Monday, September 8, 2014

Out of the Miry Clay

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the MIRY CLAY, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. (Psalm 40:2 NASB).

Miry (S3121)—from the same as (S3196)—means “dregs, (as effervescing); hence mud: mire, miry.  (3196): “to effervesce: wine (as fermented); by implication, Intoxication:—banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber]. Clay means (S2916)—“to be sticky”; mud or clay; figuratively, calamity.

Calamity means “the quality of being a calamus, reed, or straw”; and though most definitions extend it outward to also mean “damage, disaster, adversity,” this is only true to those who misinterpret God’s ways.  Though early definitions are “damage, loss, failure; disaster, misfortune, adversity”; and early etymologists associated it with calamus “straw,” it is perhaps from a lost root meaning “uninjured” when “struck” or “cut.”

Immediately I am reminded of Jesus’ description of John the Baptist as a reed unshaken or unmoved, i. e., “uninjured” when “cut” down as pertaining to these definitional terms of calamity.  “What did you go out in the wilderness (desert) to see? A REED swayed by the wind?” (Matthew 11:7 Amp.).  Think of Caleb and Joshua, who God described as “having a different spirit,” and as those “who fully followed the Lord”; they were “uninjured” when “struck” or “cut’ down in the wilderness (desert) EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE THERE BECAUSE OF OTHER’S UNBELIEF AND SIN; when God tested them to see what was in their hearts (the purpose of the wilderness experience), He was pleased!  They entered the Promised Land of the rest of faith because they remained UNOFFENDED IN CHRIST no matter the circumstances.

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is he who takes NO OFFENSE AT ME and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth” (Matthew 11:6 Amp.).

Here is that verse (Psalm 40:2) in my transliteration/interpretation/commentary: “He brought me out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, out of the dregs of myself, out of being intoxicated with my own wisdom, knowledge, emotions, and ways, out of my vain imagination, out of my false arguments, out of every wind of emotion, out of the calamity that was inevitable if God had not intervened and rescued me from leaning on my own understanding, out from leaning on the staff of my own mind, will, and emotions; once God did this for me, I become ‘steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 15:58).”

“THEN AS...MEN WENT THEIR WAY (rather than listen to Jesus), Jesus began to speak (concerning John the Baptist)... “What did you go out in the wilderness (desert) to see? A REED swayed by the wind?  What did you go out to see then? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in the houses of kings.  But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one [out of the common, more eminent, more remarkable, and] superior to a prophet.  This is the one of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who shall make ready Your way before You.’  Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; YET HE WHO IS LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS GREATER THAN HE.  AND FROM THE DAYS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST UNTIL THE PRESENT TIME, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS ENDURED VIOLENT ASSAULT, AND VIOLENT MEN SEIZE IT BY FORCE [AS A PRECIOUS PRIZE—A SHARE IN THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM IS SOUGHT WITH MOST ARDENT ZEAL AND INTENSE EXERTION].  For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied up until John.  And if you are willing to receive and accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come [before the kingdom].  He who has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing” (Matthew 11:7-15 Amp.).

Indeed, it takes “ardent zeal and intense exertion” to extract ourselves from the “miry clay,” but if we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven—born-again, not of women, but of God—than to this glorious task of being separated away from ourselves, to be removed outside the influence of our body of death—WE MUST ACCOMPLISH!  We must get revolutionary, violent even, and declare as Patrick Henry once did, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”  And perhaps, even more exactly pertaining to our message, “Give me death to myself that I might REALLY experience liberty!”  This is the liberty of the children of God, the kingdom of God or heaven realized in our vessels, and out of the miry clay and into an established footing upon a Rock, its expression.