It will be increasingly important, in days ahead, to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. As such, I urge all to take a look at what I posted last night and the scripture in it that has bolstered my thinking on this.
In that context, I’ll be doing short-form updates throughout the day on items that seem to fit the pattern.
Tammuz 16 [July 8th] was the 40th day following the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and the people of Israel wrongly expected Moses’ return from the mountain (he would actually return on the following day). When their leader failed to return, they demanded from Aaron: “Make us a god that shall go before us”. Hur (Moses’ nephew, the son of Miriam and Caleb) tried to stop them and was killed by the mob. Aaron fashioned a calf of molten gold.
The New York Daily News had reported that the Jackson family couldn’t agree on which religion would guide the service. So they went without one. And yet there were many religious elements in the service… the screen was filled with interfaith symbols… [It is therefore] best described as straight-up civil religion. We usually think of civil religion as a political phenomenon. But it’s a cultural phenomenon as well and this memorial had it in spades. The sanctification of Jackson’s lyrics and the deification of Jackson — in that one pastor’s invocation alone — are good examples of the phenomenon… I was rather mortified by this memorial service. For us, the funeral is a time to talk about what God has done in Christ for the deceased — not how awesome and Messiah-like the deceased was. The problem with such eulogistic services is compounded when the sins of the deceased are so, well, public.
Tomorrow’s this-day-in-history Hebrew milestones? (H/T: El Gallo) I.e., as of sundown in Jerusalem today, 12:47PM, July 8th, EDT: Moses breaks tablets (1313 BC), Temple service disrupted (423 BC), and Jerusalem walls breached (69 AD). Weren’t we just talking about walls? (before I saw any of this); I could draw out the significance of those three events, but by themselves they speak volumes.
SERIOUSLY IRONIC UPDATE: I wonder if the UN is even aware that it’s directive to Israel to ‘tear down that wall’ is coming on such an auspicious anniversary? Related thought: 1940 years have elapsed… which is about the same amount of time that elapsed between Christ’s return (as a child) from the flight to Egypt and the founding of the state of Israel on May 14th, 1948…
Israel must tear down its West Bank separation barrier, a senior U.N. official said Wednesday, marking five years since the International Court of Justice declared the barrier illegal… Israel started building it in 2002 to stop a wave of suicide bombing attacks by Palestinians, who infiltrated across the cease-fire line.
Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea, died fifteen years ago today. The atheist son of the atheist father bows his head in a moment of silence. To who/what? For what purpose? As C.S. Lewis notes in ‘Mere Christianity’, the sense of God and His law exists in all of us, even those who deny His existence. The son lashes out at the U.S.: “We will sternly smash the U.S. imperialist forces and South Korea’s puppet regime anti-unification plot.” With less and less to lose (his health continues to fail, perhaps faster now) one of these days he might finally act on that old, tired rhetoric which the West has come to regard as mostly posturing.
In fact, an attack has already been quietly launched. Much can be inferred about motive and perpetrator, I suspect, from looking at who and what was targeted.
A widespread computer attack has hit several US government agencies while some South Korean government websites also appear to be affected. The US Treasury Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and Transportation Department were all hit by the attack that started on July 4. In South Korea, the presidential Blue House and Defence Ministry, National Assembly appear to have been hit.
In South Korea, the stuff most directly necessary for defense and governance. (I suspect such things are a good bit ‘harder’ here). In the U.S., an attempt to destabilize infrastructure and the economy and further degrade our ability to support our allies. Exactly the kind of stuff one would target if one were starting a war (or trying to).
UPDATE I on computer attack: Wow… I’ve been in and around the IT industry for twenty years (including working for one of the ‘hit’ institutions) and this is impressive… the kind of thing only a national government could pull off. (Note the addition of new adjectives, e.g., ‘powerful’).
The powerful attack that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean government agencies for days was even broader than realized, also targeting the White House, the Pentagon and the New York Stock Exchange. An early analysis of the malicious software used in the attack found its targets also included the National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, the Nasdaq stock market and The Washington Post.
The [South Korean] National Intelligence Service suspects North Korea or its sympathizers may have been behind the attack, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. The spy agency briefed some [South Korean] lawmakers on an individual basis or showed written reports that mention North Korea as the suspected attack source. The spy agency will report to the National Assembly intelligence committee today with its analysis, the sources said.
The Nikkei, down 2.35% overnight, and a sub-8000 DJIA looking likely today. I can’t seem to find it, but a couple of months ago, about the time I was writing this, I ran across a startling chart that matched up past market crashes against the current one. I’m no technical analyst, but the obvious lesson was that mass psychology drives a common shape. An initial ‘ski slope’ drop of 30-40% hits a ‘bucket’ of hope about a year or so in. Things rebound, perhaps 10-15% and linger there for awhile. Then another plunge of 30-40%. Recovery time to previous market highs: 12-15 years. Guess where we are? I just liquidated most of my 401K equity holdings.
No really, trust us, we’ll only kill babies to cure Parkinson’s. Not that that’s justified either:
Researchers at the pioneering Northeast England Stem Cell Institute say they have made the breakthrough using stem cells from an embryo. They claim that with some minor changes the sperm could theoretically fertilise an egg to create a child… scientists say the technique… could even be possible to create sperm from female stem cells, they say, which would ultimately mean a woman having a baby without a man.
No further comment should necessary. One can understand why God might be upset…
Speaking of pop culture music-icon idolatry, it has just never seemed like a good bet to parade around half naked mocking the Lord of the universe and his mother, particularly on her birth/feast day — much less to buy tickets to same. Danger Will Robinson.