"May Adonai bless you and protect you! May Adonai deal kindly and graciously with you! May Adonai lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace!" (Torah, Numbers 6:24-26) And Jesus said, "Allow the little children to come unto me. Forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say unto you, unless you receive the Kingdom of God as a little child does, you shall not enter therein." (New Testament, Mark 10:14-16)
Sojourning at an Oasis Paradise
Most of what you will see here is the result of extensive personal study, combined with some careful speculation. Occasionally, I may simply offer some Scripture or an inspirational text. I am a wide reader, and the connection of some topics and ideas to matters of faith and religion may not seem immediately obvious, but perhaps I may spell it out in the end... or maybe, you will decide that it was just a tangent. Anyway, I hope that you will find my meanderings to be spiritually enlightening, intellectually stimulating, or at least somewhat entertaining.
In the coming weeks and months, I intend to transcribe a series of essays that I wrote about 20 years ago in the hope that I might get them published. They represent the nucleus of my spiritual life and the focal point around which my wanderings revolve like an electron in an atom. I hope that they might eventually serve as a springboard for discussions about the common spiritual heritage of humanity. May we come together and embrace each other in peace.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The Faith of Noah: simple and free for all
Noah was a very wise man. He asked God (BhS) what he should do to prevent his descendants from repeating the mistakes of the past. And so, God (BhS) made a covenant with Noah, and gave him seven laws that he should pass on to future generations. If these would be remembered, those who kept them would not again fall into wickedness, but would be accounted as righteous and wise among men. These seven laws were kept as simple as possible, because Noah and his family were simple people. They can be found in Genesis, chapter 9, but one version of them I shall list here:
1. You shall not have any idols before God.
2. You shall not murder.
3. You shall not steal.
4. You shall not commit sexual immorality.
5. You shall not blaspheme God's name.
6. You shall not eat flesh taken from a living animal.
7. You shall set up just laws and courts.
There have been a few additions to this list, over the course of time, but these seven are sufficient for anyone who follows them, not because they are reasonable or a good way to live, but because they come from God (BhS).
Many years later, Abraham and his father, Terah, found that they could not live in Ur of the Chaldees, because they had reverted to idol worship. Indeed, Terah, had been am idol-maker, until he realized it was wrong and destroyed his entire inventory of merchandise. Then he turned the leadership of the family over to Abraham, and they headed south along the Fertile Crescent until they came into Canaan, near present-day Jerusalem, and met a righteous King, Melchizadek. There Abraham bought a plot of land and decided to stay. He kept the laws of Noah, until God came to him and chose him to be the founder of a new covenant, to bring His words unto all nations.