Banished, Part 1

The night after Thanksgiving, 2020, I experienced a very complex and disturbing dream.

The setting was similar to the 2015 British historical drama TV series “Banished”.  So let me describe the TV series a bit for context.

“Banished” was set in the first penal colony founded by the British in New South Wales, Australia in the year 1788.  The action takes place after the arrival of the First Fleet – the 11 ships from Great Britain that carried with them more than 1,000 convicts.  It should be noted that the series is more of a period soap opera than a serious historical piece.  More about that later.

In the TV interpretation, on arrival in New South Wales, the convicts were gathered into a primitive concentration camp and put to work building a settlement there for the colonizing British.  British convicts lived alongside their Royal Navy marine guards and their officers.  The soldiers had the double task of guarding the convicts and of keeping out the natives. 

“Banished” explores issues of working-class, downtrodden, cheated, abused people who have faced exploitation from those in power.  These folks had often been given a grim ultimatum: be hanged or climb onboard ship and be sent to the other side of the Earth. 

Once there, the prisoners in the show were reduced to the measure of their usefulness. Injustice and bullying were overlooked by the British if, for instance, the aggressor was a blacksmith. Such a person was allowed to terrorize other convicts who were not as useful to the camp as a blacksmith. 

A thousand prisoners were guarded by one hundred men, with five men for every woman.  Soldiers were allowed free access to any woman they choose among the prisoners, often sharing one women among several soldiers.  At the same time, Governor Arthur Phillip had established an edict, expressed by marine commander, Major Robert Ross, when he said, “convict women belong to my soldiers”, and “on pain of death, you do not touch a woman”.  The only exception to that rule was in the event that two convicts would receive permission to marry.  This was unlikely, however, because a marriage would reduce the number of women available to the soldiers.

In historical reality, however, the convict women were not sex slaves, and no edict prevented prisoners of either sex from mingling in any manner they chose.  The suggestion that Governor Phillip would have executed men for developing intimate relationships with women simply isn’t true.  Although Phillip certainly wanted the convicts to marry, there is no evidence of any kind that their separation was enforced.

Furthermore, Governor Phillip recognized that the colony could not survive if more than half of its residents lacked the most basic human rights. As the Australian historian John Hirst pointed out, NSW was a penal settlement not a prison.”This was not a society which had to become free; its freedoms were well established from the earliest times.”

The historical facts are that even the worst behaved of the convicts believed they were entitled to appeal to Governor Phillip if they felt their rights had been abused.  While the captain did not give everything they wanted, he did listen and, more often than not, he responded favorably to their pleas.

Now, with that context established, let me proceed with my dream.  I dreamed that my wife and I were among the residents of a “Banished” style stockade-enclosed camp.  Somehow, in my dream, the camp was simultaneously a school and a prison.  The first part of the dream is dim and fragmented, but the part that I remember begins just after we residents had staged a successful revolt.  We had driven off our guards.  

The soldiers we defeated were dressed in 18th century colonial uniforms.  We, the freedom fighters, were armed with pila

For those who do not know, a pilum was a  javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times. It was generally about 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 millimeters (0.28 in) in diameter and 60 centimeters (24 in) long with a pyramidal head. The shank was joined to the wooden shaft by either a socket or a flat tang.  It was typically used as a skirmish weapon to soften up the enemy before closing ranks, or as a melee weapon in close combat. 

Since the pyramidal tip of a pilum was wider than the rest of the shank, once it penetrated a shield, it left behind a hole larger than the rest of the shank, enabling it to move through the shield with little resistance, stabbing the soldier behind. The length of the shank and its depth of penetration also made it difficult to pull out of a shield.  Its often soft, untempered iron composition would frequently cause the shaft to bend while imbedded in the shield.  If the bearer of the shield was charging and a pilum penetrated the shield, the end of the heavy shaft of the pilum would hit the ground, often disarming the bearer of his protection or, at a minimum, rendering the shield clumsy and ineffective.  

At any rate, I found myself, with my wife, separated from the rest of our fighters as we chased the routing enemy through the woods.  At length we stopped at some distance from the camp, jubilant that the last of our oppressors had scattered.  Their fleeing footsteps faded from our hearing.  But then we heard a set of different footsteps coming toward us.  Through the trees we spotted a line of determined marines in well-disciplined formation heading toward our camp at a brisk trot.  They were coming from the direction of the garrison and Governor’s residence and had obviously been dispatched to quell the insurrection.  They were wearing a distinctive, dark-colored uniform that set them apart from the guards we had been fighting previously.

My wife and I concealed ourselves from their view as they went by.  A short time later we could hear the sounds of combat erupt from our camp.  I knew that our people, dispersed as they were from pursuing the fleeing guards, had left the camp wide open and were now caught in a vulnerable situation.  They were isolated from each other and in no position to mount an organized, coordinated defense.  Against this elite unit, I knew they were being systematically slaughtered.

My wife turned to me and insisted that we rush over there and surprise the marines with a sudden assault.  I could visualize the hypothetical possibility of turning the battle if all of our scattered forces were to turn and aggressively charge the marines in a concerted attack.  However, I felt that we had no way of communicating our intention with our forces.  I told my wife that there were only two of us against about 20 marines.  Furthermore, I reminded my wife that she suffers debilitating back pain from ruptured and missing discs and that she would have no chance of fighting against such crack troops.  We would be quickly overcome and killed.  I told her that all we could do was to remain hidden and try to stay alive.

Before long, the sound of battle faded, and I knew the marines were mopping up.  We crossed the wide road that led from our camp to the garrison and Governor’s residence.  On the other side of the road was a tree-topped bluff.  We climbed the bluff so that we could overlook the road.  I lay prone in the brush at the edge of the bluff so that I could see what was happening on the road below while concealed from their sight line.  I told my wife to follow my example and we both lay down to watch the procession that was coming into view from the direction of our camp.

The victorious marines were returning from the battle with the two or three surviving rebels in custody.  They would soon pass on the road below us.  Before they got to us, however, I got the sense that somebody was watching me.  I looked over my shoulder to my rear only to discover, to my horror, that there was a window in the trees behind me, as if the forest were the wall of a building.  Through the window, the Governor and a couple members of his staff was looking straight down upon my wife and I where we lay prone and, we had assumed, concealed by the brush.

The Governor turned out to be my old college friend, Kevin Taylor, a Christian, the son of a pastor, who has worked as a private school principal and as a TSA security agent.  Kevin made eye contact with me, and in an attempt to defuse the awkward situation with humor, I winked and held my finger to my lips in a “don’t tell” gesture.  Kevin sort of nodded and moved out of the view of the window.  The direction he was moving suggested that he was on the road that led from the garrison and Governor’s residence which was a switchback of the same road on which the approaching marines were travelling.  The Governor was going to meet the marines.

Shortly, both the Governor’s party and the marines met each other just below where my wife and I lay among the brush.  The marines had a cart on which were stacked, like cargo, a large number of small square wooden boxes.  Attached to each box was a cable, and each cable was secured around some body part of the man who lay trussed and immobile on top of the boxes.

Kevin Taylor, the Governor, looked up the bank straight as me and held out his hand in silent demand.  I surrendered my pilum to him.  Then the Governor halted the marines and addressed the bound man on the cart.

“Are you Neil Gorsuch?” he asked.

“Yes,” answered Neil.

I took a closer look, and sure enough, the bound prisoner was Neil Gorsuch, the recently appointed U.S. Sureme Court justice. I knew in my dream that Gorsuch had been the leader of our revolt.

“I am going to keep the prison open, even if there is nobody to occupy it,” Kevin informed Neil Gorsuch, referring to our camp which now had no occupants since all the residents except for my wife and I were slain or in the marines’ custody.

“Why?” asked Gorsuch.

“Because it is the right thing to do and my lawful duty.”

Then Kevin looked at me and announced, “I know George Hosier (That’s me).  He’s a good man and I trust him.”  Then in the sight of his staff and the marines, he handed my pilum back to me.

As I took the pilum, I was overcome with emotion and burst into tears.  A sense of honor and deep responsibility flooded me.  I felt humbled, honored and chastised all at the same time.  Then as I looked at the pilum, I noticed two things about its shaft.  First, the tip of the spear, which should have been shaped into a pyramidal point was dull.  In fact it was like an iron sphere welded to the end of the shaft…completely worthless for penetrating anything.  Secondly, the shaft had been broken into three pieces and detached from the wooden haft.

Half-blinded by my tears, I clumsily tried to reassemble the javelin.  My wife noticed my tears, and evidently misinterpreting them, commented, “I guess you put your foot in your mouth that time!”

Flustered, I blurted out something about, “No, that’s not why I’m crying!  It’s just that…Oh, never mind.”

Then I woke up.

The Javelin and the Broken Vav

Let’s unpack some symbolism to start with. One of the most unique symbols in this dream is the pila…the Roman javelin.

There is a peculiarity in the Torah. Soferut (the laws concerning the scribal arts of writing Sefrei Torah) requires that all Hebrew letters be well-formed – that is, no letters can touch other letters and no letters can be malformed, broken, or otherwise illegible. However in Numbers 25:12, there is a strange exception to these rules regarding the Vav that appears in the word “shalom”.

The letter Vav is the sixth letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, having a numeric value of six. The pictograph for Vav looks like a tent peg or a nail, while in classical Hebrew script, the Vav is constructed of a vertical line and a conjoined Yod.

The meaning of the word Vav is “hook”, as in a connecting hook used when the tabernacle was assembled. It also somewhat resembles a javelin.

The first Vav in the Torah occurs in Genesis 1:1.

The placement of the Vav here in the creation account suggests the joining of Heaven and earth, and since it occurs as the 22nd letter in the Torah attached to the sixth word, it alludes to the creative connection between all of the letters. Vav is therefore the connecting force of God…the divine “hook”, if you will, that binds together Heaven and earth.

Anyway, in Numbers 25:12, the Vav in the word Shalom (שָׁלוֹם, peace) is broken in two parts.

The context to this oddity is the account of the people of Israel being seduced by the Midianites to worship and sacrifice to Baal. From the account, it becomes obvious that temple prostitution was involved. Obviously, this angered God.

But one man provoked God to the limit. While Moses and the judges of Israel were weeping over the the plague God had sent to punish the sinners, a guy named Zimri took a Midianite woman and had sex with her in front of the tent of meeting (tabernacle). It was as if Zimri was giving God the middle finger. Read what happened next:

Numbers 25:7-8 & 12-13

When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. [… So God said to Phinehas:] ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.’

Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron the priest, was outraged that the man named Zimri and a Midianite woman would engage in an act of coitus in front of the entire community. In his righteous anger, he took his javelin and ran the couple through. For his act Phinehas was not punished or tried in a court of law. Instead received God’s brit shalom–an eternal covenant of peace that will be passed down to his heirs.

As previously mentioned, the Vav in the word peace (שָׁלוֹם, shalom) in this story is broken. While nothing was missing to the peace God brought Israel, it is broken in this instance to imply that the word can be interpreted as if there was no Vav, resulting in the word shalem (שלם) meaning perfect.

Bloodshed was necessary at that moment to redeem Israel. On account of Phinehas’ act, God stopped the plague and Israel was delivered from destruction. From a New Testament point of view, Phinehas is a type of Yeshua, since it is written that Phinehas “was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel” (Numbers 25:13). Just like the story of Phinehas, Yeshua’s shed blood was necessary for the atonement of the sins of humanity.

But because the blood that had to be shed by Phinehas was mere human blood, this peace was a broken peace. One of God’s names is Shalom, “peace”. But to truly redeem Israel, an intricate part of one of God’s names would need to be broken: The Vav – symbolizing the true human (or son of man) connecting God to humanity like a nail – had to be split. Yet this breaking of God would bring perfection (שלם, shalem) and restoration.

Messiah, the true son of man, would be an intricate part of God like the Vav is an intricate part of the name Shalom. Although Messiah would be broken, the nails securing him would likewise be broken and he would come back to life bringing a restored peace.

Now, then, what does all this have to do with my dream? Well, first of all, the weapon with which I and the other resistance fighters were armed was a pilum…a Roman javelin. That is the same weapon used by Phinehas.

Furthermore, this is the first time that the word “javelin” is used in scripture. Thus, this passage activates the law or principle of “first mention”. David Jeremiah explains;

Those who study the Bible in a serious way sometimes refer to the Law of First Mention. It’s not so much a law, really, as a common principle in the Scriptures. If you select an important biblical word—say, worship—you’ll find that its first biblical appearance sets the tone for all the richness of meaning that will emerge. Through the Word we go on to find many new understandings and many variations on the theme, but the first cut is the deepest; the First Mention gives us the essential picture.

–David Jeremiah

Although a word may have multiple meanings throughout scripture determined by context, the law of first mention typically establishes the symbolic meaning of a word. This is very useful for assisting with dream interpretation.

Here, in Numbers, the javelin was used to decisively deal with sin in the camp and turn back back wrath. By the use of the javelin, Israel was saved. So a javelin would represent repentance, the slaying of one’s fleshly self life, acknowledgement of the righteousness and authority of God’s law and sanctification unto His purposes.

Does this application work elsewhere in scripture? Absolutely. Let’s look at the very next mention of a javelin.

In the eighth chapter of Joshua, Israel had just suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of an inferior army from the tiny town of Ai. In shock and discouragement, Joshua asked God what was going on. The Lord revealed that a fellow named Achan had disobeyed God’s explicit command and held back some of the loot taken in Jericho for his own benefit.

Joshua dealt with Achan and his disobedience swiftly. He brought repentance, the shedding of atoning blood and submission to God’s law back to Israel. As a result, God assured Joshua and the army of Israel that they were cleared to return to a victorious battle against Ai.

Joshua 8:18,26

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city...For Joshua drew not his hand back, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

Joshua who shares a name with Yeshua, our Savior, held out his javelin to symbolize that sin in the camp had been dealt with and repented of. As long as he held out his javelin victory was granted to Israel against Ai.

So now we begin to unlock the meaning of my complex dream, using sound scriptural interpretation methods.

More Symbols

Let’s quickly examine some of the other symbolism in my dream.

The setting was based on the TV series, “Banished”. If you plug that word into a thesaurus, we discover that banished is synonymous with “removed, expelled, banned, exiled, shunned, ostracized, etc.” Does this sound familiar?

Throughout the Hebrew Bible, the prophets explained that the exile happened because the people failed to follow God’s instructions. God gave the people specific instructions in order to be faithful to the Lord. However, the people began to partake in many sinful actions, fulfilling their evil and fleshly desires. When God noticed the people’s rebellious way of life, he was grieved by their disobedience. Therefore, God brought exile upon the people. When the people realized why they were exiled and started to repent, God forgave them. 

Isaiah 59:1-2

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

This is called spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God. When Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, he became separated from God by sin (Genesis 3). Sin always separates mankind from God. Why? Because God is perfect and pure. Psalm 5:4 describes God this way: “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee” (KJV).

Until Adam’s sin, he enjoyed a close relationship with God. God had created the Garden of Eden and placed Adam in it. The Lord then created a helpmeet for Adam. Scripture tells us that right before God confronted Adam for his sin Adam and Eve heard the Lord walking through the garden (Genesis 3:8). God was not distant but rather present and involved. Adam had never known a day without the Lord’s care and relationship. But then He sinned. From that point on, a division existed between humanity and God.

This spiritual death is the reason why Jesus’ sacrifice was so necessary. Mankind could not pay the price for its sin. The Law proved this. No matter how hard we try, we could never be good enough to eliminate the spiritual death, the separation that existed between God and humanity. So even though the blood of sheep, goats, and even men like Achan and Zimri was shed to atone for sin, it was always little more than an incomplete stopgap measure, because it is not possible for the blood of a sheep or a goat or a bull to atone for a man’s sin. Nor is any man good enough that his own blood can atone for another’s sin. Our blood carries the full debt of our own sin and bears no surplus virtue to set another free.

Except for the blood of the sinless Son of Man. Jesus was good enough.

Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Jesus paid the price, He rectified our spiritual death, so that we could live free from the bondage of sin. Through faith in Jesus, we enjoy the grace that Jesus paid to give us. We are no longer separated from God.

We are no longer banished in the eyes of God.

However, it is important to understand that although this is true on a spiritual level for each of us individually, the law of separation also applies on a corporate level to nations and governmental powers. When the leaders of a nation lead those under their jurisdiction into lawlessness, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords banishes them as a people and brings them under bondage to cruel taskmasters.

This will last until the nation and its representatives cry out in repentance. The famous verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not speaking to individuals. It is speaking to nations.

2Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I believe that my dream was about our nation corporately. We banished ones represented Americans as a nation of sinners who had abandoned God’s law.

But the battle has started to turn in America. A lot of evil is being exposed. Many of us have used our javelins of repentance and claiming the blood of Jesus to expose sin in the camp. Our guards have started to flee. In the last couple of days we have seen:

  1. General Flynn pardoned,
  2. A historic hearing in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania present evidence of systemic corruption and voter fraud,
  3. A voting fraud lawsuit filed in the state of Georgia,
  4. A voting fraud lawsuit filed in the state of Michigan,
  5. And more.

In our exuberance and premature zeal we have rushed off, willy-nilly to chase the enemy, completely oblivious to each other and the body at large. We have not truly remained united where it really matters. Some feel like the battle is already all over but the shouting.

Yet, as a church we have depended too much on fleshly resources, not aware that a second wave attack is being launched against us by a far more disciplined and deadly foe than the one we have dealt with so far.

I’m not sure of the nature of whatever foe is being unleashed against us right now in retaliation for the gains we have made. However, I believe that in my dream, my wife represents the bride of Christ–the Church. She was ready to charge back into the fight, not understanding that she was not yet strong enough to face this level of spiritual hierarchy. Especially not alone. She didn’t have enough backbone. Neither does the Church understand that the battle must be fought on a corporate level if it is to be won with finality. Fragmentation, division, isolation, self-sufficiency,and independence will not defeat these principalities. Only Unity in Christ will overcome.

Many patriots also fall into this trap. Recognizing that God has raised up Donald Trump to act as a modern day Cyrus against the Deep State swamp, many have pendulum shifted to complacent observers.

“Go get’em, Trump. Sic’em Sidney Powell!” we cheer from our armchairs.

We snicker at the Fake News who tries to peddle the narrative that Joe Biden has won the election. “Just wait until it hits SCOTUS!” we wink, smugly.

Yet in my dream, Neil Gorsuch was unable to deliver us the victory we expected. Why?

I believe this dream is a warning, not a prophecy engraven in stone. Yet we must heed its warning.

What is it that hamstrung Neil Gorsuch in my dream? The cart full of little boxes to which he was bound reminded me of the vision of the pallet laden with golden boxes that I wrote about in my last blog entry.

Yet this time, the boxes were not covered in gold. They appeared to be wood. Kind of like the Ark of the Covenant without its gold plating. In other words, the human part, devoid of the Divine nature. We may think that we are supporting Trump and a constitutional SCOTUS ruling, but if we are doing so in our own strength and earthly wisdom, devoid of the god component, we are only serving to tie the hands of justice and play into the enemy’s strategy.

Let me move on to the Governor, Kevin Taylor. Like Governor Philip of the original New South Wales penal colony, I got the impression that Kevin was an impartial secular authority, only trying to do his job and manage those under his juirsdiction according to the rule of law.

The name “Kevin” is the anglicized form of the Irish masculine given name Caoimhín, Caoimhghín, or Cóemgein, composed of Irish caomh “dear; noble” and -gin “birth”. Thus it means one of noble birth. “Taylor” indicates the profession of tailor, originally from Latin “taliare” (to cut), or Old French “tailleur” (cutter).

This reminds me of a couple of Bible verses.

Proverbs 2:22

But the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Romans 13:3-5

For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval. 4 For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not carry the sword in vain. He is God’s servant, an agent of retribution to the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore it is necessary to submit to authority, not only to avoid punishment, but also as a matter of conscience.…

This role of an impartial authority bearing the sword to cut off the wicked in the land is verified by the Governor’s words in my dream, “I am going to keep the prison open, even if there is nobody to occupy it, because it is the right thing to do and my lawful duty.”

God is tho one who has established governments. He raises up kings and overthrows them, according to His purposes. The most basic of all truths is established in Gen. 1:1, where we are told that God was the Creator of all things. If He created all, then He owns all things by right of creation. With ownership comes sovereignty (ultimate dominion) and responsibility for that which He owns. Hence, the Scriptures always give God the credit for the events in history. While He may not have directly caused events to happen, He certainly has the right to take the ultimate responsibility for the events happening.

By right of His sovereignty, He gave man the dominion mandate (Gen. 1:26). This created authority in the earth. Authority is always authorized by a higher power, and in this case man’s authority is derived from God’s sovereignty. While there are limits to man’s authority, the authority as such is real. Hence, man is said to exercise “free will” to do as he chooses, and yet in the end we find that God exercises His own Will to bring man’s will into alignment with the divine plan.

Rulers in God’s sight are those who serve God and His people. This is the mind of God. This is how God intended Adam to rule over God’s creation. These are the kinds of people who will rule in the Kingdom of God at the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6). They are the ones who have taken Jesus’ words seriously and can grasp the concept of serving others, rather than of being served.This idea of rulers and judges being impartial, ruling as servants, thinking of the good of the people, rather than exploiting the people for their own welfare and comfort, is crucial in the age-long struggle between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of God. Any people who claim to be called to rule the Kingdom will ultimately be disqualified if they do not rule others by these basic standards. 

History is the story of mankind abusing authority. Governments everywhere and in every age of history have mistaken authority for license. Men have coveted authority, because they have seen it as a means of accumulating wealth and servants. They have not understood the biblical definition of authority, as Jesus portrayed to us, which is the power to be a more effective servant to others. Men have defined power as the privilege to do what others are not allowed to do. Privilege is the power to abuse others with immunity from the law.

The single most important lesson that most of mankind has yet to learn is that with all authority comes an equal level of responsibility. Carnal man, however, naturally desires authority without such responsibility. God has thus given man authority, and man has abused it for six thousand years. The plots and schemes of carnal men have been focused largely on how to overthrow the previous tyrant, so that they themselves can become the privileged tyrants for a season.

Most of humanity has an innate desire to be free. This is, in fact, the most important motive behind all revolutions. Men struggle against bondage with the power of their own flesh. But history has shown that bondage is often like quicksand; the more one struggles, the deeper one sinks. This is because men almost always fail to obtain their freedom through Jesus Christ. Jesus lived under the oppression of the Roman Empire and under the greater oppression of the Jewish leaders in His day. Yet Jesus led no political or military revolutions, but said to the Jews in John 8:32, “the truth shall make you free.

This was a radical departure from the way in which most people believed, both in that day and today. Jesus knew the real causes of the nation’s loss of independence and freedom. The book of Jeremiah showed clearly that God had put them into bondage because the people did not believe the truth of His Word. Hence, to fight Rome was to fight God’s judgment that He had imposed upon the nation for their disobedience. The only real path to freedom lay in their belief in the truth-the word of Jesus Christ. 

According to the laws of tribulation (Lev. 26Deut. 28), if the nation persisted in violating God’s Law, He would put them into captivity to other nations. In other words, God would give foreign kings the authority to rule over Israel and Judah in order to teach them how oppressive it was to be ruled by the laws of men. And so in the days of Jeremiah, God put Judah under the authority of Babylon.

The people were given a choice. If they submitted to the verdict of the heavenly Court (and to Nebuchadnezzar), they could remain under the “wooden yoke.” They could serve their sentence in the land of Judea without further bloodshed. But if they refused to submit, God would send them into exile under the “yoke of iron” (Deut. 28:48Jer. 28:13). The people chose the latter. Their sentence under the yoke of iron lasted 70 years (Jer. 25:11), and then they were allowed to return to Judah.

God’s purpose in selling Judah and Jerusalem into the hands of foreign rulers was to teach them the art of submitting to authority. I find it interesting that our camp in my dream was both a prison and a school. The people had refused to submit to the authority and laws of God, so God put them into bondage to the laws of men to teach them. This was to show them by hard experience how oppressive men’s laws are, and to make them realize that the laws of God are not as oppressive as they had previously believed.

So should we always submit to authority, then? The idea of submitting to lawful authority becomes complex and difficult for most people to understand readily. When is a revolt not a sin? The biblical answer is simple: It is not a sin when God Himself has decreed it, because in such a case the people are merely obeying the voice of God.

The tricky part is in knowing that God has indeed authorized such a revolt. It is too simplistic to claim that a ruler has misused his position. There will always be some who feel this way, no matter what a ruler does. Furthermore, God always gives men and rulers time to repent. Men do not usually know anything about timing, so they do not know the proper time to revolt, much less IF they should revolt at all. Apart from hearing God’s voice, such things cannot be known, and in Scripture a revolt is to be determined, not by individuals hearing God’s voice, but by the word of prophets who are recognized by the people and even by government as having that position.

When we study the book of Judges, we view the various captivities of Israel from the divine perspective, rather than from the normal patriotic spirit of nationalism. We view God as the King of Kings, having the right to demand obedience to His Laws. He has the right to penalize us when we reject his rule and His laws.

In Judges 3:8 we read that God “sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia” because of Israel’s refusal to be obedient. In the second captivity, we read that “the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord.

Never does Scripture indicate that Israel’s captivity was caused by the power of the enemy. Never does it attribute a captivity to the intelligence or military might of the foreign invaders. God always takes credit for it, and the reason for captivity is always the same. Likewise, their deliverance never came as a result of their own power, wisdom or fleshly efforts

Viewing the world through the lens of the sovereignty of God changes the color of everything.

That being said, I believe that God has revealed to America through the mouths of His prophets that the time to throw off our oppressors is here, according to His timing. I believe that Donald Trump is God’s instrument to make this happen. However, if we attempt this authority shift using fleshly, earthly, political, and even patriotic means alone, we will surely fail, because we will not have learned the one lesson that brings liberty.

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

Let us humble ourselves before God. Let us do it corporately and in a spirit of unity. Let us use the javelin of repentance, slaying our fleshly, lawless ways and returning to our rightful Lord who alone can give us deliverence from our oppressors.

Kevin Taylor has handed the pilum back to us. Let’s get that javelin in working order. Let’s sharpen the tip of our spear.

Here is a call to do just that:

Dr. Stephen Jones of God’s Kingdom Ministries challenges us to make our calling and election sure. Pun intended, I’m sure. Read it here:

Finally, a song reminding to get in some quality javelin practice during this Christmas season:

Blessed Phinehasing, my warriors!

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