• By Pastor Boffey
  • on Thursday, March 23, 2017
(1 Kings 14:10) Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. The Holy Ghost in both testaments uses candid, vulgar and sometimes graphic terms for both holy things and hellish things. Whether it be sexuality, human anatomy, anatomical function or anatomical discharges, it should be remembered that “Every word of God is pure...” (PRO 30:5), even very pure (PSA 119:140). There is nothing froward or perverse in God's words (PRO 8:8). We should be very cautious about condemning terminology which God Himself uses. If someone cannot endure the exposition of God's word as God delivered it, it is not Scripture nor the preacher that needs to change but rather the reader/hearer. We are warned against being overrefined (Be not righteous over much..., ECC 7:16) and against rejecting what God does as if we are more righteous than Him: (Job 40:8) Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? All scripture is profitable (2TI 3:16), even the parts that speak of dung (thirty-six occurrences). We can learn about our God and Savior and how to obediently relate to Him in faith from every part of the Bible. All scripture testifies of Christ (JOH 5:39), even the “dung” parts, the proof of which is to follow. The Lord Jesus Christ did not shrink from speaking of dung and even did so in the context of discipleship (LUK 13:6-9; LUK 14:34-35). One of the notable proofs of the divine authorship of the Bible is the instruction given to Israel which would benefit their physical health. God intended to distinguish Israel from other nations and bless them accordingly if they observed His commandments, even in their health: (Exodus 15:26) And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. The Mosaic prohibitions on the sexual deviancies of the nations (summed up in ROM 1:21-29) and the limitation of sexual connection to husband and wife are effective preventions against Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and these instructions were given long before human understanding of microbiology developed. Similar observations could be made about O.T. instruction concerning leprosy or how certain cleansings were to be done with running water as opposed to stagnant. There were also instructions given concerning personal and public sanitation, such as this: (Deuteronomy 23:12) Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: (Deuteronomy 23:13) And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: (Deuteronomy 23:14) For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee. I have oft wondered what a non-Israelite might have thought upon finding one of these unique weapons: “Hmmm...” Here the LORD associated the disposal of dung without the camp with holiness. Whereas the N.T. has no such command for holiness, the spirit of that order is still valid. Dung is filth (dirt, JDG 3:22) and sin is filth. We are all by nature filthy (JOB 15:16; PSA 14:3) and sin is frequently called filth in Scripture (e.g. 2CO 7:1). Even our righteousnesses are as filth before a pure God (ISA 64:6). Our sins and our reliance upon good works for justification are both filth which should be disposed of. We may observe here that the Christian's weapons are not carnal but spiritual (2CO 10:3-4), and especially have we “...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (EPH 6:17). Even it may be used for burying filth and we do well to remember that our first duty is to dispose of our own mess before we take pokes at others (MAT 7:5). Further, publicly known sin in the church must be dealt with by exclusion (1CO 5:1-13) but privately known sin can be dealt with by covering: (James 5:19) Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; (James 5:20) Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. The sword of the Spirit (God's word), of course, is the instrument of conversion (PSA 19:7). Charity first uses it to try to save a brother rather than let him continue in sin until God judges him: (Leviticus 19:17) Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. (1 Peter 4:8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Two witnesses of a brother's sin are all that are needed to lawfully expose him by accusation and to apply the sword in judgment to have him severed from the church: (Deuteronomy 19:15) One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (1 Timothy 5:19) Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. But two witnesses are not the same thing as when many brethren know of a brother's sin, as was the case in Corinth where the fornicating brother was commonly reported as such (1CO 5:1). If a brother's sin could reasonably be dealt with by converting him unto repentance instead of exposing him unto judgment, would that not be better? Are we not told that where mercy can be shown, it should be shown?: (James 2:13) For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. Charity seeks, when possible, to bury the filth of sin through converting the erring brother to repentance, disposing of the dung privately so it is not in the church. Charity in this sense might be considered the paddle of our spiritual weapon.

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