Thursday, July 25, 2013

Say Shibboleth

Hi there. I know it’s been a while. Sometimes you just have to go do a different thing. In fact, research on the brain shows that brain cells thrive on new activities. This is good news for those of us who grew up thinking we had a set number of cells that were irreplaceable. So for the past few weeks I have left off with thinking/writing words and have been playing with house plans.

I’m not an architect, nor am I comfortable with numbers and measurements, but I enjoy making houses, moving rooms around depending on light and traffic flow, and seeing how creatively and efficiently I can divide space into function and beauty. This is in hopes of building my final house this side of heaven one day. 

 Now that those brain cells have been satisfied, I've returned to my computer.I wanted to discuss some thoughts about being a church member and even whether or not you think it’s important to attend church,(inspired by Thomas Rainer’s book, I Am Church Member) but I will put that on hold til next week because you know how certain songs get stuck in your mind?  Well for days I've woken with this going through my head:

Say Shibboleth.

Say Shibboleth.

Say Shibboleth.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Shibboleth was the word the Gileadites used to ferret out the imposter Ephraimites who were trying to cross the Jordan. It was a simple test based on a quirk of speech. The Ephraimites couldn't pronounce sh and thus were snagged when they said Sibboleth.(Judges 12:6)

Many countries since have used linguistic passwords to identify friend from foe. According to Wikipedia, for example, American sentries in the Pacific arena used lollapalooza as a shibboleth for Japanese spies who mispronounced the letter L as R. Thus, a pronunciation of rorrapalooza was grounds for fire.

But the connection of Shibboleth in own mind has to do with the deception of the times, especially for those of us living in North America. We have been so blessed as a people that I think we have let down our guards and instead of testing the persuasions of culture, we are giving way to the rapidly approaching darkness that disguises as enlightenment and love and tolerance and inclusiveness.

I think of how John the Baptist lost his life holding God’s law up to Herod—it was unlawful to have his brother’s wife. Imagine what he would have done with same sex marriage, the dissolving of the family, and the abandonment of our children to sexual exploitation (see the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.)

Jesus not only warns us there will be false prophets and deception in our midst, but He exhorts us to not get weary, to run with endurance. To not let the popular and easy persuade our affections. I suspect weariness is as much a danger as lack of discernment.

We not only need
to apply the Shibboleth test to the confusions of culture—clarify our own understanding of a biblical worldview.) Is Jesus Lord in this situation? Is it according to the will of the Father?

But also
to practice it in the daily little things so we are strong in the big ones: 

Shibboleth—Jesus is Lord of my today, of my plain ordinary and potentially boring routines. I will present them as “holy habits of the eternal” (Richard Foster) and offer them up instead of believing they don’t matter or have eternal consequences.

Shibboleth—Immanuel, God with us, here and now. Even if I don’t see, hear, feel Him.

Shibboleth—I set my marker on the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen because I belong to The I Am, with whom nothing is impossible. Nothing. Not even this stinking hard, seemingly impossible situation.

Say Shibboleth. Jesus is indeed my Lord.

Blessings friends. I'm off to the She Speaks Conference this weekend. Looking to get refreshed and rekindled and come back with something to pass on to you.


1 comment:

  1. Great application of Shibboleth, Marcia. You made me laugh with rorraparooza :) Hope you have a great time at She Speaks!


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