Joseph Herrin (05-16-2011)
There have been a number of important signs in the news that have been clearly marked as parables pertaining to Christians. The previous post spoke of an event in the town of Los Cristianos, whose name means “Christians.” This post will look at another news item that has been marked out as a message to Christians. Let me begin by posting excerpts from two news articles relating to the story.
B.C. woman missing for 7 weeks found alive
A Penticton, B.C., woman who went missing seven weeks ago after she and her husband’s car disappeared during a road trip to Las Vegas has been found alive.
Rita and Al Chretien were the subject of a massive ground and aerial search when their car disappeared near Baker City, Oregon.
Late Friday, hunters found Rita Chretien in the couple’s gold-coloured minivan in Elko County in northeastern Nevada, about 400 kilometres from where the couple was last spotted on March 19.
The Elko Daily Free Press reported that a couple out riding four-wheelers spotted the Chretien’s van in a ravine about 14 kilometres from a ranch at the edge of the Humboldt National Forest.
Rita Chretien was able to tell her rescuers that her husband Al had left the vehicle on March 22 to get assistance.
“His current whereabouts are still unknown,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk Friday night.
Moskaluk said Rita Chretien subsisted on water for seven weeks (Note: She also reportedly had a bag of trail mix, some candy, and some other limited food items). She has been medevaced to Nevada and her son Raymond and daughter-in-law Jen are on their way to Nevada from Penticton.
Elko sheriff’s detective Sgt. Kevin McKinney was quoted in the Elko Daily Free Press saying Rita Chretien “sounds like she’s coherent and very hungry.”
The couple, who own an excavation company, left their Penticton home on the morning of March 19 to head to Las Vegas to attend a trade show. They were last seen on video surveillance getting snack foods at Baker City, Oregon, gas station.
The family had commissioned an aerial survey of the area but could not find any trace of the couple’s vehicle. Locals said the mountainous terrain the couple travelled on were treacherous and roads at the time of their disappearance were slick and wet.
Moskaluk said details are still trickling in but said it’s unbelievable after seven weeks Rita Chretien has been located.
“No one was holding out much hope for this to end well. This is nothing short of a miracle.”
Moskaluk said officials are still looking for Al Chretien.
“Death by GPS”: Warnings about the devices
May 16, 2011 11:10 AM
As more and more motorists become increasingly reliant on directions from GPS devices, experts are warning that putting too much faith in the gizmos can lead to trouble – sometimes with deadly consequences.
The problem, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker, has obtained a nickname all its own – Death by GPS.
The situation was highlighted when a Canadian couple got lost in the Nevada wilderness after following GPS directions to a dead end in that wilderness, police say.
Rita Chretien was found in the couple’s van earlier this month, after seven-and-a-half months (Note – This is an error. She was stranded for seven weeks). Her husband, Albert, who’d gone for help, is still missing. Rita is now out of the hospital. An intensified search for Albert began over the weekend.
It was, says Whitaker, “a tragedy caused by a blind faith in technology.”
“They had a Magellan GPS … mounted on their dash,” says Sgt. Kevin McKinney of the Elko County, Nev. Sheriff’s Department.
Though rare, Whitaker observes, incidents like that one happen enough to have earned that macabre nickname of Death by GPS…
Various details of the story can be gleaned from reading different accounts. Let me begin with the couple’s last name, Chretien. Chretien is an Old French name meaning “Christian.”
The woman who survived had the first name Rita, which means “pearl.” I first looked into this name in 2005 when Hurricane Rita struck the New Orleans area, flooding the city a short time after Hurricane Katrina had done the same. Pearls throughout the Scriptures symbolize purity, holiness, and that which is highly valued.
Another article mentioned that Albert Chretien had been warned to not put too much trust in the GPS unit’s navigation abilities when he purchased it. This parable contains an underlying theme of misplaced faith.
Albert and Rita Chretien owned an excavation company in Penticton, British Columbia. They were heading to Las Vegas to attend a trade show. There are some symbolic elements here, as Las Vegas is known as “Sin City.” Additionally, Satan is stated to have fallen in part due to an unrighteous focus upon trade.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
I believe the fact that Las Vegas is called “Sin City,” and it is one of the premier destinations for trade shows in the United States, highlights the relationship between merchandising and transgression. An inordinate emphasis on increasing one’s ability to make money has led many into transgression resulting in grievous loss.
I Timothy 6:9-10
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Let me emphasize here that I am looking at this event as a parable of the church today, not as a judgment upon this particular couple. When viewing tragic occurrences in this world it is good to keep in mind the following words of Christ:
And Yahshua answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
In this event are two individuals with a last name meaning “Christian” who are headed to “Sin City” for a trade show. They are using the best technology of this world to guide them, and have placed an inordinate confidence in it, despite being warned not to do so. Albert, who was driving, decided to take a “scenic route” to Las Vegas, and was misled by the GPS unit onto roads that were impassable. Snow and mud had made the way very difficult, and when they were far out into a wilderness area where they had no cell phone service, their van became mired in the mud.
Albert tried to free the van by shoveling the mud away from the vehicle, but this ended up being a futile effort. The couple were stranded on March 19th, and on March 22nd, the husband decided he needed to go find help. He continued to rely upon the GPS unit that had led him astray, taking it, and a cell phone with him. He has not been heard from since.
Christians today (Chretien in Old French), are continually looking to unsafe sources of guidance. They rely upon the arm of the flesh, and natural reason, to guide them through this life. The vast majority of Christians today are led by their soul, rather than being surrendered to be led of the Spirit.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Even when man finds that following the counsel of his soul has led him to perilous places, he will rarely abandon looking to the soul for counsel. This is the only manner of guidance most men have practiced, and they have placed inordinate emphasis upon it.
In the various news stories, details are found about Rita Chretien’s experience. As her husband was seeking to deliver them by going for help, Rita rested. It is reported that she slept much during her 49 day ordeal. It is also reported that each day she prayed and asked God what He would have her to do that day. This is the method of guidance that Yahweh desires His sons and daughters to embrace. A remnant will be brought to do so as they find themselves in perilous places in coming days.
Rita was isolated in this remote wilderness location for seven weeks. This is seven sevens, denoting a fulness of rest. She had ceased planning her own way, and had resigned herself to the fact that God would either save her, or she would die where she was at. This too is the attitude that God is seeking to find in the hearts of His sons and daughters. They must cast their lives entirely into the Father’s hands, entrusting their welfare into His hands. Whether He chooses life, or chooses death, they must yield their lives to what Yahweh chooses for them.
E.W. Bullinger, in the book Number in Scripture, has this to say about the number seven:
In the Hebrew, seven is (shevah). It is from the root (savah), to be full or satisfied, have enough of. Hence the meaning of the word “seven” is dominated by this root, for on the seventh day God rested from the work of Creation. It was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it without marring it. Hence the word (Shavath), to cease, desist, rest, and Shabbath, Sabbath, or day of rest.
Rita, the Christian who bears the name Pearl (purity, holiness, of exceeding value), came to a place of rest while in the wilderness. In contrast, her husband was restless. He was still relying upon the same source of guidance that had led him into the predicament, to find a way out, and it was unable to save him.
It may seem contradictory that the number seven also bears the meaning “to be full or satisfied, have enough of.” Rita had very little to eat during her seven weeks in the wilderness, reportedly losing twenty to thirty pounds in this time. That which God would have His people to be filled and satisfied with is Himself. Christ said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” Christ was born in Bethlehem whose name means “house of bread.” Rita had a Bible with her, and it is reported that she read it continually while stranded in the wilderness. While her flesh was starving, her spirit was being fed.
Had the Chretiens (Christians) reached Las Vegas, they would undoubtedly have had an abundance of food and entertainment to feed the flesh, but would have been starved spiritually. This is the condition of much of the church today. They are sating themselves on the things of this world, but have little appetite for God, and His holy things. Many spend endless hours in front of the television, in reading novels, and pursuing an unending series of entertainments. They are focused on business, seeking to be increased in the material possessions of this world, while giving to God an hour or two of their time on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Even this time is often less about focus on God, than upon eating and entertainment.
People of God, the Spirit of Christ has been giving many signs this year of a great shaking coming to the church. The devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand was a profound parable of coming judgment. These further stories serve as additional witnesses of this work which Yahweh will accomplish at this time.
Christ is coming back for a purified bride. He will lead His people through wilderness experiences in order to remove the flesh and bring forth a spiritual creation. How many will manifest the faith in God revealed in this woman who placed her life in God’s hands for life or death? How many will seek to deliver themselves, looking to their soul to guide them, and their own strength to save them?
Rita Chretien was found in her gold van. Gold, and the trying of our faith are related in the Scriptures.
I Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Yahshua Christ…
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich…
There is a wilderness experience all overcoming saints must pass through. An hour is at hand for a remnant of God’s people to embrace such an experience. Some who are led to this experience will perish as they continue to look to their own soul to guide them, and their own strength to deliver them. Others will surrender their lives to the Father. They will rest from their own labors. Their end will be glory.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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