"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Monday, July 31, 2006

Judah's Spin

Decades ago the use of "spin" generally precipitated visions of a twirling top. Today the use of "spin" invokes thoughts of pontificating politicians twisting the truth to garner greater access to the public treasury. And this for purposes of pleasing oneself under the guise of "serving" the citizentry. Spin is as old as mankind himself. From Adam, Eve, Satan and that blasted apple and responsibility issue, to Cain and his affliction with IMD--Intermittent Murder Disorder, to your local politician who's going to save Social Security and make sure your child gets a quality, affordable education.

The church of Jesus Christ has always been beset with problems. Myriads of people spin their excuse for rejecting Christ for that reason alone. He can't be God in the flesh otherwise the church would have fewer faults. Spin. False Gospel. Rationalization. Evidence of guilt.

Judah, son of Jacob--first name only people, like Madonna and 50-Cent--was not immune to personal problems and was a potential source of embarrassment to a significant future relative--Jesus Christ. He too was good at spinning. He and his brothers of course were infuriated with brother Joseph after hearing of his dreams (Genesis 37) and his belief that his brothers would one day serve him. The text uses that humbling phrase "bowing down."

So, the brothers wanted to kill him but the elderly one Rueben convinces them not to go that far. He suggests dumping him in a well. This they do, after stripping him of his robe. Then, after eating, Judah suggests selling Joseph to the caravanning Ishmaelites instead of killing him and covering it up. "After all, he is our brother," he said (Gen 37:26). How nice. Spin. It's as if Judah believes Joseph owes him a favor for granting him a brotherly blessing. We're not going to kill you, just sell you into slavery. Rationalization is the mother's milk of spin.

It gets worse for Judah. He has three kids and the two eldest, Er and Onan, God kills off because they're wicked. He withholds his youngest Shelah from marrying Tamar, the widow of Er the elder, for reasons unknown to us. Tamar tricks Judah, literally and figuratively, (see: tution, prosti-) and is impregnated by him. Talk about a bummer of a road trip. Once confronted Judah's statement is "She is more righteous than I" (Gen 38:26). More spin. Why not, "I am more wicked than she?" Man likes to comment on his perceived degree of righteousness rather than his lostness (Rom 3:10). This is good for his self-esteem. It's also spin. Man exhausts himself recounting his perceived attributes while tearing down himself and society in the process. That's what spin does.

Jesus Christ chose to be a blood relative to Judah in the flesh, and his incestuous son Perez to boot. It's always better to bow down to the King than to try to spin our way out of guilt. In the long run the grace and mercy of the King overlook the spinning and grant adoption by way of covenantal redemption into the only true family, one destined for a sinless and grand existence on the flipside of this mortal existence.

God's people are a mess. They acknowledge that. But they're redeemed. In many cases they spin less. Spin Detox. Class is always in session.


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