Welcome to Kabad Kingdom!
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Do you remember the old Superman comics - back in the early 1960's when Bizarro world was first introduced? Bizarro world was the exact opposite of Earth and Bizarro Superman was the exact opposite of Superman, and eventually all of the main characters in the Superman comic series had their Bizarro opposites introduced.
Well, today (August 4, 2019 if you want to go check out the sermon on our YouTube channel) in the final sermon in our series on Holiness in the Ten Commandments, we introduced our own version of Bizarro world. Today, we introduced the Kabad Kingdom - the place where God's way of living is truly displayed and where the Ten Commandments are not external demands that have to be obeyed, but rather they are ways of being that create a new community of set apart for God's glory and the edification and shalom of God's people. We call it the Kabad Kingdom because kabad is the Hebrew word for 'honor', as found in Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16. In this context in which we are given the command 'Honor your father and mother', kabad means 'to hold in honor' or 'honored greatly'. It can also convey the idea of 'weightiness', 'glory' or 'to make wealthy or rich'. The reason we have constructed this 'new world' using the idea of kabad is because of the contrast we see in Exodus 21:17: 'Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.' The opposite of the desired gravity, weightiness or honor that we are to give our parents, according to the fifth commandment, is to curse, or qalal in Hebrew. The idea expressed by qalal is 'to diminish, to esteem lightly, to treat with contempt'. So, this exercise in opposites helps us think about what it means to honor our parents, and also clearly illustrates the opposite behavior. So, our new world, the Kabad Kingdom, is the opposite of the world we see all around us every day, a world where the average citizen diminishes, reduces, weakens, belittles, demeans, dishonors, humiliates, shames, disparages, denigrates, maligns, and scorns their fellow inhabitants as a regular part of life.
Part of our plan in introducing the Kabad Kingdom was to point out that these commandments don't point to behaviors that God has told us to just barely avoid. God did not give these commandments to us hoping that we could fall asleep each night having managed to barely escape murdering our neighbor or having an affair. We believe that God wants us to do better, and we are using a phrase from the Lord's prayer to help us visualize what this might look like. We pray, as Jesus taught us, 'Lead us not into temptation', but a more in-depth way to understand this phrase is something like, ‘lead us not only not into temptation, but lead us in exactly the opposite direction’. As we will see when we examine each of the last six commandments this week, God points us in the exact opposite of these prohibited behaviors and has promised that He will change our hearts and cause us to desire to live a different kind of life. This Kabad Kingdom is a place that is created and maintained by living a certain kind of way, a way that is guided by the Ten Commandments (as well as Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and a number of other passages in the New Testament such as Colossians 3). As God's people live out God's commandments, we create a certain kind of community, a community where God’s way shines and where we are magnified and lifted up as we magnify and lift God and each other. And God has promised us He will give us everything we need to live in and help maintain this bold new world.
So, what do you think about this new community, this alternative way of living, this Bizarro-type world where down is up and wrong is made right and cursing and diminishment are turned to honoring and magnifying? How would you like to join the Kabad Kingdom?