Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A God without Measure

What units of measure does God use? I'm serious - do arbitrary units of measure have meaning and purpose in God's economy? I'm intending to create more questions than I answer in today's post.

Isaiah 40:12 tells us that God "weighed the mountains in scales," but did He use pounds or kilos?

Hey, you say, you are missing the point; this scripture portrays the magnitude of God's greatness. Exactly.

Proverbs 16:11 tells us "Honest scales and balances are from the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of his making." I wonder if they are Avoirdupois or Troy weights?

Again, missing the point. The Message says it well: "God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business."

So why do I bring this up? Well, it seems that even if God may not be concerned, the prophets pay much attention to arbitrary units of measure. If, for instance, we have a flood, and it covers the town of Floodville with seven feet of water, the prophets may say that the number seven means perfection and that God is speaking "perfection" to the town of Floodville. Generally the prophets will speak about some "outpouring" to come (hint: "floods = outpouring" in the prophetic).

This implies that God intended the flood for the citizens of Floodville (it "rains on the just and the unjust") and that he intended that the crest of the flood be measured in feet, not inches, meters, or yards - all of which would generate different numbers.

Or let us suppose that the flood took place in Johnsonville, in the UK, and the flood crested at 3.16 meters. The prophets may declare that this means that "God so loved the world" (John 3:16).

All of this presumes that 1) God recognizes specific arbitrary units of measure for specific events 2) He intends that the event "send a message" 3) the name of the locale that the event hits may have specific meaning pertaining to His message and 4) He calibrates the event to the chosen arbitrary unit of measure so that the number has meaning. It also presumes in this example that the Chapter and verse numbers in the bible (missing in the original manuscripts) were "God breathed."

I might add that for the purpose of this article we are setting aside who caused the "natural disaster" in the first place. Is it God's judgement, or chastisement, or is he simply making the best of a bad situation? OK, I said we were setting that aside. At least for a little while.

Along with the numerology, and the hidden meanings, very often we see the prophets imply that the frequency of these disasters is somehow unusual. The prophet may say that there will be a season of this disaster or that disaster and that God is speaking through it.

This may or may not be the case. If I have a "word of knowledge" in a meeting of 2000 people that someone has back pain, it may be remarkable. Or not.

Now, lest I be misunderstood, I do not deny that so-called natural events can have meaning. In legal terms these events are even called "Acts of God." Even rainbows can have meaning. God ordained meaning.

If I prophesy a season of earthquakes and then two earthquakes happen within a few months, does that mean anything? Keep in mind that on average earthquakes in the magnitude range of the recent one in Haiti occur more often than once a month.

Recently, Cindy Jacobs spoke a prophetic word.I do not wish to single her out. I bring this up only because it is representative of this prophetic genre. Some of the background information she gives includes some remarkable coincidences which may actually be God speaking; I only differ with her conclusions. As an alternative explanation, I suggest that God may have been calling her (and others?) to more prayer and intercession.

Then I proceeded to prophesy about earthquakes: "I'm going to shake the earth. You will begin to see earthquakes. ... I am coming to shake everything that can be shaken."

Look where the earthquakes are hitting because God is going to release a wind of Pentecost in those places. God has a way of taking those things that Satan means for evil and bringing great glory out of them. That will be the case for these disasters.

On January 12, after the December 31 prophecy about earthquakes, Haiti was rocked with a massive 7.0 magnitude shaking (the number "7" symbolizes full circle or completion), and then Chile was hit on February 27. The 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile ("8" symbolizes new beginnings) rocked the city of Concepción, which means "conception" or "birthing." I believe the event points to the birthing of double new beginnings of glory in the earth. I believe God desires not only to heal Chile and Haiti but also to turn these terrible disasters into good for His people."

Earlier I said, "Is it God's judgement, or chastisement, or is he simply making the best of a bad situation?" Now according to Jacobs, in this case, it is the latter. She states "God has a way of taking those things that Satan means for evil and bringing great glory out of them."

Now for the real brain twister. Look, I know we cannot comprehend God's complexity. But according to Jacobs, God calibrated these earthquakes to a specific arbitrary measurement scale (either the Richter scale of the Moment Magnitude scale, not sure which) to yield specific numbers (7.0 or 8.8) to speak a specific message.

So, under this paradigm, God is either unable or unwilling to stop an earthquake spawned by Satan, but He is able to tinker with the magnitude in order to speak a message. I write this with fear and trembling, I do not want to even appear to mock God. I suppose all of this could be true, but why?

And there are other issues.

"Look where the earthquakes are hitting because God is going to release a wind of Pentecost in those places."

The earthquakes are hitting where earthquakes have always hit. Pesky tectonic plates.

She goes on to say: "Concepcion, which means conception or birthing."

Actually in this case the word is better translated "beginning." The city was originally named Concepcion del Nuevo Extremo which literally means "Conception of the New End" as it was at the edge of the Frontier, and could be paraphrased as the "Beginning of the End" which would be even more fun in a spooky prophetic way.

Concepcion is in its second location, by the way. "Due to earthquakes and tsunamis, which razed the town in 1570, 1657, 1687, 1730 and another on May 25, 1751, the authorities decided to move the town to its current location to the Valle de la Mocha, alongside the Bío-Bío River and prohibited the occupation of the old location, which remained unsettled until March 29, 1842, when the present town of Penco was founded." (wikipedia)

Penco, of course, means "a really stupid idea." Once again Penco was engulfed by a tsunami spawned by the recent earthquake.

I apologize to anyone in these locales for my shabby attempt at ghoulish humor. And I wonder if the prophets should apologize for trying to make something out of something that might not really be there.

I remember a time long ago when flood waters destroyed a building project at my house. The thud of the wall collapsing was absolutely sickening. We were a young couple; it had a profound effect on our finances, and our income was quite limited. Did it have a prophetic message? Should I have counted the number of fallen cinder blocks to gain further insight? If the blocks were made by the Sureblock company, did that have special meaning? The wall was built by a man named Elmer? Did that have meaning?

I think not. I turned to the scriptures and they told me everything I needed to know.

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

This has been, and will always be my story. God prevails.


Coming soon - what does it mean?

OKLAHOMA CITY(AP) -- Forecasters say a wetter-than-usual winter and a jet stream ripping over the part of the country known as "Tornado Alley" could lead to an active spring -- perhaps starting with the strong twister that nicked a small western Oklahoma town Monday night.

The nation typically will see 70-100 tornadoes by early March, but only 42 had been reported until Monday night's Oklahoma tornado. There was only one tornado nationwide during February.

"No one would argue that we're going to see a pretty good increase in the number of severe storms," said Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist with the national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. "But each year's a little different. The number, magnitude, number of days are all very tentative at this point."



  1. From Brother H- As a Bible teacher I have been greatly in awe and often moved by the significance of numbers, weights, and measures in the truly inspired and ordained word of God. When we speak of any NT prophecy we must remember that by definition it is an activity done "by faith", "in part", and uttered with only partial knowledge and understanding...awaiting the day of Christ and full knowledge. This understanding of prophecy as imperfect and therefore something that will pass away is reflected in the fact that Paul and the early disciples established protocols and rules for judging prophecy and it's accuracy. Trying to read or interpret perfection into something which by definition is imperfect.... is vanity...and trying on top of that to assign a greater and more significant meaning to a word based on gathered factoids is worse. In reality it is simply the prideful attempt of the human heart to make something seem more important than it is. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. If you leave humility to make a word appear more important, then you may see or achieve increased importance, but will gain His resistance in the process. Which is more important?

  2. This was a really good post. Thanks for thinking this out. I agree that the point of the numerology and hidden meanings going on in a prophetic word are to validate the word, and make it important.( And also the prophet) It is very hard to say "I don't think that was the Lord" after all the hidden meanings and numerical things are added on.


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