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Tuesday, May 24 2011
The Bible And The Mob
According to The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary, the English word "mob" is actually an abbreviation of a Latin term, mobile vulgus, from mobile, meaning moving, and vulgus meaning common i.e. the general population. A "mob" literally means a moving crowd - not merely to travel somewhere, but to destroy something or someone. From that, the present-day definition of "mob" has developed into either "a disorderly crowd of people," or "a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities" (WordWeb Dictionary by Princeton University), both of which may themselves be defined as "an association of criminals."
In the Holy Bible, those who faced a mob ("a moving mass of common people") were just regular folks too - who happened to be given to understand, or do something, that enraged their fellow citizens into a state of anarchy (history has shown that religious mobs tend to be the most violent - see the Fact Finder question below).
Consider the mob that Moses (see The Prophets: Moses) faced - and why. It began with 250 of the "leaders" who rebelled against the Word of the LORD that Moses had been commanded, by the LORD, to speak to them. When the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') put the rebels to death, a larger mob, of the entire Israelite population (the literal dictionary definition of "mob") formed against Moses, accusing him of "Ye have killed the people of the LORD" - when it was the LORD Himself who miraculously dealt with them, just as the LORD also then did to those rebels. Amazingly, it was the intercession of Moses that stopped the devastating wrath of the LORD against those who would have killed Moses had the LORD not intervened. Not only was Moses not "lording it over" anyone, he actually cut short his own self-defense that the LORD provided to him against that same mob.
"16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? (Numbers 16:1-3 KJV)
"Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
Religious mobs were no different in the "New" Testament. For example, the apostle Paul faced mobs for the same reason, and for the same LORD, that Moses did - with no difference between mobs of pagans, or mobs of people who falsely claimed to worship the LORD. Paul faced both kinds of heathens.
Paul faced a mob of idol worshippers because of the Truth of the LORD that he taught:
"19:23 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. 19:24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; 19:25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
Paul also faced a mob of people, who behaved in the same violent way as the idol worshippers of Ephesus, while claiming to worship the LORD, because of the actual Truth of the LORD that Paul taught to them:
"21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. 21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. 21:29 For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.
The Messiah of course also faced a mob Himself, just as He did, for the same reason, as when He stood with Moses ("10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV) and with Paul ("23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome" Acts 23:11 KJV).
"27:22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?
Fact Finder: In the Word of God, does "violence" mean a physical act, alone, or does it mean all violation of God's Law?
This Day In History, May 24
1153: King David I of Scotland died and was succeeded by his grandson Malcolm IV.
1261: Alexander IV, antipope 1254-1261, died under suspicious circumstances; some historians believe that he was poisoned by his successor, antipope John XXIII (see The Struggle For The Papacy; listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
1543: Nicolaus Copernicus published his theory of a sun-centered solar system, which contradicted the common belief that the sun revolved around the earth (see also No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible).
1621: The Protestant Union (a coalition of Protestant German states) was formally dissolved.
1689: The English Parliament passed the Act of Toleration, protecting Protestants against persecution by Roman Catholics.
1798: Believing that a (Roman Catholic) French invasion of Ireland was imminent, Irish nationalists rose up against the (Protestant) British occupation.
1819: Princess Alexandrina Victoria was born at Kensington Palace in London, the only daughter of the Duke of Kent. As Queen Victoria, she reigned for 63 years, from 1837 until her death in 1901.
1844: Samuel Morse transmitted the world's first telegraph message to his associate 40 miles / 65 kilometers away. The message was "What hath God wrought!" (a quote of Numbers 23:23)
1940: Russian aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky made the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
1941: During the Second World War (which began in September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland), the British cruiser HMS Hood was sunk by the massive German battleship Bismarck (52,600 tons, eight 15-inch guns) which began firing 15 miles away. Of the 1,400 crew of the Hood, only 3 survived. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered an all-out hunt by the Royal Navy for the Bismarck, which was located and sent to the bottom a few days later by 3 British warships - a bombardment firefight with the Bismarck through the night from the British battleships King George V and Rodney and 3 torpedoes from the British cruiser Dorsetshire the next day.
1943: Admiral Donitz withdrew the German U-boat (submarine) fleet from the open Atlantic due to heavy losses (75% of crews lost) inflicted by the United States, British and Canadian navies.
1950: The "Tripartite Declaration" by Britain, U.S., and France sought to prevent further war in the region of Israel.
1961: U.S. civil rights "Freedom Riders" were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for "disturbing the peace" - for peacefully getting off their bus.
1967: Egypt blockaded the Red Sea coast of Israel.
1986: Margaret Thatcher became the first British Prime Minister to visit the present-day state of Israel.
1994: The four men who were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York were each sentenced to 240 years in prison. Over 1,330 pounds of explosives were packed into a vehicle in an underground parking area of the north tower, placed in such a way that the north tower would supposedly fall into the south tower, in an attempt to bring both towers down. Although much damage was done, and thousands of people were injured, including 7 killed, the towers remained standing - until September 2001.
2000: Israel military forces withdrew from Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.