Wednesday, August 28, 2013
BEYOND THE KEN OF KNOWLEDGE
In the pantheon of Laws decreed by God, there exists some considered chukim. This is a Hebrew word for a decree which God has ordained. A chukah is further explained by God when He said, "No created beings are able to comprehend My decrees." Midrash Koheles Rabbah 8:1 (5). Would God tell us to do something that is incomprehensible to us? And, if so, then why? We've been told over and over again that God is not the author of confusion, or chaos, but the author of peace and order. So, is it true?
Job 28:28 says, ". . . the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;" telling us that the only wisdom we can possess in things we don't understand is the fear of the Lord. In the New Testament, Paul addresses wisdom in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 in an attempt to explain why the wisdom of man cannot comprehend the sacrifice of Christ, and why He chose the weak instead of the strong, shaming the strong and the wise men. He further explains that because we have the mind of Christ, as believers, we have the ability to comprehend the full picture, all the way from the beginning through to the future, in a way that can only be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
Does this mean that God suddenly explained everything when Christ came? Mysteries remain, even though there are some denominations that have stripped all the mystery away, and offer a denuded faith to the followers. You always have the feeling that there is something missing. How can they explain turning the water into wine, or commanding us to baptize, or commanding us to eat His body and drink His blood? These are mysteries that evoke powerful feelings, that draw us in, and drown us in a well of prayer that asks for answers. They are made of the stuff that changes our natures, that fills the hole inside of us, satiating our hunger to know who we are and why we are here. To take away those mysteries denies us our dreams, our hopes, and even our fears. Those mysteries are what makes us human, and not some nihilistic animal.
DID MOSES UNDERSTAND?
According to the Midrash, Moses was granted the gift of understanding God's rationale of these unexplained laws, such as the Red Heifer. It is explained that God enclothed the Torah in a way that sparks the intellect into action; the action of study, prayer, and more study. God revealed a part of His will within Moses, becoming the cornerstone of Moses' intellectual powers, the same stone under Jacob's head as he dreamed, the cornerstone that the temple was built upon, the cornerstone that Christ built His church on. God has challenged us to search deeply into the meanings of scripture, to put on the mind of God as Moses did, and to transcend logic and ordinary wisdom. Saint Paul in his letter to the Corinthians asks us to do the very same thing. He asks us to approach the scriptures with that same commitment to "do and hear," (See earlier postings about Exodus 20.) We must water that mustard seed to allow it to grow into the bush it was meant to be. This can only be achieved through study of the Word of God and prayer.
However, I didn't answer the question. Yes, God would tell us to do something incomprehensible. But, why would God not speak plainly to help us understand what He expects of us? The answer is simple. If man could reason his way through everything, if there were no mysteries to plumb, then man would begin to rationalize everything, and lose the Godly connection with his core. Haven't you seen it already with the rise in atheism and nihilism? Cynicism has reached epic proportions in many cultures, primarily from the rise of these dark philosophies. They infest our politics, our work places, and even some of our charities. People hunger for mystery. Is it any wonder that many of our youth are fascinated with vampires, witches, and werewolves? If we do not fill our children's lives with these mysteries of our faith, they will fill them up with magick from the dark side.
It is written that “He will swallow up death for eternity." Isaiah 25:8. Don't let your soul be swallowed up with the death of the darkness in the world. Seek the kingdom of God first, and you will be lit within in the knowledge beyond the ken of man.