Harvester

Measured for LIFE

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We do not really care for measurements until in grade 1 we fail our first spelling or writing test. Our life of measurements has begun. Peer pressure and measuring up to fit into the right crowd can become an obsession. We measure and compare ourselves with others about being the right weight, or dress size, status, or wearing the most popular esteemed brand-names. Even the price of things is determined by our esteem and our perceived measure of its value. We may feel guilty for not measuring up spiritually, morally, ethically? We may carry the guilt of a lifelong yearning to measure up to parent’s expectations of their children. We unconsciously tirelessly measure ourselves to something to feel good about ourselves and have self-confidence. Some people abandon the whole exercise altogether inwardly realizing that they will never measure up. 

The point is: The alignment with the right measurements is crucial to healthy living!

The Earth is designed according to precise measurements

These highly precise and interdependent environmental conditions (which are called “anthropic constants”) make up what is known as the “Anthropic Principle.”

Anthropic Constant 1: Oxygen Level—On earth, oxygen comprises 21% of the atmosphere. That precise figure is an anthropic constant that makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25% fires would erupt spontaneously; if it were 15%, human beings would suffocate.

Anthropic Constant 2: Atmospheric Transparency: The degree of transparency of the atmosphere is an anthropic constant. If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface. If it were more transparent, we would be bombarded with far too much solar radiation down here.

Anthropic Constant 3: Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction: If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities.

Anthropic Constant 5: Gravity: If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001%, our sun would not exist, and, therefore, neither would we.

1. If the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun. 

2. If the universe had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did, the expansion would have stopped, and the universe would have collapsed on itself before any stars had formed. If it had expanded faster, then no galaxies would have formed.

3. Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light (now defined to be 299,792,458 meters per second). Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on earth.

4. If water vapor levels in the atmosphere were greater than they are now, a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise too high for human life; if they were less, an insufficient greenhouse effect would make the earth too cold to support human life.

5. If Jupiter were not in its current orbit, the earth would be bombarded with space material. Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike the earth.

6. If the thickness of the earth’s crust were greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life. If it were thinner, volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible.

7. If the rotation of the earth took longer than twenty-four hours, temperature differences would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period were shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be too great.

8. The 23-degree axil tilt of the earth is just right. If the tilt were altered slightly, surface temperatures would be too extreme on earth.

9. If the atmospheric discharge (lightning) rate were greater, there would be too much fire destruction; if it were less, there would be too little nitrogen fixing in the soil.

10. If there were more seismic activity, much more life would be lost; if there was less, nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to the continents through tectonic uplift. (Yes, even earthquakes are necessary to sustain life as we know it!)[1]

Prescribed measurements for Human Life

If God designed the earth with so much precision to sustain human life on earth, what makes us think that human life is without purpose, design and particular form? 

We are created, foreordained, predestined to the image of Christ. Rom 8:29

We have all kinds of measuring tools we use to sustain life: we have a unified musical note/frequency standard, we have standard time, standard measurements, standard temperature and atmospheric pressure standards; yet we fear a standard for how we should live life! We trust doctors to use all kinds of measurements to make a prognosis, but we rebel and are offended when the word judges us; sinful and in error. We use all kinds of smart measurement watches to measure heart-rate, pace and speed to improve fitness yet we feel so quickly condemned when corrected, admonished, rebuked or disciplined in character. 

God has a prescribed design, blueprint, form, frame for our lives! 

Human distinction from animals is mainly the fact that we do not have an instinctive genetic predisposition about what to eat, sexuality, what to believe, what to decide. These are all taught or learned behaviour. We want to figure life out on our own, adapted from our parents, who also tried to figure life out. The Bible is God’s coherent framework, blueprint, manual, map for life.  

Coherent Framework: If something is coherent, it is well planned, so that it is clear and sensible, and all its parts go well with each other. 

God gave us specific blueprints and measurements for life.

We want accurate measurements (Bureau of Weights & Measures). 

God commanded Israel concerning measurements (Deut. 25:15).

God-given measurements include:

  1. Noah’s ark, Gen. 6:15.
  2. Tabernacle, Exo. 25:9ff40.
  3. Solomon’s Temple, 1 Chron 28:10-1219.
  4. Ezekiel’s Temple (vision of God’s kingdom), Ezek. 40:2-443:6-12.
  5. The church, Isa. 2:2-3 (Eph. 2:19-22).

God also gave us a construct, framework of how to think about life: Called doctrine.

We Must Live by:

  1. Phil 3:16 RULE (kanon) – Used of a measuring rod, a carpenter’s line or measuring tape; “any rule or standard” (Thayer, 324).
  2. Rom. 6:17 FORM (topos) – “an example…the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made: Acts 7:44” (Thayer, 632).
  3. 2 Tim. 1:13 PATTERN (hupotuposis) – “the pattern placed before one to be held fast and copied, model” (Thayer, 645).

Does alignment with divine measurements and standards matter? 

  1. Noah Obtained God’s Grace when he Applied God’s Measurements, Gen. 6:8.
  2. Israel Obtained God’s Presence by Building Tabernacle as Directed, Exo. 25:829:44-4640:34-35.
  3. Israel’s Sacrifices Were Acceptable to God from Solomon’s Temple,  2 Chron 7:1216.
  4. The Holiness of God’s People is Accomplished/Protected/Maintained When His Measurements are Applied, Ezek. 42:2043:10-12.

If the earth and life on the planet is dependent on accurate mathematical precision, what makes us think we can just do what we want, and live a mutually healthy life? 

JESUS THE SON OF MAN IS GOD’s PERFECT MEASURE, CONSTRUCT, BLUEPRINT FOR HUMAN LIFE. 

We are the most beautiful people when we live and behave most like Jesus.  

Key measurements for life 

Let’s study a few HEBREW and GREEK Words and concepts to clarify and proof this statement. 

Phil 2:5-11

The word ‘form’ in Philippians 2:5-11 is ‘morpho’ that means inward essence. The other word used for ‘form’ is ‘schemer’ or outward form. We speak of a tennis player that is in top form (‘morpho’). He gives an outward expression of His inward ability to play tennis. Jesus was in top form and then gave it up to come to earth. It is like saying, Roger Federer wants to come and play tennis with you in your back yard!

Jesus exchanged the form (‘morpho’) of God for the form (‘schemer’) of a servant. He had to empty Himself of all privileges as God in order to become a man, for the benefit of others. (Matthew 20:28)

3444. μορφή morphḗ; gen. morphḗs, fem. noun. Form, shape.

Morphḗ appears with schḗma (G4976), fashion, the whole outward appearance, in Phil. 2:6-8. These two words stand for the form and fashion of a person or thing. A form would exist were it alone in the universe even if there were none to behold it. There may be a concept (tó nooúmenon, pres. act. part. of noéō [G3539], to conceive, exercise the mind) without becoming apparent or externally visible. The nooúmenon, conceptual, may remain such or may become phainómenon (pres. act. part. of phaínō [G5316], to appear), visible, with a shape, which can be observed. The use of morphḗ and schḗma implies that an appearance is made in a visible form and fashion.

Morphḗ in Phil. 2:6-8 presumes an obj. reality. No one could be in the form (morphḗ) of God who was not God. However, morphḗ is not the shaping of pure thought. It is the utterance of the inner life, a life that bespeaks the existence of God. He who had been in morphḗ Theoú, in the form of God, from eternity (John 17:5) took at His incarnation the morphḗn doúlou (doúlos [G1401], servant), a form of a servant. The fact that Jesus continued to be God during His state of humiliation is demonstrated by the pres. part. hupárchōn, “being” in the form of God. Hupárchō (G5225) involves continuing to be that which one was before. Nothing appeared that was not an obj. reality from the beginning. In His incarnation, Jesus took upon Himself the form (morphḗ) of a servant by taking upon Himself the shape (schḗma) of man. The schḗma, shape or fashion, is the outward form having to do not only with His essential being, but also with His appearance. The eternal, infinite form of God took upon Himself flesh (John 1:1a14a). See Sept.: Dan. 4:365:6910.

In Mark 16:12, the expression en hetéra morphḗ (en [G1722], in; hetéra [G2087], qualitatively another; morphḗ, the same as metemorphṓthē, aor. pass. of metamorphóō [G3339]), in another form, means that Christ was transformed (Matt. 17:2Mark 9:2; Sept.: Is. 44:13). The transfiguration upon the mount was a prophetic anticipation of that which we shall all experience at Christ’s return (1 Thess. 4:171 Cor. 15:52). This form in which the risen Lord appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13ff.) was a human form but different from that which Jesus had during His life on earth, yet He was readily recognized by His disciples.

Another word, idéa (G2397), idea or concept of the mind, is subjective (Matt. 28:3). Idéa is from idéō or eídō (G1492), to see, which, in turn, is from eídos (G1491), appearance, visible form (Luke 3:229:29John 5:372 Cor. 5:71 Thess. 5:22).

Deriv.: morphóō (G3445), to form, fashion; súmmorphos (G4832), conformed to.

Concordance

Gen 6:5

H3336. יֵצֶר yēṣer: A masculine noun meaning form, framing, purpose, imagination. One use of this word was to refer to a pottery vessel formed by a potter (i.e., that which was formed [Isa. 29:16]). Another example of a formed object was a graven image (Hab. 2:18). The psalmist said that man was formed from the dust (Ps. 103:14). This word also carries the connotation of something thought of in the mind, such as wickedness in people’s hearts (Gen. 6:5); or something treasured or stored in the heart (1 Chr. 29:18).

Heb 11:3

2675. καταρτίζω katartízō; fut. katartísō, from katá (G2596), with, and artízō (n.f.), to adjust, fit, finish, from ártios (G0739), fit, complete. The fundamental meaning is to put a thing in its appropriate condition, to establish, set up, equip, arrange, prepare, mend. Also from artízō (n.f.): exartízō (G1822), to accomplish.

(I) To refit, repair, mend that which is broken such as the nets (Matt. 4:21Mark 1:19). Metaphorically, of a person in error, to restore, set right (Gal. 6:1). By implication and in the proper force of katá (G2596), meaning to make a perfect fit, suitable, such as one should be, deficient in no part. Of persons (Luke 6:401 Cor. 1:102 Cor. 13:11Heb. 13:211 Pet. 5:10); of things, e.g., to fill out, supply (1 Thess. 3:10).

(II) Generally to prepare, set in order, constitute, only in the pass. and mid. (Rom. 9:22) where the perf. must be taken with the mid. sense in that the vessels of wrath, or the unsaved, fitted themselves unto destruction. They were not fitted for destruction by God. See Matt. 21:16 from Ps. 8:2. In Heb. 10:5, “a body hast thou prepared me,” as a sacrifice, see Ps. 40:7. In Heb. 11:3, the ages were created and set in order (cf. Sept.: Ps. 74:1689:37).

Deriv.: katártisis (G2676), the act of completion, making fit; katartismós (G2677), complete furnishing, fitting; prokatartízō (G4294), to perfect or make fit beforehand, make right, equip beforehand.

Syn.: sunistáō (G4921), to constitute; suníēmi (G4920), to put together; suntássō (G4929), to arrange jointly; sundéō (G4887), to bind with; déō (G1210), to bind; sunarmologéō (G4883), to fit or frame together; harmózō (G0718), to adapt, fit, join together; exartízō (G1822), to accomplish, equip fully.

Ant.: chōrízō (G5563), to put asunder, separate; dialúō (G1262), to dissolve utterly; lúō (G3089), to loose; apotássō (G0657), to renounce or disown; aporríptō (G0641), to reject.

2 Cor 10:4-6 

3794. ὀχύρωμα ochúrōma; gen. ochurṓmatos, neut. noun from ochuróō (n.f.), to fortify, which is from échō (G2192), to hold fast. A stronghold, fortification, fortress (Sept.: Is. 34:13). Used metaphorically of any strong points or arguments in which one trusts (2 Cor. 10:4, Sept.: Prov. 10:2921:22).

Syn.: teíchos (G5038), wall of a city; púrgos (G4444), a tower, castle.

3053. λογισμός logismós; gen. logismoú, masc. noun from logízomai (G3049), to reckon. A reckoning, calculation, consideration, reflection (Rom. 2:15). In the Class. Gr. writers, used of the consideration and reflection preceding and determining conduct, the same meaning as in John 11:50, dialogízomai (G1260), to deliberate. In the sense of device, counsel (2 Cor. 10:5; Sept.: Prov. 6:18Jer. 11:19).

Syn.: boulḗ (G1012), purpose or thought still in the mind; nóema (G3540), thought.

Ant.: aphrosúnē (G0877), senselessness, folly.

3540. νόημα nóēma; gen. noḗmatos, neut. noun from noéō (G3539), to perceive. A thought, concept of the mind (2 Cor. 10:5); a device, contrivance (2 Cor. 2:11); the understanding, the mind (2 Cor. 3:144:411:3Phil. 4:7).

Rom. 6:17

5179. τύπος túpos; gen. túpou, masc. noun from túptō (G5180), to strike, smite with repeated strokes. A type, i.e., something caused by strokes or blows.

(I) A mark, print, impression (John 20:25).

(II) A figure, form.

(A) Of an image, statue (Acts 7:43 quoted from Amos 5:26).

(B) Of the form, manner, of the style of a letter (Acts 23:25); a doctrine (Rom. 6:17).

(C) Figuratively of a person as bearing the form and figure of another, as having a certain resemblance in relations and circumstances (Rom. 5:14).

(III) A prototype, pattern.

(A) Particularly of a pattern or model after which something is to be made (Acts 7:44Heb. 8:5 [cf. Ex. 25:40]).

(B) Figuratively an example, pattern to be imitated, followed (Phil. 3:171 Thess. 1:72 Thess. 3:91 Tim. 4:12Titus 2:71 Pet. 5:3). Hence also for admonition, warning (1 Cor. 10:611).

A type as a model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved, e.g., the ordinances and institutions in the OT were, in their inward essence, types of the NT. The first era serves as a type of the second. However, the outline or archetype or model of some reality which was yet to appear was called túpos. A type is different than a symbol. A symbol was an equivalent, a visible sign of what is invisible, e.g., the tares in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24-3036-43) are a symbol of the activity of the devil and his agents in one’s spiritual life. A symbol is an outward manifestation of something inward, an emblem of what is higher.

Deriv.: antítupon (G0499), that which corresponds to a type, which represents the real thing; entupóō (G1795), to impress, stamp.

Syn.: hupotúpōsis (G5296), a sketch, pattern for imitation.

Jesus became our perfect measurement 

The ultimate good news is: Jesus did not only displayed and demonstrated that it is possible to live according to God’s design and purposes, He enabled us to achieve the same existence.  

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (Eph 4:7

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Pet 1:3-4


[1] Excerpt from: “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” by Norman L. Geisler. Scribd.

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