Monday, February 22, 2016

Which Rock Do You Flee To?

“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house.  It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock.  But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed” (Matthew 7:24-27 CEB).

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I [emphasis mine].  For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy” (Psalm 61:1-3 KJV).

There can hardly be anyone that is oblivious to the fact that dark brooding skies of ominous import and swelling floods of ungodliness, along with hurricane force winds of change, are gathering strength on the immediate horizon of our end time.  Soon, everyone’s foundation will be revealed.  Either our life is built on bedrock (Christ) or on sand (everything or anyone not Christ).  Sadly, even many who claim the Word of God as their foundation, have rather built their lives on the delusional sands of familial loyalties and other men’s words and revelations.  Rather than being more noble-minded, like Bereans, who “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11 NASB), many blindly build their lives on the sinking sand of man’s breath that exhales vain imaginings and futile speculations as though they were sound doctrine derived from Scripture. 

David is a clear example of someone who repeatedly fled to the true Rock, but an example of fleeing to the wrong rock—the rock of Rimmon (in this case)—is the tribe of Benjamin in the time of the Judges (when everyone—ironically like our time—did what was right in their own eyes).  After some wicked men of the tribe of Benjamin raped and killed a woman, rather than giving them up to the nation of Israel for punishment, Benjamin instead remained stubbornly loyal to their own familial tribal/clan above the loyalty they should have given to their nation.  Doubtless, apostasy instead of faith and condemnation rather than salvation happens in a vacuum.  “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 NASB).

Inevitably, war broke out between Israel and Benjamin, not over this egregious crime, but over Benjamin’s refusal to repent of it.  In short, after a terrible war among brethren, many on both sides died, and Benjamin was nearly eliminated from being a tribe in Israel.  In the end, six hundred of the Benjamites fled to the rock of Rimmon.  “But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon and stayed at the rock of Rimmon for four months” (Judges 20:47 AMP).  Now because there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes, it is inevitable that something akin to the rock of Rimmon (rather than the Rock of Ages), will be the comfort and protection of some in the dire circumstances of warfare.

But what does the rock of Rimmon represent?  What is it that some cling to above the true Rock?  In a word, it is “humanism”—a belief in man above God.  Rimmon means “pomegranate” and “very high.”  Rimmon, according to Alfred Jones, was “An idol which the Syrians esteemed their most high god.”  Simply put, a pomegranate represents the human heart; clinging to our own hearts (inclusive of our own thoughts and private interpretations) is to make ourselves the most high god above the real Most High God.  We may, like the Benjamites, endure four months that way, but eventually the warfare that is coming is going to be too severe to endure clinging to our own stubbornly held convictions. 
   
As horrific as this near decimation of Benjamin was, a more troubling scenario is brewing around the idea of being taken down to the valley of Meggido and having one’s heart burst asunder there in judgment.  “In that day [the very soon coming Day of the Lord] there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo” (Zechariah 12:11).  Hadadrimmon (note the word “Rimmon” in it) means “fierce/harshness of the pomegranate” or “bursting of the pomegranate.”  To subsist off the Syrian deity of our own heart and near familial ties is to be set up for a thundering and shattering rebuke; it is to have one’s heart burst asunder in harsh judgment.  And if we think those who do mighty things in the Lord are exempt, look at King Josiah, who met an untimely death in the valley of Megiddo even after a tremendous revival and reformation was actualized by his efforts. 
  
The rock of Rimmon is a poor rock of defense; too many, even after suffering great loss, are still clinging to “their tribe” and their own familial thinking rather than submitting to the higher counsel of Israel (the one true church universal).  A rally cry is being issued today (and VERY loudly), but not backwards into the wilderness and to the delusional stronghold of our own way of thinking, but forward into the Promised Land and to the genuine Bedrock Stronghold of our salvation (based only on Rhemas projected forth from Logos, not merely legalistic Logos, nor Rhemas issued forth from the false premise of the human heart ungoverned by the Holy Spirit).  Many hearts are failing in this hour (as Christ predicted), being ruptured by the now accelerated process of purging; too much flesh for too long has been consumed, and the heart has calcified with plaque.  Many lose their natural lives too soon by poor diets; so it is spiritually.  Some may get a bypass, some a new heart by an intercessor, but many are dying without intervention, without miracle.

Scripture boldly declares, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8 NASB).  But just as boldly, Scripture declares that whether we are ready or not, pure or impure, “‘The Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts.  ‘But who can endure the day of His coming?  And who can stand when He appears?’” (Malachi 3:1-2 NASB).

It ought to be a joyous occasion, our Father coming to meet us in the temple of our hearts, but alas, if we have not bought gold refined in the fire or traded off enough of our carnality to be ready for His coming, it will be a day of wailing and irredeemable loss instead.  This Day of the Lord destroys anything flammable (our God is a consuming fire) and the very brightness of His coming, the sheer magnitude of His brilliance, will so inflame our fragile hearts as to purge away all natural affections to such an extreme degree that every natural heart will burst asunder and every thought of every heart will then be open and laid bare before God and everyone.  The amount of pain or loss we suffer depends entirely upon how much we value the thoughts of our own heart and mind above God’s heart and mind and how much selfishness we are still embracing and hiding from others when He comes.  Beautiful in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints; horrific and shameful in His eyes are the life of His saints (still stubbornly clinging to the fleeting breath of self and familial ties).  “There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (2 Samuel 2:2 KJV); in light of this, again I ask, WHICH ROCK DO WE FLEE TO?