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Searching Your Darkness.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jkqkcc3o9i8ub08/Job%2028.docx?dl=0

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Loneliness.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tly1be1p16gm5df/Loneliness.doc?dl=0

Blindness.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lyfe7j35tgqwmn8/Blind.docx?dl=0

Psa. 142

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jpuzp0weccqwlq0/Psalms%20142.docx?dl=0

Psalm 143 A journey into darkness.

A journey into the darkness of the soul:

A journey into the darkness of the soul:

 

Using Psalm 88 as our guide.

 

LORD, my God, I call for help by day; I cry out in the night before thee. This is not just boo-hoo with tears; this is screaming for help, this is a cry of desperation, a cry for deliverance, a shriek from a cornered beast. This is desperation that is heard by others in the night and in the day. It is someone that cries out continually. Psa 88:1;
Let my prayer come before thee, incline thy ear to my cry! This is the cry of one that knows that he cannot be rescued by man. He screams out to Jehovah. At the same time he feels that he is being ignored, turn your ear to me… hullo, is there anybody out there? Psa 88:2;
Why is this tribulant so desperate?

For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.  His soul is full of troubles. What are troubles? ‘Ra’ most often translated as evil but also meaning pain, suffering, affliction and more. So we see a creature that feels that his soul is full of misery, woe, affliction, pain and suffering. He feels he is near death and that his soul is descending to a place of torment, hell if you like.

 

 

Psa 88:3

At this point we see a tribulant that feels desperate crying out to God at the point of death but it is not clear if this ‘sheol’ is physical or soulical.  

 

I am reckoned among those who go down to the Pit; I am a man who has no strength, He reckons that he is without strength, without the endurance to resist the coming fight.

On his way to the pit.

What is this pit? This ‘bowr’ pit was commonly a cistern for water but used as a prison when partially dry. So we find Jeremiah being thrown into a slimy pit. It also refers to a sepulchre. So this tribulant has the feeling that he is on the way down, he is on the way to hell in this dark slimy pit. If it is physical it’s bad but if it is soulical it is terrifying, a man too weak is being led to depression. If he were speaking today he would say, ‘I am so depressed I feel like death; I’m on my way to a dark place. God help me!’

Psa 88:4
like one forsaken among the dead, feeling alone abandoned like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom thou dost remember no more, for they are cut off from thy hand. Here we see it is as if he has already died, but he is alive. He is experiencing an abandonment, death, because he is separated from God. Isolation from God brings feelings of death and dejection. Morbid he feels that he is not even remembered anymore. Psa 88:5
Thou hast put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep. This is the same ‘bowr’ pit but here he introduces another fresh element to his affliction, he says that God has put him there; in the ‘deep’. If God put him in this pit who is there to call out to?

What is this deep. This is the same deep that Jonah found himself in; this is a slimy watery deep that drowns, suffocates and smothers. Wet slimy clay, preventing breathing, waterboarding if you like. This tribulant is in a deep dark hole that he cannot get out of. Isn’t this a picture of the desperation of depression?

Psa 88:6;
Thy wrath lies heavy upon me, and thou dost overwhelm me with all thy waves. He feels God’s wrath, fury, anger resting on him; he is feeling pressure, God is leaning on him. Feeling overwhelmed by waves: flooded, the waves keep coming, too quickly for him to cope or come to terms with; floods of tribulation on tribulation. Many tribulants experience this flood of overwhelming circumstances. Too many things coming at the same time, a deluge of trouble. Tribulation seldom comes on one front, the dam wall has burst the interpersonal relationships become strained, small things are suddenly mountainous waves flooding any ability to cope. In these circumstances friends and companions leave. Psa 88:7;
Thou hast caused my companions to shun me; thou hast made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; We have seen the allusion to prison before in the meaning of the ‘bowr’ pit, he feels trapped. He does not know the way out, no way out. Not only has God rejected and condemned him, his friends steer clear of him. Isn’t this what men do? When someone is disheartened, morbidly dejected we shun them and they become things of horror. We naturally avoid depressing people.  Psa 88:8;
my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon thee, O LORD; I spread out my hands to thee. He can’t see because he is blinded by mourning and grief. All he can think of is appealing to God for relief by spreading his hands before him begging for mercy. As in the first verse he realises that the Lord who put him in a dark place and is the one that will pull him out. At the same time you can see the questions and confusion: if God put me here what am I doing asking him to rescue me? An exercise in futility… perhaps I can reason with God. Psa 88:9;
In the next three verses the Psalmist ponders, arguing: Dost thou work wonders for the dead? Do the spirits rise up to praise thee?

Is thy steadfast love declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in Abaddon?

Are thy wonders known in the darkness, or thy saving help in the land of forgetfulness. Basically he is saying; God this is where I am heading, is this really what you want for me? Do you want me dead, because that’s what is happening, I am dying. Do the spirits of the dead give you praise? He raises the spectre of Abaddon and this is interesting: Abaddon is not just a place it is a place with personality. This is the place of lost dreams; of lost sheep of wild animals that disappear in the wilderness. Also used of rivers that disappear into the sand; hence to perish or be destroyed. Hence, lands and houses that are destroyed. Metaphorically of hopes, wishes and desires that are frustrated. Here we see a man that is having his hopes dreams and plans for the future disappear before his eyes. His future is disappearing into the sand and he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand. Logic is no help. Job had the same difficulty trying to reason with Almighty God.

Psa 88:10-12;
It is as if the lid has been taken off the box and he has been exposed to the destroying nature of a brute intent on destroying body, soul and spirit. Depression is equally destructive and depressives are often accused of paranoia because they give personality to the destructive forces consuming their lives.  
Are thy wonders known in the darkness, or thy saving help in the land of forgetfulness. We see the darkness closing in and the land of forgetfulness approaching… this is oblivion, the scrubbing of the slate so that his little fire is extinguished, leaving no record of his being there. That is how he sees his life, a transitory thing, a blade of chaff dispersed on the wind. Part of depression is the contemplation of the brevity of life, the impermanence of the body and soul. v12
There are breaks in the dark clouds that surround the tribulant: But I, O LORD, cry to thee; In the morning my prayer comes before thee. The morning brings a breakthrough he realises that his prayer is before God. in the brief morning he brings his prayer before God and then plunges back into the dark waters. You can hear him saying to himself ‘if you do hear me then why don’t you answer? Psa 88:13;
And he asks: O LORD, why dost thou cast me off? Why dost thou hide thy face from me? Feelings of abandonment, of being cast off like a dirty garment; the feeling that God has hidden from him in his most desperate time. Depression is not fun and the depressive feels utterly alone in a world that others can never enter, a land where they are forgotten, and where monsters are attacking them. I call it fighting tigers. Giant ‘Hobbs’ like tigers of the mind, intent on annihilating me, the wrestling goes on all night and when the morning comes it leaves you exhausted and empty. No relief and no respite. The night will return soon. Psa 88:14;
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer thy terrors; I am helpless. He feels that he has been suffering for such a long time ‘from youth up’. He feels helpless abandoned and utterly alone and the worst is that he feels that God is afflicting him with terrors. How do you describe a terror that is unseen, faceless, nameless that lives inside of you, infesting you head, like a giant beetle grub eating from the inside? How do you describe a terror?  Scripture describes this terror as a dread and great darkness. Fear of the dark surrounds the tribulant terrifies him. This is common in depressives. In rare times when they surface and experience the dawn they fear the approaching night. will throw into confusionturn their backs confusion and flight are responses to terror of this sort a confusion that causes them to flee like chaff before an hurricane… anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me.like the growling of a lion; as if pursued by a lion, hunted and harried… Your mind will muse on the terror: not a nice place. Psa 88:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gen 15:12;

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exo 23:27;

 

Psa 55:4;

 

Pro 20:2;

 

Isa 33:18;

I suffer thy terrors; I am helpless. The word suffer is a root word ‘nas’a’ which means to bear as one who carries the weight. Our tribulant is feeling the weight of terrors. In the face of this onslaught it is unsurprising that the tribulant feels helpless. The utter dejection of one without help and hope under a heavy load. v15
Thy wrath has swept over me; thy dread assaults destroy me.  Part of his problem is that he feels assaulted by the very one he is crying out to in anguish. How do you ask for help and deliverance from God when it is he that is attacking you? The wrath he is speaking of here is a word ‘charown’ which he repeats twice, once directly after the other, emphasizing the heat of God’s anger. It is a burning anger, a hot wrath like lava that has swept over this tribulant. He feels the waves of assault that sweep over him, inundating him, destroying. Psa 88:16;
They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in upon me together. This is a besieged man surrounded by darkness, terrors and dread, isolated and alone, helpless and hopeless. Depressives feel frightened, lonely with darkness closing in like an army from all sides. Another translation puts it this way… All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. Submerged and inundated the depressive feels walled in and cut off. Locked in, the prison is flooding and there is no way out and nobody to call to for help even the jailer has gone. In other places in scripture the images are intensely expressed: The sorrows of hell compassed me about… For dogs have compassed… Many bulls strong [bulls] of Bashan have beset me round… His archers compass me round about. This is not an individual having a bad day this is spiritual type, a metaphor used again and again showing the all-encompassing, surrounding nature of tribulation Psa 88:17;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

v17 NIV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psa 22:6, 12, 16;

 

Job 16:13

You have taken from me friend and neighbour- darkness is my closest friend. No more needs said: Depression in a nutshell. Darkness my closest friend. Psa 88:18; NIV
I have always read this as the end, the conclusion of the psalm but the more I think about it is the beginning of something new. You see this man is at the end of himself, he has no friends round him, he is at the end of what is humanly possible yet in the midst of the darkness he has a companion. Darkness itself has become his familiar. God dwells in the darkness, God has not left him, God has not forsaken. This darkness that horrified him is friend. He has moved through isolation and loneliness to solitude and solace in the deepest darkness. You see, God uses darkness to find us, he rides on the dark storms of life; he created darkness and evil for his own purposes. In the deep darkness he dwells.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isa 45:7;

 

 

Weakness.

We choose our heroes in the monochrome light of the moon and when they emerge into the bright light of the sun we find that they are men like us. We then go and look for a new Nixon or Mohammed Ali and find that we have found a Clinton or a Mike Tyson. Gods of our own making they are bound to crumble and fall. Scripture is far more honest when dealing with the heroes of the faith. Abraham, Noah, and Job are painted in full colour warts and all. The heroes and wise men are brave and fickle, wise and at the same time dumb. They fall into the same traps that we do and in the end we get a picture of fallen man who needs a perfect God. None of our heroes is more clearly painted in the colours of weakness than Paul the apostle. Left to ourselves we end up with idols, statues on a pedestals when we are looking for a living, breathing, perfect God. We are fortunate that scripture lets us learn from the real men and light to walk by.

God makes it clear in scripture that where are no perfect men only a perfect God; no way to reach perfection by being a man. The weak and the strong are all imperfect, they all need salvation and even when they are saved their weaknesses and strengths are obvious to all round them. The man who is strong in faith, morals, ethics, and will is in need of the same God as the man that is weak in Christ.

We find weakness and strength shown clearly in scripture: Adam and Eve perfection in the making, created by God, turn out to be made of the earth, sinful, corrupt and deceitful spawning a line after their own kind. Gold and clay mixed is projected down through the ages. Noah the man of great faith hops off the ark, drunk and incestuous. Abraham father of faith, too scared to admit that his wife is Sarah. Sampson of great physical strength, so meek and weak that he loses the fight to a woman. David and Solomon, brave and wise turn out mere mortals lusting after women. We are not meant to worship and revere men no matter how strong or weak; they are to be viewed in the full daylight of perfection, the perfection of Almighty God.

God has a heart for the weak: those who need care, protection who are vulnerable, who have no recourse to justice, who need an intercessor a helper, a friend, a provider.                                                   Who are the weak in God’s eyes? Those physically weak; sick, diseased, blind and lame, who can simply not cope with the pressures of the physical world. Then there are the weak who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, those sidelined in the economic world, the powerless, the folk who are without power or advocacy; widows, [1] have a particular place in God’ s heart. He recognises that they are lonely [2] their status has changed, they are cut off from the land, food, provision and as we can see in Ruth they were open to molestation and abuse. Without the protection of their husbands they were likely to starve. Orphans and the fatherless [3] too were vulnerable, deprived of protection and guidance they were likely to be abused and even sold into slavery for the family’s debt. Another class of the weak was the poor. [4] There was no safety net for the poor. The poor had their strong backs and when these gave out they starved. Aliens and strangers [5] had even a worse time. As in Africa today they had no recourse to the law; abused, exploited and sold into slavery [6] they were at the bottom of the heap barely above the slave. They didn’t belong and were a burden to the land unless they could work long hours for little. Ownership of land at least gave the opportunity to grow something to be able to eat; the Levite [7] who didn’t own land and was dependant on the gifts of others. Those who are mentally not coping who are depressed, afflicted,[8] and downtrodden; God makes provision for them all. Even the animals are on God’s heart, no SPCA but God. God has a compassionate heart for them all and asks us to have the same attitude. He spends time encouraging the weak and expects us to do as he does.[9]

Paul takes time repeatedly to show us that he is weak. He puts the shipwreck [10] of his life on display for all to see. He does not hide the weakness, sickness and frailty of his body.[11] [12] What he says is that physically ‘I can not cope, I am not in charge, sick, frail, fragile and unable to deal with the great demands my body and soul can not deliver’. Paul tells us that his flesh has been pierced continually by a thorn sent by Satan.[13] This was not something he could just shake off with a ‘be gone in the name of Jesus’, this was a real, intractable, physical reminder of his mortality. [14] He shows us this form of weakness and in the humiliation [15]  [16] of the false accusations of imposters trying to make an easy buck living off the church.[17] [18] Betrayed by his fellow countrymen, fearful of robbers,[19]  he illustrates what it means to be without, deprived of the necessities; sleep, [20] [21] food, clothing and shelter.[22]  [23] Squeezed [24] [25] to the point where life itself is being pressed out like oil in a press, [26] [27] [28] circumstances like walls pressing him into a narrow channel from which there is no escape. Persecuted [29] harried and chased,  [30] [31] thrown down, [32] [33]  by forces both physical and spiritual, blind terror, [34] running like an abused animal, confused, [35] [36] ill-treated, beaten, stoned, [37] trembling in fear; Paul experienced all of this.[38] [39]  This distress was not just physical: Paul is popularly depicted as a cool man full of faith who though persecuted on the outside in the physical, was a man of steel who with the ramrod of faith up his backside marched on in perfect logic and heroism into difficult situations. This is not true; Paul was a man like us who didn’t understand, [40] felt the pain on the outside and was depressed and distracted,[41][42] he was in the same narrow place you and I find ourselves; every alternative a bad choice with no way out. The more you wriggle the worse it gets, forcing despair in life itself. [43]

Anguish is not a word we use much nowadays; Paul experienced true anguish and emotional torment [44] and angst. Weak, incapable and unable to cope[45] [46]  he found it normal and put his weakness out for all to see.[47]

Loneliness, abandonment, failures, destitution and wretched poverty, [48] [49] [50]

suffering [51] [52] [53] [54]and persecution; the hammer blows of abandonment and betrayal; [55] he experienced them all. He put his weakness and powerlessness on display; not hiding the conflict that he had inside of him; the fight inside himself, the assaying, the fiery trial of the metal [56] [57] [58]  within. [59] [60] He glories in his frailty, weakness, sickness feebleness and infirmities. He takes pride in his powerlessness: [61] [62]

Firstly why would someone glory in their weakness and why would they tell us to emulate them? [63] Surely the great apostle would tell us that his life is ‘A OK as a Christian, rich and increased I have need of nothing’ and tell us to ‘just trust in the Lord’. He tells us his sorrowful, pitiful story for a good reason. Firstly to show us that he Paul the grand apostle with amazing revelation and insight, was and is just a man like us. Secondly he is showing us that he like us is weak and in need of strength. He demonstrates that only when we are weak and acknowledge our weakness and inability to do anything can we rest in the strength that is in Christ: for when I am weak, then am I strong. [64] When we are capable and coping and managing on our own we are just that; on our own and very weak. When we are weak and in tribulation we are comforted, kept and able to comfort others with the comfort that we have received. [65]

Paul also demonstrates that although the weakness of suffering is debilitating it does not separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.[66]

Furthermore suffering and weakness is temporary but the fruit produced is permanent. [67] You are not in this situation of trial for fun it is your faith that is being exposed to the fire. There is purpose to the assaying process. The fire burns off the dross and leaves the gold of faith tried in the fire for eternity. We tend to making the trial the big deal whereas this is a transitory blip that will fade into nothingness in eternity. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in the weakness of ‘enosh’ . [68] [69] [70] [71]

Bear with me as this study takes a curious turn; I was surprised to find a passage that I still don’t know how to wrap my logical mind around. Having read and reread it many times, understanding the words, I still find myself puzzled. It cuts across my nature and contradicts much of what I believe.

In Romans 14 (please read it as it helps my inadequate explanation) Paul introduces us to a class of the weak that is not described in the O.T. the weak in the faith.

 (Note that this is the weak in the faith and not the weak in faith, there is a vast difference.[72]  [73]) They are described as weak because they have not appreciated the liberty that we have in Christ.  [74] [75]

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. [76] —Literally, “not to judgments of reasonings,” or, as the margin reads, “not for divisions of doubts.” The brother who is weak, is not to be received with the purpose of judging his reasonings; the reception is to be unreserved. There is to be no setting up of oneself as a judge of the weak brother’s scruples.[77] Who are the weak in faith? Presumably a visiting group of believers or new converts to faith in Christ. When you read Romans 14 look for the solicitous regard and consideration that the writer expresses regarding the feelings of believers. These believers are not being welcomed for a meal which is prepared for the ‘visiting vegan’ this is a welcome of permanence, receiving someone into the body, taking them in as your own. [78] This accommodation of the believer is done in the light of your knowing better, of your knowing that he is a victim of superstition and religious bondage. It means giving up while you associate with your brothers in Christ, not just the meat offered to idols, all meats, giving up wine, the blood of Christ, at your feasts, giving up the special Sunday worship and worshipping on the day that they are used to. This is the extent of the consideration shown for the new additions to the faith. It involves your hiding the liberty that you have in Christ, knowing all the while that Paul says and is persuaded in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself but at the same time not putting a stumbling block in the way of your weak brother. I am still trying to get my judgmental mind round this …

Romans 14 is particularly significant because it gives us an insight into not only the weak but also into the nature of sin and grace in Christ our salvation.

Paul is not so much concerned about who is right or wrong; eating or drinking, holy days or grasp of scriptural truths.[79] [80] What he finds vital is the attitude of believers. Paul looks at the subject from a side that I have had difficulty with because of my narrow minded view of the love and grace of God. Paul’s approach is that:

  1. 1.    Mutual love has been stressed, [81] in prior chapters; the weak and the strong are to view each other in this light. Love covers a multitude of sins and so viewing the other in the light of love produces a different character.
  2. 2.    The imminence of the day of Christ is emphasized. Accordingly the strong and the weak are to remember that all have to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ.[82] Realizing that we too will appear before the judgment seat of Christ gives us a far more accommodating attitude to our brother. We realize that we are not perfect and not the judge of what is right to wrong. We are as reliant on the grace and mercy of Christ as the most mixed up newbie.
  3. 3.    The apostle expresses no disapproval of either the position of the strong or the weak. It is the heart attitude that is important not the theology. Faith and obedience to conscience is what matters, the ‘right or wrong of the matter is left an open question. He is concerned with the feelings involved. Since what he does is a matter of faith What Paul opposes here, then, is not scrupulousness itself, but scrupulousness which produces Pharisaism’.  [83] The strong are not to adopt a superior and judgmental attitude toward the weak, attributing superstition and narrow-mindedness to them.[84]
  4. 4.    It is only in putting on the Lord Jesus Christ  [85] that we escape the judgmental influence of self righteousness and hand over to the coming judgment of Christ [86] and are then able to present Christ as the pattern for believers. [87]
  5. 5.    It is a matter of faith (v. 2). The strong and the weak will stand according to their integrity through the power of their Lord.
  6. 6.    The weak in turn are not to judge the strong for the liberty they enjoy in Christ.[88] [89] What is in view here is, not that the strong man will fall and be restored, but that Christ is able to maintain him in spite of what his liberty may involve  Let every man be persuaded in his own mind. [90] [91] The weak man is not maintained in his standing in Christ in his restraint, it is Christ alone that saves both the strong and the weak brother.
  7. 7.    In either case it is to the Lord that they stand or fall. [92] The enjoyment of liberty is morally successful only through the grace and power of Christ. [93]
  8. But thou, why dost thou judge thy brother? Such judgment is both a usurpation of the prerogative of Christ and inconsistent with the relationship of believers to one another.[94] In pulling one another apart we stand the chance of division and destruction.[95]We are not to be divisive. [96]It is because we love one another that there are no divisions. [97]

Vine seems to think that there are exceptions to correcting a brother on moral grounds but Paul says: I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemed any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  [98] This raises a couple of questions in my mind. Firstly how far does this principal extend? Does it cover moral questions?                                     

Is the Animist justified through ignorance?

Is everything done in Christ according to the dictates of conscience justified and covered by grace? We know that conscience alone is not a foolproof guarantee of correctness but Paul seems to suggest that in the albescence of teaching this is acceptable.

We are to welcome and receive one another without disputing just as Christ received us in sin and confusion.

As you see I have many questions but for now I see the error of my ways and hopefully will be more accepting and less argumentative.

This study has taught me a lot about grace, sin, compassion and relationships between the weak and the strong but it has been useful in another way too; it has shown me up to myself as a bigoted, self satisfied, proud, ill informed, intolerant person who is more interested in mechanical religion than in love. Keen to be right I lose sight of the big picture that righteousness, justice and love are more important than theological correctness. In the monochrome of right and wrong, theologically correct or incorrect I have lost sight of the wonder of grace the full colour of mercy. One does not just lose out on the revelation but the rich stream of people and relationships that stem from the revelation and that is the real loss. I have missed out on the warmth of human contact through fear. Through this study I have had my eyes opened; I knew before but was never able to accept or acknowledge; that I am poor with people, inarticulate, fearful and this fearfulness has made me unable to receive correction. This in turn has resulted in defensive attitudes that have isolated and alienated me, leading me to try to justify indefensible positions; talking over, interrupting and shouting down the truth to prop up a convenient lie. I am guilty, I see it very clearly now… Lack of grace firstly with myself and so with others has led to condemnation of myself and others. The lack of grace in my faith has severely limited me, I have wanted to be right, black or white, not accepting my own limited understanding and the imperfections of others I have become stilted, small and isolated.

The number of people that have been put off Christ because of my self righteous correctness, the number of souls who I have turned from the way because of my belligerence; embarrassing and shameful.

I now see in part and realize the obvious, nobody has the right to all the truth and that is why grace and forgiveness is available. We all see in part not just in our view of scripture but in life itself.

Fortunately with the teaching from this study there is the opportunity to confess and ask for forgiveness. There is the chance to accept the grace and forgiveness of God and move on in the light of knowledge. Trying to break a lifetime of negative habit is going to be difficult at my age but I commit to you Lord, you are able to do the impossible. I am able in Christ Jesus.

Thank you Lord.

This study goes a little further than this because when we look at the weak in the OT we found the widow, orphan and fatherless, the stranger and alien, the prisoner and leper, the sick, decrepit, afflicted and incapable, those who were unable to cope and had gone off the rails. If we are honest, truly honest we like to institutionalize weakness. We want the church to feed the widows, we want the social welfare to take care of the orphans and we fob off the fatherless with platitudes and handouts. The stranger and the alien are xenophobically dealt with pack them up put them on their boats and forget that they exist. The sick are packed off to a hospital and the aged, incapable and mentally afflicted are packed off to a ‘home’. We don’t want to deal with the weak and are prepared to pay tithes and tax to have others make the problem go away.

Truth is the widow, orphan, fatherless, sick, decrepit, lame, afflicted, the landless, homeless stranger and alien are within you. The weak and the strong are within and god does not want the strong or the weak to live as though the other does not exist. Him that is weak in the faith receives ye… [99] The next passage has a world with… My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [100] Rather than running from weakness in fear embrace the weakness within and accept the grace; no weakness; no grace. Glory in your weakness and have the power of Christ manifest in your heart.

 


[1] Ex 22:22-24;

Deuteronomy 10:18, 19;

Deuteronomy 14:29;

Deuteronomy 16:11;

Deuteronomy 27:19;

Jeremiah 49:11;

Job 31:16;

Psalm 68:5;

Psalm 94:6;

Psalm 146:9;

Proverbs 15:25;

Jeremiah 7:6;

Jeremiah 49:11;

Malachi 3:5;

James 1:27;

[2] Lamentations 1:1

[3] Ex 22:22-24.;

Deuteronomy 10:18, 19;

Deuteronomy 10:18;

Deuteronomy 14:29;

Deuteronomy 16:11;

Deuteronomy 27:19;

Job 31:16-21;

Psalm 10:14;

Psalm 68:5;

Psalm 82:3;

Psalm 94:6;

Psalm 146:9;

Jeremiah 7:6;

Hosea 14:3;

Malachi 3:5;

James 1:27;

[4] Job 31:19;

Psalm 10:14;

Psalm 82:3;

Psalm 146:7;

Malachi 3:5;

[5] Genesis 23:4;

Exodus 12:48;

Deuteronomy 10:18, 19;

Deuteronomy 27:19;

Psalm 39:12;

Psalm 94:6

Psalm 119:19;

Psalm 146:9;

Jeremiah 7:6;

[6] Deuteronomy 16:11;

[7] Deuteronomy 16:11;

[8] Psalm 82:3;

[9] James 1:2;

[10] 2 Corinthians 11:25;

[11] 2 Corinthians 10:10;

[12] 769 astheneia { as-then’-i-ah}

from 772; TDNT – 1:490, 83; n f

AV – infirmity 17, weakness 5, disease 1, sickness 1, 24

GK – 819 { ajsqevneia }

1)  want of strength, weakness, infirmity

1a)  of the body

1a1) its native weakness and frailty

1a2) feebleness of health or sickness

1b)  of the soul

1b1) want of strength and capacity requisite

1b1a)  to understand a thing

1b1b)  to do things great and glorious

1b1c)  to restrain corrupt desires

1b1d)  to bear trials and troubles.

[13] 2 Corinthians 12:7;

[14] 2 Corinthians 12:8;

[15] 1 Thessalonians 2:2;

[16] 818 atimazo { at-im-ad’-zo}

from 820;; v

AV – dishonour 3, entreat shamefully 1, suffer shame 1, despise 1; 6

GK – 869 { ajtimavzw } & 870 { ajtimavw }

1)  to dishonour, insult, treat with contempt

1a)     whether in word, deed or thought.

[17] 2 Corinthians 12:10;

[18] 5196 hubris { hoo’-bris}

from 5228; TDNT – 8:295, 1200; n f

AV – hurt 1, harm 1, reproach 1; 3

GK – 5615 { u{bri” }

1)  insolence

1a)  impudence, pride, haughtiness

2)  a wrong springing from insolence, an injury, affront, insult

3)  mental injury and wantonness of its infliction being prominent

4)       injury inflicted by the violence of a tempest

[19] 2 Corinthians 11:26;

[20] 2 Corinthians 11:27;

[21] 70 agrupnia { ag-roop-nee’-ah}

from 69;; n f

AV – watching 2; 2

GK – 71 { ajgrupniva }

1)       sleeplessness, watching.

[22] 2 Corinthians 11:27;

[23] 318 anagke { an-ang-kay’}

from 303 and the base of 43; TDNT – 1:344, 55; n f

AV – necessity 7, must needs 3, distress 3, must of necessity 2, need + 2192 1, necessary 1, needful 1; 18

GK – 340 { ajnavgkh }

1)  necessity, imposed either by the circumstances, or by law of duty regarding to one’s advantage, custom, argument

2)       calamity, distress, straits.

[24] 2 Corinthians 4:8;

[25] 2346 thlibo { thlee’-bo}

akin to the base of 5147; TDNT – 3:139, 334; v

AV – trouble 4, afflict 3, narrow 1, throng 1, suffer tribulation 1; 10

GK – 2567 { qlivbw }

1)  to press (as grapes), press hard upon

2)  a compressed way

2a)  narrow straitened, contracted

3)       metaph. to trouble, afflict, distress[25]

[26] Romans 5:3

[27] 2347 thlipsis { thlip’-sis}

from 2346; TDNT – 3:139, 334; n f

AV – tribulation 21, affliction 17, trouble 3, anguish 1, persecution 1, burdened 1, to be afflicted + 1519 1; 45

GK – 2568 { qli`yi” }*

1)  a pressing, pressing together, pressure

2)       metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits.

[28] 2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

[29] 1375 diogmos { dee-ogue-mos’}

from 1377;; n m

AV – persecution 10; 10

GK – 1501 { diwgmov” }

1)     persecution.

[30] 1 Thessalonians 2:15;

[31] 1559 ekdioko { ek-dee-o’-ko}

from 1537 and 1377;; v

AV – persecute 2; 2

GK – 1691 { ejkdiwvkw }

1)  to drive out, banish

2)  to pursue

2a)     to persecute, oppress with calamities.

[32] 2 Corinthians 4:8;

[33] 2598 kataballo { kat-ab-al’-lo}

from 2596 and 906;; v

AV – cast down 2, lay 1; 3

GK – 2850 { katabavllw }

1)  to cast down

1a)  to throw to the ground, prostate

2)  to put in a lower place

2a)     to lay (down) a foundation.

[34] 2794 kindunos { kin’-doo-nos}

of uncertain derivation;; n m

AV – peril 9; 9

GK – 3074 { kivnduno” }

1)     a danger, a peril.

[35] 639 aporeo { ap-or-eh’-o}

from a compound of 1 (as a negative particle) and the base of 4198;; v

AV – doubt 2, be perplexed 1, stand in doubt 1; 4

GK – 679 { ajporevw }

1)  to be without resources, to be in straits, to be left wanting, to be embarrassed, to be in doubt, not to know which way to turn

2)  to be at a loss with one’s self, be in doubt

3)       not to know how to decide or what to do, to be perplexed.

[36] 2 Corinthians 4:8;

[37] 2 Corinthians 11:25;

[38] 5401 phobos { fob’-os}

from a primary phebomai (to be put in fear); TDNT – 9:189, 1272; n m

AV – fear 41, terror 3, misc 3; 47

GK – 5832 { fovbo” }

1)  fear, dread, terror

1a)  that which strikes terror

2)       reverence for one’s husband.

[39] 1 Corinthians 2:3;

[40]  2 Corinthians 4:8;

[41] Acts 18:5;

[42] 4912 sunecho { soon-ekh’-o}

from 4862 and 2192; TDNT – 7:877, 1117; v

AV – be taken with 3, throng 1, straiten 1, keep in 1, hold 1, stop 1, press 1, lie sick of 1, constrain 1, be in a strait 1; 12

GK – 5309 { sunevcw }

1)  to hold together

1a)  any whole, lest it fall to pieces or something  fall away from it

2)  to hold together with constraint, to compress

2a)  to press together with the hand

2a)  to hold one’s ears, to shut the heavens that it may not rain

2b)  to press on every side

2b1) of a besieged city

2b2) of a strait, that forces a ship into a narrow channel

2b3) of a cattle squeeze, that pushing in on each side, forcing the beast into a position where it cannot move so the farmer can administer medication

3)  to hold completely

3a)  to hold fast

3a1) of a prisoner

3b)  metaph.

3b1) to be held by, closely occupied with any business

3b2) in teaching the word

3b3) to constrain, oppress, of ills laying hold of one and distressing him

3b4) to be held with, afflicted with, suffering from

3b5) to urge, impel

3b51)  of the soul.

[43] 4730 stenochoria { sten-okh-o-ree’-ah}

from a compound of 4728 and 5561; TDNT – 7:604, 1077; n f

AV – distress 3, anguish 1; 4

GK – 5103 { stenocwriva }

1)  narrowness of place, a narrow place

2)       metaph. dire calamity, extreme affliction.

[44] 3449 mochthos { mokh’-thos}

from the base of 3425;; n m

AV – travail 2, painfulness 1; 3

GK – 3677 { movcqo” }

1)  a hard and difficult labour, toil, travail, hardship, distress

For synonyms see entries 2873, kopos; and 4192, ponos.

See entry 5860 for comparison of synonyms.

[45] 1 Thessalonians 3:1:

[46] 4722 stego { steg’-o}

from 4721; TDNT – 7:585, 1073; v

AV – can forbear 2, bear 1, suffer 1; 4

GK – 5095 { stevgw }

1)  deck, thatch, to cover

1a)  to protect or keep by covering, to preserve

2)  to cover over with silence

2a)  to keep secret

2b)  to hide, conceal

2b1) of the errors and faults of others

3)       by covering to keep off something which threatens, to bear up against, hold out against, and so endure, bear, forbear.

[47] 1 Corinthians 2:3;

[48] Romans 8:35;

[49] 1132 gumnotes { goom-not’-ace}

from 1131; TDNT – 1:775, 133; n f

AV – nakedness 3; 3

GK – 1219 { gumnovth” }

1)     nakedness of the body.

[50] 3042 limos { lee-mos’}

probably from 3007 (through the idea of destitution);TDNT – 6:12, 820; n m

AV – famine 7, hunger 3, dearth 2; 12

GK – 3350 { limov” }

scarcity of harvest, famine.

[51] Philippians 1:29, 30;

[52] 3804 pathema { path’-ay-mah}

from a presumed derivative of 3806; TDNT – 5:930, 798; n n

AV – suffering 11, affliction 3, affection 1, motion 1; 16

GK – 4077 { pavqhma }

1)  that which one suffers or has suffered

1a)  externally, a suffering, misfortune, calamity, evil, affliction

1a1) of the sufferings of Christ

1a2) also the afflictions which Christians must undergo in behalf of the same cause which Christ patiently endured

1b)  of an inward state, an affliction, passion

2)       an enduring, undergoing, suffering.

[53] Colossians 1:24;

[54] 3958 pascho { pas’-kho}  (including the forms) patho { path’-o}  and pentho { pen’-tho} , (used only in certain tenses for it)

apparently a root word; TDNT – 5:904, 798; v

AV – suffer 39, be vexed 1, passion + 3588 1, feel 1; 42

GK – 4248 { pavscw }

1)  to be affected or have been affected, to feel, have a sensible experience, to undergo

1a)  in a good sense, to be well off, in good case

1b)  in a bad sense, to suffer sadly, be in a bad plight

1b1)    of a sick person.

[55] 2 Corinthians 11:26;

[56] 1 Peter 4:12, 13;

[57] 4451 purosis { poo’-ro-sis}

from 4448; TDNT – 6:950, 975; n f

AV – burning 2, fiery trial 1; 3

GK – 4796 { puvrwsi” }

1)  a burning

1a)  the burning by which metals are roasted and reduced

1b)  by a figure drawn from a refiners fire

1b1)    calamities or trials that test the character.

[58] 3986 peirasmos { pi-ras-mos’}

from 3985; TDNT – 6:23, 822; n m

AV – temptation 19, temptations 1, try 1; 21

GK – 4280 { peirasmov” }

1)  an experiment, attempt, trial, proving

1a)  trial, proving: the trial made of you by my bodily condition, since condition served as to test the love of the Galatians toward Paul (Gal. 4:14)

1b)  the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy

1b1) an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances

1b2)    an internal temptation to sin.

[59] Philippians 1:29, 30;

[60] 73 agon { ag-one’}

from 71; TDNT – 1:135, 20; n m

AV – conflict 2, fight 2, contention 1, race 1; 6

GK – 74 { ajgwvn }

1)  an assembly,

1a)  a place of assembly: especially an assembly met to see games

1b)  the place of contest, the arena or stadium

2)  the assembly of the Greeks at their national games

2a)  hence the contest for a prize at their games

2b)  generally, any struggle or contest

2c)  a battle

2d)     an action at law, trial.

[61] Colossians 1:24;

[62] 2 Corinthians 12:10;

[63] 1 Peter 4:12, 13;

[64] Romans 5:3-5;

[65] 2 Corinthians 1:4;

[66] Romans 8:35-39Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[67] 1 Peter 1:6-71;

[68] 605 Õanash { aw-nash’}

a primitive root; TWOT – 135; v

AV – incurable 5, desperate 1, desperately wicked 1, woeful 1, sick; 9

GK – 631 { vWna;

}* & 653 { vn”a;

1)  to be weak, sick, frail

1a)  (Qal)

1a1) to be incurable

1a2) to be sick

1a3) desperate, incurable, desperately wicked, woeful, very sick (pass participle) (metaph.)

1b)     (Niphal) to be sick

[69] Isaiah 56:2;

[70] Enosh may connote “men” as weak but not necessarily morally weak: “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold of it” (Isa. 56:2).

[71]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[72] Weak in faith not weak in the faith as the AV translates it as can be seen from Romans 14:23; The form of the word rendered “weak” (the present continuous tense of the verb) suggests that the trouble is not an inherent characteristic, but a condition into which a brother has been brought by outward influence. W.E. Vine, Collected writings of W.E. Vine [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England.

[73] Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

[74] 1 Corinthians 8:9

[75] ‘Trusting in Christ alone, the strong are delivered from all bondage and finds freedom in serving the will of Christ as Lord of the life. The weakness is the effect of scruples about details that lie outside the scope of those things which the Christian faith demands. His danger lies in judging the brother who is strong, and in a liability to take offense. The “strong” is one who, while acting conscientiously toward God, is not fettered by scruples of that sort. His danger is twofold, namely, of despising the weak brother, and of setting a stumbling block before him. [75]

[76] Romans 14:1

[77]W.E. Vine, Collected writings of W.E. Vine [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England.

[78] 4355 proslambano { pros-lam-ban’-o}

from 4314 and 2983; TDNT – 4:15, 495; v

AV – receive 7, take 5, take unto 2; 14

GK – 4647 { prosanalambavnw }* & 4689 { proslambavnw }

1)  to take to, take in addition, to take to one’s self

1a)  to take as one’s companion

1b)  to take by the hand in order to lead aside

1c)  to take or receive into one’s home, with the collateral idea of kindness

1d)  to receive, i.e. grant one access to one’s heart

1d1) to take into friendship and intercourse

1e)     to take to one’s self, to take: i.e. food.

[79] Galatians 4:9,10;

[80] Romans 14:1;

[81] Romans 12:9, 10; 13:8–10;

[82] Romans 14:10-13;

[83]W.E. Vine, Collected writings of W.E. Vine [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England.

[84]W.E. Vine, Collected writings of W.E. Vine [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England.

[85] Romans 13:14;

[86] Romans 14:6-9;

[87] Romans 15:14;

[88] Romans 14:3;

[89] Romans 14:10-13;

[90] Romans 15:1

[91] W.E. Vine, Collected writings of W.E. Vine [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England.

[92] Romans 14:4;

[93] W.E. Vine, Collected writings of W.E. Vine [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England.

[94]W.E. Vine, Collected writings of W.E. Vine [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996 by W.E. Vine Copyright Ltd. of Bath, England.

[95] Romans 12:9, 10; 13:8–10;

[96] Romans 16:17;

1 Corinthians 1:11-13;

1 Corinthians 3:3;

1 Corinthians 12:24-27;

Jude18,19;

[97] John 3:14;

[98] Romans 14:14;

[99] Romans 14:1;

[100] 2 Corinthians 12:9;

The donkey in the room

The donkey in the room.

Result of NATO’s expedition to Afghanistan: Worse than a Defeat

It is interesting to know that you are being manipulated but this article is exceptional in showing how far people go in pulling the wool over the eyes.

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: NATO’s expedition to Afghanistan returns, having accomplished nothing but adding another chapter to the destruction of that sad region. Now begins the next phase: to induce amnesia, so that we learn as little from it as we did from Vietnam. James Meek reviews four books about the insurgency at home, people fighting the government’s narrative to help us remember and so do better in the future. Much depends on this. No matter how powerful, a people who cannot learn from experience have no good future.  (1st of 2 posts today)

Afghanistan war

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Excerpt from “Worse than a Defeat

Review by James Meek

London Review of Books

18 December 2014 issue

Posted with the permission of the author and the LRB.

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Books Reviewed

  • The Good War: Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan by Jack Fairweather
  • Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain’s…

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Chuck Spinney asks why we choose to lose at 4GW

For a while I have been following this site and find it more than interesting. I find it stimulating .

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: 25 years ago 5 men published one of the seminal articles in modern military theory, introducing the concept of 4th generation war. They did so at the start of a new cycle of conflicts for America. America would be much stronger today had we listened. As we start new wars, it’s vital that we understand (better late than never) what is now the dominate form of war, why we failed to listen, how we (and other nations) fail fighting foreign 4GW foes, and how we can do better. We’ll be running articles on this theme during the next month.

Kicking off this series is a note by Chuck Spinney, one of our most acute observers of the US military.

4GW Source: Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid

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Is the Nation State Obsolete?

Franklin “Chuck” Spinney

From his website, The Blaster
21 September 2104

Posted with his generous permission

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Uri Avnery’s…

View original post 1,194 more words