June 16, 2014
Are you familiar with the term “merism?” I wasn’t until reading this passage this morning then doing a bit of research. A merism is the use of the parts and/or extremities of something to indicate the whole. As one might say “both near and far” or “both rich and poor.” One interesting note I found on this subject:
"It may very well be that the Bible, as organized, functions as a merism, beginning in Genesis with Eden lost and ending in Revelation with the 'New Jerusalem' gained, these two referring to the entirety of human history and representing the 'Alpha and Omega' (Rev. 21.6) of God's sovereignty. Revelation 11.17 extends merism to the triadic 'one who is, was, and is coming.' Finally, while it may be to stretch a point, it might be said that the 'Old Testament' and the 'New Testament' form a merism that represent all of God's word and the 'Bible' as totality." (Jeanie C. Crain, Reading the Bible as Literature: An Introduction. Polity Press, 2010)
In our passage today we have a merism in 8:23-24. As God instructs Moses to put the blood of ordination on the right ear lobe, right thumbs and right big toes of Aaron and his sons, we might say, “They were consecrated from head to toe.” In other words, every part of them, all of them, was consecrated to the Lord.
As a kingdom of priests today, we Christians are also consecrated from head to toe. That brings to mind another merism which Jesus used that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That means all of us. Jesus is not indicating just certain individual parts to love God. No, he means with every fiber of our being.
Is that the way you love God? Is that how much of you is totally consecrated to the Lord? An old Christian hymn (not the John Legend version) was sung:
All of me not a part but all of me
All the heart and soul of me
Jesus, I surrender
I believe, Lord, help my unbelief
On the altar now I lay all I am today
As I am I come to Thee without one plea
Only that Thy saving blood was shed for me
All of me through the ages yet to be
I surrender Lord to Thee
I surrender all of me
Prayer: Father, that song is my prayer today.