Death By Committee or Lingchi, “A Thousand Cuts”

Today is the 9th of Av on the Hebrew calendar. On this day BOTH temples in Jerusalem were destroyed yet hundreds of years apart. Today ends 3 weeks of mourning for Jewish orthodox believers because on the 17th of Tammuz the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the enemy of Israel. The Hebrew calendar to an orthodox Jew is it’s catechism. The Hebrew calendar is actually God’s they have chosen to follow for thousands of years. God does use patterns to prove that He Is Sovereign, IN Control of Everything. That includes watching the fruit of sin coming to fruition and letting people have what they won’t stop asking for when His first answer was no.

Also the 9th of Av is the 9th day of their 11 month on the Hebrew secular calendar, their own 911. Imagine if another large terrorist attack happened on American soil on another 911. In what light of God’s protection or lack of it would that be understood. Or was God allowing a subliminal message to America that day for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear?

The Urban Dictionary definition for “Death By Committee” is this, The slow, painful death of a project prior to completion due to its assignment to a committee. May occur due to squabbling, apathy, or a lack of individual accountability among the members.

Linchi – The ancient Chinese tactic which translates loosely to “slow slicing,” “lingering death,” or “death by a thousand cuts” was a form of torture and execution used in China from roughly 900 CE until it was banned in 1905.

In The Word of God, we have many examples of how God wanted and didn’t want Israel to be governed. When Israel had finally entered and had taken possession of the promised land in the days of Joshua things went fairly well. Before and after crossing the Jordan river they had their “hiccups” as with the case of Achan.

At that point in Israel’s operation as a nation Joshua was it’s accepted leader. God, at the request of Moses had anointed Joshua to take his place before he ascended Mount Pisgah to die at the command of God.

Deuteronomy 34:4-5, 9 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” 5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.

9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Joshua lead Israel as Moses did until his death, under the authority of God. Joshua heard from God and obeyed God. There are a couple instances when even Joshua forgot to inquire of God before proceeding and Israel paid a price for it. After the great miracle victory against Jericho by the hand of God smashing the walls down you would think a reverential fear of the “Hand of God” would come naturally for all Israelites. Well maybe not, enter Achan’s sin.

Joshua 7:20-21  And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”

Achan took silver and gold, wealth, something understandable but against what God had said to do. The 3rd thing he took may have significant meaning. He took a “garment.” Maybe you think “what’s the big deal about him taking a garment?” If you look up the Strong’s Concordance number for the word used here it is H155. There are many other Hebrew words used in the Bible for “garments” but this one is special. You see it was a special garment, that’s why Achan coveted it.

H155- addereth – feminine of H117 (noble); also the same as H145 something ample (as a large vine, a wide dress):—garment, glory, goodly, mantle, robe.
1. glory, cloak
A. glory, splendour, magnificence (of a vine, shepherds)
B. mantle, cloak made of fur or fine material
i. prophet’s garment

This H155 word related to “great, noble, lordly” for garment is the same word used to describe the mantle of Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 19:13;19, 2 Kings 2:8;13). The “garment” Achan took wasn’t just a garment to keep him warm in cold weather, it was a garment that represented authority of some kind. Achan wasn’t going to submit to the commands of Joshua or God so he took something that would make him feel authoritative.

Achan died for his sin. So did all his family as well as 36 of Israel’s soldiers when God’s Hand of Protection wasn’t over them. Sometimes you hear “why do bad things happen to good people?” Sin is like a stone thrown into a pond. The ripple effect travels far from its initial point of impact.

When Joshua died in the promised land Israel went through a roller coaster ride of high’s and low’s as a nation. That story is told in the Book of Judges which follows the Book of Joshua. In it there is a constant pattern, Israel falls into many sins including worshipping other gods “little g” and all of it’s idols. God would sell them (a repeated phrase) into the hand of a nation to torment Israel for years at a time. After many years of being dominated by the nation God had sold them over to torment Israel to teach them a lesson, He would raise up a deliverer. God chose many deliverers in the Book of Judges but the pattern of deliverance, a time of prosperity & peace, then sin, followed by oppression and deliverance repeated itself until the closing verse of the Book of Judges.

Judges 21:25  In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Everyone became like Achan. They all refused the authority of God and the Word of God He had given them to follow. All the promises of blessings, peace and prosperity and all of the promises of famine, pestilence, and destruction were not considered for very long once they felt they were living “their best life now.” It’s seems the generation that went through the “hard lesson” did submit to the authority because it says the nation “had peace for 40 years” or some extended period like that.

Since the modern era at times nations, communities and individuals have experienced Heaven sent, Godly, spiritual revival. Most often it follows the pattern of the Book of Judges. The generation or individual that has been revived by God’s Spirit have and live out a life transforming experience. A reverential fear of God leads to a life that seeks holiness. The “holiness” generation then tries to impose it’s ideas of holiness onto a generation that’s never truly been touched by the cycle of repentance of sin. Reverential fear of God and a heartfelt desire for holiness is often only rooted in the mind of the following generations. The “rules” are followed from the mind not the heart.

From the last verse of Judges with “everyone doing what was right in his own eyes” the books of the Bible continue the narrative of the Book of Judges. The Book of Ruth says Israel was experiencing a time of famine. Naomi’s husband takes his family into a sinful nation to survive the chastisement God has placed on Israel. The chastisement isn’t meant for them to run from God, rather it should make them turn to God. Prosperity, peace and blessings come through obedience rooted in the heart to God’s Covenant written in the Torah. It’s a legal binding agreement the two parties, God & Israel, said they would live by. In the end only Naomi and  Ruth make it out of Moab alive.

What Made The Difference???

The thing that made the difference was always linked to the same thing, the “Anointing of God.” God brought deliverance to Israel when He anointed Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Gideon, Samson and so on. When the nation of Israel cried out for a king to the prophet Samuel he anointed Saul.

The Book of Samuel follows the Ruth with a barren woman, Hannah, crying out to God for a child. She vows to give the child back to God if she could only birth and nurse him. God’s heart for a deliverer for His nation raises up Samuel the prophet. There is not one single disparaging word written about Samuel the prophet and God didn’t let a single word from his mouth fall to the ground. It was almost like the mouth of God had spoken because once the words left Samuel’s mouth they came to pass.

Then Israel after many years under the prophet Samuel”s direction, “ultimately God’s direction,” cried out for a king. Samuel gave in to their request only at the command of God,

1 Samuel 8:6-9  But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

Samuel obeyed God, anointing Saul as king. All the warnings of what a king would impose upon the nation of Israel didn’t deter them. Even Samuel calling down rain at the time of wheat harvest, something that wasn’t supposed to happen under God’s blessings didn’t worry them, well not much. They soon learned that they had sinned against God in asking for a king.

1 Samuel 12:16-19 “Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes: 17 Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the Lord, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking a king for yourselves.”
18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.”

This also points to a Biblical principle. God will give you what you ask for if you are not grateful for what He has provided and greedly want more, more, more. In the desert, Israel got tired of manna and cried for quail. God gave it to them and it says they ate it till it came out their nostrils then God sent a plague to kill the greedy and ungrateful,

Numbers 11:33-34  But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. 34 So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving.

The judgment of God’s anger for their ungrateful and complaining hearts didn’t end there. The Book of Psalms adds this,

Psalm 106:13-15 They soon forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel,
14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert.
15 And He gave them their request, But sent leanness into their soul.

Up comes king Saul who was anointed by Samuel. There are verses that prove that Saul received the Holy Spirit Anointing of God.

1 Samuel 10:6, 9-11
(Samuel speaking to Saul) 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 

Saul had the anointing of God but because of not obeying the commands of God he lost that anointing and his mind. Doesn’t that remind you of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon too. Neb lost his mind because of pride but Saul lost the anointing and his mind because he cared to much what the people thought and not what God thought. If God gives you “leanness of soul” you’re in big trouble.

1 Samuel 15:24  And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Somewhere along the way Saul decided to listen to the advice of the committee. He valued the opinion of the committee over the command of God and the instruction of Samuel, God’s prophet. Think about it. Saul knew that whatever Samuel said would come to pass. Saul knew Samuel heard the voice of God and spoke the Words of God. Samuel was the “Authority of God” in the flesh that Saul was to submit to. Saul rejected the authority of Samuel and chose the authority of the committee.

Romans chapter 13 as well as the Book of Daniel 2:21 tells us that it is God who raises up kings and those of authority to “rule” over the people of nations. Romans 13 goes on to tell us that we as Christians should submit to those in authority over us.

Unless the authorities God has placed over a people are asking them to violate the Word of God we are told that we should “submit to their authority” over us. In America we don’t have a king but I wish we did, King JESUS. Some day, hopefully soon He will rule and reign over the earth but for now we in America live in a “republic” not a democracy.

Many will be shocked to learn that the word “democracy” was neither used in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution. Indeed, the Founding Fathers were anxious and fearful of allowing any form of tyranny, including the tyranny of the majority.
https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/democracy-versus-liberty

The Founders’ intent at the national level was a representative republic. The word democracy is not mentioned in the Constitution. Most of the Founders distrusted pure democracy. Some had been frightened by Shays Revolt and equated democracy with mob rule. Others were convinced by Madison that different factions would come together until they formed a majority, and then take advantage of those who were not members of their coalition. In fact, Madison showed that throughout history, this phenomenon had destroyed every experiment in democracy.

John Adams wrote that “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide,” and James Madison wrote in Federalist 10 that “Democracies have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” The reason pure democracies fail is that majorities learn that they can legally take property and/or liberties away from others. Those subjected to abuse can be anyone outside the majority coalition, and their minority status can be based on race, religion, wealth, political affiliation, or even which city or state they reside in. Demagogic leaders become adept at appealing to the emotions of jealousy, avarice, and entitlement. They also denigrate opponents in order to justify prejudicial actions taken by the majority. Soon, oppression of minority classes causes enough conflicts to collapse the democratic process. http://www.whatwouldthefoundersthink.com/a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it

The turmoil and chaos we see happening throughout America today didn’t manifest overnight. Over many years of rejecting God’s Way, “JESUS” who said, “I Am the Way, The Truth and The Life” America has chosen to do it “My Way.”

In rejecting the authority of God by the people and lawmakers of America, God has done what He has always done concerning a rebellious people. He gave them what they asked for with a side dish of “leanness of soul.” God lets the fruit of sin (consequences) be the reward of sin. He does at times bring swift judgement and justice through the hands of leaders He raises up to accomplish His purpose. That’s a common them in the Book of Judges and throughout the Bible. At times God even uses natural events like earthquakes, floods, famine, drought and every other thing under His command to make His point.

I believe part of the judgement of rejecting the authority of God over America is that all authority is rejected by many. Christians reject God’s Word and say He didn’t mean it “literally.” Children reject their parents authority and do what they can get away with. The parents reject the laws they think don’t apply to them and the different levels of government reject the authority of the higher level of authority the constitution has clearly placed over them.

It should be of no surprise that the violence we are seeing across the U.S. at the protests is focused against “authority.” “The police can’t tell me what to do, I’ll spit in their face, throw bricks at them or any homemade weapon imaginable.” The local and state government tells the federal government, you can’t tell us what to do in a time of crisis.

We are watching our nation crumble right before our eyes. Maybe you think Christian leaders are a place to look for a group of people willing to submit to the “authorities God has placed over them.” That too may surprise you as much as the word “democracy” not being found in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

In recent days I’ve listened to AFR “American Family Radio” while working in my yard and running errands. Almost every ministry I listened to was bashing the idea of wearing a face mask to fight the spread of Covid 19. Not a single one had a neutral opinion. There are times when Christian ministers would do better to stop grumbling and keep their opinions to themselves and stick to teaching the Word of God than starting an “I know better committee.” If there’s anything we need more than anything else right now it’s understanding the Heart & Mind of Almighty God right now in this crisis.

All Christians including it’s ministers need to wake up and realize that God is not on vacation. God’s Hand is not short or unable to touch the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic whether it’s a hoax or genuine. That means He is allowing it and if He is, the sooner we understand why the better off we will be, at least on a personal level.

Just what are these Christian ministries teaching Christian youth about allegiance to American leadership? Remember those words, “I pledge allegiance to the flag and the United States of America.”

Allegiance – 1. loyalty, as of a subject to his sovereign or of a citizen to his country
2. (Historical Terms) (in feudal society) the obligations of a vassal to his “liege” lord.

There isn’t much “allegiance” being displayed in our country today. It looks a lot more like “every man doing what seems right in their own eyes,” even in many Christian ministries.

Do you think the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Book of Daniel would be in the Bible if they had found fault with every law of Babylon and had acted like rebels or terrorists. They understood the were captives in a foreign land because of the sins of their nation. While they were some who wholeheartedly sought God’s Will they realized they would suffer some of the effects of God’s wrath upon the nation, their nation. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego picked their battles and fought them honorably, respectfully and bravely. They knew God and knew God was well aware of their situation and trusted Him anyway.

The Bible is a written account of what God desires of the people that claim to be His own. The reason many of the accounts go into the gorey details of the sins and consequences of them is to show us a pattern and teach us a lesson.

George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That phrase has been repackaged to say, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” Either way, it sounds like the Bible which says it a different way,

1 Corinthians 10:1-11  For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 

There’s a lot of talk going around to change or even get rid of the constitution. Being a constitutionalist is frowned upon in certain circles today, even some in law enforcement. Much of the peaceful and legal protest have been hijacked by a committee of radicals or worst whose agenda is to tear down America. No Boarders!!! No Walls!!! No USA At All!!! is their chant and goal.

The sad question is “Has God sold us to the people that chant those words? Has God condoned the subversive attacks by China and other foes to give America what it’s asked for? An America that passes laws telling God, “Get out and leave us alone.” I can’t list all the factions that are telling God that in their own words through their agendas but you can figure that one out on your own.

Like in the Book of Judges and the other Bible accounts a generation or so after a people that needed God decide they don’t need or want Him so much anymore get what they ask for. 65 years ago a committee opposed a very short prayer and paved the way for our state of the union today.

In 1955, the New York Board of Regents developed a prayer recommended (but not required) for the school districts under its purview. The prayer was relatively short: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.” The board stated that the prayer would “combat juvenile delinquency and counter the spread of Communism.”

That is only a couple examples of things America has let slip. It’s like the Chinese torture of Lingchi, little cut after cut until the life blood is drained. A little corruption, greed, vise and so on until the whole body is sick.

Isaiah 1:2-7  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

These things don’t happen overnight but as the Bible shows a generation after revival has come often sees this “Slow Fade” happening. Daddy’s, families and nations done crumble in a day,  “It’s A Slow Fade.”

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