Posts Tagged ‘bible’
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I tend to think of biblical figures as heroes. Moses comes out of retirement and starts working at 80, Abraham has a child at 90, Paul faces death all day, and Daniel survives a den of hungry lions. But have you ever thought that they would consider us as heroes? Read the rest of this entry »
This is an Easter story for little people.
Baba = Father
Mamba = an aggressive and venomous snake from Africa
Umfaan = a small boy
“Umfaan, eat your food slowly, you are not a wild animal.”
“I am a lion, Baba. A wild lion.”
“Ahh, Umfaan, the lion is wild; but there was a time when he was much more polite… and much more wild!”
“When was that Baba?”
“That was a very long time ago, Umfaan; when the animals could speak. Do you want to hear about it?”
“Yes please Baba. I want to hear about when the animals could speak!”
“Well then you need to sit nicely, eat slowly and politely, and I will tell you…” Read the rest of this entry »
It seems pretty clear that something more is going on in the world today. Wars breakout with Twitter support, massive earthquakes are a regular occurrence, storms and floods, tsunamis, tornados, fires and record heat and cold. What’s going on and what should we do about it? Read the rest of this entry »
1 Samuel 17:33-37 “Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”
David often used his eloquence to successfully defend his contrary position, like Daniel who would come after him (Daniel 1:8-13). Saul could not refuse such an powerful request such convincing determination. However it’s one thing stating the case, doing the job is something completely different. But when a man speaks like this in these kinds of circumstances it is never without a real, underlying courage.
The kind of courage David displayed is the kind we are in desperate need of. Fortitude, CS Lewis calls it; it’s the kind of courage that endures. Read the rest of this entry »
1 Samuel 17:13-15 “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.”
David’s long history in the bible opens at a strange time in Israel. Their very first king, Saul, had turned the fortunes of Israel around, almost destroying the Amalekites in the East, and his son Jonathan had leveled the playing field against the Philistines in the West. But God had rejected Saul as king for his disobedience at his moment of triumph and Israel was now facing a prepared Philistine army, which these young men followed Saul to face.
It’s interesting to note that by the time David faced Goliath as a boy he had already been anointed as replacement king of Israel, but it was to be a further 15 years or more before he actually became king. Read the rest of this entry »
David, King of Israel, was a contrarian all through his life, this series highlights his vision and his willingness to go against the flow. I have chosen 21 moments in the Bible’s record of David’s life where our translators have chosen the words “but David…” to contrast David’s actions against those around him, and to reveal his genius for the unconventional:
1 David’s Responsibility
2 David’s Courage
3 David’s Agility
4 David’s Humility
5 David’s Sensability
6 David’s Honesty
7 David’s Wisdom
8 David’s Intelligence
9 David’s Love
10 David’s Cunning
11 David’s Profound sense of Authority
12 David’s Foresight
13 David’s Relationship with God
14 David’s Resolution
15 David’s Humanity
16 David’s Sincerity
17 David’s Strategy
18 David’s Disgusting Sin
19 David’s Integrity
20 David’s Submission
21 David’s Father Failures
David was an extraordinary example of a man. He was a fragile warrior with almost legendary fighting skill, he was a strategist, diplomat and leader; but David was also vividly transparent, he had that extraordinary ability to be extremely cunning, even in his old age, and yet he maintained an open heart and a supple forgiveness all through his life. David was a both wise and foolish, fearful and insanely brave.
But David is not a contradiction, he proves that these two extremes are not mutually exclusive.
The Hebrew of David’s day did not leave authors with a lot of choice for conjunctions, the one used in almost every case in the texts I have chosen could equally be translated “and David”, “with David”, “therefore David”, “since David”; to name a few. But our modern translators have very wisely chosen to use “but David”.
But David… highlights for us the. reader. the alternative route David so often took. It brought him a lot of trouble and it exposed his glaring weaknesses, but it also earned him his most famous title, “a man after God’s own heart,” and it shows us that it is God, not Fortune, who favors the brave.
May David’s strength inspire you and may you learn from his faults.
There seems to me to be a forced division between science and faith based systems of thought. I think there is a lot more overlap than each camp’s fundamentalists will grant. Each side wants to replace the other’s term with “Fiction”. But the truth is that theories require faith, even proved ones; and faith requires reason, especially real faith.
But there is a truly magical (and very real) place where these two elements, Fact and Faith come together, hand in hand almost, and demand that we give them equal portions, like siblings requiring the equal division of a packet of candy.
It is only in the realm of inter-personal relationships where fact matters as much as faith.
“What the philosophers say about reality is often as deceptive as when you see a sign in a second-hand store that reads: Pressing Done Here. If you went in with your clothes to have them pressed you would be fooled; the sign is for sale.” Søren Kierkegaard in “Either/Or”