Off madly interpreting

One of the verified crazy and unlikely ways to rightly divide – correctly handle – the text of the Bible is that of using the existing divisions Old and New Testaments.  Conclusions of this sort are elementary and shortsighted.   If one thinks that the Messianic doctrine was plastered over every page of the Hebrew Bible we must understand how our Lord’s contemporaries so profoundly missed it and having seen his marvelous work and heard his gracious words. Let me suggest that occasions for the correct handling of the Bible’s message happen in the verse and the the sentence.

Exhibit A

Yahweh is my light and my salvation even when I am stumbling in fear.

Do our thoughts stop being ours when they range far from God’s? Do we suppose that we have God’s thoughts and ways?

Exhibit B

Psalms 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

Consider the following two landmarks.

  • God lives in unapproachable light and that is why the ancients presumed that one dies on seeing God. 
  • There was never a time when God was not Life, Salvation, Shield and Strength

Or maybe we want to believe in a God who changes?

Presence of God trashed

God’s promise to “never leave or forsake” is polluted by people who think they can exploit through teaching what the perceived or expected blessing might be. God’s presence is not a prophylactic, neither is the whole body of law. God goes to bars, racist churches, and loves unhinged television teachers.

Messsge from Jezero

Massive waves of joy warmed planet earth in the circles of interest in exploration.   We know that exploration has not gone particularly well for indigenous people and has left marks that we are deliberately fearful to try to erase or footnote as huge mistakes. The landing the roboxplorer Perseverance on Mars may seem like an expensive (!) and unfortunate venture and a search for answers with the wrong set of questions.  I more of us who know how to explore ancient things would simply be honest the search for the origin of life would be secondary to the search for the Lifegiver. The  message from Jezero, “safe on the surface” competes with the cries for safety on this planet from women,  children and racialized people, for whom cutting edge discoveries seem to have little benefit.

A cold, old and male threat

Exploring Mars

Leaders who do not know what truth and justice look like are many (arguably in the majority) and those who use violent power to silence or discredit the quest for a more honourable use of knowledge and resources will not be affected if the Jezero messsge says “fossil worms”, “winged anthropoid”, or “bovine skull”.  Perseverance is not expected to discover the prescription for sustaining human life in all its diversity.  Males devoid of love threaten every thing we treasure and waking  them up will take the use of extraordinary technology.  Cold, old and male describe accurately the civic realities of life on earth as much as they do the threats to Perseverance on Mars.

Remember Noah’s ark and the preservation of all life.

There aren’t really many events in human history that affect every being equally.  People have been clamoring for the pat on the back and the recognition that one of us has risen to earn the Oscar for intelligent management of resources. So let us not keep eying the search for the origin of life rather than using the means we have to ensure that our lives, all our lives, are no longer threatened by military or political strongmen or by religious conmen using wood fires in highrise apartments.

Ontario Legislature Day 2

The Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party draws a misogynist barb from the Premier. Doug Ford misspeaks often enough and his readiness to use derogatory terms surfaced regularly during his encounters with the press at the government’s daily covid19 updates.

An environment for civilized debate

People who Mr Ford perceived as uncooperative with the government’s pandemic measures were called yahoos and irresponsible. Now he has taken aim at his colleague in the people’s house, chafing at questions from Andre Horvath. If the NDP Leader’s voice can be likened to nails on a chalkboard an apology in parliament an apology should not take long.

The officials and their shields

The raccoons, coyotes, and bears are in the city and the suburbs, and no politician that I know of represents them in our civic, provincial or federal government. Now ain’t that a headline. Places I could go to (or merely drive by) 7 years ago to see a kestrel hover for a kill are now concret jungle. Tick me off and get forgiven, but offend these little predecessors of ours and pay destroyed by God for not being a shield to the vulnerable.

Angry nations and destroyers

And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

Revelation 11:18
American Kestrel

Would the North American continent be a pollution hub without Europeans?

Before and after

A fire consumes before them And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them.

Joel 2:3

No and we are not indestructible. All our drilling, polluting and construction do not go unnoticed.

Not seen in my neighborhood for almost a decade

Humanity’s killer instincts have been catching up with us, and the reason we have not noticed is that people reserve the right to erase any offender they choose to designate as a threat. Threats can be found in doing good things, such as cleansing lepers, raising the dead, in asking the right question, and in having gifts that differ. Who, pray tell, will shield us from an angry God.

TWO WOMEN WITH WORDS THAT LEAD THE WAY

Apparently women as word-possessed people is rare. If some people had their way a woman would never be seen with leading words. Even though we have narratives of women of extreme character (all the leading women in the patriarchal households, Deborah, and Bathsheba) it is refreshing to find a woman’s word is the guiding light outside of these prominent examples. If a prophet gives a woman the lead is she not in as good a company as company could get? Since we see our Lord making a woman’s voice and interest part of historic legislation (Numbers 36) and making a woman’s voice the first to tell the news of his exaltation (Matthew 28:1-7) we salute these two alongside the woman with the alabaster box of ointment whose deed we are commended to commemorate wherever the gospel is preached.

The prophet Nathan makes a plan with Bathsheba when it seemed that the crown may go to Adonijah (son of Haggith). He counselled her (yaatz) to ask the king to confirm that her son Solomon would be the king’s successor. Nathan would come right in behind her, join the lady’s conversation with the king, and “fill up” her words. Prophetic counsel can be expected to move a king.

Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.

1 Kings. 1:14

Solomon, as we all know, not Adonijah, succeeded his father on the throne. The other woman with guiding-light words is the woman whom Elijah challenged to use her last oil and flour to give him a meal. In response, the woman swore that she was on her last meal, and was in fact gathering sticks to make a fire.

Elijah’s first request was for water, to which he added ” bring a bite too…”

So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman [was] there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

1 Kings. 17:10,

The woman’s oath was met by what may seem like a ton of selfishness.

OATH: And she said, [As] the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 1 Kings. 17:12

And as she was going to fetch [it], he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

1 Kings. 17:11

Elijah’s puts himself first: please make me that cake first, then feed yourself and your son.

And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go [and] do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring [it] unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

1 Kings. 17:13

Do as you say (kidbarek)’ according to your word must refer to (a) her handful or meal (b) her few drops of oil (c) the prospect of finding sticks for the fire and (d) the last meal. All of her vision is confirmed in the narrative except her last meal. It would be a thing of great disrtinction if instead of chasing down a prophet or some other figue of authority, if all of us understand that our words cannot lead if they are not intimately with the Way. On the other hand, when our words and actions are connected with the interests of the Way we avoid the catastrophe to which our Lord refers when he taught about the house built on rock or sand.

Perverts in plain sight

43 individuals, all members of the Republican party, sworn to be impartial jurors, looked away as the evidence of their leader’s crimes and high misdemeanors came up for their scrutiny. For wanting to be known as the party that hears the cries of the unborn and seeing the future of jurisprudence as dependent on narrow minded judges the GOP just stripped itself of any credibility as representative of the people and judges of what is right or even factual. If the judgment they arrived at in the 2nd impeachment of the 45th president is shared by the people they represent the perverts can no longer hide.

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 16:19

If anyone wanted conclusive evidence that both church and state in the United States have become disgraceful recall Mitch McConnell’s back to back vote of “not guilty” and serpentine blurb about 45’s indisputable crimes.

So what follows the cowardice of the 14%?

God is not listening to these brutes and neither should we. They cried fire and wolf when neither were a threat so we cannot expect them to be reliable watchmen when the accused arsonist and ravening wolf victimizes his own and is himself one of them.

If someone invites you to join a group of any kind you do well to ask about its ties to the Republican party and look for any affirmation of spiritual faith. The saying “All things are possible” cannot apply in situations where the factual does not receive top ranking. It is quite obvious that religious experience has gone sideways and ditch-wards.

Isaiah 1:15

“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.

Triggered by Syrian facts

That God was gracious to one Syrian was the cause of anger in a synagogue in New Testament times.  Behind the anger lay jealousy and misplaced xenophobia.  The Syrian ( Aramaean, ארמי, Arami ) and the Israelite are kin. The Israeli-Syrian conflict of our times is not merely a continuation of an ancient family feud. The anger in the synagogue showed how the critical facts of solidarity with family can become inconsequential.

Luke 4:27-28

27) And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian. 28) And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath…

Yeshua speaking in a synagogue

Jacob’s ancestral home

Syria is Jacob’s ancestral home.  That is where Abraham sent his CEO to get a wife for Isaac. It was in Syria, at his uncle’s, where Jacob hid from his brother’s anger and started a family (with two of his cousins) .

At the time of Israel’s preparation to enter Canaan God prescribed the content of the future celebration of history. It included a meaningful mention of the Aramaean roots of the nation.

Deuteronomy 26:5

You shall answer and say before the Lord your God, ‘My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation.

Let us not cheer any attempt to separate families or treat people as less than ourselves because they are different. It comes home in the gathering of witnesses from every human family (Psalm 22:27-28). After all, diversity began with Adam and Eve, and that fact is not a trigger for anger or for a murderous mob to attack a speaker of truth.