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Archive for January, 2021

The Gordian Knot


One of the Truths I had personally discovered and I believe firmly is that KNOWLEDGE CAN WAIT, BUT POWER WOULDN’T.

Knowledge is interconnected and to use pieces of information to form a fabric would give its structure. Knowledge accretes and becomes a part of the cause and effect continuum.


Notwithstanding the Oracle of Telmessos, Alexander never thought of cutting it till he discovered that there was no KNOWLEDGE available then to untie it. In fact the knowledge that had emerged by then, after many attempts by many at untying the Gordian knot was that, if one were to set a strand loose, another end would end up into a knot. That experience precluded the assumption that THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO UNTIE IT.

In fact experience of Alexander and his knowledge of those who had tried and failed, impelled him to take a decision. Had Alexander the Great allowed the presumption that “THERE IS A WAY TO UNTIE THE KNOT AND IT IS JUST THAT I HAVE NOT DISCOVERED IT” to survive in his mind, he would probably have untied the knot later or would have left it to the posterity to succeed within those rigid terms of ‘untying’. But the MILITARY POWER that stood behind him, wouldn’t brook such a thought.

Asia had to be conquered, ‘if not now, how would any Emperor ever be vested by providence with so much success with military POWER to fulfil the oracle’ Alexander must have thought. Alexander ensured that he fulfilled the predictions of Telmessos, NOT by untying the Gordian knot but by cutting it or probably by removing the lynchpin. Either way, the ‘untying’ was not within the rigid framework of knowledge or skill as had been supposed.

Could a man of limited means have survived with such a thought much less acted so? Nay!It needs a Conqueror with an indefatigable army to do what Alexander the Great did.

Now the cognoscenti interpret that there are ‘inextricable’ problems which do not need knowledge and skill to ‘extricate’, but the Power to cut and delink the cart.
Gordios’ good fortune of having rode into Phrygia on an ox-cart when the people were waiting for the oracle to come to pass, might have been serendipitous for Gordios, but the cutting or removing the lynchpin was based on the confidence of the military POWER of Alexander.

This cherry picked example of mine proves that Knowledge can wait, but Power won’t.

Mehrab & Michal


Michal came running breathlessly and barged into the room of Mehrab and gaspingly said: Hi Sis, did you know that the curly ruddy boy called David, had killed Goliath? And daddy has promised your hand to anyone who killed Goliath. So lucky! Women and girls, all over the cities, towns and villages, are screaming that David had killed his ten thousands and our dad his thousands! You would be lucky to be married to a courageous and capable person like David! “

Mehrab chid Michal and said, “Are you out of your mind? These are promises made by Kings before winning. Once the battle of won, Dad wouldn’t waste his time in keeping his promises. In any case who wants to get married to a skilled shepherd? No breeding and he wouldn’t know how to treat a princess. We are princesses and the whole Israel is looking up to us, why should we surrender to mere skill? Skill is at our beck and call. And you say that he belongs to the Tribe of Judah, which in any case might carry the traits of the tribe – unsophisticated and forceful. But tell me, Michal, does not our tribe of Benjamin have the best slingers? So why should dad have nominated that shepherd boy for the contest?”

Michal was surprised at the impudence of her sister and asked Mehrab, “So what is it that you want?”

Have you seen Adriel? That sophisticated Son of that nobleman Barzilai, who financed our dad in his campaigns? That Adriel, whom we met the other day in one of those dinners before dad went on a campaign to Philistia. He just captivated my heart with his suave manners and polished talk- why would i marry a slinging shepherd?

Michal interjected and said, “But you see David is courageous and took on a man twice his size and an established champion of the sinewy Gathites! And do you know Sis: David cut off his head with Goliath’s own sword and brought it to dad, as proof. He can protect us from any other man.”

Mehrab said, “Us?” That’s just the duty of the many soldiers who maintain our security in service of our Dad, are you getting carried away by that ruddy fellow? Be careful of these rough and tough types, Princess are safe in houses of wealth, not in a house of swords!”

Michal was relieved and happy, she told Mehrab: “So if you are not going to accept David, let me be the trophy for his victory over Goliath.”

Mehrab said, “Go get your head checked, where is the need for all of this excitement? We have our brother Jonathan and he would be the king after our dad, would he be pleased to have a shepherd boy as his brother in law or would he prefer a nobleman like Adriel? If you want, you can have David.”

Meanwhile Michal had been spreading the word that she was besotted with David and had, during one of those dinners told her dad Saul that Mehrab doesn’t want to marry that David whom she calls a ‘shepherd boy’! Saul was so proud of Mehrab, what a true blue princess daughter, but nevertheless asked Mehrab, “but i had promised my daughter in marriage to the Victor of that battle with Goliath!”

Mehrab said: Dad, you had promised only a daughter, Michal is all in for that slinging shepherd, and let out a guffaw.

Saul was relieved, but he wanted to take full advantage of that alliance. Meanwhile Jonathan was also getting friendly with David and each day, Jonathan was taking an invisible step away from his father’s throne, whereas David was inching his way to Saul’s throne. Saul could sense that and was apprehending that David, who could withstand him, despite his kingship, would definitely decimate Jonathan. But how could Saul convey to Jonathan that David should be used for the state’s purpose in the name of institutional duties, but all credit should be channelised to the personal credit of the King and his family? Despite his best efforts, Jonathan wouldn’t understand and Saul saw that he was ranged against two from his own household – Michal and Jonathan. Saul noticed that Jonathan was even informing of the decisions taken by his father, which were meant to secure the kingdom for Jonathan. How to make a perverse son understand that as a Prince he has to keep himself above affections and do promptly those which have to be done. In exasperation Saul when he found that Jonathan had sneaked Saul’s resolve to terminate David, called his own son: “Thou son of a perverse and rebellious woman” – but not without a reason, all because Jonathan thought that he loved David as his own soul, but the fact was Jonathan forgot that he was the crown prince and David could be his only challenger other than Adriel, and Ishbosheth from Saul’s family!

The imperious Mehrab was right, David knew where to keep his relationships.

Michal, another princess and wife to David, scolds David for having danced naked like a vain man when the Ark was being restored, the unparalleled KJV captures the imperious indignation of a princess thus:

How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

And David’s answer is no less withering:

It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.

Saul and Mehrab saw it coming, Michal got carried away, but continued to live out her life as a reclaimed spouse of David; and Jonathan was a fool! Fool not because he frittered away his opportunity by not letting his father Saul, who knew the machinations of David, settle scores with David; if Esau sold his birthright for the ruddy porridge, Jonathan offered himself as a sacrifice in the altar of the brilliance of David, much before the succession battles began. The fool admits to David, or so the winner writes his own story, that David would be the king and begs for mercy much before it was due! Read the following and wonder why a prince who is helping a fugitive, beg the fugitive for being merciful to not only him but to his generations later?

And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the LORD, that I die not:

But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.

Despite all these so called covenants, what happened in a dispute between Mephiboseth and Ziba, his servant? David without wanting to ascertain the facts, divides all the properties of Mephiboseth equally and his servant Ziba walks away with one half! Ishboseth the other son of Saul, when betrayed by Abner, did this covenant come in the way of David restoring to Ishboseth his kingdom? No, never. David plays to the gallery by executing cruelly the two servants who behaved Ishboseth!

Because, David was a man who wanted to be the King and he had it in him to take prompt action he was not carried away by vain purposeless words. But Jonathan and Michal lived in a state of “entitlement” – entitled to the kingdom, by virtue of their father, but David believed that if one wants to rule, he has to have his hands strengthened by war. Read Psalm 144 – and God strengthens one’s hands by taking one through a series of challenges and unless one submitted to each of those processes, there would be no substance and permanence to his ability to face challenges and achieve.

Like Jeremiah puts it poignantly:

If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?

Jonathan was wearied when he ran with footmen, how could he have run with horses? David perennially strengthened himself by running with horses and outran every horse and every mare! Redeemed his name from those sullying infractions which he had committed for timely benefits; and trusted in himself and gave all glory to God!

So the story of the Princesses ends in the most confusing note: the factual biblical contradictions are reconciled through minor factual tweaking. Whether Michal has children of her own or whether Mehrab died leaving behind five sons, to whom Michal became the adopted mother – needs much better reconciliation. In a gist, Saul lost his connection with God and his daughter Michal and son Jonathan worked at cross purposes with that of their father Saul and it became a ‘house divided’ – in Jesus’ terms, so HOW COULD IT STAND?

Presuppose


He who presupposes a negative outcome habitually, can never get started.

It is not the outcome which finally does him in, it is the non-starting which whittles away his progress.

Every time one says No to an Idea, a proposal or a task, it brings about a sense of false power, as if one had a choice to accept and do, yet one out of his God given Liberty refused doing it.

Such habitual negation of opportunities are nothing but rungs on which the bread of idleness are baked!

A habitual No-sayer has a great responsibility to convince himself that he had said NO, based on some real reasoning. Therefore he starts hunting for a reason to convince himself and bring himself to that belief. The greatness of the human mind is that it is a storehouse from which one can pull out anything that he wishes to. It is a larder of archetypal dots which could be connected with one’s wishes and presented as a drawing. Having been endowed with a mind, the No-sayer clutches at negative possibilities and weaves a fabric of probabilities where he could have fallen. That fabric is nothing but a self-woven shroud to his own growth. He feels secure in the warmth of the shroud for a few years and in the ensuing inactivity of the mind and body, incapacitated from taking risks, pulls the shroud over his head and fades into the sunset horizon with no trace of him having lived a Life at all. A cow among the cattle; a sheep among the herd, having spent his time eating grass and letting others milk benefits out of his life with no footprints to show- not even to one’s own generation, leave alone the next.

Among this huge mass of dead cattle and sheep, some names have stood as beacons inspiring succeeding generations for millennia – Moses, Gideon, David, among those should also be counted Abijah, who though not popular, because of the shortness of his reign and also because of lack of preservation of the Chronicles relating to him.

Abijah did what his Grandfather and Father failed to do.

Can one imagine Solomon, a man who had been stamped the wisest man unable to rein in a Jeroboam? Do we recall that Solomon married a daughter of Pharaoh? Do we recall that Jeroboam took refuge in Egypt? So why couldn’t Solomon, being the exalted son in law of the Pharaoh, not able to rein in Jeroboam?

To speculate, Jeroboam must have been a force even in Egypt that the Pharaoh didn’t want to antagonise! So the Pharaoh just let him be.

This Jeroboam gets back to Israel and wangled out ten of the tribes including the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon out of a third generation King of Israel – not a mean achievement.

Rehoboam meekly submitted to the so called prophecy of a minor prophet, whose name is not only difficult to recall, but goes down in history as a prophet who palliated a King with his prophecy in the name of God’s purpose as a punishment for the deeds of his father Solomon. Pity, that he was not a prophet or a seer with the relentlessness of Jacob to wrestle with God and call to memory the ‘covenant of salt’ made by God with Rehoboam’s grandfather David!

Rehoboam is overwhelmed by his father’s enemy at his door having walked away with ten portions of his twelve assets- despite his big talk of the girth of his little finger being thicker than his father Solomon’s ‘waist’ – Thanks be to God, that Rehoboam compared his little finger to that of his father’s waist- at least it is so reported!!

It is this Jeroboam, who was Solomon’s nemesis and the stealer of a chunk of the Kingdom from Rehoboam that Abijah is confronted with.

How many prophets and seers would have told Abijah that it was reported by that Prophet during his father’s time that it was God’s Will to sever the kingdom, and not to go to war with Jeroboam? Many – i suppose. How many commanders would have told him that with half the strength of the army of Jeroboam, Abijah stood no chance? Most, i suppose.

But Abijah did not deter from his path despite these circumstances – both the prophetic history as well as contemporaneous military advice.

Abijah delivered a harangue from the mount and mentally berates Jeroboam as a SERVANT, of his grandfather. A word Jeroboam wouldn’t have heard in the last twenty years. Abijah reminds Jeroboam of his past. Not a gentle reminder, but a hard hitting slap in front of his own army. Abijah had mentally overcome the rut in which Solomon and Rehoboam had grovelled, before the ability and efficiency of an Ephraimite.

What happened thereafter is not clear – the smart Jeroboam surrounds the army of Abijah yet Abijah not only wins the war but decimated five portions of the eight portions of Jeroboam’s army and reduces the forces to 75% capacity of that of Judah. I am yet to find a King within the Bible who did so much for his succeeding generations, with such a depressing legacy. To boot, Abijah gets into Bethel and cuts through the Northern kingdom. Where are the Chronicles of Prophet/Seer Iddo, which probably described this battle?

One person i would like to meet and talk to, deo volente, would be this Prophet Iddo. He must have accurately brought out how Abijah won the battle; and not merely the battle, but how Abijah broke the backbone of Jeroboam by decimating his army and reducing it to below twenty five percent capacity of Abijah’s own army; and took back the lands of Bethel and other parts of Ephraim/Manasseh.

God, helped Abijah, but longevity was denied and the man achieved in three years what Solomon and Rehoboam couldn’t achieve in 30 years.

I am of an inveterate opinion that the histories of Abijah must have been suppressed after Ahab and Jezebel took over; and with their villainy ensured that their daughter was married into the family of the King of Judah and got rid of the History of the Seer Iddo, which was the history of Judah and Abijah, and a damning one for Samaria!

If Jehu, had only seen through that, he might have secured the history and preserved it for me and you the reader. Asa, the son of Abijah who came to power had an untrammelled run as the King only because of the body blow delivered by Abijah.

I am all for these types who had not only the indomitable spirit but took the God given Liberty in their hands and DID attempt something, and God sanctified those efforts.

God loves a man who says YES. Yes to righteous action

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