Tag Archives: Peace

Weigh The Meaning Of Value In The Balance

QUESTIONING VALUE

I’ve been thinking A LOT about the significance of “value” for a few weeks now… “what does it mean? How is it defined? When I wake up and decide to drink some water, take in sustenance; I don’t naturally think to myself… “why am I doing this?”. I just do it. But thinking about it now, it feels as though I’m a slave to this…“value system. Things just don’t add up. “Is this our purpose in life?” Wake up and use the restroom, drink water, eat food, calculate your contribution to life and go to work. “Where is the value?”, I wonder. I’ve decided to detach myself from what I think the meaning of value is in the world and take on a different approach. “What if I choose to go to work without earning money?” The idea is to work as though I wasn’t going to receive a paycheck, that may sound stupid but in principle, it’s not. Money is not God, it is a necessary tool of prerogative for not offending the world governed by such a value system (as though it is God). Let me explain.

In the gospel according to Matthew 17:24-27; my understanding from research is that the temple tax collectors came to Capernaum and confronted Peter about Jesus paying the temple tax (that apart from the priests every Jew 20 years and above was required to pay) which is basically contributing to the upkeep of the temple (where God dwells). And seeing how Jesus and the apostles were not considered priests of the temple, they too were required to pay this tax according to the custom of old testament law. However, let’s investigate what Jesus says and does about this temple tax collection considering how Jesus is actually, the ultimate Priest. The power of the priest is found in virtue, not money. Observe…

24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” 25 He *said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”

Now according to google and the coinmill converter, a shekel today is worth 0.29 cents of the United States Dollar. There is so much I want to dive into with this idea of currency, but what fascinates me presently is the measure of value exchange between the Israelite’s and their temple priests collecting this two-drachma tax at that time. According to my research—specifically amazing discoveries—in Exodus 30 and Numbers 3 we find the reason for this contribution to the temple.

11 The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD. 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.(Exodus 30:11-14)

44 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD. 46 For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.” (Numbers 3:44-48)

But why did Jesus make a point to question Peter about the collection of customs? Who are the kings of the earth? And why did Jesus say that the sons are exempt? It sounds to me like Jesus is clarifying a point for Peter to recall later. Are all Israelites exempt from such customs? The answer is yes, but it was not time for that answer to come into fruition yet. The next phrase from Jesus is of most importance because it gives revelation to the meaning of value. “However, so that we do not offend them…“, but why? Why not offend these collectors with the truth about the pointlessness of this contribution?

Breaching the Threshold

Featured photo: Ben Jacobi www.bdjphoto.com 

Perversion” from English to Hebrew is translated, ” סְטִיָה “.  Translate that same Hebrew word back to English with google translator and you’ll find, “Deviation“.  When I’ve deviated from the truth of my nature as God made me, becomes a disease.  Genesis 3 is where I found the reason for an inherent deviation in my nature; having a desire for perversion.  “Why-How”, I’d ask myself.  I mean, “I know that it’s wrong”.  It is so “attractive” to have a “secret” that connects me to this other person or to have knowledge by an experience no one else has.  In speaking with a brother just last night about this disease… confessed one to another certain thoughts and matters of the heart that if acted upon would cause destruction.  You’ve been breached with a lie. God in His mercy and amazing grace gave my brother a name to identify this disease.

When you look at this photo, what do you see?  It’s intense and deep, Right!  Well…

Remember Me

It’s me “breaking wind”, it smells real bad! (That’s how to identify this disease)  Ju…st kidding!  Really though.  Reader, whenever you look at your life and see what is spiritually wrong.  Will be given a choice in that moment of whether you’ll continue or listen.  Just as I wrote in the previous blog, “there is an escape”!  I pray you’ll believe me.  It is a moment by moment daily struggle and spiritual war that we face.  You are not alone.  There are innumerable thought patterns that flood our system with desired responses.  The art of a right response will begin and form within ourselves by aligning to the true nature of a Holy God.  This is why meditating on the Word of God is vital!  After having a blessed time with my brother in Christ last night, at Napoli’s Italian restaurant, am convinced that the Hebrew language is a spiritual one.  And, this western language of English is a worldly one.  When I close my eyes to examine myself, see what the nature of sin has cause me to know and understand.  And… it’s painful.  I’m broken.  But also see how I’m being restored through faithfully abiding in the Word of God with my brother’s, sister’s, mother’s and father’s… in Christ. 


11 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4)


Perversion breached the threshold of what God saw to be good.  All creation was initially created as good because God is good.  A spiritually evil agenda manifested through the tongue of a serpent.  How can what was evil breach that which is good?  The answer I’ve discovered is, “choice”.  Although I myself am governed to live with the choices I’ve made did not choose to have this life.  It was given by nature of design.  Recognizing this has saved me from death, to commit suicide.  Yah.. I’ve thought of myself being taller with muscles to spare and intellect not compared, but to what gain?  I’m thankful to have life born in Eternity with God than a life breached by a threshold to sin.  Confess yourself to God.  I love you.

Nathan’s Change of Course

Featured photo: Ben Jacobi www.bdjphoto.com 

 

Hi, my name is Nathan. … “Since birth my life has been a winding river changing direction with no end in sight or ‘right’ turn to make.  That-about-sums-it-up.  Until next time.  Peace be with you.”—

 

 

 

It’s funny, I’ve felt that as being heavily the case for this blog site and especially my life here recently.  Thinking to myself, “How can a confused person write blogs about direction without direction?”.  If you’re laughing?  I’m “chuckling” with you in embarrassment, “brushing off the dust of my pride”.  I’ve changed course to a new direction or rather, “the direction of my river has changed course by no power of mine“.  If you’ve “stumbled” across this site as result of this post for the first time, it’s nice to meet you.  Don’t run off.  Consider exploring through the “menu”.  If you’re familiar with this site, please consider revisiting the “menu items” and prepare to be inspired by the changes only a real God influences!  We are seriously loved!

Reader, I have questions coming from way up high, “Left, no.. Right field! Right field”!  What river path of life are you on?  (You will get a glimpse of my path by investigating this site as an example but hope will discover my heart as true in the process?).  Do you know the spiritual direction of your life?  (I know that my spiritual direction has brought me to “here and now” writing to you.).  Why has our courses clashed?  (That is a theory that only one person in the world has proved.).

Are you willing to join me on a journey?  Please, invite your family and bring your friends to explore your answers to these questions.  Our journey will renew the mind and take us out of this world!