April 24; Submission To a Third Party Authority; MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Chapter Four: Relationships; 24 April
It was also called Mizpah, because he said,
“May the LORD keep watch between you and me
when we are away from each other.”
|Submission To a Third Party Authority|
Years ago I instructed auto mechanics on brake repairs. I knew my stuff (or “content” as we call it nowadays) but it mattered little what I claimed. The American Society of Engineers evaluated my knowledge and they said that I knew what I was doing. The ASE is a respected, non-government, private association that provides credentials proving competence. Mechanics may–or may not–have trusted me, but they trusted the ASE.
Relationships often need a third party validation. I can claim competence. A mother can claim competence for her child. But we might have biased opinions of self and offspring.
Outside parties like the Better Business Bureau and the ASE have the authority granted by their ruling Boards of Directors and their membership to recognize fitness and to enforce business ethics as a condition for admission. The ancient Jews did not have the UN or BBB they had to rely on an even higher authority.
Laban and his son-in-law Jacob, whom God would rename “Israel,” resolved a dispute and were to part in friendly company. They built a mound of stones and a pillar to commemorate the agreement. Jacob named the witness rocks; It was also called Mizpah, because he said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. Genesis 31:49.
The rocks were to be boundary stones and a memorial at Mizpah also known as “Watchtower.” Laban and Jacob were both accountable to the ultimate higher ruling authority: The Creator.
“Mizpah” can represent the emotional connection, the bond between two individuals while they are apart. It is popularized by jewelry. The Mizpah Coin is cut in two with a half worn by the separated couple. It is also seen on headstones in graveyards.
However, the common usage seems to be a gentle reminder or a light-hearted encouragement between lovers. Originally, it was no such thing. May the LORD keep watch is actually a dire warning to demand compliance to the agreement.
The contract at Mizpah was serious business in a three-way relationship: The Higher Authority, Laban and Jacob. Certification today serves much in the same way.
It was also called Mizpah, because he said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. Genesis 31:49