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Every Thought Captive

Covenant Subversion

706123_fishing_hookSatan, Bound (13)

{enclose Everythoughtsatan13.mp3}

Yes, yes…or can you not the beauty of
it see? Look, here is God, who by His love
has His eternal will inscribed in plain
words, so His people might the blessings gain
of His enduring covenant.1 What more
could they desire of Him? What more implore
Him to perform, than what He plainly tells
them in His Word?2 If only I could sell
them on the notion that they ought to try
and push Him further, lead Him to comply
with their extrapolations of His Word,
then this would be to test the sovereign Lord,
which is the same as making Him observe
the notions of their foolish hearts, and swerve
from His revealed intent. And if this I
could manage, I would make His Word a lie,
well, unreliable, at least, and all
would put the Lord at their own beck and call,
to serve their vain imaginations and
interpretations of His clear command.

I don’t expect you to appreciate
my cunning – just to take my dangled bait.

Off to the wilderness I sped, and there
observed His people feasting on a fare
of strangest pastry, which had drifted down
from heav’n, and they collected off the ground.3
Oh, His annoying care for all their need!
I thought, I’ll use this feast to foster greed,
and promptly led some to suggest that He
who had provided this might also be
enticed, let’s say, to add a little meat
to the cuisine. Now wouldn’t that be sweet?
Again, observe my genius working: Let
God’s Word be clear: He promised He would set
before them every day this heav’nly bread.
I showed them how to use these words instead
to push the Lord beyond what He had meant
to say, exploring if He might be bent
to do their will than, rather, they do His!
A simple formula – “if that, then this” –
was all I needed to suggest, and they
were off and running, seeking every way
they might get God to fit within their schemes
by starting with His written Word, as seems
most reasonable, and then expanding out
from there by sinful logic, casting doubt
on what is clearly written for the sake
of getting other foolish folk to take
their side and to endorse their point of view.

Permit me to attach a footnote to
the wilderness fiasco – my first thrust
and parry to subvert His people’s trust
in His revealed and spoken Word. He threw
their gambit in their faces, sending to
their lusting gullets quail to make them puke.
I had to chuckle at this stern rebuke.

This avenue of covenant subversion
was most adaptable. Whate’er perversion
suggested by my subtlety seemed to
advance whatever they desired to do,
they seized upon with evident delight.
See him who struck the rock protest his rights
as though he were the Lord Himself.4 Observe
this one, whose lusting heart began to swerve
from God’s declared intentions when he spied
unguarded plunder, whereupon I lied
to him, implying that this little bit
of stuff would not send God into a fit
of rage, in spite of what He’d clearly said.
Now he and all his family are dead.5
And see this judge, who piously declined
to be appointed king, a change of mind
experience, and test the Lord beyond
what He had promised, and bestow the fond
name of “My Father King Is” on his son
(the little bastard).6 Here’s another one,
whose foolish vow – permissible within
the scope of revelation – led to sin
and slaughter.7 See this king ignore the Word
of God, and by his power as the lord
and savior of his nation (so he thought),
convince himself and everyone they ought
to keep a little booty for themselves.8
His fate is shared by everyone who delves
in this experiment of trying to
make God’s Word sponsor whate’er he wants to do.
See all those foolish prophets bend the Word
of God to suit the fancies of their lord
and king? Or those whose messages assure
the people that God’s favor will endure
in spite of all their sin? They’re in my pay,
and all my neat ideas promptly obey.

So everywhere I looked, in time, I saw
those clever, foolish people, more in awe
of their interpretations or the views
of some misguided prophet whom they’d choose
to follow – even though his failing word
was shown by others to be false, absurd,
and not a word from God – put Yahweh to
the test, to see if they could make Him do
their bidding. All the while I let them think
their footing firm, though they were at the brink
of devastation.

And I noted my
demonic host cast an approving eye
on this successful ploy. Although the Lord
did not forsake or change His holy Word,
it didn’t matter. In the hands of these
upstart interpreters, who sought to please
themselves at God’s expense, His Word had none
of that transforming, blessing pow’r that one
would reasonably expect. Which is to say
His holy covenant could not allay
my gathering strength, as I continued to
His people’s confidence in Him undo
and all my wicked pleasure satisfy
by substituting for His truth my lie.

1 2 Timothy 3.15-17

2 1 Corinthians 4.6

3 Exodus 16.1-26

4 Numbers 20.10-13

5 Joshua 7.10-26

6 Judges 8.22-32

7 Judges 11.29-40

8 1 Samuel 15.1-23

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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