Monthly Archives: May 2013

Lot is rescued, Let’s party

I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me – to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre.  Let them have their share.  – Genesis 14: 24

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Abram and Lot had come to the agreement that separation was necessary for mutual success, so Lot ended up in Sodom.  Sometime later, war ensued between the kings of the five (including Sodom and Gomorrah) and the kings of the four.  After battle lines had been drawn, the Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, leaving their men to perish.  The four kings then took all they wanted from Sodom and Gomorrah; including goods, food, and Lot.  A soldier who had escaped, came and told Abram all that had occurred.  Abram gathered together a rescue team and recovered his nephew and the seized goods.  The King of Salem thought this a time for celebration, bringing out bread and wine, prompting Abram to the verse above.

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Genesis Chapter 14 is one that could almost be skipped.  There is a war.  Lot is captured, then rescued.  The end, right?

Not so fast.  Being that Memorial Day is upon us, I would like to take a moment to discuss the 24th verse, especially the last sentence.

Let them have their share.

 

It appears that man has always found a way to turn horror into celebration.  In Abram’s day, there was bread and wine.  In ours, hot dogs and beer.  Even in the Bible, the deaths of men sent off to war earn only an honorable mention.  Oh, the war is discussed.  This chapter is about kingdoms and rebellion and battle and victory.  Abram gathers 318 trained men, devises an appropriate strategy, and is victorious in his battle plan.  Then, the party.

Sound familiar?  Do you see where I am going with this?

In Abram’s time, men were expected to fight the good fight.  They were expected to be willing to give up their very lives, in battle, for the good of the kingdom.  At the end of the conflict, it was customary to break out the bread and wine.  In our time, men and women are expected to fight the good fight.  They are expected to give up their very lives, in battle, for the good of their country.  At the end of the conflict, it is customary to break out the hot dogs and beer.

Tomorrow is the day when we are supposed to honor all the brave men and women who have fought the good fight and who have given their very lives in battle.  These men and women have done an admirable job.  They, General Colin Powell has said, have lost their lives, and have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury their dead.  The least we can do is…

Let them have their share.

I have no problem with barbeques, hot dogs, and beer; but…

Let them have their share.

I have no problem with mattress sales, but…

Let them have their share.

Sure, buy a new car if you can find a good deal, but…

Let them have their share.

While we enjoy the commercialization that this day has become, let us remember the sacrifices, the tears, the mourning.  Let us remember the lives lost.  Let us remember the families devastated.  Let us remember what Memorial Day is all about.

Your silent tent of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
– Henry W. Longfellow
 
The memory is ours.  We remember, and we are grateful.
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Categories: analysis, faith and religion, Memorial Day, old testament, personal, the Bible, Veteran's Affairs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abram and Lot

So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him.  Genesis 13:1

So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.  Is not the whole land before you?  Let’s part company.  If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”     Genesis 13:8-9

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Abram had been discovered as a liar in Egypt, in regards to his true relationship with Sarai.  After Pharoah became aware that the two were married, rather than siblings, he forced them out.  Abram took Sarai, his belongings, and Lot with him.  Abram had become very wealthy during his time in Egypt.  (Thanks to Sarai)  We are told that Lot had gained many riches as well.  With both men having had livestock that needed a fair amount of land, problems ensued.  After a time, disputes arose between the two men’s herdsmen.

Abraham saw the potential for bad blood with his nephew, so he suggested that they part ways.  He figured there was enough land to satisfy them both, and gave Lot first choice.  In whichever direction Lot chose to travel, Abram would go the opposite.  Lot set out toward the east and the plains near the Jordan, which were well watered.  His tent was pitched near Sodom.  Abram lived in the land of Canaan.

The Lord then told Abram to look around him – North, South, East, and West.  He promised that the land, as far as Abram could see, would be given to him and his offspring.  Further, Abram was promised that his offspring would be like the dust of the Earth, or too many to count.  Abram’s tent was moved to Hebron, where he set up an altar to God in thanks.

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This is the story of two men who develop conflict.  This is the first description, in the scriptures, of how such conflict (man versus man) is to be handled.

Respectfully nip conflicts in the bud…Abram saw conflict approaching.  Though it had not yet arrived, he sought to end it before it began.  He went to Lot and, respectfully, expressed his concerns.  He then stated that perhaps it would be best if they parted company.  In that way, each of them would have what they required and the relationship would remain intact.  (How many men, Christian or otherwise, would do that today?  I suspect very few.)

Walk by faith, not by sight…Lot chose the east, the land of the plains of Jordan.  He chose the area because of the water and proximity to Sodom.  It mattered not that he left his uncle the land that was dry.  It mattered not that Sodom was well-known for its wickedness.  He sought to increase his wealth, and his selection would have given him such an opportunity.  Lot was not described as a wicked man, himself.  We do get the impression that he was willing to abide with and suffer others sinful deeds if he would profit.  Abram showed no discontent with being left the drier land.  He did not heckle or bargain.  He accepted Lot’s choice, as he said he would.  He had to have known that he, too, could gain more wealth in the land Lot had chosen.  Yet, he had faith that God would see to the needs of he and his family. (If you are anything like me, you know many more Lots than you do Abrams.  Good men  put up with all manner of evil in search of the almighty dollar.)

Have confidence in God’s promises…After Lot had left, God promised that all the land surrounding Abram would belong to him and his offspring.  Abram and Sarai were an older couple, with no children.  It would have been easy to laugh at the idea that he would have innumerable offspring, especially at his age.  But, what did he do?  He believed.  He had every confidence that God would keep every promise made.  He established his altar, and gave thanks.  He expressed joy and gratitude for things that had yet to happen.  (And are there any men who would have this type of faith?  Let me know when you stop laughing.)

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Finally, keep in mind that today is the day of Pentecost.  In the Old Testament, Jews knew this as the Feast of Weeks.  (A sacred day when no work is to be done.  It is a day to express gratitude for the abundant wheat harvest.)  Christians know this to be the day the Holy Spirit filled the bodies of over one hundred men and women after Christ’s death.  The Holy Spirit gave them knowledge and confidence to spread the Good News of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.  In essence, it was the beginning of the church.  The goal of the church was, and is, to add to the dust, or offspring, promised to Abram.

Being referred to as a child of Abraham (Abram) is a compliment to most Christians.  Abram is the father of the Hebrews who would be given land that we now know as Israel.  This man originally came from a town that worshipped pagan idols.  What reason did he have to leave his father’s house and religion?  What reason did he have to leave all that he knew?  There was none but faith.  He was not perfect, by any means. (See previous blog)  He made mistakes, but he believed.  He accepted the spirit of God, as disciples would years later, and followed where it led.

Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?  Aren’t we supposed to take the “word of God written on our hearts” and do something with it?  How often do Christians follow the Spirit’s lead?  How much more frequently do they expect the Spirit to follow theirs?

Too many times, we seek fault in others because we enjoy conflict.  We are selfish and greedy.  As long as there is something in it for us, we accept hatred and wickedness.  We are self-righteous and expect to have our way.  When that doesn’t happen, we feel persecuted.

Is that where the Spirit leads you?  Because the spirit inside me leads me to come up with compromises that benefit everyone, avoiding conflict wherever possible.  It leads me away from greed.  It gives me the courage to stand up to those who would place profit over people.  It strengthens my faith to know I am not who I was.  I am confident that I can encourage and support others, because I feel encouraged and supported.

The spirit inside me, the spirit of love, demands to be given away.  I obey and give it to as many as I can.  Because it was given to me.

Categories: Crucifixion and Resurrection, faith and religion, old testament, personal, the Bible, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarai’s Sacrifice

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.  When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’  Then they will kill me but let you live.  Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

Genesis 12:11-13

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Abram (descendent of Noah’s son, Shem) had been directed by God to leave his country and go to a land of God’s choosing.  Abram was told that he and his line would be made into a “great nation”.  Abram followed the command.  He took his wife (Sarai), his nephew (Lot), and all of their possessions and set out.  They first arrived in Canaan.  Abram’s offspring were promised the land, and Abram built an altar in thanks.

A famine came upon that land, which prompted Abram to move on toward Egypt where his family would have a better chance of survival.  Abram asks something remarkable of Sarai before entering Egypt.  He asks that she pretend to be his sister.  He knows how beautiful she is, and that the Pharoah may well desire her because of it.  He also claims that if it is known that they are married, he might well be killed so that the Pharoah could have her.  He goes on to state that if they pretend to be siblings…not only will the Pharoah not kill him; but he will be treated well, for her sake.

The Bible tells us that Abram’s assessment of the situation, indeed, came to pass.  Pharoah was taken by Sarai’s beauty enough to invite her into his palace.  Abram was treated well, very well, for her sake.  He was given all manner of animals and servants, for her sake.  However, Pharoah found out the truth.  He was, naturally, quite angry.  He had, after all, taken another man’s wife for his own…and paid that man, handsomely, for the privilege.  Pharoah ordered Abram to take Sarai and leave.

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Sarai’s sacrifice.  Can you imagine what that conversation must have been like?  In that time, women were seen as little more than possessions.  But one would assume that she would, at least, be valuable to her family.  But maybe not, huh?  He, Abram, shamelessly, used her.  He asked her to make a huge sacrifice.  And she did it.  She pretended that she was not married.  She was taken into another man’s house and made his wife.  I won’t even go into what that must have been like.  I can not fathom what it felt like to be taken as the wife of another, while your true husband profits from your pain and misery.

Which leads me to what I would like to say…a woman has always been expected to sacrifice.  She has been expected to sacrifice for her spouse throughout the years.  She was taught that behind every great man is a great woman.  She aspired to be one of those women.  She has been expected to sacrifice for her children, to always put their needs ahead of her own.  Even in recent years, life before children is expected to become a memory.  She is expected to shoulder the weight and help carry the burdens of her friends and family.  To volunteer in the community and teach Sunday school.

And, for the most part, she has.  She has, somehow, found a way to do all of that.  And more.

She is married.  She is single.  She is gay or she is straight.  She cooks the bacon or she brings it home.  Sometimes, she does both.

She is a chef.  She is a launderer.  She is a teacher.  She is a janitor.  She is a mediator.  She is a counselor.  She is a nurse.  She is a seamstress.

She is a support system for her lover.  She is a shield for her kids.  She is a shoulder for her friends and family.

She embraces and she scolds.  She laughs and she cries.

She is happy.  She is sad.  She is disappointed.  She is exhausted.  She is angry.  She is undervalued.

She is PROUD!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.  Be they mothers of biological children or foster mothers or teachers or advisors.  Mothering comes in all forms.  I recognize how much the world asks you to sacrifice.  You are underpaid, if paid at all.  I know that the job seems unappreciated and, often, thankless.  It is not.

Best wishes to you all, today and everyday.

Categories: analysis, faith and religion, old testament, personal, the Bible, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Would Jesus Do?

My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.

Luke 8: 21

As the name of this blog is Faith and Politics…..I feel the need to speak a little on how religion and politics relate to one another.

(…..Drum Roll…..)

THEY DON’T!

Good night, folks.  Thanks for coming out.

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Seriously.  Here’s the thing.  Religion and politics are not the best of friends.  They are not even associates.  Heck, they can barely stand the sight of each other.  And while that may sound harsh; it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….so help me, God.

You see, our government is founded on the principle that no single religion shall be the foundation of public policy.  I could go on and on.  I could cite numerous writings by Adams and Jefferson.  I could cite the entire Treaty of Tripoli.  But, that is not necessary.  Well, ..er..it shouldn’t be necessary.  It seems it may be.  Too many people seem to labor under the illusion that we are a “Christian nation”.  Of course, we are not.  We are a nation consisting of mostly Christians.  This is not just semantics.  It actually means two different things.  One implies that our government was based upon a Christian belief system and reflects biblical principles.  However, the truth is that our government was designed to work without Christianity, leaving that decision up to each individual citizen.

On the flip side of that coin:  Christianity was not designed with government in mind.  In truth, Christianity is the name we call ourselves because we believe in Christ and his teachings.  Never once did Jesus say, “You will start a new religion and name it after me.”  What he did say is very clear.  Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s – Matthew 22: 21.  This is not open to interpretation.  He said, very clearly, that God does not belong in the government and the government does not belong in the church.

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Now that we have cleared that up, we can stop introducing the two at parties.  We can forget all about future blind dates.  We can realize that they are the two kids who need to be separated for everyone’s peace of mind.  Whew!  I am so glad that is settled.

Wait.  It is not settled.  The government feels bombarded by religious sentiment.  There are any number of laws on the books (both federal and state) that are written simply with the religious in mind.  With an ever-increasing number of agnostics, atheists, Muslims, and other faiths; government is attempting to live up to the constitution’s guarantee of freedom from religion.  Religious organizations are refusing to comply with federal laws.  The government is, basically, refusing to become a church.

The church feels persecuted and excluded.  Christians feel like they are being targeted for harassment and abuse.  They are furious that their leaders won’t legislate based upon religious doctrine.  They cite the Bible for all manner of objection to abortion, gay marriage, and other issues.  They fear Muslim infiltration and Sharia Law.  Christians, basically, wants the government to become a church.

Now, before anyone yells that I am just taking up for a corrupt government, let me say this.  I agree that there is corruption in the system.  I agree that our politicians behave as though they don’t have to answer to us, their constituents.  I even agree that there are some who would love nothing more than to do away with religion completely.  That being said, Christians need to accept some responsibility.  It has been my experience that the majority of non-believers just want to be left alone.  They do not wish to have their lives dictated to them, by a God they do not believe in.  They do not wish to have politicians making decisions about what they do with their bodies.  (Because of a God they don’t believe in)  They don’t want to be told who to love or marry by some senator. (Because of a God they don’t believe in)

And, since our country is neither a Christian nation nor a church…they have that right.

Christians need to worry only about being Christians.  I will give you a moment to read that opening scripture again.  <<…Humming…>>  Okay, ready?

Christians were given one important commandment by Christ.  He even says it is the greatest commandment…love each other.  That’s it.  It sounds ridiculously simple, right?  Well, it is not.  Jesus is very explicit about how we are to behave as his followers.  We are to love one another.  We are not to seek revenge or vengeance.  We are to respect the fact that we are responsible for ourselves, and only ourselves.  We are to be good to people:  feed them, clothe them, house them.  We are to forgive.  It should be our goal to be like Christ, no matter what the world throws at us.  Our faith is to be recognized by sight, not by speech.  They will know we are Christians by our love.

Where is our love?  Love is not spewing hate and vitriol.  It is showing compassion and kindness.  Love is not stereotyping and judging.  It is offering comfort and support.  Love is not casting the first stone, even as we live in glass houses with a hundred cracks.  It is forgiveness and a helping hand.

These traits are hard to develop.  They are difficult to express.  They are practically impossible to demonstrate with perfect consistency.  But we should try.  Why?

Because…What would Jesus do?  That is what Jesus would do.

Categories: analysis, faith and religion, personal, separation of church and state, the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wait, go back…Nephilim?

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.  They were the heroes of old, men of renown.     Genesis 6:4

nephilim2

I always found this passage a bit puzzling.  It’s location and total lack of context brings many questions to mind.  The Nephilim were the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men.  (They would later be known as the giants who inhabited Canaan.)  Does the phrase “sons of God” refer to the angels?  Were the Nephilim inherently evil, thus becoming part of the reason for God’s drastic decision to flood the world?

Ancient Jews understood “sons of God” to mean angelic beings.  This view would be corroborated in 1 Peter 3:20 and 2 Peter 2:4-5.  If the Jewish interpretation is to be trusted –  that they are angelic beings –  we run into another dilemma.  Looking forward in the text…We learn that Jesus, in Matthew 22:30, said that angels did not marry.  That would mean that we could infer that producing children wasn’t on the to-do list.  Procreation, outside of a marital union, was extremely taboo.

We do, however, learn that angels did not always do as they were told.  And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—Jude 6.  It is important to note, though, that the author of Jude used pseudepigraphical literature as reference material.  Pseudepigrapha are books claiming (falsely) to be written by some ancient hero of the faith, such as Moses or Abraham.  Yet another conundrum is the fact that these demigods, as lawless and wicked as their behavior was, were known as heroes.  But to whom?  I can only assume they would be considered heroic to those who perished in the flood.

I, personally, believe this mention of the Nephilim was to teach that even heavenly beings sin.  Not only that, they will face punishment.  Considering the fact that we are still in the section of the Bible known as The Law, this is not terribly surprising.  This is the period, in the faith, where works is focused on more than faith.  It is also my opinion that those telling this story would need a truly wicked sin to recount, in order to explain and/or justify the near total extinction of the human race.  What is more wicked than wayward angels cavorting with humans and creating progeny that brings nothing but sin and evil?

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I would also like to add that genealogy, found in Genesis, should probably be taken with a grain of salt.  The book has Shem outliving Abraham!  And, let us not forget that female offspring barely receive an honorable mention.  Again, I will reiterate that these accounts had been handed down generation after generation.  Another thing worthy of remembering is that the lineage we are given only tells us how various groups/nations relate to Israel.

No novice to gossip, I am equally pretty sure a little bit of that 2nd grade gossip thing was happening, too.  You know, little Sarah says “I gotta pee.”   By the time we get to the sixth kid, it’s “Sarah peed on herself and wants you to tell the teacher!”  And, well, let’s be perfectly honest.  How many of us could regurgitate our entire history orally, and get it all right??  Not too many, I would assume.  I am certainly no threat to ancestry.com.

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Lastly, I would like to point out another detail that stuck out to me.  The ages of the characters prior to death will begin to drop, dramatically, after the death of Shem.  Shem, the middle son of Noah, lived to be 500 years old.  I am convinced that ages were fudged, to begin with.  However, I feel that this marked decrease in lifespans is due to change in climate and landscape post flooding.  Naturally, after a major catastrophic event, you might see lack of food and other environmental changes that could lead to human beings living shorter lives.

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Next up:  Abram (Abraham), the first faithful

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Noah’s Ark?

 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.   Genesis 7:11

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Who hasn’t heard the tale of Noah and his ark?  Well, for those who haven’t,….

The story goes that Noah was a righteous man in his generation.  Because of this, God commanded that he build an ark (to exact specifications) in preparation for a great flood.  You see, God had become extremely saddened by the wickedness of His creation.  He decided to wipe them all from the face of the Earth, save Noah and his family….and all the pairs of animals to be saved.  Noah was probably mocked and tormented, but remained faithful to his task.  A task that took approximately 120 years.  At the appointed time, Noah’s family and the animals entered the ark and were shut in.  It rained for 40 days and nights.  All of humanity perished.  The ark floated for around 150 days before coming to rest on Mount Ararat.  Forty days later, Noah sent forth a raven who found no dry place to land.  He sent forth a dove, who also returned.  The last time he sent the dove, it returned with an olive leaf, indicating dry ground.  After the doors of the ark were opened, Noah’s family and the pairs of animals exited the ark.  Noah set up an altar where he made sacrifices to God.  God, in turn, sent a rainbow as a covenant with man.  It signified that never again would the Earth be destroyed by a flood.

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Before I tackle Noah and his family, read this summation.

One of the high gods, Enlil, became increasingly annoyed at the “noise” of human beings.  He decided to destroy them in a deluge.  Enki, the god of waters, revealed this plan to Utnapishtum.  Enki told Utnapishtum to demolish his home and build a big boat and load it with pairs of animals.  Utnapishtum was to keep his plans secret from the council of high gods, even to lie if he had to. He followed the instructions.  At the appointed time, he entered the boat with his wife and the animals.  His craftsmen, along with his gold and silver were also taken aboard.  A downpour ensued.  The flood lasted for 7 days.  Utnapishtum sent out a dove, swallow, and raven to test whether it was safe to emerge.  When the raven did not return; he, his wife, companions, and the animals left the boat.  Utnapishtum and his wife offered sacrifices to the gods and were granted eternal life.

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These two tales sound eerily similar, right?  The first, of course, is biblical in origin.  The second is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh.  This was a Mesopotamian tale, written around 2500 BC.  That makes it the earliest known tale of a great flood.  Scholars believe that since the two stories are so similar, that the biblical version was most likely modeled after the Gilgamesh epic.  Bam!!  This proves the fact that Noah’s story is false.  Right?

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Before we decide, let us also keep in mind…

– Sumerian poetry (dating back to 2000 BC) mentions Gilgamesh’s journey to meet the flood hero, Utnapishtum.

– The Akkadian (Babylonian and Assyrian) account has flood stories dating to around 3300 BC, starring hero Atrahasis.

– Greek legend tells of Deucalion.  He, too, was a wine maker who was forewarned of a great flood.  He, likewise, built an ark and saved animals.

– An Ojibwa indian legend (from around Lake Superior) tells of a great snow that fell one September at the beginning of time.  A bag, containing the sun, had a hole nibbled in it by a mouse.  The warmth escaped and spilled over, melting the snow, and causing a flood.  Everyone drowned, except one old man who drifted in his canoe rescuing animals.

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Also of interest…

Although the idea of massive flooding has been mocked, geologists Walter Pitman and William Ryan proved it possible.  The pair was the first to gather evidence that the Black Sea, indeed, flooded around 7500 years ago.  They wrote a book in 1998 entitled Noah’s Flood:  The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event that Changed History.  In the book, they detail how the Mediterranean Sea flooded the Black Sea basin.  And while not a worldwide catastrophe, it might certainly appear that way to any who lived in the nearby plains, with water rising approximately 6 inches per day.  It’s not difficult to see how it would feel like it was the end of the world.

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So..Here are my thoughts.

Do I think the flood was real?  Yes.  There is scientific evidence that a great flood actually took place.  I believe there was massive flooding.  However, I believe that  it was not a global one, in the technical sense of the word.  Noah’s story stems from tales told by one tribe of people who had no means to travel far.  To themselves, they were all there was.  As far as Gilgamesh and the other tales… They all stem from different areas, yet they all have a deluge story.  I am of the mind that names and places may change, but for a tale to endure..some grain of truth exists.  Also, remember that the story didn’t start with Noah.  He, nor his children, wrote it.  We are talking about generations of oral storytelling.  Nothing written for many many years.  All of these tales may seem so similar because they describe the same event.  One was simply translated to written form sooner than the others, therefore names/locations would fit each’s culture.  If, indeed, the flood was not global; that eliminates the necessity of bringing pairs of every kind of animal along for the ride.  In this case, I lean more toward the Gilgamesh version, where he brought along the animals he had.

Now, I would like to focus on Noah.  He is where the moral of the story lies.  The type of person he was, and became, intrigues me.  He was a descendant of Seth and the narrative tells us he was “righteous in his generation”.  That means, what?  Remember, his generation was quite wicked.  Was he righteous, or was he more righteous than everyone else?  We really don’t know since very little is mentioned about Noah’s personal life.  I find this interesting.  He was, after all, the man responsible for keeping a few humans alive to repopulate the world.

Noah’s most favorable attribute was his faithfulness.  He was given a commandment from God.  He obeyed.  He was given specific instructions on how to complete the task.  He obeyed.  For a Christian, that type of faithfulness is the most honorable trait to have.  I, personally, like to think I would be able to follow a direct commandment from God, should He require it of me.  Noah’s character also demonstrated remarkable patience.  It took quite a many years to complete the construction of the boat.  Not to mention the fact that he had to live on it for practically a year! Christians are repeatedly reminded that God does things in His own time, and that we are to have patience.  There is also no mention of anger.  I am certain Noah would have faced much mockery and contempt from such a wicked bunch of people.  Yet, there is no mention of him becoming angry or resentful.  Again, a wonderful trait for a person of faith to have.

Noah had some faults, as well.  He did not (like his future descendent, Abraham) pray to save anyone.  He did not ask God to forgive any – or all – of mankind and give them another chance.  And later, after he and his family were saved, he planted a vineyard.  One night, he became drunk and was naked in his tent.  Rather than taking responsibility for his actions, he blamed his child.  He not only blamed his son, but took farther drastic action.  He cursed him!

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We are told that his two of his sons, Shem and Japheth, didn’t look upon him and covered him.  We know that Ham (the father of Canaan) was cursed for calling attention to, and possibly snickering at, his father’s drunken state.  The following morning, Ham and his descendents were cursed to be slaves of the tribes of his brothers.  Shem’s tribe would be the most revered- as Ham’s descendents were slaves to his, while Japheth’s would live in Shem’s tents.  After 950 years of life, Noah died.  His sons settled eastward, attempted to build a tower to the heavens, and were punished by being scattered all over the Earth unable to understand each other’s language.  From Shem’s line, would come Abram.

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Like Noah– my goal is to be faithful, patient, determined, and even-tempered.

Unlike Noah– I aim to be my brother’s keeper, while taking responsibility for my actions.

Categories: analysis, evolution, faith and religion, old testament, personal, the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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