The bargain

Here in this particular verses , because of the ignorance and complaint of the people, God tells moses, why the people cannot understand and see his love, his blessings for them , instead all they could do is complain. but moses tries to speak on behalf of the people, acting as the intercessors , once again requesting, presenting his petitions , declaring the mighty power of God. but he does in a way that it seems like he is bargaining to God, by trying to win him over to save those people, so that God;s wrath will not fall on them .

In 2012, in one of the neighbouring state of nagaland, which is also one of the Hindu dominated state, where chritianity was not really welcome. a group of missionaries from Singapore, who have being partnering with us for the past 6 years , had a burden for that place, so in that particular year , we planned for a big healing crusades, as signs and wonders are the way through which God has being doing to win this people to Him. but this people, keep going away from the lord to their past believes , in spite of all what God did. so In the year when there was another crusades, many believers and non believers were excited, but something really unfortunate happen, the hindu groups distroyed all the crusades place, just a day before. there was heavy rainfall and storms. it was impossible for us to start , then the head of the team, cried out , prayed on behalf of them, his prayer was like a bargain to God, just as moses did.

there are times, when we as minister , we need to stand on behalf of those who dont know what they are doing by rebelling against The living God. but instead of having hatred and condeming them, need to present petittiton for them , just like moses did, it might be in a way of bargaining or praising God , but no matter stand for them , given them chance to repent, or direct their ways again.

text : numbers 14:11-15

 

ditty no :6

what is a gap? what does Dr. O Brien mean by minding the gap? why is it important to mind the gap while reading the narratives of the Hebrew Bible?bible

When reading the old testament , there are so many information,details that are left behind and the reader has to bend his neck and adjust with it, especially with assumptions, beliefs, and passions of the readers , according to Dr Brien this are the internal things , internal feelings, the character feelings , his motivations and emotions and the narrators opinion which is often in a third – person view, which he termed as a gap .

Dr Brien provides us how we can mind those gap as mention above, by making us aware of paying attention to the characters view and the narrators way of narrating, looking for clues even if the details are missing connecting with other passages 1)letting go of looking for right interpretation 2) looking for intriguing verse in another translation, since sometimes the original text means something else , 3) when episodes seems to jump, ask questions like what impression one get from the jumps , what holds them together, or what is holding them together.4) paying attention , when the character talk, looking for details in the change of speech.

many of the detail information are left out, and since the old testament were composed in a culture that is so different from us.though the old testament is written in way which is so alive with so/ many diverse characters , with emotions and motivations . because of the way the narrator way of narration , that are not fully provided with detail information for the modern reader to fully understand the dimension in which it was written , Dr Brien through this , is trying to provide to us the importance of minding the gap, while reading the Hebrew Bible, the assumptions , the way the reader try to construct the missing details, making the reader discover the connection between the old testament to the modern time, so that it can served not only s a story or documents but touch our lives , see the character of God their stories , bringing us closer to God and to their times.

Preserving In his Decrees

Devotional Article no: 6

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Text: Leviticus 20:22-24

God gave mosses many instructions regarding leading his people into his sight. That will please him and also the blessing of God will flow on His nations and on mosses. He was once again reminded of keeping, the laws and not only that but obey them and follow them, So that they can preserved their faith in a land which does not know Yahweh, in a place where the customs and traditions displeases God. The lord does not want them to become like them, but instead preserved who they are in the living God and for obeying the lord, they will be blessed.

After my graduation , I attended this ministerial training school for 6 months, the day before our graduation ,the teachers had a feet washing ceremony , they washed all our feet’s, they did that symbolizing servant hood, they also shared to us , about “ setting apart” , one of our professor said, now that we ministers , trained to serve him , we should also know that we are being set apart , now we will be going out into the w0rld which is full of sins. We our set to preserved as well as keep the decrees of the lord and walk with him .i never realized then once I become follower of Christ , I am set apart for him, that’s the day which open my heart and eyes to see myself as different and walk with him.

Our life as Christian, chosen by god was not only a name given to us, but it has significances; we were called to be a representative of our lord in this sinful world, to obey his word and to abide in him, setting an example, living as holy as he is. We should not forget who we are; when we say are followers of Christ. It is not just the claimed, it is about preserving ourselves in God .

Ditty no:5

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what are Dr zachovitchs ideas on how the writers of the Hebrew Bible made Jacob not as Bad as he seems to be?Do you agree with His assesments? why or why not?

one of the most unusual incidents in the noble patriachal of the bible is that of Jacob. he is considered to be the most unlikeable member .he was considered not as a very good son and brother.His life of decietfulness,consequences and schemes were narrated and passed on from generations to generations among the Jewish community .Dr zachovith’s pointed out that the biblical narrators made efoorts too present him not as a admired hero but rather an examples to the human audience. the folllowing are the points which He pointed to show us that in the narratives of jacobs itself , we see that the narrators are defending and explaining jacobs situations:-

1)they presented the consequences and atonement of jacob , his punishment.

2)Rebekah the mastermind behind the scheme and jacob freed of guilty.

3)Esau not deserving of the blessings because of his act of marrying the cannanites wives.

4)Isaacs had unconditional love for his brother

5)Rebekah reason for the deceit was out of motherly love.

In addition he presented certain passages from the bible which describes jacob as archetypal trickster .i disagree with Dr Zachovitch , he supported his ideas by saying that there are many traditions on Jacob story which was hidden by the genesis writers because of their partial favor of Jacob, to presnet him as a emulated figure for the nations and jewish religion which might be true at some point of time, but still the essence of it is still alive. the genesis writers might have shaped the story of Jacobs life, but still it was viewed as an examplary , ideology for all until now, and also how far could they smoothen it from the Jacob which was known to the community who know Him.

Devotional article no: 5 “only Him “

Text: Exodus 34:14

Do not worship any other god, for the lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God”

Moses was given instructions by God on moral grounds and towards their faith to Yahweh , how to live among the non-believers  and to keep their faith strong toward their Yahweh .God doesn’t not want them to be swayed with the pagans believes and become like them , instead He commands them, not a request , to obey Him and stay strong unmoved , and that he will reward them, God strictly gives the instructions of not worshipping any other god but Him alone , in addition he says that he is a jealous God.

In a country like India, where there are many religions with so any cultural superstitious believes that pass on for generations. Where religion becomes a part of a person’s life from the very moment he is born. When I was in my high school, reading horoscope became one of my passions as in India horoscopes are written in newspapers, everywhere. I read them regularly, I like to read books on horoscopes, palm reading and all those concerning signs .slowly, it started governing my life, I start my day with  horoscope, it decide the state of mine and my mood for each day. I choose friends according to what the horoscope says. And realized that, it started becoming my god, one day I got a text message from my friend “ trust the one who made the stars and sun ,who made the lines on ur palms and not the stars nor your palms“ it struck my mind and heart like lightening , there I realized I have created my own god ,worshipping him everyday .

Many times we failed to realized, that we made our own god ,it becomes the center of our life instead of our living God, like he said to mosses he is a jealous god , he loves us so much , and he want our whole heart and soul and mind, but when we switch him with the little things in our life which started dominating our life other than Him. Look into yourself, whom are you worshipping? Is it your family staus? Your job? Your possession’s?.

Ditty 4

 

John McDermott 

               John McDermott tries to build up the socio-historical and cultural history which might have sculpted the final Pentateuch; he started with critiques to the historical issues by comparing it with new information’s. He states that historical study is a necessary approach to the bible, but it is not the complete approach, but it has to be accompanied by thorough interpretation with information from literary and theological concerns as well. McDermott support his claim with the following points:-

a) Pentateuch contains diverse material that was put together over a period of time in the monarchy and exile, and so it should be viewed in the light of exilic and persian.

b) Ancestral stories of the Israelites like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and joseph were respected legendary figures belonging to different groups of the Israelites but the story makes them one family, creating a national narrative.

c) The exodus history on account of the Pentateuch might have occurred but not completely as it mentions, when based on archaeological evidences.

d) The wilderness journey in the Pentateuch serves literary motive of transformation and theological purposes but should not be read as a history; however some historical information can be gleaned from it.

e) Laws came were diverse, period of Israelites history and was also shaped by sociocultural development of the Israelites

                      I agree with McDermott that the Pentateuch is not history in the strictest sense, basing on his arguments. The Torah is an ancient document born out of the same physical ambience that had limitations. It is an ancient document primarily meant for people and its culture. The Pentateuch thus was the result of culture and thoughts of people of that time, and also the supernatural works of God (God’s revelation) in the lives of the people. And so it will limit, if one approach it in a very historical way, causing it to be problematic. However, the production of the Torah in a human dimension cannot be look down nor deny its divine nature, instead we see God working in the history of man. 

 

” the exodus holocaust”

Devotional article no: 4

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Text: Exodus 1:6-14

                  One of the event in the history that can never be forgotten, which was considered to be the most evil act man can do to mankind  was the “holocaust” . Many movie makers earned millions, writers awarded and their book still in the best-selling zone at the store. And I wonder how this evil, dreadful event can now became a story for money making business. But when I saw the movie “the pianist” which is perhaps my favourite movie, at first I watched it anticipating a musical movie, but it turned out to be about the Jewish pianist who struggle to survive under the Nazis, which made me realised how this movie gave me so much information. Hitler was threatened with the rise of the Jewish people to power, most of musicians, scholars were all Jews, and it made the Germans felt threaten, that their land will be taken away by this growing Jewish, it made them insecure.

                       We see similar event here in the passage, the promised to Jacob was fulfilled, the Israelites grew in numbers in Egypt, not only this they were successful. The Egyptian became aware of the Israelites growing number in all aspects of life; they felt threatened and so when this new ruler came to power, he targeted the Israelites, find ways to make the life of Israelites miserable, with the motive that they will slowly decline in numbers as well as in their social status. He also passed a decree to kill all the new born Israelites babies; the plot to extinguish them became worst.

                        As I went through the passage and those movies and books about holocaust, I realised that it was neither Hitler nor the Germans who started the holocaust, it was insecurity of mankind towards his own people, let us look around, and are we still taking part in this in some way? We failed to embrace people from different culture or nations rising to power or progress, when are we going to realise we are all created by the same God………if we are not carful enough we might start the next holocaust.