I told you so

Before there was uncle Sam there was auntie Beth.  People all around the world have a relationship with the US and the UK that is often a literal lifeline.    American and British power butters a lot of bread, but what might seem like undisputed power and prestige for a long time is now a decomposing carcase .  The  internal and previously hidden rot has recently been  demanding space on the public screen and airways.   The UK and the US are no longer the beacons of civic society because people are discovering that Britannia no longer rules the waves and America has no interest in its people enjoying the amber grain waves.  Although the torch of might on the oceans and in the air passed from Beth to Sam most observers of the centuries long drama between them are unaware that Sam is Beth’s child. There are no living witnesses to the hostility between Sam and Beth, so it may seem slick to introduce uncle Sam as a distinguished democrat who by bloodshed repelled his mother and centuries later is unsure about monarchy, democracy and security.  The US and the UK have made it quite clear that they will settle for putting on a good show, for talking up a good cover story, and for idolizing the fire of speech and the activism of a homicidal generation.  They sowed fecal matter and reaped the latrine.  How did the British and American people so thoroughly descend into the abyss of deception, darkness and death? They do not know how and they do not know why. They act as if they do not know what hit them, but even non-historian and short-lived people like me are smelling the coffee, and do not mind saying “I told you so”.

7) For they sow the wind And they reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; It yields no grain. Should it yield, strangers would swallow it up.

Hosea 8:7, NASB

The  Caesarean Quest

The US has had 45 heads of state elected in its short history and not one of them dared assert his religious beliefs and insert them into the nation’s policymaking and practice. The US claims it does not want a monarchy yet it can tolerate a president who, instead pursuing fresh ground, wants a return to perceived greatness. Eight years in office is the limit and only Caesar wannabes think differently.   If people could line up elections wins the party leaders would soon morph into dictators and despots.  If  one political party wants to ensure wins at every polling that party will soon be a monarch. How more visionless can a people be!  All political returns include downhill slides.

The UK has a queen who is respectfully assertive with her religious views. Her nation has elected representatives who seldom make their religion a public  matter.  The British know that someone in public leadership had to be above the fray, and they may want to say that monarchy is a part of the Jewish contribution to the world.  The wide variety of ideological “mobs” know that democracy is pricey, and keeping  the monarchy is a reliable check on national sanity. A Christian queen is a long way from the professional failures and politically incestuous ignoramuses, military heroes, and perjured lawyers who have occupied the White House.  Leaders of most 21st century countries are bloodstained rejects who admit that they love themselves more than their neighbour. In 1970, I told you so with my cannabis chalice and pure African pride.

Should not freedom of thought precede freedom of speech

Philanthropy is dead

It is not strange that movement and other signs of life can be present in a lifeless entity. A worm in its cocoon may appear dead, but it is alive and on the brink of a stupendous change. There will be no credit to Europeans and all the rapist nations for putting the cookie back into the jar. Capitalism is king, and dead. You’d have to be blind and deaf to not acknowledge the fact. Its proponents will confess it, and its victims, the vast majority of human beings, are still skeptical of the moral standards coming out of gilded shrines, ancient ruins, and hallowed locations. The strongest examples of philanthropy are all landmark redemption, and they come at an exorbitant price. Take that man Boaz, marrying outside his clan ( Ruth a Moabite), or that an outsider woman challenging Yeshua for a miracle, and king Saul’s son Jonathan befriending public enemy #1, David Ben-Jesse. The vital signs of misanthropy appeared to be dimming within humanity’s first thousand years, and now we have a steady stream of patriotic slogans, expressions of political and religious commitments, all on a mission of impersonating genuine love of all persons.

“See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”

1 Thessalonians 5:15, NASB

We say we love people but shun and shut them out

It is not pessimism to report the facts. A lot of love talk – loving God, loving mankind, loving family, nature etc. – is often shrouded behind a blindfold or mask. If our ideals are simply more of the same (and usually ancient) traditions we really cannot say that we are living with hope. Unlike the worm-butterfly many institutions and associations are expressing a ton of noble ideals while moonlighting in some of the more despicable and abominable life choices.  Don’t Pakistanis and Palestinians need to reach across the table to secure their neighbours’ future? Have not the people who say God is merciful but hold out no mercy to their peers stuck a dagger in philanthropy’s back?  People who teach that humans should not miss the mark and have their hands gloved with the tools of inhumanity and cruelty, will do what the child caught with his hand in the cookie jar will do; lie. Everything that we call religion or culture is tainted with something that people, without exceptions, use to become insular, hateful, and ruthlessly violent.

Unless the providers of spiritual and physical security and those who are the guardians of meaningful livelihoods and pursuits can also ensure that people have something to hope for they can pack up their legislative pens and viral speeches.

The world-ruling powers and what is left of them have nothing to contribute to a more caring world. Iraq, Iran (the remains of Babylon and Persia), Greece, and Rome are mere shadows of their “glory days”. The US and the UK can claim all they want to be beacons on a hill, but their advertising is utterly false. These powers and all the seafaring European kingdoms or the last two thousand years are heavily invested in navel-gazing and covering up the tracks of their hateful policies at home and abroad. But let us admit that all the laws in the world do not change human attitudes. Laws are mostly ineffective condoms. These two united jurisdictions are a close second to the beast we have come to know as the European Union. They cannot even unite when the livelihoods of their populations are at stake. What am I saying? Philanthropy drives people towards unity, cooperation, and the mutual quest for the welfare of a neighbour has not even dawned on some of the people in power. The US and the UK are the most fractious entities who have dared to call themselves “united”. The world is an armed camp, and soon we will see that the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in outer space is the next rung in the ladder of humanity’s defiance of philanthropy. Death threatens the very air we breathe, and we want to fool around with borders, hate speech, patriotism, migrants and aliens.

On walking in another’s shoes

Until we break out of our parents’ tradition and are willing to say no to the prevailing culture we cannot say a thing about empathy and diversity. The number of cultures that have traditions and policies designed to resist outsiders is the elephant in the room. When the United States decides that immigration destroys the American fabric what can we expect from the rest of the world but more Nazis, Pol Pots, fascist and communist dictators? The world has become so polarized that the idea of physically touching someone else’s shoes is a hurdle for a lot of people. There is apparently no one in the United Nations or the national halls of power who seems to understand that solving problems by walking in another’s shoes is not merely an abstract concept. How many people do we know who want to be an Aboriginal People dealing with European explorers? If religious people expect a conquest they may dare to let people live their lives, otherwise it is way more important for them to maintain their purity. Invariably, they do so by living across the tracks from the people who are not of their persuasion. Indeed, the more extreme and conservative religious beliefs lead to a more deeply set aversion to walking in another person’s shoes.

We love people as slaves and servants

Humans have given lip service to the grand ideals that bind people together, such as humility, and generosity of spirit. In fact even the generation on the cusp of maturity in the second decade of the twenty-first century are themselves victims of a culture that shows how determined it is to glorify wealth, pollution, and inhumanity. The virtual world is not a mecca of any kind of love. Sometimes the lip service is all official when the spotlight is on. There was a day when God tested the commitment of Judah to brotherly care. The nation chose capitalism: its leaders chose to say “yes” to releasing employees after seven years (in compliance with the fiftieth and seventh year liberty ordinances). The seventy year exile of Judah would not have happened if employers (owners of servants) had meant it when they signed the papers for the release of their servants for a year. Love for God and one’s peers hit rock bottom and a bounce back seems unlikely. The same ordinances are dangling in mid-air.

A life of loving one’s peers is a feature of entertainment and not primary education. It is not a fantasy that a person can dare to lay down his life for his friends. A mother’s love has been known to disappear and a brother’s affection may not always be evident but a brother’s love is precisely God’s means of rescuing humanity. The price for getting past our insularity and deadly interpersonal strife cannot be more of the “us – them” attitudes and practices. The disappearance of the love of humanity empowers destructive silos of which people remain proud. All across the globe people are suffering from the absence of love. It is happening in places of extreme wealth and poverty, in palaces and migrant shelters, in the seats of parliament and the prisons. Nothing – neither law, tradition, and conspiracy – takes precedence over a properly focused philanthropy. This explains why people who have preached the gospel and taught the elements of the kingdom of God are now silent about the filth that is parading as political responsibility and providing welfare for impoverished people across the oceans.

You might think that announcing the death of philanthropy is premature, but the prophets all agree that love in all its forms is becoming rare. Brotherly love, erotic love and glory love are not increasing. They are all vanishing behind poor substitutes and morphing into as many perversions as there are reasonable facsimiles of responsible behaviour. So please do not feel insulted that your personal witness to genuine human love has been deemed to be bogus. It should come as a shock that religion and spirituality are not necessary for philanthropy to thrive. The rise of religious communities posing as family puts the natural love we ought to have for humanity in very bad light. With the certainty that primary function of enlightenment is not segregated communities and isolation, I can say the assassins of philanthropy have succeeded.

Literate and lost

The obscurity of a book's contents shows the daunting task of reading someone else's book
Life’s Book vs Court Verdict
Greetings that make you think

Can’t read your own book? Pity.  Lawyers screw up at law, pimps destroy prostitutes, politicians exploit populations. What can we expect to happen when we find ourselves in possession of a book and try to pass it off as our own? I do not recall ever being impressed with the fact that there might be a person who is better as disclosing the contents of my life. As you might imagine the, image that crowns this article came to me as a greeting. I think one asks a bit much to expect to find someone who can both read and understand someone else’s book. We might then conclude that our life’s “book” may be a collection of borrowed profiles and ambitions. I beg to be excused – banned even – from being identified with those searching for someone to read my life’s “book”.

Selling the current book or writing our own might be the best path.

  • Understanding ourselves takes a lifetime because we keep changing
  • Understanding what we own – book or life – might require a chat with the giver of life

Why have we not thought that reading the instructions that come with life will always be elusive? Reading without understanding is just fine when the book has no bearing on life beyond agriculture, biology, finance, and politics..

Nativity Lectures 2021 (3rd and final)

Trouble from day one

The arrival of Mary’s baby is not reported in Matthew’s gospel in the usual fashion.  The closest we get to the actual birth is Luke’s chapter six. Trouble and tensions are right out in the open, from the unexpected pregnancy to what follows the birth, and they show up in the reception of the king throughout his short life. The words of the late John Lewis, US Congressman, about the necessity of good trouble are apt. That message transcends age, gender and ethnicity, and it unites humanity in the struggle for something that makes the essential steps towards making the kingdom of God felt in this age. It is an understatement to say that Yeshua had a troubled life.

While they were there [in Bethlehem], the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Luke 2:6-7

Matthew gives us his view of the critical events leading up to the baby’s delivery (18-25), then he passes to the visit of the magi.  The gospels were not written for storytelling sake.  Each evangelist presents a package as his personal assignment by the Holy Spirit and the evangelist’s experience dictate.  Matthew’s interest is not childbirth per se, but God’s arrival among men as their Saviour, king, and God.

The projection of the king

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,”

Matthew 2:1, NASB

The arrival is both delightfully surprising and exceedingly troubling. Remember the unexpected pregnancy, the couple’s anxiety, and the massive prospect of the people’s sins meeting their match in the life and death of a single person, and free of charge to the sinner.

The people’s salvation is from sin, not from Roman imperial power. It is not salvation from the passages of human life, and it is not a cyclical remembrance of them. This baby is destined to be a king who saves his people from the futility that has clung to humanity. We must think then of “his people” as all humans, in line with Abraham’s function as the father of innumerable descendants, and with Isaiah’s “Look to me, all you ends of the earth” (45:22), and Moses’ “Praise him all you Gentiles with his people (Deuteronomy 32:43). Matthew is projecting the king who troubles earthly kings (Matthew 2:1-3) and will subject them to his rule in due time. In the meantime, he has no answer to the questions of kings and heads of state. His kingdom is not of this order.

I-max picture

No brush with disappointment, no fear of disgrace, no inappropriate pride can dull the joy of knowing what Mary and Joseph came to know.  Despite raging storm of power-hungry men, careless and crooked leaders with their conspiratorial counsel against the Lord’s anointed, we know that God is with us. Despite our countless troubles, our own stumbles and falls, we know that sins are now remittable with a heavenly and permanent remedy. To stay close to Matthew’s agenda, we can put a cap on the birth story with our humility to accept that help of salvation from sins, unless,of course, we have no idea what a sin is.

Nativity Lectures 2021 [1]

The just and the innocent meet

This year’s lectures come from Matthew’s gospel and will focus attention on the behaviours of a just man and an innocent girl, two avenues of divine intervention, and the projection of the Saviour-king. I have decided to avoid the customary storytelling priority of combining the different narratives into one.

Virgin found pregnant

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 1:18, NASB

The birth story here begins with an engagement gone crazy.  There is no midwife or prenatal care,  only the slightest hint of a dating life shows up here.  If you are looking for medical inspiration or a seasonal devotional boost, Matthew’s gospel is not the place.  You will especially not find a blow by blow of Mary’s or Joseph’s life and their relationships with their families, The nativity story in Matthew’s gospel begins with  a depressing disappointment and a severe challenge to a man in love.

No legal advice in sight

In a crisis of this sort a person living under the Sinai Covenant looks for an honourable answer to the question “What shall I do?” The other more particular question that presented itself was “How shall I end this”?  A man and a woman engaged to be married in Judea do not walk away in the dark of night.  An engagement has the same dignity and legal status as a marriage.  This is why Joseph thought of Mary and the public fallout that would certainly follow an official “putting away”.  Matthew uses the term apoluo, used also of divorce in Matthew 5:31, 19:3, 7, 8, 9)  He wanted to do just that: end the engagement secretly. The Sinai Covenant has no inroads here, but the prophets do.

Familiar Birth stories

The narrative of the birth of Jesus might be expected to have the issues of conception, a wedding, the preparations for his birth, insights into the wisdom of the ways of dealing with pregnancy over some portion of the nine months of gestation  It ought to have some something about the onset of fatherhood, something about labour, the delivery, the baby’s weight and stature.  Not this one.

Go on, marry your intended

Provocations, thoughtfulness,  and resolve emerge, and the answer comes in a dream, not from a scribal interpretation of the Law. The relief for both the just man and  the innocent virgin is beyond imagination.

Provocations, thoughtfulness, and justice without divorce emerge

GOD is with the just and the innocent.  The just, like the innocent and innocent, rely on their personal connection with Israel’s God.  Here are the signs that the people of New Testament times  may have had no benefit of a prophet, priest, or king advising them.  These two, Mary and Joseph,  are not face to face with God like Moses  and Joshua, but they face their life’s challenges with all the power of heaven

But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream

Matthew 1:20

 The dream comes after Joseph decides what to do, and after having thought about how to do it.  The term rendered considered signifies putting energy in (enthumeo).

A just man responding to a provocation of this kind by conceiving a wish is remarkable indeed.  The natural course is to seek to deal with the perpetrators: discover how the “damage” to one family plan occurred, assign blame, and punish the offenders.  Joseph, Matthew tells us, sets up his priorities around his love for Mary.  Perhaps in some worlds a righteous man rushes to judgment, carried by his rage and hurt.  Perhaps in other worlds, a righteous man only needs a couple of witness to mount a convincing case.  In other world a righteous man might go with what his eyes have seen; a virgin girl pregnant  A righteous might be satisfied with only a woman’s confession that she has missed a period.  A righteous man has the option of not throwing the book at alleged wrongdoing.  The just person in Jesus’ birth story is a man who decides secretly divorce his fiancee.  We dare to imagine that God cannot do the same!

The instruction package begins with ” do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife”, then it explains why the pregnancy has happened the way it has, without a male contributing to the conception.  Then the angel hands Joseph the most amazing announcement in family life, of the kind that an informed Israelite would be aware of and excited to be a part of.  Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Samson’s mother, Hannah, and Mary’s own cousin Elizabeth were barren until God changed their direction in life. Mary’s conception was a result of the Holy Spirit action, not infidelity.  It is quite certain that the husbands of these barren women were not exercised as Joseph was. 

More reason to marry than most could find

A descendant of David does not spend many days without being reminded of his relationship to the house that built the temple, and to whom an eternal throne was promised.  The grandeur of the Jewish tradition most certainly includes the remission of sins.  The temple and the tabernacle were designed to house God’s name and offer people access to the systems for the remission of sin and the restitution of any imbalance caused by human behaviour.  The news that Mary’s baby was the result of God’s Spirit and the revelation that the child was destined to save his people from their sins more than satisfied Joseph.  She will give birth and you will name the child.

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20-21, NASB

Instructed by a dream

From Matthew’s account we gather the assurance that where law and sacrifice – the grounds and processes of the levitical system – might have resulted in anguish, disappointment, and even death, God is with the innocent woman and he is with the just.  God plants his intervention direction into Joseph’s dreams, distinctly apart from the political and religious status quo.

(20) But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (21) “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20-21, NASB

This change of direction is a preview of Christ’s mission. Matthew is making the gospel his axis without polemic.  His narrative shows that grace was at work in glorious and mysterious ways.  God is with the couple, and yet the narrative is not without written authority.

Nativity Lectures 2021 (2)

Divine Intervention

Holy places, holy days and ordinary day-to-day items populate the Bible story. In fact, the people of Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth would probably like to be remembered as occupied with their custody of holy things. Although time was a sacred and familiar thing that is familiar to all the people, neither the hour, day, month or year appear in Matthew’s narrative. The alignment of Israel’s annual feasts with the great acts of God and the events of Jesus’ life and mission (Passover, Pentecost, Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles, and Harvest) seems incomplete when his coming into the world to be the saviour of the world has no counterpart to his departure on Passover or (Matthew 26:2, 17, 18, 19). A birthday was not on Matthew’s agenda. The writer brings us instead to the child’s holy pedigree, and the certainty of what the couple was experiencing. Who would have thought that the incredible story being told by Matthew about Mary and Joseph could have, perhaps at least, a prophetic framework?

The unprecedented holy child

“The conception is holy” must certainly mean that the operations were beyond the normal, beyond what we can expect. If the Child who has been conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit, then the mother and her husband are in grand company. It is no secret that childbirth is well-documented as straying away from the normal. The pregnancies of well-known women after what seemed like infertility are witness: among them are Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Samson’s mother, Hannah, and Elizabeth. Miracle babies are famous, but “holy child” suggests an entirely new horizon. Of course, all the miracle babies are special and unique, but this is the first time that the mother-to-be has never had sexual relations, and the expectant parents receive instruction about the child’s name. The fingerprint of grace and justice – targeted – at Mary – is unprecedented with the prospect of people’s sins being remitted apart from the animal sacrifice procedures, because a Davidide was not going to be serving as a priest in the system Mary and Joseph knew.

NAME THAT MALE-CHILD SALVATION

Joseph and Mary knew the baby was going to be male. They knew that the baby was going to have a name that tells what his function in the world would be.  Joseph could not feel the usual pride of having an heir as do Israelite men with an interest in the continuation of their name. Every male wants a male heir, even though inheritance of property and prestige was not restricted to males (See Numbers 36 for the innovation of women’s inheritance rights). Abraham obviously felt that pride when Isaac was born: he had an heir. This was not Joseph’s experience. His genes had nothing to do with this yet unborn baby called salvation, but it makes sense that “taking the pregnant betrothed Mary to be his wife” demonstrated Joseph’s opportunity to take up and put on one of the most complex instances of the paternal mantle. Furthermore, Scripture calls the couple “his parents” (Luke 2). Joseph’s parental role appears in that anxious moment when Yeshua, at age twelve, talks to Mary and Joseph about the temple as his father’s house” (Luke 2:49). Yeshua is to be pictured “in submission to” his parents.

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:21

The facts as they occur, along with the dream instructions, give the couple confidence, but there is more on that score. At some point, Mary and Joseph are fully aware that a new era was dawning from her contact with John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth. More reason to be thrilled at their distinction as caretakers of God’s anointed Saviour of his people from their sins comes from the prophetic legacy. Here was more evidence on which to proceed with caring for the child.

Still we have no birth story. Matthew reports the marriage of Yeshua’s mother as Joseph complies with the angel’s instructions in the dream, telling us  “Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,” (Matthew 1:18-24, NASB)

The certainty of the events

Yeshua’s birth comes in a prophetic envelope. There are the already-mentioned women who had children after it was established that they were infertile, but all these developments are part of the fulfilment of predictions. Matthew presents two from Isaiah, (A) virgins have babies and B) a baby named “GOD-WITH-US”. Predictions have a way of outlasting the people who first hear it, and prophetic intervention is not always welcome. Take the experience of Moses, Jeremiah, Micah, Ezekiel, and John the Baptist, who all knew what it means not to receive the respect of their countrymen (Matthew 13:53, Mark 6:4, John 4:44).

22) Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: (  23) “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 

Matthew 1:22-23

John the Baptist’s parents ran into questions about naming their child off the beaten trail. Naming a child “Salvation” and accepting his presence as God’s presence breaks new ground, the very ground that will lead to Golgotha, death, and resurrection. “A created being” cannot be God, was the rebuttal of the leaders of Judaism at the time. A man cannot be even “son of God”, and God cannot be the father of one human being, and a man cannot be the salvation of people. Israel’s ancient redemption is said to be paid for by the giving up of Egypt, Saba and Ethiopia. But the disciples of Yeshua would come to know that redemption is connected with the giving of a life (Colossians 1:14, Galatians 3:13).

One peek at Parliament Hill

There is no question that grade one business happens in Canada’s parliament, but the seated members need to stop the childish loser mentality and the pollyanna slogans about children and the future to bring it to a maturer footing. The speaker has the noble task of bridging the gap between the government and the “members opposite” and I can hardly wait to hear him but a boot on the neck of opposition heckling and posturing with lengthy preambles to ten-second questions.

The 44th Parliament is just concluding its first session and the charges are flying: misleading the house, there is no realistic tackling of Canada’s crises by the government. It is hard not to notice that the media covering Parliament Hill is swarming all over Quebec’s religious garb law hoping to feed on the opinions of politicians, without asking directly “Are provincial laws and their application above question and comment?” Boy, oh boy! It is going to be hard to take our eyes off the parade of the cowardly, the reckless, and the wise in January 2022.

Holy Voice

Divine utterance, hailstones, coals of fire, arrows, lightning flashes, and water channels seem like strange companions, but not so strange when we realize that humans have learned about divine reality and majesty from observing nature (the created world) (Romans 1:20)  We should therefore not be too hesitant to  admit that God reveals himself outside of human writings.  God’s voice is reasonably associated with words and messages, hence the Bible has become the finest place to experience divine communications.  The Bible may be the most popular (most printed) book, but it also ranks highly among the misunderstood books of all time.  If man had to look at nature to hear God speak there would be far less misunderstanding.   There would be no thriving sacred book business where the books contradict each other.  There would be little room for variations of interpretation.  But with our own eyes we can see and differentiate, along with the Scriptures, rain, sunshine, night and day.  The confusion over (1) God’s mission Psalm 18:16 (2) purposeful deliverance of people in trouble and Psalm 18:17 and (3) taking pleasure in humans is synthetic Psalm 18:19.  People were not confused about what thunder, lightning, and rain were or what they did.

Spin this with a little culture

A rain shower is a phenomenon we cannot spin.  A tree in the autumn whose leaves stay green is still a tree, and a tree whose leaves dry up, do not change colour and do not fall to the ground is not an evergreen.
Yahweh’s thundering in the sky is associated with El Elyon’s use of his voice.Noone seems to have received the gospel apart from human messengers, a point driven home by Paul (Romans 10:14).  The Incarnation seems to end the reliance on nature for saving information and set in motion what we can only call a beautiful human involvement in God’s most magnificent venture.  Those saved people who refuse to learn to read the text are like the meteorologists who know nothing about the direction of the wind, the temperatures aloft, and the moisture that a cloud may hold.

Say it again, Psalmist

For a second time, in Psalm 29, the songwriter associates thunder with God’s voice, and sets forth an explanation of natural phenomena as displaying God’s power and lordship and as accomplishing his purposes. He repeats “Yahweh’s voice” in verses 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9.  Even though he does not once say “I love you” should not such an array of God’s utterances have led the translators to see the facts of history and not turn the summary or conclusion into an uncertain future. Why choose “will give” from yitten? Why choose “will bless” from yĕbarek?  Is it not true that Yahweh kept giving strength to his people and kept blessing his people with peace? A holy speaker would know the difference and how important is was to give Yahweh credit for what he has been doing for Abraham’s descendants.