Friday, February 15, 2008

Was it Vain?

I was reading in Isaiah this morning and came to this verse:

"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is no other."
Isaiah 45:18

The phrase that stood out to me was "who did not create it in vain". What exactly does that mean? Well at first glance it seems like obviously God had a purpose in creating the earth, and the verse goes on to say the purpose is inhabitation. Case closed right. But why use the word vain? Was there a deeper explanation?

I checked up the Hebrew word for vain - tohuw (tohoo). This word literally means a waste or desolation as in the sense of destruction. So God did not create the earth to be a waste land. Ok fine, he created it for the purpose of being inhabited.

However, what is really interesting is that this same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 1:2.

"The earth was without form (tohuw), and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

Here another word is also used to describe the earth; void. The Hebrew for void is Bohuw (bohoo) which carries the meaning of either vacuous or an undistinguishable ruin. So to paraphrase Gen 1:2, the earth was a desolate wasteland and beyond recognition.

So my question is; If God did not create the earth this way, how did it end up like this in the second verse of the Bible? Was there something that occurred after verse one?

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Republic

There is a common misconception today that America is a great democracy. This is really only a half truth. Democracy itself is only a small part of the picture in the overall fabric of how government functions.

More accurately, America is a functioning Republic in danger of becoming a democracy. Why do I say that? Precisely because if you understand the process of how a democracy works you begin to realize it is not a static condition. Rather democracy is a transitional stage between two other forms of government.

Self governance is in fact the most difficult of systems to maintain. Man is by his selfish and fearful nature given to seeking protection and ease. The result of this is an exchange of freedom and finances for security and provisions.

The danger of a purely democratic system is that it ultimately reduces to mob rule; 50 +1 % = majority.

The American Constitution was written to ensure that certain inalienable rights were granted to each of it's citizens. These rights were in fact stated to be given by God and therefore not subject to the whim of a fickle electorate. Furthermore, the signers of this constitution stated that this form of government would only work if the people themselves were of moral and upright character. It would be wholly unsuitable to any other.

When Benjamin Frankin emerged from the signing of the constitution he was asked by a lady, "what have you given us?". His reply was, "A Republic, if you can keep it".

As I mentioned earlier a democracy is simply a transititional stage between two forms of government. If we simply resort to becoming "democratic" in our laws and actions rather than realizing that there are certain laws given by God and not subject to man's alteration we can maintain the equilibrium.

However, the end of all runaway democracies is an oligarchy; rule by a few. Be careful you are not exchanging your freedom and privacy for your security.