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Archive for November, 2020

What Adam Lost!

Adam just didn’t lose being in the Garden of Eden, laden with a curse and having to sweat his brow for a living before being declared dead – Adam lost an opportunity to become the Interceder with God on behalf of the Woman!

Just imagine the situation immediately after Eve had been enticed by the Serpent, to taste of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, and after having taken a bite, when she offered it to Adam, if only had he remembered the Rule: Didn’t God tell me that i should not eat from that Forbidden tree? And was that proscription not applicable to you too?

The woman would have given the same explanation to Adam which Eve gave God.

The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

Adam could have asked: How did the Serpent beguile you? And Eve would have meekly given a gist of that clandestine conversation she had with the Serpent:

The Serpent asked me: Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Adam would have interjected: So did you tell him which tree? The Serpent did not know which Tree was proscribed by God. Did you give away the details, to that slithery creep?

Eve would have said: i am sorry, i thought the Serpent fore-knew which tree was proscribed, as the Serpent asked me if i shall not eat of every tree in the garden.

Adam would have asked, What did you say?

Eve said: i told the Serpent “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

Adam could have said: WE? Why did you involve ‘me’ in that slimy conversation, of yours, with that wily fellow?

I had told you that God had commanded me not to eat of a particular tree in the Garden, i had shown you which tree that was and now you are offering me a fruit of that very tree, after having consumed a fruit from that tree?

At best you should have told the Serpent that Adam had informed you that God is supposed to have commanded Adam, not to eat of that tree, and as agreed between us, even i was bound by that Commandment.

Why did you share those details, which you were made privy to, as i had chosen you as my own flesh and blood, when God presented you before me? Don’t you remember that i was in this very Garden for so long without you, and yet it never crossed my mind to try that proscribed tree?

I refuse to hearken to you to eat from that Forbidden tree and i would rather keep the Commandment of God, than show disobedience to what God had commanded me personally, long before you came into existence!

Eve stood like ever before Adam, but felt a sense of shame creeping all over her and said that She was naked.

Eve ran for cover to hide her sense of shame, which was overwhelming. Adam would have taken pity on the plight of Eve and made her comfortable with fig leaves.

And in the cool of the evening when God came, Adam as usual would have met God and interceded on behalf of his fallen Wife.

May be the most merciful God would not have driven out Eve, for the sake of Adam’s OBEDIENCE. Maybe the Men would have had to live with the fallen women and stitch fig leaves and clothe them, to keep them from being ashamed of themselves, while men would have been in the Garden of Eden, walking without knowing what is good and bad; and consequently without a sense of guilt- and probably meeting God daily in the cool of the evening.

Adam, blew up all that? Eh?

No not at all.

Each man would have been confronted with another Eve, who would make a clandestine conversation with a wily Serpent, and after being enticed, would have eaten of the Forbidden Fruit and be offered of the same fruit and been confronted with the same challenge that Adam faced once: Whether to appease the woman companion or implicitly obey the Commandment of God and REFUSE TO PARTAKE IN ANYTHING RELATING TO THAT TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, would have been a perennial challenge!

The challenge is eternal, if that Adam had not brought us down to the Earth, someone else would have!

There is only one UNFALLEN ADAM and he was hanged on the Cross. The Man who asked: “Woman what have i to do with thee?”, When His time had not yet come. He brooked no coercion even from His own terrestrial Mother.

Faith – A matter of UNDISPROVABLE Belief!

Faiths are built on these two cornerstones:

1. Unprovable Beliefs

2. Undisprovable Beliefs

Even the auto correcting dictionary of my iPhone is underlining the word UNDISPROVABLE.

What is so difficult for the human mind to accommodate ‘Undisprovable’ as a word, when Unprovable is already a part of the vocabulary of a decent dictionary?

To get to the Undisprovable, one has to have gone beyond the parameters of Time, which are History and the Senses. An idea or a piece of history, which cannot be found out either through the writings of contemporaries or through remains of an archaeological discovery, or not palpable to the senses, are UNPROVABLE , but if an assertion of a fact is mentioned relating to the same period, even if the asserter is unable to prove, the leg on which that Fact stands would be UNDISPROVABILITY.

When such an undisprovable fact is sanctified through revered religious voices, these facts get set as FAITHS.

For example whether Soul exists at all, is not as important as to whether it is a provable fact as much as whether it is an undisprovable fact.

Many charlatans and many sages have asserted facts which fall in this category – Undisprovable fact. But believing in some, have led to salubrious effect on the society and some beliefs have led to deleterious effects. The effects have to be seen on humanity at the individual level, and not on a group, vis à vis an undisprovable fact.

This is the reason why in most of the Modern Laws, the person who asserts a fact has to prove it. If he doesn’t succeed, that assertion is not considered a proven fact.

Let us take one of the most mysterious happenings in the history of Israel- the reign of Abijam or Abijah, the son of Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, the son of King David.

He ruled only for a period of three years, according to the Kings as well as the book of Chronicles, from the Bible.

I prefer to call him Abijah, as the ending ‘jam’ doesn’t sound good to my ears, for a man’s name. Abijah is engaged in a very decisive war with Jeroboam – the founder of the Kingdom of Israel minus the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. A very capable man who threatened the peace of Solomon, but ran away to Egypt and stayed till the death of King Solomon. Upon his return, he is set up as the King by the ten other tribes against King Rehoboam, the Foolish. Grandson of King David, he neither inherited the skills and cunning of his grandfather, nor the putative “Wisdom” of his father King Solomon.

King Solomon himself was mostly responsible for the plight of Rehoboam. King Solomon died with the kingdom’s coffers dry, replenished only through exacting taxes imposed. Added to this were his advisors, who were hotheaded young men. Why Rehoboam should have had hotheaded young men, as advisors, at an age of 41 years, would be a good question, but no undisprovable factual answer could be adduced from the text of the Bible. With such a flawed inheritance and a bad governing attitude, Rehoboam falls a victim to the creation of the ten tribes. Worse still is the fact that Rehoboam, who boasted that the girth of his little finger was thicker than his father’s waist, listens to a prophet stating that the division was from the Lord and Rehoboam accepts that meekly.

Rehoboam was so enfeebled that he had to accept that decision of the ten tribes, because of his own weakness.

Abijah did not accept this so called “came from God” theory and gives his own explanation to Jeroboam and his forces of 800,000 men of war. Abijah says that by a covenant of salt, the whole kingdom of 12 tribes were given to King David and his heirs in perpetuity by God, and that his father, Rehoboam while he was still young and tender hearted, couldn’t withstand the vain men and sons of belial, whom Jeroboam, the servant of Solomon, had threatened Rehoboam with! At one stroke, Abijah demolished the past, present and future of Jeroboam. Words which talk of the pedigree of a servant disobedient to the word of God, disobedient to the king, a thug, and taking advantage of a newly anointed but an inexperienced king!

None, none in the Bible is spoken to in such terms. Abijah strips Jeroboam with his address. Meanwhile, Jeroboam had started encircling the mount on which Abijah had set his army in array. Abijah further adds that, since Jeroboam, as the scum of the Israel, had dared to fight the God’s anointed, God would fight the war on behalf of Abijah.

The fact as reported by the Chronicler is that 800,000 enemies were to be countered by an army half the size, yet Abijah was not trying to be ‘wise’ like Rehoboam and accept the loss of 10 tribes as God designed, as propounded by the dispersed levitic prophets! But invoked the name of God and was willing to stake it out against a much bigger force. A proposition not considered wise in any warfare. Mysteriously, how Abijah won this war is not mentioned except that God gave victory to Abijah. It was not a mere victory, it was a slaughter, 400,000 men utterly slaughtered 500,000 men and Judah gets back Bethel and vast swathes of land in Ephraim – the tribe of Jeroboam! It was a 125% slaughter. You may choose to believe it or not, but i chose to believe it, not because i am a newly minted fan of Abijah, but because it took the next king of Israel Baasha 35 years, to start the first war with Asa, the son of Abijah! That was also not a war but an act of effrontery of starting construction in Ramah, which was the traditional lands of the tribe of Judah.

If it took 35 years for the kingdom of Israel to recover, some deep injury must have been inflicted by Abijah. In those 35 years, the tribe of Israel was hobnobbing with the Syrians. Asa builds, rather rebuilds the diplomatic ties with Syria, by sending gold and other precious things to Benhadad and breaks those pre-existing ties between Syria and Israel – reminding Benhadad of the earlier ties which, Asa claims as having existed between his father, Abijah, and Benhadad’s father!

So now let us get to the UNDISPROVABLE FACT!

So how did four hundred thousand men rout eight hundred thousand men? Worse still how did they manage to kill five hundred thousand men?

Asa says his father Abijah and the father of Benhadad were allies! In that short span of three years of Abijah’s kingship, he is not reported to have been engaged in any big battle, except for the fact that border skirmishes had taken place. Nothing so decisive as the one which happened in the mount Ephraim, had taken place!

In the meanwhile, the Book of Kings states that the Prophet Iddo had written about Abijah. But history says all his writings have been lost for good – as of now‼️

In this scenario, why cannot i insert a highly probable history, that Abijah had already built an alliance with Benhadad’s father, regarding which Jeroboam was not aware of. And as Jeroboam was surrounding the mount, why can’t i say that there were Syrians who had been lying in wait behind the encircling Israelites?

Why can’t i say that Israelites did not want the Chronicles of Iddo to survive, after Ahab and Jehosaphat became allies! Especially after both the Kingdoms became United through matrimonial alliances during the reign of Ahab?

Am i not entitled to start stories like Dan Brown’s DA VINCI CODE– which merely are stories which have taken bits and pieces of facts from the Bible and strung together EMBOLDENED only based on the UNDISPROVABILITY of those assertions?

Yes, i have the Liberty, so does everyone, but discretion is required by the reader to distinguish between what is an UNDISPROVABLE fact and a highly probable fact.

But beyond all this, if i assert a Faith, i don’t have to stand on facts- but we have to ensure that our faiths do not disturb others’ Faith. That’s the bedrock on which all Faiths are to be ‘bedrocked’ not merely laid.

Asa and his father Abijah

Strange it may sound to many Christians, even to those who read the Bible, that there was a King of Judah & Benjamin called Abijah!

The worse part is that, Christians would remember Jeroboam, the King of Israel but wouldn’t know that it was this Abijah who finally settled scores with Jeroboam, decimated Jeroboam’s war machine and emasculated him to such an extent that Jeroboam never recovered from that defeat inflicted by David’s great-grandson.

Jeroboam, the Ephraimite, was a thorn in the flesh of Solomon. When Solomon’s ire concentrated on Jeroboam, he escaped from the hands of Solomon and lived out, almost twenty years of his life, in exile in Egypt.

I am not getting into those reasons which are mentioned in the Bible as to why a king lost or won a battle or a war. Based on the cull-able facts, as written in the Bible, i am presenting to myself a political perspective of the events which are mentioned in the Bible.

Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, lost ten of the 12 tribes of Israel to Jeroboam.

I am sure that Jeroboam would not have served the Egyptian Pharaoh in any low capacity, during those years of his self exile in Egypt. In fact i believe that the Pharaoh Shishak capturing Jerusalem during the reign of Rehoboam and stripping the gold plated doors of the Temple, could have been triggered by Jeroboam.

The Bible was not meant to be read as a historical document, it was written and compiled to inspire spirituality and glorify Jehovah and reveal the purpose of each generation on this Earth through the prophets and scribes. Yet, i can’t ignore, the history buried in it which to me is extremely intriguing and edifying.

One of those is the period, of two decades, following the split of the Kingdom of Israel into two parts. I personally think that Solomon was the MOST FOOLISH KING of Israel. He dissipated all the wealth generated, accumulated, preserved and bequeathed to Solomon by his father David. Had Solomon depleted those resources on building cities for his own glory, may be one could say, that he was a megalomaniac and overlook his dissipation, but King Solomon, with all his knowledge did not put that knowledge to practice. At least not in the way his father had. He neither generated, nor was he able to tax people moderately, in fact he created a burden for his successor Rehoboam and Rehoboam buckled.

Jeroboam probably sensed the inherent weakness of Rehoboam – even Abijah in his harangue, while facing Jeroboam, pities the youthful ignorance of his father Rehoboam at the age of 41 years- and stoked the people against Rehoboam and succeeded!

This Abijah, son of Rehoboam, fights the battle from a mount in Ephraim. How a Judah-Benjamin got that far is still a mystery. But the greater mystery is that the 400,000 army of Abijah killed 500,000 of the 800,000 men of Jeroboam in the battle.

Abijah reduced the fire power of Jeroboam, and the inherent advantage of having five times the number of tribes of Judah- Benjamin. That was the beginning of the restoration. Had it not been done, Israel would have gobbled up Judah-Benjamin and we would not have had those wonderful kings like Asa, Hezekiah, Jehoshapat, and Josiah, to name the prominent few.

Abijah ruled for a very short period but within that short period he did two great things which brought parity among the 2 and ten Tribes of the United Israel. One was he was singularly responsible in reducing the men of war in Israel. Second is that he made inroads into the territories of Israel and made a path to the Syrian land.

Asa, the son of Abijah, ruled peacefully for 35 years and thereafter Baasha, the king of Israel, starts a building project in the land traditionally held under the control of Judah. At that time, Asa takes the help of the Syrian king Benhadad, to frighten the King of Israel Baasha, which was possible for Asa, because of the inroads which paved a way for the Southern Judahites to have access to the Syrian lands.

But, Abijah’s reign did not exceed 3 years in all. That was pitiable.

What Abijah recaptured and restituted to Israel, was tremendous. In fact King Asa tells the Syrian king Benhadad at

II Chronicles 16:3 thus:

There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

Spiritually, the Kings of Judah-Benjamin like Asa, Hezekiah, Jehoshapat, and Josiah would be more inspiring, but Abijah cannot be ignored, and in strategy and politics his role in having placed Judah Benjamin on an equal footing with Israel, through strategy and effort deserves him to be placed just below King David. If there is a flaw in his strategy, it was he who, to counter the hobnobbing of the Israelites with the Egyptians, brought about a political alliance of Judah with the Syrians. Nevertheless, Abijah rises very high above those who had longer reigns, but performed very little to show such political acumen or put Judah Benjamin in a structurally superior position.

STRIKE RATE – A Media Concoction!

Strike rate is a concept which has been popularised in the context of Cricket, both in bowling as well as batting. When a batsman has faced a certain number of balls, the number of balls faced becomes the denominator and the runs scored becomes the numerator. The resultant product is the Strike rate. Likewise in bowling, the product of the total number of balls bowled divided by the number of wickets taken would be called STRIKE RATE.

Importing this concept into Elections may help inflate and deflate the egos of many leaders of political parties, but is it the right way to assess the result? I guess not.

In electoral politics, this concept has been imported to mean the product arrived at by dividing the total number of seats contested by a party divided by the number of seats won and multiplying it by 100.

This concept is being bandied about to camouflage the dismal performance of some parties. When there is coalition, there are bound to be alliances and seat sharing consequently. When the seat sharing takes place, alliance partners do not contest in the same seats; and the final count of wins becoming the denominator of the total seats contested, and multiplied by 100, ignores a very important aspect.

In an alliance, not only there is seat sharing – which means the un-contesting partner in an alliance not merely forgoes an opportunity to contest in the constituency, but also helps his partner in the contest by providing resources, moral support and all other support to ensure that the alliance partner wins.

But of late, some in a partnership just about forego contesting in favour of a partner and not only ensure that they do not provide the necessary support, but also secretly ensure that transference of their party votes do not take place.

This kind of practice happens when disparate elements which do neither have congruence of interests nor being birds of similar feather merely flock together, with the intention of ensuring that someone else does not capture power or to have a bigger bargaining power even within the alliance.

In the Israeli elections, if noted carefully, this would be visible.

The final effect is that within the same alliance partners there are rich partners with unlimited resources and indigent ones also. Further transference of votes become osmotic, the weaker partner’s cadres vote as per alliance whereas the stronger and economically stronger parties don’t feel obligated to go to the booth to cast their votes. There are no boasting rights in having voted for a candidate, who probably doesn’t belong to one’s own caste or creed or belief. This indifference creeps in and the party leadership is not overly concerned with getting their base voters to the booth in a constituency where their party candidate is not nominated!

In this scenario, the Media, especially the electronic media goes to town exalting certain parties, for their own oblique reasons, and ascribing a higher STRIKE RATE to such parties, is ludicrous.

It is time that the Media gets into educating the public and laying open the internecine strategies practised by certain parties to ride on the strength of their alliance partners and pretend to be reciprocating, whereas all that they do is stymie the resources of alliance parties and ensure that transference of votes do not take place, and ensure that their parties fatten their electorate base by cannibalising other parties in the bargain.

Goliath’s sword!

Soon after the victory in the battle with the Philistines had established the slinging skills of David, David was hoping that Mehrab would be offered.

Mehrab was not one to give herself to a shepherd boy who, no doubt had skills but lacked in pedigree. Mehrab had her own exalted notions of her nobility – a Nobility built in one generation, after Saul had abandoned his search of the donkeys and serendipitously found his way to kingship!

David has his own plans. He had no pretensions, even if he had, that was about his achievements based on his skills. A man who honed his skills in the lean hours of his uncool profession – keeper of a few sheep, in Jesse’s words!

Yet, Time, which is common to all mankind, was put to use with a fervent hope that some day those skills, which were assiduously built in those lean hours, would redeem him from shepherding those few sheep.

David met those challenges – more than halfway. The dead lion and the bear bore testimony to his courage and skill. He had embellished his curriculum vitae with valorous deeds – indelible in his own mind. There were no witnesses, when David talks of his achievements before Abner and King Saul, his proof is not based on witnesses, but his own memory and his capability to repeat, if challenged.

David’s trophy was to be the daughter of the King. Mehrab was disinclined, Michal steps in. Michal was no less imperious than her sister, but she saw in David what Mehrab couldn’t see. Michal saw in David, how David filled in the void created by Saul. Saul, the anointed, didn’t want to engage with the Champion of the Philistines. Saul was looking for someone who could defeat Goliath and rescue the Israelites from slavery- that was the King’s job, but there must have been two reasons for avoiding a fight with Goliath.

Firstly, as a king he didn’t want to engage with a mere Champion. A loss would ensure that the whole kingdom, however fledgling it might have been, would have gone lock stock and barrel.

Secondly, Saul must have felt inadequate to fight Goliath.

Besides all this, the failure of Saul was that there was an inordinate delay in either challenging Goliath himself or setting up another person. Saul couldn’t find a man in his service to fight Goliath- not only that a person has to be willing, but in a fair assessment, the person should be an equal. None was found in Israel and Abner was in as much quandary as his King.

That’s where David steps in. David’s credential’s were his own claims of having killed a lion and a bear. I am sure Saul would not have believed all his claims without proof. As per History in the Book of Judges, the Benjamites were the tribe which had the best slingers – they could sling up to a hairbreadth of the target – so the Bible says, and here we have a king from the tribe of Benjamin assessing the capability of a Judahite, in slinging! Reasonably it could be assumed that David was aided by Saul to fight Goliath only after testing the slinging skills of David. The Benjamite Saul must have been overly impressed.

Skill without courage would be a non sequitur! To show courage and execute one’s skills in the face of a formidable challenge is God’s grace. The mind needs to be focused on what is to be done and not buffeted by the negative possibilities. Even if Goliath were to taunt David, David’s retort was courageous towards his opponent and simultaneously humble as a mortal ought to be. Like Ahab said, wisely in one of those rare instances, ‘Let not him who puts on the armour boast like one who is removing it’, David was humble.

After the victory is won, David uses Goliath’s own sword to sever the head of Goliath.

Michal is married off to David much later and that too reluctantly by Saul, after extracting his pound of foreskins. Yet David doesn’t slink away from those who never gave him the promised reward despite the task having been accomplished, yet he continues to labour.

Ŵe also know from the following chapters that the sword of Goliath was not given to David, but was in the safe custody of a priest at Nob. It is only much later David obtains Goliath’s sword from Ahimelech, there Priest at Nob & the father of Abiathar, by telling him a lie which results in the death of Ahimelech, in the hands of Doeg, the informer, at the command of Saul, and the escape of Abiathar. A cursory Reading shows that David Himself might not have been aware of the sword having been there, but we can’t say anything with David. As King Saul says: David was crafty!

Now David is restored his Sword. The sword which was in the service of Goliath, like the hounds of Actaeon, yet was used by David to sever Goliath’s own head. That very sword came back to the hands of David – the symbol of his unadulterated singular victory, which saved the Israelites from the ignominy of an un-responded challenge and the defeat by a Champion of the Philistines!

The Sword of Goliath, once it came into the hands of David, he became a force, no more an appendage in the camp of King Saul, assigned all the risky tasks to pull chestnuts for Saul and his imperious brood of daughters.

The irony of it all is that after David gets the Sword of Goliath, David goes to GATH. Look at God’s ways. I am amazed, Good sends David with the Sword of Goliath into GATH – the very place from where Goliath hailed from. God takes David to the very place where the Sword was forged. David enters Gath, in his own right with his few men. Then he moves to Moab and finally ends up with his own Tribe of Judah, where Adullam plays the host for a while.

I am amazed, except the Grace of God nothing could have taken David with the Sword of Goliath into GATH. David should be inoculated and familiarised with the terrain and people from whom his weapon had emerged.

David was no more a stranger to his own weapon about which he states thus in 1 Samuel 21:

the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

The battle with Goliath was not won by anyone except by God, through the strengthening the hands of David. But the very trophy, GOLIATH’s SWORD was deprived by Saul, who instead of playing the King had reduced himself to a mere Manager of Israel’s resources, keeping the Sword of Goliath hidden at a nondescript Temple in Nob. What a pity. Saul’s plight was because he had become too imperious and wouldn’t listen to the words of Samuel, nor did he give honour to the division of labour as prescribed in the Scriptures.

But the Sword of Goliath, probably had to be repaired and had to be polished, where else to get it done than in GATH? Probably that thought took him there, but factually the Sword went to its own place of birth and it was re-sanctified and re-christened in GATH as David’s Sword. The taint of it having been kept wrapped in an Ephod at Nob was over.

Saul is alienated without recourse to him using his Son in law David as a troubled shooter.

David comes on his own. God remembered where Goliath’s Sword lay for years and He RESTORES IT TO DAVID, Gets IT to GATH and not for nothing David in Psalm 144 says:

1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

God subdued David’s own people under him, by strengthening David’s hands and making them unite, to take over when Saul when died in the battle.

All started with Goliath’s Sword. Sever yourself from those masters who use you for their purposes and expose you to unwanted risky ventures. Claim your long lost trophy and get it restored and most of all WAIT ON HIM TO EXALT YOU IN DUE TIME.

Sauls would not want Davids to have Goliath’s Sword, lest people congregate with David and create dissipation of the power of Sauls.

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