Sadly, but readily, I’ll confess that I am no dancer. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to be a Fred Astaire on the dance floor. It’s just that when I dance, more than anything else I resemble a drunk trying to trample a cockroach. One of my many problems in this arena is that I remember only one thing at a time. I can remember a kindly advisor (actually it was a contemptuous teenager) at a family celebration telling me to wave my arms. This I can do but since the rest of me stands as rigidly as the Statue of Liberty the overall effect is less Astaire and more like a seizure. When I remember to bounce lightly on my toes while syncopating my feet, well, we’re back to stomping cockroaches. It really is important to apply all elements of an integrated solution; to use all the recommended ingredients in a recipe.
Running a business means taking care of production, marketing, accounting, and several other key areas. No matter how proficiently you pursue only one of those, if the others are neglected, you won’t see success. Building a happy and tranquil family also depends on simultaneously progressing on a number of fronts. A military campaign is another example of this principle. If an invasion is successful but the air cover and supply lines are neglected, all is lost. No complex task or project can be accomplished with blinders on. One must understand all the components that taken together comprise success, and then figure out how to move forward on them all at the same time.
Part of Israel’s success as a modern, democratic state is surely due to her ability to focus simultaneously on defense, tourism, industrialization, infrastructure, immigration, and many other concerns. In all likelihood, understanding the total picture entered the DNA of Israel from the following Scriptural source:
And you shall guard them and do them [the laws and statutes] for doing so [is evidence of] your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the nations who, when they hear about ALL these statutes will say surely this is a nation of wisdom and understanding. (Deuteronomy 4:6)
Ancient Jewish wisdom describes how this verse would have read almost identically had the word ALL been omitted.
…when they hear about these statutes (they) will say surely
this is a nation of wisdom and understanding.
See what I mean?
Nonetheless, that word ALL is vital. If the nations see Israel observing and doing only selected laws and statutes, perhaps only those they feel emotionally drawn to, the result would be quite different. The nations will not say, “This is a nation of wisdom and understanding”. Instead they are more likely to say, “How weird, bizarre, and generally inexplicable is this nation!”
Revering only the parts of the Bible we like the sound of, does not make us effective children of God; it subjects us to ridicule. Seeing the Bible as the comprehensive life plan that it is, not only makes us effective but it also makes us admired.
There are those who take the Bible seriously on family matters but who ignore it at work. There are those who meticulously study the Bible and obey its edicts on charity and justice but who regard its rulings on other social issues to be anachronistic. All the folks in these examples are getting as much benefit from the Bible as they would from eating a culinary delight prepared by a careless chef who omitted a few key ingredients.
When you respect the Biblical statutes, that important word ALL is the key. If you try to make a bed so perfectly that a sergeant’s coin bounces off the blanket, you need to pay equal attention and apply equal tension to ALL four corners. God’s word is no different. Whether certain concepts resonate with us while others baffle us, we do well to recognize that they are all intertwined.
This crucial teaching that economic and sexual truths are inextricably linked leaps at you out of the Hebrew verses leading up to the Flood in Genesis. (Rabbi, you mean sexual depravity can really destroy finances?) Share my 2 audio CD set, The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah with your friends and family. You will be amazed and uplifted to hear how ancient Jewish wisdom on these verses applies prophetically to our times, right now, right here. Learn how to construct a spiritual ark for your family, enveloping those you love with God’s protection.