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Posts Tagged ‘mercy’

How did Rebekah know of the emergence of two nations in her womb? ‘She went to enquire of the Lord(Ge.25:22)’.

In this context let us refresh our mind with the creation calendar. ‘And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night and let them be for signs, and for seasons..(Ge.1:15)”

There are two kinds of revelation. One is public and the other personal. When God made the sun and the moon as signs we have an apt example in the rainbow as a natural phenomenon and as a sign. A rainbow is formed by dispersion of light through the medium of moisture in the air. The colors are incident in the way these impinge on the retina of the eye and no two persons see it the same. That is Science. After the deluge God set the bow in the sky as a covenant he made to Noah and it implies both mercy and judgment. In the latter sense we have a vision of St John. The mighty angel coming down from heaven is shown with a rainbow (Re.10:1). The Spirit uses signs with a purpose and the rainbow that was set in his vision of God’s throne signified his Mercy. It being the testimony of Jesus Christ he is referring to the nature of his Father (Re.4:3). Naturally the revelation is a private one ‘to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass (Re.1:1)’.

Revelations of God are always clothed with Nature as a backdrop. In the same sense when God set up a vision to Jacob to which we shall come by and by revelations are always user friendly as it were. Nature is amenable to acquaint a child of God instinctively God’s purpose in so many ways. It is God’s sovereignty that made a land fertile or poor as a sign. We read of instances at the times of the Kings when He stopped the rains to show his displeasure. Nature is a prop for revealing his purpose and it was in this sense He sent Moses to the Promised Land. “And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey (Ex.3:17)”.

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When God separated light from darkness he saw it was good. It gave the earth a form and his glory was not scattered in vain but brought results that at the end of each day he could affirm it was good. In the Creation Day when the glory of God gave a form to the earth the Spirit instructs us that what was visible did attest to it.(Ro.1:20). When He led the children of Israel to a land flowing with milk and honey it was conditional. The visible abundance of the Promised Land refers to His glory. Shape of the promise lay in peace and prosperity. If the people followed His commandments it would be their portion. It was thus his promise to Abraham. It was conditional. God informs Rebekah of two nations before her delivery. Israel and Edom were the two nations. In the case of Jacob in the pre-natal state imbibed as though it were, naturally pursued birth-right even after delivered from their mother’s womb. Whereas Esau dismissed his birth right as a trifle Jacob profited from it. “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them (Mt.13:12-NIV)”.

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It is said religion is the opium for the masses. In Lotos-eaters Tennyson writes the effect of the lotos:

” Eating the Lotos day by day,

To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,

And tender curving lines of creamy spray;

To lend our hearts and spirits wholly

To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;

To muse and brood and live again in memory,…”

 

Poetic fancy of the poet however does not connect with reality as we know today. This is not how religion is practised.

The Scripture teaches us God is Love; good moslems similarly declare their Allah is compassionate. In that case what is the problem? Somewhere along the line prophets and their sayings are interpreted to mean entirely false. Whether God of the Jews or Allah of moslems religion has become synonymous with hate. In short religion has become the Achilles heel of mankind.

Through human understanding what can we know of love of God; or what is mercy? At least reason ought to teach us to try our best as human beings to demonstrate what love and compassion would mean. Would it not? In what way we can show holiness by some rituals? In India those who practice Jainism cover their mouth lest they swallow some little flies by mistake while yawning. However little do they see the millions of bacteria that float in the water they drink. It is impossible to match holiness of divine Being or be perfect in observing injunctions of prophets with regards to our cleanliness and diet. For the simple reason in a world of acid rain and tainted earth with various chemicals all our idea of cleanliness come with margin of error.

In Jonathan Swift’s immortal tale the central character Gulliver is brought to the land of Brobdingnag. It is written that he was repelled by the women of that land. They were monstrous in size compared to him. Their faces when magnified so much skin pores seemed to his scrutiny as moon craters! Matter of size brought about this change naturally. If we were to see as an eagle our eyes would require the size of an orange. To sum view of our world is limited by our human-ness. As a result our sense of beauty is affected; so must our understanding. How noble or mean is your God?

When Prophet Moses gave the Children of Israel the law, was it his understanding or that of God at fault?

Under the Law it was an eye for eye, a tooth for tooth. Shall we say under the Old Covenant the law represented a certain values but it was codified according to human understanding? It is of this St Paul writes to the Hebrews thus: ‘For the law made nothing perfect…(He.7:19) Instead It erected a screen between God and them. For instance during the Feast the Jews mistook the voice from heaven as thunder. (Jn.12:29) The Jewish nation lived by the law for a millennia or so and yet when God spoke, ‘I have both glorified it (name) and will glorify it again (vs.28)’ they understood it altogether in another sense.

Moses gave the law but with Jesus came the New Covenant. For Christians this New order supercedes the Old. Jesus brought grace and truth(Jn.1:17). When Jesus came to save the world he had a clear mandate. It went thus: turn the other cheek if one smites on your right cheek. He showed it in practice as well. Luke 9:51-56

Before he was to be crucified he wanted to visit Samaria. He sent an advance party to make arrangements and the people of Samaria refused them. When they told Jesus of their refusal John and James were furious and would have brought fire from heaven as Elias did. Jesus rebuked them saying, ‘they did not know what manner spirit they were of’. He did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Jesus quietly led them to another village.

When I hear fellows casually use ‘Jihad’ to justify their criminal actions and mask foolish notion of global domination I can only say, their understanding is far off the mark. If they are misled, how much more foolish are their imams who preach hatred and violence as though it were a religious duty?

benny

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Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. ~Rumi


Pangs of life have seared me to skin and bones,

Oh lover of my soul;

But you sent Mercy to feed me

Wild apples which were early for season;

It must be a boon neither for good men nor for the poor-

But Mercy must have her own reasons,I admit

And how has it fleshed me out!

In joy muscles wrap around bones and packs marrow.

Of Mercy she grudges never.

How has the skin taken to its tints?

For Mercy comes never alone but with her brood-

And love its badge that even fools cannot miss.

 

 

benny

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Su Shi (1036-1101) who called himself Su Tungpo is considered by common consent as one of the greatest Chinese poets. Having displeased the emperor he was under detention at Huangchow. Another time he served his time on the island of Hainan. ‘What good is for a cricket to protest against the might of the moon?’ Many of his contemporaries thought so. They wished he would accept things as they are. His protest against the custom of drowning of the girl babies was so effective that when he left Huangchow the grateful parents lined up the village streets with tears in their eyes and babies in their arms whose very lives had been saved by his efforts. With many fools around we need to do what is reasonable under the cirumstances and leave it at that.
Each of us has a certain view. You and I have been set into a certain direction by forces that are beyond us. One being born to a family of devout Christians may have drawn moral values that are compatible with Christian traditions and it is a virtue you have accepted as an ideal. If it is the case you need to accept another shall have the freedom to set his own ideals. If such ideas are combined together the world must prove to be set firm on moral values where different religions and practices only underline certain shades more than another. How come then we see the world of chaos and not of any order? Think of a pendulum swinging steadily at a certain pace that we may speak of it as divine order. Suppose we connect a second pendulum to it. It is demonstrated that the second one soon falls out of the regularity of the first.
This is how we may explain man’s moral sense falling out of step with that of divine moral order.
If there is no such thing as a divine Order we might consign every god, Allah, Jehovah, God as not worth the candle one lights in reverence. God unjust? It is impossible. Does God sets out to settle our personal errors and put us back into working order, individually? I do not think so. God made this earth to be inhabited and expects man to set his own house in order in fellowship with all. The moral order that is inherent in so many working with a common purpose creates its own order and it is representational. For example human laws are derived in the manner man has paraphrased divine law to be just and equitable.

Why cannot man be equal to the task? If there are natural laws there must be an order that gives Nature it force and authority. Since we are all humans and given a finite time frame to understand why such and such events take place it is therefore excusable to draw a moral purpose to which human laws may do. It represents divine law. Law is represented holding a double edged sword. Law must serve justice as well mercy.
All we could do is to do what is proper and right, everything being secondary to the humanness that describes you and me. If we frame laws Justice is tempered with Mercy since we know to be human is to err. We who are wise are connected to foolish and if we were to pay the fools by the same coin we are also setting the course for error. Of this I shall write in another post.
benny

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