Indecision - Shyness or timidity, easily embarrassed - Loss of memory - Inability to concentrate - Lethargy/drowsiness - Insomnia - Chronic headaches - Thyroid disturbance - Arthritis - Abnormal blood pressure - Manic-depression - Hearing/speech/breathing difficulties - Depression, despondency - Numbness, tingling of hands, feet, etc. - Bleeding gums - Multiple Sclerosis - Speech/visual impairment - Respiratory problems. (This list, and many more symptoms to numerous to mention, of classical toxicity disturbances was compiled after years of careful research by Sam Queen - from his book, The IV-C Mercury Tox Program.)
Compare this list of common problems from heavy metal toxicity with the list of emotional problems motivating the drug companies to develop new drugs. We see that there are several common symptoms, e.g.,Depression, despondency - Loss of self-confidence - Shyness - Emotional Insatiability - Fearfulness, &c.
Thus mercury fillings create good job security in the medical profession. There is far more money in misdiagnosing problems of heavy metal toxicity as a "phobia," or as a physical problem that can be treated with antibiotics--as they did with the airline stewardess for five years--that can be treated with high priced medication than there is in dealing with the cause, and removing the toxic metals from the body.
Again, I have encountered folks who would rather deal with the emotional distresses with "Christian" music and entertainment as well as drugs than look at it as a genuine medical problem, toxicity. Sadly, insurance companies seldom pay the expense to deal with it other than with expensive prescription drugs.By the way, "Study finds lengthy estrogen use involves possible tradeoff. Experts say hormone raises risk of ovarian cancer but might help prevent a bigger killer: heart disease. ... it can cause uterine cancer -- a risk that adding progestin offsets -- and long-term use can increase the risk of breast cancer." (AP, Indianapolis Star, 3/31/01.) Carol was on estrogen therapy; after the cancer was diagnosed, I asked the doctor if breast cancer was a side effect, and he said, "Yes, it can be." Note that the doctors do not tell us of the side effects of the drugs they are so determined to put us on, including blood pressure (heart damage) and cholesterol (liver damage) medications. My heart doctor told me to either take the medication, or find another doctor, (which I did) and my blood pressure is consistently well within normal range.
Saul's problem was deeper than melancholy; he was given over to a supernatural, evil spirit. But there was more to Saul's problems - Saul rejected the command of the LORD, so the LORD rejected him, and the LORDgave him over to "a higher evil power, which took possession of him," stirring up "feelings, ideas, imagination, and thoughts" to such the extent of insanity, madness.
The Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. (16:14.)
The wicked spirits are at God's commandment to execute his will against the wicked. (Geneva.)
The wicked spirit sent to Saul is what we want to consider. Wicked spirits sent from the Lord are not uncommon in Scripture:
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. (1 Kings 22:18-23. See also, 2 Chron. 18:21ff.)
I cannot get this close without taking a well-deserved shot at Harry. In addition to what I mentioned in the last Examiner, you may find the following distressing, if you care at all about those caught up in that evil spell.
USA Today published an article on October 23, 2000 titled Harry Potter's 'mom' enchants essay wizards. This article spoke of children as young as 8 years old taking part in an Scholastic's "How the Harry Potter Books Have Changed My Life" essay contest. A 13 year old stated, "I'm going to write a book about the experience."
J. K. Rowling was interviewed on NPR not long ago. She said that she was amazed at the response to the writing "contest": "How the Harry Potter Books Have Changed My Life." She said there were 10,000 entrants in the contest. Evidently, government schoolteachers promoted the contest. If they would promote anything like "How The Bible Changed My Life," they would be fired on the spot.
J.K. Rowling gets royal honorHarry Potter creator J.K. Rowling received the title Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, Friday from Prince Charles -- himself a fan of the schoolboy wizard.The prince asked whether the movie version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, currently being filmed in Britain, would live up to the book."He said he can't wait, and he wanted to know whether it was true to how I saw the story in my mind," Rowling said after the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. "I said that it was... (Indianapolis Star, 3/3/01.)
America's continual rejection of the God of the Bible, Who can only be worshiped through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, has evidently caused the Lord to send an evil spirit.
Saul's spirit of madness from the Lord also caused him to desire to kill the innocent, 18:11. Note the order: Saul was very angry, furious, that the women sang greater praises to David than to himself, and the Lord returned the evil spirit back to him, and then he sought to kill David.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.(Ephesians 4.)
And thus Saul gave place to the devil to work.
Saul's servants suggested temporary relief: soothing music:
--Vs. 15. When Saul's attendants, i.e. his officers at court, perceived the mental ailment of the king, they advised him to let the evil spirit which troubled him be charmed away by instrumental music. "Let our lord speak (command); thy servants are before thee (i.e. ready to serve thee): they will seek a man skilled in playing upon the harp; so will it be well with thee when an evil spirit of God comes upon thee, and he (the man referred to) plays with his hand." The powerful influence exerted by music upon the state of the mind was well known even in the earliest times; so that the wise men of ancient Greece recommended music to soothe the passions, to heal mental diseases, and even to check tumults among the people. (Keil, Emph. added.)
In other words, music can kill or music can make alive.
Thus, if soothing music "charmed away" the evil spirit that troubled Saul, then what does non-soothing music do? I believe it is safe to say that such music draws evil spirits to trouble people:
Rapper's vile music not worthy of awardsOur position: Grammy nominations for rapper Eminem honor the worst in popular music.
He insults blacks, gays and women in his obscenity-laced songs. He threatens to beat or kill his wife in his best-selling albums. He raps approvingly of drugs, alcohol and rape. And he's just received four nominations for the music industry's highest award. Rapper Eminem spews bile, and the nation's music critics call it art. A reporter for USA Today this week labeled the rapper's Marshall Mathers LP "brilliant and shocking." The album's shocking elements are evident. Its brilliance escaped us.In the song Kim, Eminem curses his wife and threatens to beat her. The song ends with sounds of a woman choking, and the rapper screaming, "Now bleed!Bitch bleed! Bleed! Bitch bleed! Bleed!" The rapper's I'm Back talks of cutting a kitten's head off and of lining students against a wall at Columbine High to face an "AK-47, a revolver, a nine and a Mack-11." His Kill You contains the lines "Bitch, I'm a kill you! Like a murder weapon, I'm a conceal you in a closet with mildew, pillows and film you." Later, he raps "Okay, I'm ready to play. I got the machete from O.J. I'm ready to make everyone's throats ache. You faggots keep eggin' me on 'til I have you at knifepoint, then you beg me to stop?" For this, Eminem received Grammy nominations for album of the year, best rap albums, best rap solo performance, and best rap performance by a duo or group. The Detroit native has been heavily marketed on MTV and was a regular last year on mainstream radio stations' play lists. His fans include many children still in junior high. It is the burden of every older generation to rail at their children's offending music. But it's also the curse of each new generation to endure ever more vile entertainment, packaged and sold as the latest developments in "art." For all his offensiveness, Eminern makes one salient point on his album. He asks why parents who blanch at his music don't keep their children away from it and other forms of destructive entertainment. If they did, Eminem and others like him would quickly fade away instead of being honored with awards. (Indianapolis Star, 1/6/01.)
Note how many times (4) the Lord mentions that David's music
soothed Saul's madness, even as late as 19:9. Just one time would
be enough to show us the power of music, but we are told four
times that music has the power to control the spirit.
Matthew Henry comments about Saul's "friends":
How much better friends had they been to him if they had advised him, since the evil spirit was from the Lord, to give all diligence to make his peace with God by true repentance, to send for Samuel to pray with him and to intercede with God for him! Then might he not only have had some present relief, but the good Spirit would have returned to him. But their project is to make him merry, and so cure him. Many whose consciences are convinced and startled are forever ruined by such methods as these, which drown all care of the soul in the delights of sense. Yet Saul's servants did not amiss to send for music as a help to cheer up the spirits, if they had but withal sent for a prophet to give him good counsel. And (as bishop Hall observes) it was well they did not send for a witch or diviner, by his enchantments to cast out the evil spirit, which has been the abominably wicked practice of some that have worn the Christian name, who consult the devil in their distresses and make hell their refuge. It will be no less than a miracle of divine grace if those who thus agree with Satan ever break off from him again. (MH)
Notice v. 15 - rather than the servants urging him to send
for a man of God (Samuel), or to repent of his sin ofrejecting
the word of the Lord, they send for someone to play music. The
fallen nature refuses to believe the Biblical facts of the fallen,
sinful nature of man, and that man has no good in and of himself
and that he cannot on his own seek after God. (When so many Christians
refuse to believe in the fallen nature of man and his inability
to seek after God, Rom. 3:10ff. what can we expect out of the
world?) The world's answer today for the madness is not to send
for God's man to find the underlying sin and call for repentance,
but it is to send for an "expert" to find how to sooth
the troubled beast.
Classical music used to try to reduce crime, reduced 15% in Vallejo Ca. (Fox Facts, 12/30/00)
Fox Facts, 12/30, Vallejo, CA, has started using classical music in public places that have been "hang outs" for drug users and dealers, e.g., busses, buss stops, to both discourage "hanging out" and to discourage crime. The result has been a 15% reduction in crime for a $100 investment. Larger cities, such as New York City, are also using the idea. One young black man said he could not stand the music. Obviously, modern music that promotes drugs, sex and crime has a great effect in these areas. PARENTS, WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS LISTENING TO? How many parents allow wrong music in the home, and then they wonder why their children do the things they do?
So David is sent for, and David's music soothes Saul's troubled spirit. (Keil supposes David to be about 20 at the time Saul sends for him; thus Saul was "mad" for about 10 years.) However, as soon as Saul saw David as a threat to his throne after he comes to Saul's attention in the battle with the Philistines, he moves to kill him. All of Saul's actions are by Divine Providence; everything Saul does help prepare David for the office of king.
Notice 1 Samuel 17:15, David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep. Yet when David went before Saul in the battle against the Philistines and defeated Goliath, Saul acted as though he did not know David, 17:55, 56. Implied is that Saul did not know David when Saul was under the influence of the evil spirit from the Lord; David was brought in by Saul's attendants, and removed when Saul recovered. However, the difficulty may be answered by understanding Saul's question in vv. 55, 56, as simply enquiring more about his family than what was learned when David first appeared before Saul as a musician.
Saul's evil intentions and actions must be traced to his rejection of the word of the Lord delivered twice to him by Samuel. The root of Saul's mental problem was the sin of rejecting the Lord. Music could only cover it over so long.
Here are only a few things that resulted from Saul's rejection of the command-word of God.
First, he had an out of control imagination of David trying to harm him, "anxiety attacks?" Second, he made every effort to kill the one he felt threatened by. Third, as Saul attempts to kill David, his son, Jonathan, defends David. (20:33, 33.) Jonathan's defense of David only makes Saul angrier, and he attempts to kill his own son,e.g., child abuse. Fourth, Saul is unable to hold his tongue, and takes out his bitterness and anger on his own son and wife. (20:30.) Fifth,, Saul talks like he is protecting Jonathan's interests in the throne, but he is not--his concern is strictly for himself. He (David) shall surely die, but he won't. God is in control of the situation. (20:31.)
There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:2.)
Verse 31. Thus he grossly mistakes the cause of Jonathan's loss of the kingdom, which was not David's art, but Saul's sin; and vainly endeavours to prevent God's irrevocable sentence. (Poole.)
Matthew Poole rightly observes that the problem was not David's art of subverting Jonathan or of quietly taking over the kingdom from Saul. The problem was Saul's sin that he would not confess and make right.
How like our fallen nature to defend it with all our might by blaming others for our problems. Saul placed the blame everywhere, his son and David, except where it belonged--his own rebellion against God.
1 Samuel 15:23, Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.(V. 26 & 13:14 also.)Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Saul rejected the law of God, so God rejected him. The rest of the book of 1 Samuel is a sad account of God replacing Saul with David.
We cannot overlook the fact that the evil spirit from God caused Saul to prophesy in the midst of the house. 18:10, 11. Saul's envy and jealousy over David gave place to the devil, and the devil had free reign in and through Saul. The day after David's triumphal entry into the city, the evil spirit from God returned upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house.
1) To prophesy under the influence of divine spirit, or of false prophets.
TO CAUSE TO BABBLE UP, hence to pour forth words abundantly, as is done by those who speak with ardour or divine emotion of mind. ... (3) to be mad, or rather to act as if mad, 1 Sam. 18:10. ... (Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, 525-526. Baker Book House.)
[To prophecy] does not mean to prophesy in this instance, but
"to rave." This use of the word is founded upon the
ecstatic utterances, in which the supernatural influences of the
Spirit of God manifested itself in the prophets (see at ch. x.
Prophecy, or ecstatic speech, is NOT necessarily a sign that one is under the Godly influence.
And it may seem probable that Saul did now speak of Divine things politically, that thereby he might lull David asleep, and kill him before he suspected any danger. (Poole.
And the enemy of the Son of David has been doing this against His people every since--using smooth words, both religious and political, to lull them asleep, so he can kill them before they suspect any danger.
The spirit of madness was a result of Saul's rejection of the word of the Lord. And the innocent today are being killed as the spirit of madness runs amuck in our society because it has rejected the word of the Lord, e.g.,abortion. (18:1.)
One of the major complaints folks have had against me since I have been in leadership position (associate pastor and pastor, 25 years) has been that to me things are black or white. When someone has come to me for help, I try to get them to face up to whatever sin might be underneath their current problems, e.g., Saul.
The result has been that few want to be confronted with where they might be contrary to the word of God, and what they must do to correct that sin; as Saul, they would rather have soothing words (music) that will help them cover over the problem. I have spoken with more than one pastor who has faced the same problem; people go to public assemblies, churches, for the soothing music (messages), so they do not have to confront where they rejected the word of God.
Social Phobias? Not doubt a vast majority of them are caused by the rejection of God's command-word. Saul's rebellion invited Satan to work in his life. (Eph. 4:26, 27.) And a result was that Saul was controlled by fear--he could not sit in his own home without a javelin in his hand. His rejection of God made him fearful of everyone, even those who proved their loyalty, David.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7.)
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant
of his devices. (2 Cor. 2:11.)
I heard a report about Soviet (oops, Russian. Sorry about that. However, it is the old games with new names) espionage in the US. There were three ways listed as to how the Soviets gain insight about our "secret" activities, and one of those ways was that they simply read and listen to the media. In other words, those who read a lot can readily find out America's secrets, if they will only pay attention.
Certainly, the devil is a sly old fox, a liar and a deceiver. But his devices are clearly revealed to us who read and know God's word. Like America's enemies can follow the public media and see what we are doing, we can follow the public media and see what our enemy is doing.
The above passage obviously refers to unforgiveness, but as we follow the media in the light of God's total word, we can see the tracks of our enemy, Satan, in every area of life. We can see his devices at work against man, who is created in the image of God (therefore, he hates all men).
Here are some of the obvious tracks of our enemy as he runs amuck in our society. But he is only able to pursue his dream of world domination because Christians will not stand firm on God's total word (Hosea 13:9).
1. A Pill, but not the "gos pill."
Too Many Pills for What Ails You
"Shyness, once viewed as becoming in some people, is today being cast as a prevalent medical problem. Thankfully, shy people can receive relief in the form of pill called Paxil. The medicine is an old drug being applied to a novel disease called 'social anxiety disorder'.""Both the disease and the drug are largely the innovation of the drug's manufacturer and its Madison Avenue advertising agency.""In the past, medical professionals wouldn't dare to prescribe a powerful psychotropic drug such as Paxil to treat the benign personality traits portrayed in the drug advertisements. Yet, the race is on to develop pills that will satisfy social needs.""Madison Avenue executives are hard at work recasting bothersome physical traits with memorable names and deceivingly broad descriptions to expand potential markets for dozens of new medications."Advertisers have done the same for "overactive bladder" and "erectile dysfunction.""Allergy medications are being peddled for a wide variety of sniffles that go well beyond clinical definitions of hay fever.""The aim of advertising executives is to stretch the clinical definitions to expand the market for new drugs and convince millions of new consumers that they're affected with a condition that requires medication."Legislation is being proposed that would mandate that obesity be considered a "disease," which sets the stage for reimbursement for two new and expensive fat busting drugs by private and public health insurance.Many doctors believe that far too many pills are being prescribed for too many "soft" diagnoses."In a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medial Association (JAMA), researchers reported that the use of certain psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin in 2 and 4 year olds doubled and even tripled during the last decade."Experts say frustrated parents, agitated daycare workers, and 10 minute pediatric visits all contribute toquick pharmacological fixes for emotional and behavioral problems."Attention deficit disorder" and "hyperactive disorder" were formerly known as "minimal brain damage." The pharmaceutical companies, to accommodate marketing goals, changed the names."These efforts have helped get 4 million extra lively, fidgety, and easily distractible kids on Ritalin and 2.5 million more on antidepressants.""Ironically, in a country where every child from preschool onward can recite anti-drug catechisms, millions of children are legally drugged with a substance so similar to cocaine that, according to one medical journal, 'It takes a chemist to tell the difference'."The research and marketing of attention deficit disorder, an affliction that barely registered in the professional literature a decade ago, illustrates how certain normal traits can be recast as medical symptoms with the right mix of modern medicine and savvy marketing.The rest of the world has yet to acquire the American taste for Ritalin, as we consume 90% of the Ritalin produced."Probably the most important medical development of the 20th century was that economics replaced curiosity as the driving force behind research."(Oakland Tribune, July 30, 2000, by Scott Gottlieb. Emph. added. Thus the drugs of Killer Kids?)
But we do not live in a new world of crazy events. The word
of God gives us the cause and effect of the surrounding craziness.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Eccl. 12:13. See Exodus 15:26.)
Man rejects God, so God rejects man, and gives Him over to the tormenter, in this life.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4.)
Those who reject the law-word of God are rejected by God, as
are their children.
God has provided us His answer amidst the reign of terror in which we live, which does not include the high price anti-phobia drugs being developed and pushed so hard by the Medical-Industrial Complex (MIC). As the medical industry seeks new illnesses for which to develop new drugs to make their bottom line look good, they focus on mood altering drugs, drugs to treat new phobias they have discovered. It is " Madison Avenue advertising" at its best, or worse. The Medical arm of the Medical Industrial Complex discovers new phobias, and the Industrial arm rushes to develop drugs to combat the new phobias. But how much of the research for new phobias are financed by the drug companies?
Drug makers see market in phobia
Treatment of social anxiety disorder is new battleground for antidepressant makers.First formally identified in 1980, social phobia ranks today as the third most prevalent psychiatric disorder in the United States after substance abuse and depression, affecting an estimated 19 million Americans, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.And, just as the pharmaceutical industry has introduced medicines in recent years to alleviate such common afflictions as obesity, baldness and sexual impotence, it sees a huge market in social anxiety...Some analysts view social phobia as the latest battleground for the antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They believe the three leading drugs of this family -- Paxil, Zoloft and Eli Lilly and Co.'s Prozac -- can be used almost interchangeable, making their manufacturers eager to find new uses for them to make them stand out..."The entire mental health sector is at a stage where cardiovascular diseases were at 20 years ago," said Stephen Scala, a pharmaceutical analyst with S.G. Cowen Securities. "There is still a lot we do not know about these mental disorders. We are at the very early stages of another big market opportunity."... (By Anurdha Raghunathan, The New York Times, Indianapolis Star, 5/30/99. And thus we see that the terrible scourge of the newly discovered "Social Phobia" disorder phenomenon is being driven by money! In other words, the prospect of profit makes it a treatable disease. Ed.)
Studies in the early 1980s found only 2-3% of the population suffering from the "Social Phobia" disorder. However, later studies a decade later found closer to 8-9% suffering. At that point, drug makers started conducing clinical trials. They also found that only 5% of the population was receiving treatment. The drug companies, e.g., SmithKline Beecham, decided that the "disorder is very pervasive, but it is very under diagnosed and under treated." Researchers fear that other forms of shyness will grow. They did admit, however, "the increasing dependence on technology is creating a socially awkward generation." (Ibid.)
Driven by the desire for profit, drug companies continually search for new "diseases" to treat with high priced prescription drugs. And they believe they have found a gold mine in the newly discovered area of "Social Phobia." However, they are not telling us of the danger of treating "Social Phobia" with drugs. Eli Lilly has quietly settled more than 30 Prozac civil cases since the early 1990s - Prozac is charged with the ability to drive some users to commit suicide or use violence against others. Lilly still faces about 10 Prozac lawsuits. (Ibid,11/1/2000. It would be interesting to know if any of the Kid Killers were on prescription mood altering drugs, and what drugs they were on, but their files are closed to public scrutiny. I wonder why we are not told what kind of prescription drugs the Killer Kids are on, if they are on any drugs?)
The above causes one to wonder how mankind survived for 6,000
years without the experts to identify phobias and the medical
industry to develop drugs to combat those discovered phobias.
Rather than those given over to "Social Phobia" seeking
answers from the Lord God, i.e., how to return to faith and obedience
to the Command-Word of God, they seek help from an ever-increasing
central government to pay for their "treatments" designed
to cover up the problems. (The same people probably would not
consider paying a preacher to diagnose their spiritual problems,
and then live by his suggestions.) Both Bush and Gore offered
relief from skyrocketing prescription drug prices.
2 killed, 13 wounded in shooting at California school
SANTEE, Calif. -- A 15-year-old boy who had been picked on and had talked about shooting classmates allegedly opened fire in a high school bathroom Monday, killing two people and wounding 13 in the nation's deadliest school attack since Columbine.One student said the boy had a smile on his face as he fired away with a pistol at Santana High School in this middle-class San Diego suburb... ...the shooter was identified by students as Andy Williams and a source close to the investigation said his full name is Charles Andrew Williams. ..."I know in your minds is the overriding question: 'Why?'" District Attorney Paul Pfingst said. "The suspect has made statements. I will not share the contents of the statements with you at this time, but there is no real answer. I am not sure in any real way we will ever know why." Investigators said the boy used a .22-caliber revolver, stopping once to reload, and retreated after the shooting into the bathroom.The attack was the nation's deadliest school shooting since the April 1999 bloodbath at Columbine High near Littleton, Colo., where two teenagers killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before committing suicide. Classmates and acquaintances of the boy described him as skinny and the subject of constant harassment. Students said he boasted about owning a gun. ...Reynolds said that the boy lives with his father and that his mother lives out of state. He said the boy stayed at Reynolds' house Saturday night and talked about starting a shooting spree. (Associated Press, March 5, 2001)
There will, no doubt, be louder calls for gun control. It is
a trite saying, but "Gun's don't kill people; people kill
people." But upon a little investigation, we find far more
serious links to what might be a cause of these children's acts
of violence. There needs to be a call for medication control,
rather than gun control.
Front page, Indianapolis Star, March 7, 2001:
Community searches for answers
Police in school shooting unable to determine motive as freshman-suspect is set to be arraigned in killings (at Santee Calif., ed.)
Obviously, we cannot know anyone's motive, for that is the
Lord's unique work to know motives and judge accordingly. But
there are some obvious facts that lead to serious questions about
Drug Control: check the medicine cabinet
Prescription Drugs: Turning Kids Into Killers?
More than six million American kids take prescribed medication to treat mental and behavioral disorders. But some experts say drugs are not the answer, and these powerful chemicals could be turning troubled kids into killers. EXTRA puts the issue in focus. 18-year old Eric Harris opens fire at Columbine High School killing a dozen students before taking his own life. 18-year old Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaults a young girl in the bathroom of a casino, before strangling her to death. 15-year old Kip Kinkel murders his own parents, and then takes aim at classmates, killing two. Random acts of violence? Maybe not. Some experts are now saying these bloody bursts of rage may have been fueled by prescription drugs. Human rights activist Bruce Wiseman explains all of these child killers were being treated with mind-altering drugs like Ritalin, Prozac or Dexedrine. In fact, Jeremy Strohmeyer was prescribed the stimulant Dexedrine just days before the murder. But many of these drugs have not been tested on children and some package inserts warn that side effects may include hostility, delusions and suicidal thoughts. Jurgen and Brenda Viktor of Escondido California now say their doctor was dead wrong. At just 16 years of age their son Jarred had become withdrawn, experimenting with alcohol and drugs, even contemplating suicide. Their doctor put Jarred on the antidepressant drug Paxil. "The next day he told me he said mom I feel weird, he said I feel real weird I am grumpy he said I feel real agitated," Brenda describes. 5 days later, Jarred lost it, stabbing his grandfather's ex-wife 61 times! He was convicted of first-degree murder and is now serving life without parole. Both his parents believe that Paxil committed this crime. But doctors like UCLA's David Fineberg insist these drugs are a godsend and that the majority of children taking them are finally able to sit still. But what about those that are affected? Are they potential time bombs waiting to go off? "These kids who committed crimes obviously had underlying problems." He says. "There is no proof that it was these drugs." But how many kids snap after taking these drugs? It's tough to pin down because children's files are sealed. But just last month the journal of the American Medical Association reported stimulant drug prescriptions written for kids as young as 2 have increased by 300% over 5 years.Doctor Mary Ann Block is the author of "No More Ritalin." She claims many kids are prescribed these powerful pills for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. It's an illness she claims doesn't even exist and that parents, teachers and doctors are looking for an easy solution to an unruly child. "We have to look for the underlying cause of the symptoms not just cover up the symptoms with drugs," she says. 8-year old Joshua Kline was only three when he was kicked out of preschool for ADHD. Doctors prescribed Ritalin. Unfortunately, his behavior did not change for the better. Julie and Steve Kline say Josh became a zombie. His bizarre behavior forced them to immediately take him off the drug. They later found Josh never needed Ritalin. It was severe allergies, not a mental disorder that caused him to be unfocused. Jarred's father believes his son didn't need drugs either. In fact, what he prescribes doesn't come in a pill. "99.9% of the people who are taking these drugs maybe need a hug, maybe need a little affection that is what is needed," he says. For more information contact the Commission for Human Rights at 1-800-869-2247. (2000_10_22, http://www.extratv.com/cmp/spotlight/2000/03_14b.htm)
First, the "pros" want to treat more kids with medication, the very medication that is linked to the Killer Kids. Second, "behavioral disorders." Not long ago, the board of education applied to the seat of knowledge took care of "behavioral disorders." But today medication is seen as "an easy solution to an unruly child." The antichrist mind set today is also anti-word--that is, against the word of God that demands strict disciplined instruction of a child. (Pro. 3:12, 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13, 14, 15, 29:15, 17.) Third, "mental disorders!"
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Rom. 8.)
Accordingly, we are born with a "mental disorder," and that disorder is rebellion against the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The "mental disorder" is that the kids have been taught to militate against God, and, therefore, both God and nature militates against them.
Fourth, prescription drugs primarily deal only with symptoms, not root causes. Joshua's problem above was allergies, but the first and easiest things the doctors reached for was more drugs.
A Pill for a Problem
Is there a problem? The world desires to offer the magic pill that will cure all ills, even the ills brought about by sin. Mood altering drugs -- anti phobia drugs -- are an easy way for busy parents to go on about their anti-family activities (while leaving their children for the state to rear in subsidized day care); pills are quick fixes for doctors whose income depends on how many patients they see; pills are an easy method for government school administrators to calm a class when the parents refuse to allow educators to properly discipline their children; pills lead to more problems, as the evidence suggests, and those problems lead to more pills. And the MIC rejoices at the bottom line. (Of course, the parents are the ones commanded to educate their children, not the state nor the church. Rebellion in this area means death to the rebellious people.) Mood altering drugs are the goose that lays the golden eggs for the Medical Industrial Complex; they are answered prayer for a nation that hates God's word - that people whose god is not the Lord. (Psalms 33:12.)
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (Pro. 8:36.)
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Pro. 4.)
The hatred of God and His command-word is not only sin against one's own soul, but it is a love of death. Thus the refusal of the home and of the government school system to deal with "Hyperactivity" according to God's word is a death sentence against any institution that refuses to accept the word of God as its authority:
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Pro. 22:15.)
Unfazed by evidence that mood altering drugs have a serious
link to Killer Kids, the Medical Industrial Complex moves full
speed toward the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of prescription,
mood altering and anti phobia drugs. The search intensifies for
new "phobias" or "mental illnesses" to treat,
for new illnesses are the cash cow of that Complex (just as wars
are the cash cow for the arms industry; evidence suggests that
the medical industry is doing much more damage than the arms industry).
Pills for Peace, a false hope
Peace does not come in capsules! This is regrettable because medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Estimates vary from 60 per cent to nearly 100 per cent.Emotional stress can cause high blood pressure, toxic goiter, migraine headaches, arthritis, apoplexy, heart trouble, gastrointestinal ulcers, and other serious diseases too numerous to mention. As physicians we can prescribe medicine for the symptoms of these diseases, but we cannot do much for the underlying cause-emotional turmoil. It is lamentable that peace does not come in capsules.... God guaranteed a freedom from disease that modern medicine cannot duplicate... ("This book was born as a result of a thousand sighs for the many people who left my office without receiving adequate help. I have written he prescription that I would have given these patients if only I had the time.") (None of these Diseases, by S.I. MuMillen, MD.
2. Mental Health, a term not easily defined.
Study: Mentally Ill Kids UntreatedOne In 10 Children Suffers From Mental Illnesses
WASHINGTON, Updated 11:14 a.m. EST January 3, 2001 __ One in 10 children suffers from mental illnesses severe enough to impair development, the surgeon general said in urging changes to fix what he termed a crisis.A report to be released Wednesday says that too often children who wound up in jail had mental health problems that went unnoticed or untreated until too late. Fewer than one in five children get treatment for any mental health problems, the report adds. (The only treatment that will work is treatment in the word of God. Ed.)"If children can't learn, can't develop appropriately, then it's going to interfere with their whole life," said Surgeon General David Satcher. "Clearly it is a crisis." (Copyright 2000 by The Associated Press.)
A Crisis in learning
Such a crisis being lamented by the Christ haters was promised by our God. God gives to us the secret of wisdom, knowledge and understanding:
97 ¶ MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 98 ¶ Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. (Ps. 119.)
The cause of the education crisis is established: rebellion against the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and against His total word. Note the control by the humanist education establishment. It sees the root of society's problems as the lack of education in the things held important by the antichrist crowd.
ELEVENTH: Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene (i.e., health, ed.) and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking. (Humanist Manifesto I, 1933. http://www.humanist.net/documents/manifesto1.html)
The antichristian education establishment sees everything in terms of more education. (I heard on "Morning Edition" yesterday, 3/27/01, while taking Christina to school, an interview with the new secretary of the Department of Education. He said that his goal was to see that every child has a high school diploma. He DID NOT say that his goal was to see that every child could read and write in this country's language, English, nor did he express a desire that they have working knowledge of math. His goal is, accordingly, easily reached by simply lowering the standards even more than they are now.) And thus is justified any action desired by the ungodly to make their subjects sit still while they are indoctrinated in ungodliness, and get their diploma.
Satcher's newest call adds to his report a year ago declaring mental disorders a major under treated problem for adults and children. It comes amid a recent backlash against one prominent childhood problem, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.Lawsuits charge that ADHD is over diagnosed to push the drug Ritalin to children who merely are rambunctious. (Thus the MIC is the major drug pusher in the world, Ed.)There is some over treatment, but also "there are many children who could benefit from medications as well as behavioral treatment," Satcher said, identifying ADHD and depression as leading mental disorders affecting children.According to the report:Regular pediatricians treat most affected children and report difficulty referring serious patients to mental health specialists, including appointment waits of three to four months. Some communities offer no child mental health services at all. In one study, some children with emotional disorders didn't get proper school services until age 10. Just as for adults, insurance coverage for children's mental health is spotty. Advocates told of parents who relinquished custody so their children could receive welfare-funded therapy. One juvenile detention center study found over two thirds of detainees had a psychiatric disorder. Yet the juvenile justice system seldom screens children for treatable illnesses. (Ibid., AP, 2000. Emph. Added.)
Compounding the problem by getting everyone involved, except the parents:
The report urges mental health training for doctors, teachers, welfare and juvenile justice workers, and better access to care. (Ibid.)
And thus teachers and other laymen become "mental health" experts.
Satcher said that Medicaid is developing community models for mental health services, and that the federal justice and education departments will work with health officials on training.Also, the National Institute of Mental Health increased research funding on children's disorders by $33 million this year. (Ibid.)
$33 million more wasted to discover new phobias for which the
MIC will develop more "cover up" drugs," and compound
the Killer Kid problem.
His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray. (Pro. 5:22, 23.)Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezek. 18:31.)
Saul was mad (insane) because he rejected the clearly spoken
word of God. Society is in the grips of madness today because
it has rejected the clearly spoken word of God, from the pulpits,
to the pews to the average man in the street. (I am continually
amazed at how ready pastors are to overlook or ignore the clear
teaching of God's word, though they claim to love that word.)
And the cure, a return to God and godliness, is not one that the
natural man will accept and follow.
3. Media and Violence
TV (No Duh!)
Limiting TV viewing reduces aggression in children, study indicates
Reducing the amount of time that grade school children spend watching television and playing video games can make them less aggressive toward their peers, say researchers at Stanford University Medical Center.
While many studies have correlated exposure to violent media with aggressive behavior in children, the researchers say their newly published study is the first to show that such behavior can be unlearned by reducing the exposure. "Reducing television viewing really will work to decrease kids' aggressive behavior," said Tom Robinson, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics and of medicine. He is the lead author of the study, which appears in January's issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. "It's not that once children learn aggressive behavior it becomes their only way of solving problems," Robinson said. "But what's encouraging is that, in children, some of the effects of exposure to media violence can be reversed solely by decreasing that exposure."
Robinson and his colleagues studied 218 third and fourth grade students at two public elementary schools in San Jose. The schools were selected because they were in the same district and had similar academic and sociodemographic factors. The children's ages, number of television sets and video game units in the home, and the number of children with TVs in their bedrooms also were comparable. Teachers at one school gave the students 18 lessons over six months aimed at curbing the amount of time spent watching television, videotapes and video games.
Usage levels of students at the other school were measured without any effort to reduce their exposure to TV and video games. Before and after the "intervention" curriculum was implemented, children at both schools answered a standard set of questions aimed at identifying aggressive classmates. They also responded to a survey to gauge their perceptions of the world around them. In addition, researchers randomly selected 60 percent of the students from each school for direct observation during recess periods. At the end of the study, researchers found children in the intervention group had reduced their TV viewing by about one third and their ratings of aggression were about 25 percent lower than those at the control school.
They also engaged in about half as many verbally aggressive behaviors - such as teasing, threatening or taunting their peers - on the playground when compared with students at the control school. Both boys and girls benefited from the intervention curriculum, and the most aggressive students experienced the greatest drop in combativeness, according to the study. Previous studies by other researchers suggested that exposure to violent media causes children to become more aggressive and to view aggression as an acceptable method of resolving conflict.
In addition, youngsters may become desensitized to violence and victimization, and could come to believe that the world is a "mean and scary" place.
One study estimated that children in the United States see 200,000 violent acts on television alone by the time they turn 18. "Kids spend more time watching television than doing any other thing besides sleeping," said Robinson. "It's not unreasonable to expect that this will translate into large impacts on their health and behavior over time."
In addition to reducing outright aggression, the intervention program decreased the children's tendency to view the world around them as "mean and scary," although Robinson said the difference was not statistically significant. The researchers used a multi-step strategy to help children reduce the time spent watching TV and playing video games. Students first kept track of the amount of time spent in such activities, and were then challenged to turn off the television completely for 10 days -- no favorite programs, no videos and no video games.
Afterward, students were encouraged to spend no more than seven hours a week in front of the television. Each family received an electronic television budgeter to help them stay within the limits. The children were also taught to become more selective in their viewing and game choices, and to advocate reduced media usage to friends and family members.
Robinson's co-authors on the study are Marta L. Wilde, MA, social science research assistant at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention (SCRDP); Lisa C. Navacruz, MD, a Stanford medical student at the time of the study; and K. Farish Haydel, BA, and Ann Varady, MS, scientific programmers at SCRDP. The researchers are now conducting a long-term study of the curriculum in 12 Bay Area schools. They intend to return one year after the intervention program ends to see if the pattern of reduced TV and video game usage persists and whether the children are less aggressive than they were when the study began. "Our hope is that the effects will persist over time," said Robinson. (By Krista Conger, Stanford Report, January 17, 2001. Stanford Report News Service /Press Releases.)
We should mention that when the ratings drop, shows are dropped.
The media understands only one language, profits.
Ashcroft Criticizes Video Games WASHINGTON -- Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday that video games that "literally teach shooting" and other forms of violence in entertainment are part of the problem when it comes to school shootings. Interviewed on morning television shows a day after a shooting at a high school in El Cajon, Calif., Ashcroft called on the entertainment industry to "start helping us devote ourselves to an ethic of resolving anger or problems in a way other than violence." ... "The entertainment industry, with it's video games and the like, which sometimes literally teach shooting and all, we've got to ask ourselves how do we as a culture respond to be more responsible," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America." In citing violent video games, Ashcroft went further than he has previously to suggest that violent entertainment could be partially to blame for students' turning to guns and violence. ... [H]e said that gun laws and federal money won't solve the problem. (AP, By Karen Gullo, March 23, 2001.)
Man Allegedly Attacks Moviegoers The Associated Press, Friday, March 2, 2001; 7:32 a.m. EST
STAMFORD, Conn. -- A screening of the movie "Hannibal" included some real life violence when a man attacked three moviegoers, police said. Michael O'Neil, 24, started acting irrationally minutes after the movie began Wednesday, said police Sgt. Andrew Gallagher. "He got up and started screaming and yelling and proceeded to strike three patrons," Gallagher said. "All the people in the theater fled for fear of their safety and notified management." He was charged with assault, breach of peace and interfering with police. When police arrived at the Stamford Theater, O'Neil struggled with officers and tried to kick several of them before he was restrained, authorities said. The thriller starring Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore is about a cannibal serial killer. Two people suffered minor injuries, but did not require medical treatment, police said.
THE FACTS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND BUSINESS"American businesses pay a high price for mental illness. Consider these startling facts:
Depression costs our country approximately $43.7 billion a year -- over half of which is paid directly by businesses.
Of the $43.7 billion in depression costs, $11.7 billion is associated with missed workdays, and $12.1 billion is associated with reduced productivity.
Chemical dependency costs American businesses an estimated $200 billion per year (Source: Feb 96 Conference Board Survey by the Bureau of National Affairs).
Employers bear an average annual cost of $3000 for every depressed worker, and $10,000 for every employee who abuses drugs.
By providing your employees with outstanding mental health services, you can:
- Increase employee productivity
- Reduce turnover and employee "burnout"
- Improve morale, team spirit, and workplace relationshipsI
- ncrease bottom line profitability
- Of the $43.7 BILLION dollar cost of depressions, over 50% is paid directly by American business.55% of the total costs of depressions are incurred by employers as a result of absenteeism and reduced productivity. That translates to $11.7 billion in costs associated with missed work days and about $12.1 billion in costs associated with reduced productivity, workers not performing at full capacity, lack of self confidence or indecisiveness.
- Employers bear an annual cost of $3000 per depressed worker and $10,000 per drug abusing employee.
- Sixty-four percent of all adults report that their relationship with loved ones are always on their minds. (USA Today, 1/6/97)
- Troubled employees are absent from work six to eight times more frequently than other employees, often resulting in the need for temporary workers. This can cost a company as much as 25% to 35% of the employee's normal salary. (Birmingham Business Journal, 9/4/95)
- America's divorce rate now tops 60%, forcing Corporate America to admit and deal with employee personal problems. (USA Today, 1/23/97)
- Americans have lost nearly 40% of the leisure time they had in 1973. In other words, Americans spend a month more each year at work than they did 20 years ago, forcing the need to help workers balance personal lives with work. (St. Louis Dispatch, 9/17/95)
- Ninety-two percent of workers agree personal problems cause trouble at work. Companies that offer programs to assist employees with personal problems see positive results including improved moral, higher productivity, less absenteeism, lower healthcare costs, reduced turnover and less workplace violence. (Sales & Marketing Management, 5/1/96)
- One out of three American adults will have a diagnosable or addictive disorder during their lifetime (AAMFT).
- Up to 60% of visits to primary care physicians are Individuals whose complaints are related to mental health (AAMFT).
- Early intervention on mental health services will save society two thirds the cost of crisis intervention (NIMH).
- Family life events are highly correlated with visits to physicians and hospital (Levene, Newsman, Jeffries, 1988).
- An estimated 25_40% of general hospital admissions are due to complications of chronic alcohol abuse (Harvard Medical School Mental Health Newsletter).
- Alcoholics use health services four times more than non-alcohol users (Harvard Medical School Mental Health Newsletter).
- Medical expenses are twice as high for alcoholic families (Harvard Medical School Mental Health Newsletter).
- Allowing consumers a broad choice of mental health clinicians did not increase the use of the service (Champus, 1983).
- The cost of alcoholism to the U.S. was $85.8 million in 1988 (Rice, Kelman, Miller & Dunmeyer).
- Between 10% and 23% of all U.S. workers use dangerous drugs on the job (NIDA).
- Up to 40% of Industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial accidents are alcohol related (Bureau of National Affairs).
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 18 million people in the united States experience a depressive illness each year. But there is good news: with appropriate treatment, psychotherapy and medication, about 80% of depressive illnesses can be successfully treated (From http://www.provisionsconsulting.com/facts.htm)
Of course, the fact that is overlooked is the quiet, confident spirit of the Christian whose heart is stayed on the Lord:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa. 26:3.)
Mourning , a Biblical Perspective
The following goes with the "Dear Family and Friends" e mail reproduced elsewhere in this issue of the Examiner. It was motivated by the question of "How much mourning is enough," a question for which it seems everyone has a different opinion.
The question about proper mourning over a lost loved one forced me to find the mind of God from His word in this area. What is required of an individual and what is required of as a church when someone of importance is lost to death? A passage brought to my attention was 1 Corinthians 4:6:
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. (1 Cor. 4:6. See Deut. 12:32. Job asked, "Will ye contend for God?" 13:8. That is, we speak in God's place when we try to establish something that is not established in His word.)
Did not our Lord condemn the Pharisees for teaching the traditions of men for the commandments of God. (Mat. 15:9, Mk. 7:7.) Note Paul's warning:
Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. (Titus 1:14.)
Fables refers to traditions and speculations.
Though speaking primarily of Jewish fables, it also includes any
traditions and speculations that turn us away from the truth of
Tradition of Excessive mourning
Among the many holdovers from Victoria era is the Western tradition of excessive mourning over lost loved ones.
Three years after taking the throne, Queen Victoria (1819-1901) married her cousin, Prince Albert, February 10th, 1840. Their relationship was one of great love and admiration. She was totally devoted to Albert, and completely submitted to his will. Together they bore nine children _ four sons and five daughters. Reflecting back into her childhood, Victoria was always prone to self pity. On Dec. 14th 1861, Albert died from typhoid fever at Windsor Castle. Victoria remained in self_imposed seclusion for ten years. Her genuine, but obsessive mourning, kept her occupied for the rest of her life, and played an important role in the evolution of what would become the Victorian mentality. After his death, she devoted the rest of her life to the essentials of her position, becoming England's longest reigning monarch, 64 years. She never remarried, and wore black until she died. Being one of the best loved queens in English history, the English people imitated her in her excessive mourning. Thus it is the Victorian mentality that controls thoughts about mourning today rather than God's word. <http://www.victorianstation.com/queen.html>
According to 1 Corinthians 4:6, no one has the right to expect of others above that which is written by God in His word. Even more alarming to us should be the fact that God has placed three curses in His word against adding to His word, or expecting more than is required by His word. (Deut. 4:2, Pro. 30:6, Rev. 22:18, 19.)
In other words, setting a higher standard to live by than God has established in His word is as bad as not setting the standard as high as established by God.
So, what does God say about mourning?
The Egyptians mourned for Israel for 70 days, Gen. 50:3Joseph mourned for his father, Israel, 7 days, Gen. 50:10.The people mourned for Aaron 30 days, Num. 20:29, and for Moses, 30 days, Deut 34:8.The people mourned for King Saul, 7 days, 1 Samuel 31:13.Job mourned for his great loss for only 7 days, Job 1:20, 2:8, with 2:12, 13.(However, we could hire someone to mourn for in our place for as long as we wanted mourning, 2Ch 35:25, Jer 9:17, Ecc. 12:5, Amos 5:16, Mt. 9:23.)
On the other hand, we are not told how long Abraham mourned for his wife, but he did weep for her. (Gen. 23.) Nor are we told how long Israel mourned for Samuel. (1 Sam. 25:1.) We are told that David's mourned for Abner for his unjust slaying only one day. (2 Sam. 35.) And in Jeremiah 41:6, we see that mourning can be hypocritical--that is, used to influence others to our way of thinking.
Remember David and the child conceived in adultery? (2 Sam. 12:15ff.) After Nathan pointed out that David's sin, he told him the child would die. David mourned with prayer and fasting for seven days, hoping that the Lord would change His mind. The Lord did not, and the child died. After the child died, the servants were fearful that David would go into even deeper mourning, but he did not. (V. 18.) Rather, David got up, washed himself, ate and went about his business. The servants were surprised, and David said,
21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. (2 Sam. 12:21.)
Realizing that the dead could not return, David got up, and
went about his business. Thus David did not mourn at all over
the dead, but his hope was in the resurrection of the dead.
Even the Apocrypha only required 7 days, "And so I fasted seven days, mourning and weeping, like as Uriel the angel commanded me." 2 Esdras 5:20
Commenting on Aaron's death in Genesis 20:29, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown says:
they mourned for Aaron thirty days --the usual period of public and solemn mourning. (See JFB on "De 34:8").
Then commenting on Moses' death in Deut 34:8, they say,
8. wept for Moses ... thirty days--Seven days was the usual period of mourning, but for persons in high rank or official eminence, it was extended to thirty (#Ge 50:3_10 Nu 20:29).
Thus the Scripture only supports 30 days of mourning at the
most, and that was for very important people. Jacob, Israel, was
only mourned for for 7 days. Paul confirms the short length of
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (1 Thes. 4:13.)
We are a people of life and hope, not of death and hopelessness. Note the Egyptians, steeped in paganism, mourned for Israel for 70 days, while Joseph, the keeper of godliness during that period of Israel's history, only mourned for 7 days.
(Mourning seems to imply stopping with life's activities in respect and memory of the dead, but there were several physical actions associated with mourning.)
Strongly implied, therefore, is that extended mourning for a period of over 30 days at the most, is to partake of the sorrow of those who have no hope. Those who expect more are in clear violation of God's word, and He will deal with them accordingly. And those who abide by expectations other than what are clearly spelled out in God's word are in trouble also, for they have denied the word of God for the word and expectations of man. What kind of problems will we encounter when we try to live according to man's expectations that are beyond or less than God's word?
It is worth noting that in Numbers 12, Meriam, Moses' sister, stirred the people up, Aaron particularly, against Moses' second marriage. We know that Meriam was the one who led in speaking against Moses because she was the one who was struck with leprosy.
There are two possible reasons Meriam spoke against Moses' second marriage: First, the shortness of time Moses waited until he remarried. Second, which is more probable, was the nationality of Moses' second wife, which fact is mentioned twice -- an Ethiopian woman.
The point being that Meriam spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom Moses married as his second wife. And Meriam was the one who influenced others to also speak against Moses' second wife, and God's heavy hand came against her. Bro. Weavers e mail:
"Brother, The truth is no one has any right to demand more than the Word of God. Most preachers certainly would not allow it when applied to themselves (I Cor. 4:6). Folks simply need to grow up and get a life. Too many live by feelings and sentimentality, rather than the principles of the Word. John"
Allowing people to set the standard of mourning above what the Word of God requires is as bad as not following the word of God because of peer pressure.
Dear family and friends:
For those who expressed an interest in Carol's condition last
year, I though you might like an update on what is taking pace
on this end of the mailing list.
Through a mutual pastor friend, the Lord put me in contact with a godly widow, Bettie Ethell, who lost her husband four years ago in a plane crash. Obviously, she cannot replace Carol anymore than I can replace Jeff Ethell, her husband. And that is not our goal. Our common goal is to start over again.
After I made the initial contact with Bettie, we corresponded by e mail. We compared our loves, doctrines, goals, hearts' desires and every other thing we could think of, finding them to be identical to a "spooky" degree. (Eg., Carol and I were married just short of 29 years; Bettie and her husband were married just short of 29 years.) And thus our hearts and spirits were united before any emotional involvement. A serious problem with the "dating game" is that people get emotionally involved, and then they try to work out the other details that should have been worked out first. Because of the emotional involvement, they are inclined to overlook the important areas of doctrines, &c.
Carol was a perfect pastor's wife (I got the "cream of the crop" from her college, though I was not a student). Bettie is 56, and is a perfect pastor's wife for this time in my life and ministry. She is totally different from Carol, except for her love for the Lord God, her desire to serve Him above all else, and her unconcern about money in the Lord's service. After Carol died, I was concerned that I would have to remain alone, for I never dreamed there would be other single women with Carol's attitude toward serving the Lord and money. And I could not remarry anyone without those attitudes in those important areas. And I have been praying for a help meet, as she has been doing, praying for someone to "help" in his ministry. She was not looking to be a pastor's wife, but she is excited at the prospect.
In fact, if I do not remarry, I must quit the ministry, for one of the qualifications of a pastor is the "husband of one wife." However, I was committed to marry a widow only, for divorces present too many problems, even though the other is at fault. (Bettie felt the same way. The Old Testament requirement was that the "priest" could only remarry a widow of a "priest." Being in the ministry, I felt that applied to me also.) So my request to the Lord was for a widow, preferably a widow of a Baptist pastor or someone familiar with the trials of the ministry. And the Lord answered that request above all I could ask or think.
Bettie grew up in Brazil, the oldest of 6 children of a Presbyterian pastor and former Baptist wife. At 17, she came to the States to finish her last year of high school and was "culture shocked." She met her husband at King College in Bristol, TN, and after they were married, they moved to Richmond, VA where Jeff studied at Union Seminary. They felt God sent them to the deadest seminary, so they could learn to trust God. From there, God called them into the drug ministry, and for 6 years they ran a home for girls, living by faith. There God showed them His great power to provide! (Jeff was ordained a minister by the Baptist church.)
After two of their three children were born, they left Richmond Youth Challenge, and Jeff turned to aviation writing full time, and family counseling part time. (At his death, he had 54 books in print, and had published hundreds of aviation articles. Thus she is very familiar with the publishing industry and what it is to be married to a writer. This is only one very small aspect of the many things the Lord has put together for both of us. Our common grounds are astounding.) After their third child was born, God moved them to Front Royal, VA, where they spent time in several denominations before joining Rileyville Baptist Church.
Through lengthy communications with Bettie, both in person, mail and by phone, I have found that we agree at every point doctrinally; she is a committed Reformed Calvinist, excepting the infant baptism (neither of us hold to that faith, and neither of us feel it is worth "fighting" others over). In fact, it was her confidence in the Divine Sovereignty of God that saw her through the loss of her husband, Jeff.
And it was also my confidence in the Divine Sovereignty of God that saw me through the loss of my wife, Carol. During the many days on the road with Carol to doctors &c., we many times discussed God's Sovereign Providence, and how everything we were going through was for His glory, and for our good. We were both confident, and I still am, that no matter what the outcome would be, the future only held good for both or either of us. God was only preparing us for an increased and widened ministry. She went to be with the Lord, and now the Lord is increasing the ministry He has given me. Bettie saw her experiences through the same eyes as I saw mine.
Her husband died in June 1997, in an airplane crash. Two years later, her parents died 4 months apart. They lived next door to her, and were her faithful prayer partners to the end. She has determined to be content to do whatever task God places before her. She did not think of remarrying until she found that her children and her pastor and his wife had been praying for a godly mate for her.
She presently lives in a 5 bedroom home she designed and built in 1984, at the north end of the Skineline Parkway in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She lives on the bank of the Shannonadoa river. And the view is breathtaking of the mountains from her front porch.
She homeschooled her three children; they all went to college, and all three families (including the men the girls married) are now self-employed from their homes. The two girls are keepers at home, yet make a good income through home industry.
She always opened her home for the Lord to fill, and He did! Almost 2 years ago, she took in an 18 year old single mom with her 6 month old daughter. Though she thought it was to be a temporary thing, God graciously let her disciple Heather for a year and a half before she married her son. Then she opened her home for a 17 year old Brazilian exchange student that came in February, 2001, and will remain until December 11, 2001. Both Heather and Fay have exhibited a great hunger for the Word of God.
She is signing her house over to her son as his inheritance, and is coming out here by faith. We are both starting out again from nothing, except our love for God, and common desire to serve Him. I have taken no set salary for a couple of years now, and she is used to living by faith. However, my small house is paid for.
Bettie's desire is to teach girls and women to be keepers at home according to Titus 2.
Fay and Christina, who will be 16 next month, have hit it off like two sisters.
We plan to April 29, and will live in the church parsonage, which is quite a bit larger than my small house in the country. If, or rather, when the Lord supplies, we would like to get a one story house in the country, but we will have to wait to see what the Lord will do in that area. His hand has been extremely evident throughout our "courtship," so there is no reason the feel He will let us down now. I will fill in the details if anyone so requests.
Her picture along with her daughter-in-law, Heather, is posted at http://biblicalexaminer.org/bettie.jpg
I cannot describe the goodness of God to this preacher at this point in his life. Keep us in your prayers. I continue to be confident that God has great things in store for us, in His good time. Bettie and I both agree that the school the Lord has put us through is too important to let lie dormant. (She is completing a very extensive course in sign language, and she speaks Portuguese, as well as some of several other languages. Lord willing, she will work on Spanish when she gets over here. We have a lot of Spanish speaking people, so the door is wide open in that area.)
Our folks are all excited about her joining with me in the ministry the Lord has given us here.
Other family news:
Jessica and her husband moved to Dayton OH a couple weeks ago. Both were transferred by their companies. Corey is the manager of a Finish Line Store South of Dayton, and Jessica is an assistant manager of a very high class jewelry store just outside of Dayton OH, Beaver Creek, Rodgers Jewelers.
Thank you for your prayers.
I have had a difficult time getting my "heart" back into the ministry, but this has given me new heart for the Lord and His work.
After observing the Lord's marvelous work in this poor man's life, I can with even more heart say that though I cannot understand, I rejoice in the fact that His blessings are upon me, as I always sign,
By His Sovereign Grace Alone,
2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you... (is our prayer.)
Obviously, planning marriage on my part, this major step is
very heavy on my heart. So there are three articles in this mailing
concerning my upcoming marriage. (Wedding gifts? Please make them
foldable to help with moving expenses. Merging two 29 year old
households, both Bettie and I were married just about 29 years,
we have enough of everything else.)
As most of you know, I have some material on "coverture marriage." See TBE, Mar, 1998. <http://www.biblicalexaminer.org/w199803.shtml#Coverture>
And the vows were published, TBE, Aug, 1999.<http://www.biblicalexaminer.org/w199908.htm>
Though I put those things together some time ago, I only did it from an intellectual standpoint, i.e., this is what God says. However, now that I am involved personally in marriage, it has become real. And thus as I "rehash" the coverture position of marriage, I do it now from my heart. And considering it from the heart, I do not know how a pastor who knows the word of God can be involved in a state marriage. For in a state marriage, by requiring a state licence (permission), the state is also involved in being the protective covering for the wife, as well as for the husband. The Lord God is secondary, if included at all, which is fine for a secular, i.e., without God, marriage. I used to say in my marriage pronouncement, "By the power invested in me by the State of Louisiana..." But a godly, Bible believing pastor should not speak by the authority of the state, but by the authority of God: "By the power invested me by the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as a preacher of the Gospel of Christ..." But with a state licence, he speaks by the authority if the state, no matter how he might protest otherwise.
(Note: the state is to provide conditions for godliness, and punish evil. Thus, a godly marriage should take place without the state having to give permission, but an ungodly union should be resisted by the state. No place in Scripture is the state given authority over the family any more than given authority over the church. Yet if a church is defrauding people, the state must step in and stop the theft. See my lengthy articles on the GM scandal.)
Though there are many verses that can be used (see TBE, 3/98), here is the one that stands out to me at this point:
Ps 61:1 ¶ <<To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.>> Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Note the word, "covert." It is used 36 times in the
AV: secret 12, secretly 9, covert 5, secret place 3, hiding place
2, backbiting 1, covering 1, disguiseth 1, privily 1, protection
It means, "covering, shelter, hiding place, secrecy."
And thus the "coverture" marriage means that the woman is seeking "rest," protective covering and shelter under a particular man. (Ruth 3:1 & 9.) It means that the man is knowingly taking responsibility for her protection (note the place of the state in this--NONE!). And thus the wife must pray for her husband that he will be the proper covering and protection for her under God. A man should be overwhelmed that the woman he "loves" is willing to leave everything behind, and come under his protective covering. So the man must live in v. 4, for the Lord must be his covering and protection, so he can properly cover and protect his wife and children. (Of course, v. 4 is for all.)
Obviously, I had NO IDEA of this principle when I married Carol. Now it is as real as is any other doctrine of Scripture. But at 59, realizing the Biblical implications of such a thing, it is almost overwhelming. There are two implications found in this protective doctrine of the "covering" found in marriage:
1) The idea of this protective covering on the man's part is the doctrine behind Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; As his wife's protective covering, the husband's responsibility is to give EVERYTHING for her protection, even his life, as Christ did for His church.
2) The idea of this protective covering on the woman's part is the doctrine behind Mark 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
She must leave behind all other ideas of covering and protection (including the protection of the state and the protection of her job outside the home), and her heart and emotions must move totally to her husband, as in Psalms 91:4ff. And if she does not have that "freedom" to turn to him completely in her spirit as her protective covering, then she must not marry him, for neither are ready for marriage. (Marriage is not two people, each doing his or her own thing.) And a pastor in counseling a couple must be able to discern the spirit of both the man and the woman, and act accordingly, which, I must confess, I have failed as a pastor to do in the past.
These two principles must be in the hearts of the couple if they will have a marriage as God intended. Certainly, there are emotions involved, but a godly marriage must start with these two common commitments, among others, on the part of both the man and woman..
The man entering into a marriage and knowing the Scriptural requirements involved in marriage, a covering that requires him to give everything for his wife's well being, should be overwhelmed that a woman, knowing the requirements upon her, is willing to submit herself totally to him with her whole heart. How can he thank God enough other than by His grace give himself for her in obedience to God's command-word?
Truly, it is God who must unite two people, for only He can reveal the truth, and only He can give them the grace to live that truth.
From now on, before I perform any marriages, I will do my best, through prayer and Scripture, to see that both the man and woman understand this sound doctrine of a Scriptural marriage before God. If they do not, I will not perform the ceremony, for their marriage is in for a very difficult time. It is a secular marriage, regardless of how much they might claim otherwise. (I am not saying that those involved in a state marriage do not understand what is involved. I am saying, however, that pastors who understand what is involved should make the marriage strictly between the couple and God, and leave the state out of the union.)
As the godly husband understands his role and fulfill it according to Ephesians 5:25, his wife will respond in the ways God planned for it to be. And God will hold the marriage together.
Married people? It is good for them to be reminded of the responsibility they gained upon marriage; it is also a reminder to husbands of the faith it takes for godly women to place themselves totally under the protective covering of their husbands. And this kind of faith on the part of both must be a gift from God. Is it any wonder that the enemy paints such a glorious picture of the self-sufficient, independent, career woman? It is an attack against God's order in the marriage, the very foundation of any civilization. As this foundation is destroyed, every vestige of civilization crumbles:
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Ps. 11:3.)
As the foundations are destroyed, we can only place ourselves in the first two verses:
1 <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? 2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
Wives, pray for your husbands. Single women, don't even consider
marrying a man who does not understand the above, and even now
prepare yourself for the man who does understand this role of
a godly husband. Men, both single and married, Ephesians 5:25
can only be formed in us by God's good spirit of Grace. Pastors,
be careful and perceptive of who we unite in this most holy union
By Thomas Williamson,3131 S. Archer Avenue Chicago, Illinois
Edom, a nation consisting of the descendants of Esau, twin brother of Jacob and son of Isaac and Rebekah, was located to the southeast of Judah, in a rugged, mountainous region which is now the southwestern part of the kingdom of Jordan.
Edom is sometimes referred to as Esau (Malachi 1:3), Idumea (Isaiah 34:5) and Mount Seir (Ezekiel 35:3). All of these names are interchangeable, referring to the same nation, Edom.
Genesis 36 describes the rapid growth of Edom. Deuteronomy 2:5 informs us that Edom's territory was not part of the land promised to Israel and never would be: "Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession."
Ezekiel condemned the nation of Edom, saying, "Thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity . . ." Ezekiel 35:5.
Throughout ancient history, the Edomites manifested their hatred against the Hebrews, as shown by their refusing Moses and his people permission to pass through Edomite territory in Numbers 20:14-22. However, in the time of Elisha, the Edomites joined in a military alliance with Israel and Judah, 2 Kings 3:9. Later, Judah defeated Edom in war, 2 Chronicles 25:5-12.
The major prophecies against Edom are found in Isaiah 34, Jeremiah 49:7-22. Ezekiel 25:12-14 and 35:1-15, and the book of Obadiah.
Isaiah prophesied of God's judgment against Edom about 700 BC, while Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Obadiah all delivered their prophecies of impending doom upon Edom around the year 600 BC.
It would make sense to look for the fulfillment of these prophecies against Edom in that general time period of history. However, some have proposed that these prophecies against Edom are still unfulfilled., and that their fulfillment will take place in our generation, in the early 21st Century AD.
There are 2 big problems with this theory: 1. The Edomites no longer exist. It is impossible to punish a people who have already disappeared from the face of the earth many centuries ago. 2. The prophet Malachi, writing about 400 BC, speaks of God's judgment of Edom as having already taken place: "And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness." (Malachi 1:3)
History records that the Edomites were ravaged by the Babylonian armies in the early 6th Century BC, and that near the end of the 6th Century BC, the Nabateans attacked the Edomites, driving them from their mountain fortresses of Mount Seir, into the Negev Desert to the west.
The ancient prophecies against Edom were completely fulfilled, and there is no need to look for those prophecies to be fulfilled yet again today, especially since the Edomites no longer exist as an identifiable nation or ethnic group.
Some will say, "Are not the Arabs Edomites, and does not the `Curse of Esau' rest upon modern Arabs?"Though the identification of Edom with the Arabs is a common traditional belief, there is absolutely no Scriptural or historical basis for this notion.
The Arabians are often mentioned in the Old Testament, as a nation totally distinct from the Edomites. For instance, the Chronicler mentions Edom in 2 Chronicles 8:17 and Arabia in 2 Chronicles 9:14. The Edomites were not Arabs - they were Edomites.
Obadiah prophesied that the house of Esau would be completely wiped out (v. 18). If he was talking about the Arabs, then Obadiah's prophecy was false, since the Arabs are very much with us today. If Obadiah was talking about Edom, like he said that he was (v.8), then his prophecy has been fulfilled, since Edom has longed since disappeared as a nation.
An examination of the standard reference works yields no hint nor evidence of any connection between Edomites and Arabs.
If the Edomites are not Arabs, then what did happen to them? We find the answer to that in the "Antiquities of the Jews" by the reliable ancient Jewish historian Josephus, writing of Jewish conquests in the 2nd Century BC:
"Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews." Chapter IX, (2).
William Whiston, translator of Josephus, adds this note: "This account of the Idumeans admitting circumcision, and the entire Jewish law, from this time, or from the days of Hyrcanus, is confirmed by their entire history afterwards. This, in the opinion of Josephus, made them proselytes of justice, or entire Jews." Since that time, the Edomites have been part of the Jewish nation. Some believe that the Edomites are still identifiable today as Sephardic Jews, but this is speculation.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary on Obadiah confirms that judgment came upon Edom in ancient times, starting with the Nabatean invasion soon after the time of Obadiah:
"Soon after this time, Edom was pushed out of her ancient home by the Nabateans, so that she had to move to the west side of the Dead Sea. Hebron was made the capital of her new home in south Judah. The Maccabees, especially John Hyrcanus (c. 125 BCC, subdued and Judaized the Edomites. They were finally destroyed with the Jews in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus."
(According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, this conquest of the
Edomites by John Hyrcanus took place in 109 BC).
Adam Clarke's commentary, Matthew Henry, and Jamieson, Fausset and Brown all see the prophecies against Edom as being fulfilled partly by an invasion by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in the early 6th Century BC, and partly by the Maccabees. Jeremiah 25:21 specifically predicts the humbling of Edom by Babylon, the same power that conquered Jerusalem 5 years before the destruction of Edom.
Some commentators believe that some of the early prophecies of judgment against Edom were fulfilled by the invasion of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, about 700 BC. There is no hint anywhere that any of these prophecies against Edom remain to be fulfilled in modern times, or that they can be applied to the current crises in the Middle East.
Some have thought that there will never be peace between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine, based on the statement of Ezekiel 35:5: "Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity . . . ."
However, we have seen that this passage concerning Edom has nothing whatsoever to do with the Arabs, ancient or modern. Scripture and secular history reveal no information about an inevitable hatred between Arabs and Jews over the centuries
Over the centuries, Jews and Arabs have lived in harmony in the Middle East. On various occasions, Jews have fled to Arab and Muslim lands to escape persecution by the supposedly more enlightened European "Christians."
The current strife between Jews and Arabs in Palestine did not begin until the early 20th Century, with the rise of the modern Zionist movement.
In my home city of Chicago, large communities of Jews and Arabs live side by side in a state of harmony. In November, 2000, many Jews in Chicago joined with Palestinian Arabs in peaceful demonstrations to protest Israeli government policies in occupied territories of Palestine.
We have no way of knowing whether there will soon be peace between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine, but there is nothing in the Word of God to indicate that such a peace cannot take place.
The prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Obadiah against Edom should not be wrenched out of their proper historical context, and made to apply to modern peoples who have no connection with Edom.
The purpose of these prophecies was to assure the Hebrews, at the time that they were taken captive to Babylon in 586 BC, that Jehovah would not allow the covetous Edomites to occupy their land. God promised that the land of Judah would remain vacant, and that the nation of Israel would be restored on that land after 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10, Daniel 9:2).
The application of those prophecies for today is that we should not be prideful as the Edomites were, believing that they were safe from God's wrath and could never be overthrown in their mountain fortresses. Also, we should not be covetous as Edom was, nor rejoice when judgment and suffering comes upon others.
The fate of Edom, and its complete disappearance from the family of nations, constitute a powerful reminder of God's justice, His judgment, and the sure fulfillment of all that He has promised in His inspired Word.
Continued to Part II
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