Tag: idols

American Idols

American Idols (3)

The following is part one of a new eBook which will be published on 8/15/14. American Idols, the Final Call?

 

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.  (Acts 2:17)

Dreams can be SO real. At least this one was. I remember running through a town in the middle of the night; a sleepy little town of about two thousand (which included dogs and cats). I recognized the town as one we had lived in some twelve years earlier.

I shouted, “Tear down your idols, tear down your idols!” I was like a mad man. Like a man rushing into a burning apartment building with only one thought; rescue the residents from the tormenting flames.

“Tear down your idols, tear down your idols!”

People were yelling at me as I ran, wondering why I was acting so bizarre, so intense. I shouted, “First Samuel three twelve”, and kept running.

“Tear down your idols, tear down your idols! First Samuel three twelve!”

And then I awoke.

Here’s the passage I was referring to:

In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.(1 Samuel 3:12)

The complete paragraph, from the Message Bible, reads:

God said to Samuel, “Listen carefully. I’m getting ready to do something in Israel that is going to shake everyone up and get their attention. The time has come for me to bring down on Eli’s family everything I warned him of, every last word of it. I’m letting him know that the time’s up. I’m bringing judgment on his family for good. He knew what was going on, that his sons were desecrating God’s name and God’s place, and he did nothing to stop them. This is my sentence on the family of Eli: The evil of Eli’s family can never be wiped out by sacrifice or offering.” (1 Samuel 3:11-14 MSG)

I had not been thinking about idols, Samuel, Eli, or anything else from that “neck of the woods”. But the dream sure got my attention.

A number of people in the Bible were given dreams which God used to speak to his people, and to nations. Joel prophesied, and Peter quoted:

And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (Joel 2:28)

“…your old men shall dream dreams…” At sixty, I guess I fall into that category.

Here are a few examples of God-given dreams.

Daniel interpreted two of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. Jacob’s son, Joseph, was referred to as “the dreamer” by his older brothers. Jacob himself was known to receive a message from God from a dream.

God used dreams to warn  people: Abimelech, Laban, Esau, an unnamed baker, and of course, Egypt’s Pharaoh.

King Solomon had a visitation from God, as God appeared to him in a dream. Mary’s husband, Joseph, was warned in a dream, as well as were the Magi. Pilate’s wife tried to persuade her husband to release Jesus; saying she had “suffered many things in a dream because” of him.

Dreams. Specifically, God-given dreams.

I believe my dream is a warning for America; but not just a warning for Hollywood or Wall Street. It’s also a warning to the Church. Much of the American Church seems preoccupied with the ways of the world. A growing, one-sided love affair has the Church courting the world’s acceptance. Seeker-friendly services are used to promote church growth; while society does all it can to exterminate Christianity as if it were the Black Plague.

Time will reveal whether I’m right or wrong, but it’s really not too hard to see. Just look around. The United States of America is in a condition of decline and decay. It is not the great nation it once was. It is no longer the “city set on a hill”.

Wars and rumors of war, the national debt, liberalism, conservatism, religious cults and sects, promiscuity, selfishness, and the like. What a mess. Issues such as “gay” marriage, abortion, the legalization of marijuana, and illegal aliens have polarized this nation like never before.

Where is the greatness of America these days?

Lord of the Flies

20131007-210521.jpgIsn’t it funny how some thoughts seem to hang around for days without you knowing why? Well, here’s something that’s been buzzing around my head for a bit.

When’s the last time you thought about flies? You know, those pesky little critters with wings and big eyes. The ones that always have to fly in front of your face, instead of staying on the far side of the room. The nasty things that are attracted to stink and rot! Yuck!

Have you thought any lately about The Lord of the Flies? Remember that old movie? When I was in seventh grade our class had to watch the 1963 version of the film.

It definitely was a strange movie!

Its storyline went something like this: during WWII, a group of young British boys were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, without any surviving adults. They had to figure out how to survive until they could be rescued. Some of the boys felt they should establish laws to govern their new civilization, build homes, and work for the betterment of all. Others, however, decided that playing, hunting, and living without rules was what they wanted to do. So there became a split in leadership, and opposing factions were formed. Eventually, and before they could be rescued, the lawless became the hunters and hunted the other group; even to the point of murder.

The “lord of the flies” was symbolized by a wild boar’s head, placed on top of a bloody pole, with swarms of flies covering it completely, inside and out. Nice mental image, eh?

Basically, the author of the book, William Golding, was trying to say that people, left to themselves, will not get better; only worse.

I believe I see his point.

But let’s look at a different “lord of the flies” story; one from the Bible.

“One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover. But the angel of the Lord told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, “Go and confront the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will recover? Now, therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.’” So Elijah went to deliver the message.” (2 Kings 1:2-4 NLT)

The city of Ekron, located about 20 miles west of Jerusalem, had their own special “god” to worship: baal-zebub, which means “lord of the fly”. Seems kind of stupid, doesn’t it? I mean, worship the god of flies? Maybe their god WAS a fly. I’m not sure, but either way, it sure doesn’t make sense.

The king of Israel was in a very bad condition. He felt as though he was dying, and he was right. So he sent his messengers to the “Fly God” to find out if he’d recover or not. (The king was trying to get the latest “buzz” on the matter-ha!) Sounds wild!

The prophet Elijah was sent by Jehovah God (the fly’s Creator) to the king’s messengers with a special word; in question form. Again, wild!

Imagine the knuckleheads who would actually seek wisdom from a Fly God! Of course, that happened somewhere around 2500 – 2800 years ago. People were a lot more stupid, more gullible, then anyone today! We’d NEVER try and talk with a fly (unless we missed a few times), or worship a Fly God!

No, we’d rather try and seek wisdom and direction from more reliable sources. Today, our society prefers to listen to whoever Oprah touts as great. Or, we may rather read the section of paper which carries the syndicated horoscope column. You know, find out what you need to know from some “nearby” planet or star!

Fortune cookies “work” for some, while others are beholden to whatever “cosmic revelation” they receive while flitting around the universe in their “mind capsule”. I’ll say it again; WILD!

The Lord’s question to the king is relevant to us today. “Why are you going to everyone and everything else for the answer you need? Why not come to Me?”

I may be wrong, but I believe the reason the king DIDN’T ask the God of Israel for an answer is because he knew he would have to change his evil, selfish, rebellious ways.

You see, flies really don’t care what you believe, what you say, what you look at on the internet, who you “sleep” with, or what you put into your body or spend your money on. Flies just don’t care about anything but food, stink, and other flies.

And that goes for OUR “replacement god’s”, as well.

If you’ve been having more conversations with flies, the television, or the horoscope columnist than with God, maybe it’s time someone asked you the question Elijah had for the king.

“Why the Fly God?”

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