Fact is, Batman's name itself has become a catchphrase, or a household word. "I'm Batman." And, Batman jokes abound. Like the following joke:
Batman and Robin are camping in the desert, set up their tent and are asleep. Some hours later, Batman wakes his faithful friend.
Batman: Robin, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.
Robin: I see millions of stars.
Batman: What does that tell you?
Robin: Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Chronologically, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Batman?
Batman: Robin, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent.
I gave a riddle in last night's blog. I devised it from the Bible passage below from the words of Moses in the Pentateuch, or the 5 books of Moses. As you can see... it's talking about God's Word... or message.
Deuteronomy 30:10-16 If you shall hearken unto the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn unto the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul. For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it.
The Hebrew word translated in the above passage as mouth is פֶּה - peh and is used for both "mouth" as well as "language" or "speech." So, Moses was letting the early Israelites know that God's Words were in their own language. Just like today. We can read the Bible in our native language. People in that day, just as today, often had to travel to the far East, or other countries to get a higher education. He was letting them know God's Word was accessible immediately for everyone.
Romans 10:5-17 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man who does those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaks thus, Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what says it? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report? So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Legalism is simply a term we've invented to refer to the idea that you will be saved by works. So, since praying doesn't save us, does that mean we don't need to pray and talk to God? How dare you condemn prayer, fasting, and Bible reading as legalistic practices if you believe God will curse Christians for not paying tithes?! How can you look at my hair and my clothes and judge me as legalistic because I am not conforming to your dress code of praying barefoot in tattered jeans?! That's reverse legalism!
Please, do not think my words are intended for any one person. That is a common mistake made, both in church preaching, and in written blogs. I go to church and give in tithing myself. I have a home church congregation, and love where I am just fine, thanks! I know people in many different churches. So this is not about any one person or denomination. There is one thing I know. Judgment begins in the House of God, no matter what denomination you worship. (That's not a typo.) If you don't believe me, ask the people who are not hearing the sermons about "forgiving your brother," because they have been banned permanently from church for leaving their wife and marrying another woman years ago. (It's not Jesus doing the judging, by the way. He said to let the "tares grow up with the wheat" until judgment Day in Matthew 13:30.)
And we would do well to remember, there is more than one Law. We have laws here in Georgia. We have Federal laws as well in this country. Other countries have laws. Israel was a nation... a country. There are national Jews, and there are religious Jews. Some are both. The Mosaic Covenant is referred to as "The Law" and was intended for the nation of Israel as a country. The Bible was written for Jew and Gentile alike. But, we have to remember that Israel did not exist until the time beyond Abraham. Before Abraham, God created the world and gave Adam and Eve rules, or laws. You could say they were only told to not eat from the one tree. But, technically, they were told to eat fruit, nuts, and berries, and to make lots of babies as well. That was the plan at least. Then, sometime after they broke that law, God saw them eating the animals, sometimes without even cooking them first. So, after the Flood, God gave Noah a longer list of rules, just to be more specific since they were running wild. They could eat meat, since they were going to do it anyways, but for Heaven's sake, cook the blood out of it first! He added a few other rules about murder, and repeated the commandment to make lots of babies. :) So, Noah and Adam had laws, too.
Even the natural world has laws. He told the stars where to spin in the sky, and set the planets in orbit around our sun. They can't just spin off where they choose. Even the sea is bound by the sand on the shore. Jeremiah 5:22 To generically label the books of Moses as The Law is a mistake. Don't throw away the Ten Commandments. We might need those yet. Fact is, those ten rules make our lives better. They cover how we are supposed to treat God and each other.
And, this brings us to the point of Moses' Riddle.
What does holy mean? Holy means that we belong to Jesus Christ. We are dedicated to Him. God knew that mankind couldn't be holy and righteous, no matter how specific His rules were. By the time of Christ, the Jewish "Law" had grown to huge proportions, with every law spelled out in the most legalistic terms. Jesus died and rose from the grave to wash away our sin debt, and make us righteous before God. That does not mean it is fine to murder now, since we are not under Law, but grace. God does not give us grace to murder. Romans 6:1 Do we want to sin so we can have a better testimony later? We are filled with the Holy Spirit so God's Word will be in our heart, and we won't sin by our own choice. We won't need a myriad of legalistic rules spelled out for us, because we have a heart to follow Christ. Paul said, you show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith BY my works. James 2:20 This doesn't mean that Paul thought his works were the source of his salvation. In Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus explained that His purpose was not to abolish the laws of God, but to make it possible for us to fulfill them in Him. He is how we are saved from sin. What are you saved from if there is no commandment of God now? If God's Word is holey, instead of holy... If it is rusty, legalistic and unimportant, what do we need saved from? The Gospel message; the Word of God is your answer. It's right here, in our hearts and mouths!