Sunday, June 5, 2011

Proverbs 20:26; Christians and Spiritual Discernment

26 ¶ A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

The metaphor of linking the actions of a king or a magistrate against the wicked to the way grain was processed is used here. A wise king or ruler of men separates the wicked from among his counselors and advisors and from the good like the wheat from the chaff.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

Isaiah 41:15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

A cart wheel was rolled over the grain as part of the process.

Isaiah 28:27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. 28 Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.

While there are a lot of inspiring things that can be said about how God divides the good from the bad (see the Tree of the Knowledge of Good AND Evil beginning in Genesis 2:9); even good and bad nations of men as sheep and goats (see Matthew 25 beginning in verse 31) I’m going to try to bring this in closer to you for your edification and daily walk with Christ.

Truthfully, God is a divider and a separater of light from darkness as begins to be told in the first chapter of Genesis. But, we are to be dividers, as well, discerning and judging right from wrong. I am not such a self righteous busybody that I think I know what every person’s thoughts are. I can only judge somewhat based on what they do and say. But, with regard to people in the assembly, understand that many sociologists and other “experts” claim that 4% of the population in America are sociopathic. That is they have no conscience and will use flattery and charisma to get into your confidence and your good graces for the sole purpose of using you. So, that means, and forgive me but my math isn’t that great, that for every 25 people in your church body there is possibly at least one tare, one faker, one person who is viewing you not as his or her brother or sister in Christ but as a potential victim. And they don’t care one whit what happens to you as a result.

So, you not only have to discern between things in the world and divide them; sobriety and drunkenness, lying and honesty, adultery and marital faithfulness, what it means to serve God in truth and spirit rather than serving your own flesh, etc. etc. but you also have to learn to discern people.

Doctrine as well has to be separated; the good from the bad.

1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Remember, there are counterfeit Jesus’s, counterfeit gospels, and counterfeit spirits (2 Corinthians 11:4). Satan himself and his own preachers are counterfeits (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

This Proverb teaches you to separate the good from the bad and grind things down to see if they be any good. If you are wise you’ll do so. If you are not wise then any well dressed preacher with a Bible tucked under his arm and all the right churchspeak words and phrases will bring you down; abuse your children, your spouse, and defraud the church, finally bringing shame on the name of Christ all because you are not separating the wheat from the chaff.

Now, I’m not blaming the victim. The responsibility for a person’s sin lies with them. The young man who rapes a woman, regardless of her dress or actions, owns his behavior. You don’t get off the hook for burglarizing a home because the owner left the blinds up so you could see his possessions inside. You own your behavior. To think otherwise is wicked. Do you know how many child molesters actually blame their victims for enticing them; blaming a child for flirting with them and causing their behavior?

But, a young woman, and by extension the church, the bride of Christ, would do well to see to their goings and not put themselves in a position where they are taken advantage of. A church that believes in Pastoral Authority, the authority of the Pastor, without holding that Pastor to a strict Biblical standard, as everyone else in the congregation is like a girl who wears a short skirt and a tank top and gives off “the look”. The one who assaults her is guilty of his own behavior, he owns it completely, but why wasn’t she more circumspect in her behavior and modest in her dress in attracting the bad guy?

I don’t mean to get into an argument about what it means to dress modestly and we all know that you can be covered from head to toe and still be immodest. That isn’t the reason for this Proverb but as we all enjoy telling other people how to live and what to do comparing them with our sinless behavior (sarcasm) such judgmentalism is satisfying to the flesh. The point I am trying to make is that a Christian must be discerning and must be able and willing to judge between good and evil, right and wrong, and sometimes that process of judging is a lot like threshing grain; separating the wheat from the chaff by scattering with a spiritual fan and grinding with a spiritual wheel.

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