Yesterday morning I had a most interesting prophetic dream about a man - a Norwegian writer - whom I knew very little about though I was introduced to him about 20 years ago. It took me a while to deciper it. I have never been very interested in his literature or philosophy of life even though I had once visited his home off the west coast of Norway about 20 years ago at the insistence of a Norwegian brother who rightly felt I should know something about one of the great literary geniuses of his country who was from his particular area. I had, after all immigrated to Norway and needed to know more of its culture and life.
In my dream I was living in a large house and my neighbour was the writer Knut Hamsun. Each morning the old man would come out of his house, twisted walking stick in hand, and as he passed mine, would wave at me as I would be there at the window. It was one such morning in the dream and I waved at the white-haired man as he walked down the lane that separated our two properties. I turned back into the room and noticed that a very old, elegant carved wooden lamp had stopped working. Hamsun had apparently given me the lamp many years before. He had somehow forseen a day when it would no longer work and had attached a wad of bank notes to the lamp so that I could have it repaired.
The whole house was very Victorian, without anything to hint of modern times (for Hamsun was born in the latter half of the 19th century and died in the middle of the 20th). Upon closer inspection I could see that the wad of money consisted of modern Swedish 500 crown bills that were pierced with a hole in the middle through which a part of the woodwork passed, impaling it, as it were. Ordinarily it would have been visible but only now became visible at this moment when it was supposed to be seen. And that was the end of the dream.
My head was spilling upon awakening after this dream. Yahweh has occassionally given me some mighty strange dreams over the years but there has always been a potent symbolism about some important prophetic event.
Hamsun's most famous work entitled Hunger, published in 1890, was acclaimed as the literary opening of the 20th century. It tells the story of a man living in the then Norwegian capital Christiania, now Oslo, who suffers from great hunger. It is probably based in part on his own early life of experience of hunger. The character blames his fate on God and religion and progressively becomes more and more pitiful and delusional. A common theme in Hamsun's works is that of the perpetual wanderer.
A King of Norway once described Hamsun as representing the soul of the ancient Norwegian people, who were pagans before converting (by force) to Catholicism and then latterly to Protestantism. Having shared my life with Norwegians for over two decades I think I can now understand what he means. But I could not understand why Hamsun had given me a lamp.
A well-known passage of scripture was suggested to me as a pointer:
This, however, was not Yahweh's lamp but Hamsun's, who represented the spirit of the Norwegian people. Job also noted:
"Your (Yahweh's) word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps.119:105, NKJV).
A lamp is used at night or on a dull day which leads to an important question on the spiritual plane of life: when Yahweh withdraws His light from us, either to test us or because of unrepented sin, what do we do? If we don't make teshuvah (repent) then we will turn to other sources of light to light our way, won't we, even if it's counterfeit, for no one wants to grapple in the dark.
"A lamp is despised in the thought of one who is at ease; it is made ready for those whose feet slip" (Job 12:5, NKJV).
It began to dawn on me that this is what part of me had done, relying on the spirit of a nation - Hamsun's Norway - instead of the Holy Spirit, the Ruach haQodesh. The wad of modern bank notes attached to the lamp began to assume the form of bribery - an offering to the flesh - to retain this counterfeit light, depicted in the dream as a very old lamp belonging to an age in Norway's history when the country was very poor and many of the people knew what it was like to be short of food. The more I delved into Hamsun's psyche and philosophical beliefs, the more I could see a part of myself that had long resisted the Gospel, which was attracted to the same kind of things he was. What were they?
Hamsun was sceptical of civilization and believed in the pre-eminence of the German philosophy of Blut und Boden - blood and soil. He distrusted all things modern (the old Victorian feel of the house) which found expression in his novel, Markens Gröde (Growth of the Soil). His early works focus on the outcast, the vagabond. Because he was a German National Socialist sympathiser (though never actually a member of any political party) he suffered the confiscation of all his property and weath at the end of the war, and was confined to a psychiatric hospital for a while, and died as impoverished as he had been when he was young, which had inspired his book, Sult (Hunger), an example of psychology-driven literature. He was not, however, mentally ill, as his last book, attests. Though accused of being a nazi, he in fact protested to Hitler of his treatment of Norwegian Jews and other Norwegian prisoners of the nazi régime, demanding that the German Governor, Terboven, be removed, which infuriated Hitler.
Over the last few years I have been reviewing some of my early political and philosophical beliefs (before I became a believer) and gradually extirpating their last remnants from my psyche. This was what the light malfunctioning meant and explains why there was a bribe built into it to persuade me to get it fixed and put it in use again. As part of my teshuvah this year I have renounced all these false systems of belief which somehow had 'carried over' even after I was saved in 1988.
For all his brilliance as a writer, and his ability to put the human psyche into words. Knut Hamsun and myself have little in common. We must not be fooled by the friendliness - and sometimes generosity - of the flesh. We need not admire the pagan warrior spirit as Hamsun did, and as we are being invited to do in the flood of movies - often violent, bloody and sexually promiscuous - coming out of Hollywood exalting this spirit today. The values of paganism are far removed from those of Christianity.
As I expunge the last ghosts of my own unsaved past in my own acts of teshuvah, I hope it will encourage you to do the same. The only warriors in Yahweh's Kingdom are Prayer Warriors and it is to that sacred body we are most certainly called. I have come to realise that all human imitations (whether secular or religious) of the divine Theocracy of Israel are highly dangerous because only a genuine Theocracy can weild power in righteousness, - and that the only safe course in secular politics for everyone, no matter what their belief or unbelief, is libertarianism and the non-aggression principle. Though ultimately no human system is safe outside Yahweh - whether right, centre or left-wing - only libertarianism guarantees genuine free will. May Yah'shua return soon and establish His rule!
We are not merry pagans but believers in Messiah Yah'shua to whom belong an eternal simcha (joy) that can never end. Norway, like all Western nations, is abandoning its Christian roots and heading into a neo-pagan abyss. We can't possibly go that way, or allow any part of us to follow it, if we wish to remain safe and secure in our salvation.
Renounce all that is not of Messiah, along with the bribes of the flesh, and look earnestly towards the coming Yom Teruah. Amen.