Numbers30:13 “Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void. (14) Now if her husband makes no response whatever to her from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or all other agreements that bind her- he confirms them, because he made no response to her on the day that he heard them. (15)But if he does make them void after he has heard them, then he shall bear her guilt.”
Onto the biblical Art of affliction. Why, we may ask, might a husband allow his wife to continue being bound to her vows if they afflict her soul? From a completely practical perspective, how far would a modern husband confirm his wife’s affliction, and to what end? For what purpose?
This would of course have to be answered from at least two standpoints. There could be more standpoints, but there at least must be two. One, that of a religious type and two, that of the irreligious. In terms of the irreligious, I will not get involved with here. In light of a religious type of affliction of the soul, we are able to grasp at many reasons why this would be “confirmed.” All to one very simple end: sanctification.
“And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet…your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:20-21
To confirm a vow that afflicts the soul is to participate, directly or indirectly, in the faith of religious sanctification. Which is to say that the husband who would make void the vow or binding oath of the wife, heard and knew that the affliction was unwarranted, and essentially counterproductive in sanctification. Let us take this definition as the idealistic view, allowing us to apply such an idea of a husbands perfect insight to the Lord, and the afflicted, his wavering Bride, Israel.
Again, I will cite some passages for their own light, and then we will see how far the context may be implicated.
“But this is a people robbed and plundered– All of them are snared in holes, and they are hidden in prison houses.. They are for prey, and no one delivers–For plunder, and no one says, “Restore!” (23) Who of you will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear for the time to come?(24) Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Was it not the Lord, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, nor were they obedient to His law. (25) Therefore He has poured on him the fury of His anger and the strength of battle, It has set him on fire all around, yet he did not know, and it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart.”
“Surely you did not hear, surely you did not know, surely from long ago your ear was not opened, for I knew that you would deal very treacherously, and were called a transgressor from the womb.(9) For My name’s sake I will defer my anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off.(10) Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver.. I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.(11) For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it.. For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give my glory to another.”
“And it shall come to pass in all the land,” says the Lord, “that two-thirds shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: (9)I will bring one-third through the fire, will define them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested.”
Rev3:17-22 “Because you say I am rich…but do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–(18) I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich.. and white garments that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed..and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see.(19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.(20) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him, and he with Me. (21)To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father on His throne. (22)He who has an ear, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Possibly we have reached a point that I may summarize.
With an examination of the concepts tied to the word /Cross/ in Greek, we uncovered the fact that what we are given as conventional doctrine is a type of generalization for, let us say, practical purposes. Which, I might add, is not a matter of dogma by any means. Our short study has shown us that we can, with reasonable objectivity, assess even the face value of the translation, and see that /cross/ in itself is more than at first appears. Nothing added, nor taken away from the text. Only searched.
Taking merely what common doctrine gives us as its meaning, we ventured to fully grasp the implications of both the literal, as well as the given figurative definition of the cross, “exposure to death i.e. self-denial.” With this we met the limited view of using -Stauros- in its literal sense, and then opened the door on the different types of imagery connected to the idea of ‘self-denial.’ This impelled us to be more sensitive to the particular aspects of the soul, and the observation that the soul itself consists of higher and lower distinctions inwardly, so to speak, and that a person may participate in elevating the soul from one state into another state, as Paul instructs in his “putting off the old man” clause. All of which is determinant upon the acknowledgement of at least two worlds, although of one reality– the material/physical world and the spiritual world.
to be continued…