March 20th – Shaking The Foundations



A paradigm is a framework – a structured set of all the various forms of anything – like a word it has grammatically all kinds of forms and inflections: well a paradigm is a systematic arrangement which includes all the variations of that word. When we use the phrase ‘a paradigm shift’ we mean that a massive change has happened, in which the whole structure in which the words are classified is moved. Margins, floors, ceilings, the lot. For example, for centuries human’s believed the world was flat, with the sun passing overhead each day. When Copernicus came up with the idea that the earth was a small globe, revolving round the sun – that was a paradigm shift. Nothing would ever be the same way again. All the margins, the framework of our thinking, had shifted.
Well, the great Jeremiah, that Old Testament “Timid Tornado” – that weeping poet – that mighty prophet – he was a paradigm shifter. Real prophets often are, for example, up to his time people saw themselves as units in a tribe, or family, or race. Like members of an orchestra, each was a component part. Each individual was relatively unimportant: the social unit was the vital thing. Like bees in a hive, only the whole swarm mattered. So I call this view ‘Beehive Mankind’. Total tribalism is still alive in the world.
Well, Jeremiah transformed all that. He quoted a favourite proverb of the old paradigm, and then smashed it. Others explained what was involved, such as his pupil Ezekiel (Chapter 18). But the shift had taken place. No longer can I hide as a bit of my clan, or nation. I am an individual, and alone I must stand before God to answer for what I’ve become. I can’t blame my group, my family, nor my friends. Are you ready for this shift? (Jeremiah 31: 29-30)
In those days people will no longer say, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’. Instead everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes, his own teeth will be set on edge.
A Prayer: Thank you Lord, for reminding me that I cannot blame anyone for what I am. I, and no one else am responsible. But Lord, in Jesus you forgive our sins and begin to change our desires to sin. Hallelujah.
Now read how Ezekiel applied the shift in Chapter 18.

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Thought 4 The Day

Christianity is not about how to escape from the difficulties of life, but about how to face them. (Brian Edwards)

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