Fundamentals of Economics

Essay #34 The Cross and the Garment

What is a cross?

The cross is a horizontal object bisected, perpendicularly, by a vertical object, with one third of the vertical object above the intersection and two thirds below.

That’s it, nothing more or less. Two objects that intersect in space and time.  The horizontal piece says to the vertical piece, “Hey, I will meet you at such and such location at this specific time.”  The two meet and you get a cross.

What’s a cross made of?  Virtually anything rigid.  The object must hold its shape in order to maintain the right angle it establishes.  Hence, anything from lumber, iron, steel, bamboo etc. will do.

Is the cross itself important to you, or is content that the cross symbolizes important to you?

The cross has no practical value to the Christian outside the immense content that it represents.  The cross was God’s chosen means to execute His Son.  When we start here and then ask “why?” the answers start to fill up a robust theology that has a great deal of value to the child of God.

The cross itself is not as valuable as the symbol of the cross.  Because the symbolic meaning carries with it a complete picture of who God is, who man is, the relationship between God and man and what God had to do to redeem man.  That is a great deal of information.

The nation Israel has been repeatedly worn not to be like the nations in the land of Canaan.  In the case of Jericho, they had been specifically warned that: 1).  The city of Jericho was accursed as were the people in it (Joshua 6:17). (2). There was an accursed thing they were to keep themselves from (Joshua 6:18a). (3). They would make themselves accursed if they took it (Joshua 6:18c). (4).  They would make the entire camp accursed also if they took it. (Joshua 6:18c).

Nonetheless, Achan took the accursed thing and brought trouble on the nation.

 “…for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.” (Joshua 7:11b). 

“Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel:” (Joshua 7:13a).

“And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.” (Joshua 7:15).

God takes His Word seriously, as should we, and He was determined to keep Israel from the accursed thing, but by one man’s disobedience, the entire nation would be accursed, and by one man’s death, the nation would be released.

What did Achan take that was accursed?  “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” (Joshua 7:21).  A goodly Babylonish garment.

Achan, took the “accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it among their own stuff.”  He took the goodly Babylonish garment that was to be destroyed.  He stole the gold and silver that “are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” (Joshua 6:19).  Stealing the gold and silver was obviously a problem, but the accursed thing was the garment.

The goodly Babylonish garment was accursed of God.  The garment made the people accursed and the city itself accursed.  Was it the garment?  Or, was it what the garment represented?

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