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Symbolism - 4.21.2024 Bulletin

Symbolism

You don't need me to tell you that symbolism plays a great deal of significance throughout the world and throughout history.  Symbols are found from everyday locations such as stop signs and fire alarms to more specific symbols, like a biohazard warning or even national flags.  Just seeing these symbols can conjure up their meaning and warnings if applicable, all without a single word.  It is no surprise then that the Bible also has many symbols that likewise instill memories, lessons and emotions without a single word.

Let us begin with the rainbow.  Modern society has desecrated this symbol of God and tried to make it represent the LGBT group, which is completely devoted to violating God's commands for the natural order.  But let us not forget the original, God assigned meaning of the rainbow was to be a promise between God and man that He will never again destroy the whole Earth with a flood.  It is small wonder then that rainbows appear after storms.  Speaking as a Floridian who has been through a few hurricanes, I can say that God's rainbow is a welcome reminder of His promise.  An additional meaning one could assign to the rainbow is that God's people will endure through the trials, upheld by His Hand, and will be able to see His blessings that always follow.  The sinful people of the old world that was destroyed never saw a rainbow, and never saw God's deliverance and blessing, although they had their chance to repent and be saved too.  Noah and his family were found to be faithful however, and their obedience led God to preserve them through a divine punishment of Earth-changing proportions.  Those who now seek to desecrate this God-given symbol would do well to consider the nature of the rainbow, and perhaps not use it as a symbol of their deviancy. 

Another well known symbol that even secularists recognize is that of the Stone Tablets and the Ark of the Covenant.  The Stone Tablets which contained the Ten Commandments are perhaps one of the most iconic symbols from the Bible, second only to the Cross itself (more on that soon).  And the Ark of the Covenant was another well known symbol that even Israel wielded like a weapon at time through their conquests and wars.  Whether it was crossing the Jordan River to enter the promised land, marching around the walls of Jericho or brought forth against the Philistines as a "Secret weapon" of sorts, the Israelites quite enjoyed this symbol of their covenant with God.  Yet it seems sometimes they missed the point.  In 1 Samuel 4:3, the Israelites intended to use the Ark as an instrument of war, no doubt hoping to pull off a similar victory as they did in Jericho.  Yet I believe the Israelites were neglectful of what truly brought them victory there: their obedience to God's battle plan.  Yes, God commanded them to build the Ark.  Yes, God ordered it to be marched into battles.  But it was their obedience to God, not the Ark itself that saved them.  A similar comparison is baptism.  It's not the water itself that saves us, but our obedience to God's prescribed manner of achieving salvation.  Much like marching the Ark around Jericho at God's command brought the Israelites victory, so too does being fully immersed in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bring us victory over sin and darkness.

Of course the most famous symbol of all from the Bible is the cross itself.  Countless pieces of art depict this scene through the ages.  It was often used as a decoration on armor, tabards and shields during the middle ages.  It is engraved on doors, on Bibles, it is on bumper stickers, some churches put 1 or 3 crosses on their property, and countless more examples exist.  The cross is one of the most recognizable symbols in the entire world, and you would be hard-pressed to find someone unfamiliar with it.  In the Roman times, it represented an extremely painful execution reserved for the worst society had to offer.  But nowadays, the cross is seen as a symbol of healing, of hope, of eternal life, of Christianity, and of Christ Himself.  I know that in our post Catholic Crusade world the idea of using the Cross is somewhat troublesome.  But recall what Paul said in Galatians 6:14.  He boasted in the Cross of Jesus.  Also recall what Jesus Himself said in John 12:32-33.  We should not make the Cross an idol like denominations do, but we should not be scared to bear forth our Lord's standard.  After all, He has to be lifted up to draw all people to Himself.

DY

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