Written during November 2009 – Jh
As a child I felt the need to belong somewhere. The idea of God’s Chosen People appealed to me; I imagined I was from the tribe of Judah until I learned about all those woes pronounced because of disobedience; then I chose the prophets as role models but learned that they were included in those curses:. I even tried to find a feminine name that began with the letter J – then I learned who Jezebel was and couldn’t find many more female names I liked and gave up on that idea!
My Mom chose my middle name Esther from Queen Esther of the OT. Sad to say, I was more like Queen of Sheba than the humble young girl from the tribe of Benjamin! I learned that my first name is the feminine of Jacob, so I still have the initial J and follow the Great J! I now am comfortable with the Js and Esther – a special Heritage of my own!
I was baptized to get into God’s Kingdom and thought the Apostles would be good role models because they knew Him personally; then one by one they also failed! Next question: Why didn’t God pronounce a curse on them as He had on all the others we read about? Answer: BECAUSE they were followers of the only One who would know them and could tell God“ they are mine” or, ”I know that person.” Christians often say “I know Him.” The important thing is at the end, will He say “I know that person.”
The yearly feasts of repentance to roll forward sins for another year is not needed as long as we accept and follow HIM! He is sufficient and the One promised all through the ages and now God only accepts those who accept HIM. God patiently revealed what Jesus would do for humankind through Abraham’s descendants – His Chosen People! What a heritage is ours! When Jesus came, the special status of the Jews was completed and now all of the world is blessed because we are all“grafted on the true tree” through belief in Him! The book of Romans explains humanity’s Fall and tells us in Chapter 8:1 “. . . there is no more condemnation for those who believe in Him”the Son of God.
The Jewish nation began to think God chose them because they were special, but they didn’t understand God’s promise to Abraham – that ALL the nations of the world would be blessed through his descendants, not that they themselves were so special. They became “God’s Chosen People” because of one man’s desire to obey God! Their heritage is where the“more perfect law”began! The first memorization for me was the Ten Commandments at age 7. Years later l studied the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus perfected them when he said, “Ye have heard . . ., but I say unto you. . .” We all have to evaluate our heritage – I did as a young adult to ascertain I was not just following the tradition of my parents. I am blessed to have some traditions to follow but hope they do not merit any of the “woe unto you”curses pronounced upon the Scribes and Pharisees.
There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118 and 594 chapters after that. The actual center of the Bible is Psalms 118:8 “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”So the lesson is that we cannot follow any human traditions and biases.