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Lessons from Ivanhoe, Part One
Posted on May 25, 2009

You may have read Ivanhoe in high school lit or college lit.  I did not.  Jenny had a copy left over from her time at Hartselle High School.  The book is falling apart.  This is the second time I have read the book.  A couple of things really struck me as I read the book this time.  I will share one now and one a bit later.

We have been studying I John in our Sunday school at church.  This last week we were in chapter two.  In verses 15 – 17 it says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

Have you ever wondered what friendship with the world looks like, or what its result would be?  Cedric is Ivanhoe’s father.  At one point in the book he is held captive with one of his friends.  They are talking and Cedric says in part, “We made these strangers our bosom friends, our confidential servants; we borrowed their artists and their arts, and despised the honest simplicity and hardihood with which our brave ancestors supported themselves, and we became enervated by Norman arts long ere we fell under Norman arms.  Far better was our homely diet, eaten in peace and liberty, that the luxurious dainties, the love of which hath delivered us as bondsmen to the foreign conqueror!”

His soliloquy is profound.  Cedric correctly says that the Saxon friendship with the Norman culture lead to their conquest and subjection.  It is the same with us.  We cannot be friends with the world and not expect to be untouched.  John says that we become enemies of God if we do.  The Saxon example is that we will be overthrown and dominated by the world.
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