Wednesday, September 25, 2019

It Is Hard To Hit A Moving Target

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” — Isaiah 40:8

One of the first things you learn when firing weapons – well beside which end is the “business” end – is that it is harder to hit a moving target than a stationary one.  I am sure you are familiar with the saying, “He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn!” Meaning the person was a very poor shot.  I known a few of them over the years.  So – what does this have to do with anything spiritual? Let me tell you.

Do you remember hearing or reading about the root of the word “sin”. The Hebrew word for sin is "Het" which is the same Hebrew word for what happens in Archery when one does not hit the bullseye – one someone misses the mark.  And if you don’t like that answer, read on. The Greek word hamartia (ἁμαρτία) is usually translated as sin in the New Testament. In Classical Greek, it means "to miss the mark" or "to miss the target" which was also used in Old English archery.  There's more to this, actually: "The English word sin derives from Old English synn. The same root appears in several other Germanic languages, e.g. Old Norse synd, or German Sünde. The word may derive, ultimately, from *es-, one of the Indo-European roots that meant "to be," and is a present participle, "being." Latin, also has an old present participle of esse in the word sons, sont-, which came to mean "guilty" in Latin. (Yahoo Answers)

Tired? Confused? Me too.  Whether the derivation is from Hebrew, Greek or Latin is not really the point.  The point is that the target that the archer or sinner shot at was stationary. “The word of our God endures forever.”  It does not change.  The one great thing about the truth is that it is, well, the truth.  It does not change.  And better yet, if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said – because what you said will always be true – no matter to whom you are telling it or even when or where you are telling it! So what to do if you can’t hit the broad side of a barn – let alone the bulls eye. Well – you can always move the target to where you are shooting. In the spiritual context – you change what is true to fit what you are doing. That is what our culture does.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.” – Romans 1:25

Our culture has moved the target so it might stake its claim as an expert marksman – the doers of what is true. And each year the target gets moved a little further away from God – the Source of Truth.  Contrary to what our culture might claim, it does not matter where the target is moved to – Truth does not change. As Christians – failing to embrace the lie makes you intolerant. Being called intolerant in this culture is like being branded with a Scarlet Letter “I” as opposed to an “A”.  (that was probably lost on younger generations)

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I [Jesus] have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:19

I [Jesus] have given them your [Father God] word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”  – John 17:14

Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” – 1 John 3:13

I think you get the idea.  With respect to the target of Holiness and Truth that God has set up for us to shoot at – it is harder to hit than a moving target – in fact it is impossible – you will never be a good enough marksman – it is impossible apart from faith in the “Way, Truth, and Life” – Jesus. The world is doing the best it can – but all it manages to do is dig a deeper hole.  And what can you do about the path the culture is on? Live according to the truth – be salt and light – keep your eyes on the target. And know that if you are labeled as intolerant, that is OK, just don’t be labeled as unloving and uncaring. And that is the truth!

God Bless You My Friend

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