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Had Zimri peace?


The trouble with most of the Christian preachers is that they do not highlight the passages in the Bible which reflect COURAGE, EXECUTION OF ONE’S DUTY, ASTUTENESS and WISDOM; instead they parrot those passages which are aimed at making “SHEEP” out of men and women who listen to those sermons.

The reason, I presume, is that WEALTH over COURAGE has become the priority of the Preachers. When the followers are wealthy, they could use Malachi 3:10 and skim them of the cream and lead those smug lives.

One of the Biblical characters whom I admire most is JEHU, the Commander of the Israel army during the reign of AHAB and AHAB’S son JORAM (JEHORAM). and who subsequently became the King of Israel. Jehu was not merely courageous but astute and wise as well. These are difficult qualities to blend. JESUS says, BE WISE LIKE A SERPENT BUT INNOCENT AS A DOVE. That was a blend recommended by JESUS, seldom one hears these being expatiated in the sermons, as the Preachers know that if their followers become “wise as serpents” but also “innocent as doves” the followers would reach their SALVATION without ENRICHING THE PREACHERS! So such passages are left out, in the belief that the “wise” are anyway  going to become wise and innocent on their own without their “help”.

JEHU fits the bill of having been WISE LIKE A SERPENT but also INNOCENT LIKE A DOVE. How could I say that  when he committed regicide and also “reginacide”?  Read on and I assure you that I have my reasons for such a conclusion:

II Kings 9

30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.

Ahab, the husband of JEZEBEL was dead and his son JORAM (JEHORAM) was ruling Israel in Ahab’s stead. The Queen Mother was JEZEBEL and exerting much influence in the affairs of the state of Israel. I would like to tell those readers who are not familiar with the political structure as it was then that the original Israel of 12 tribes had split during the reign of Rehoboam S/o SOLOMON into Israel consisting of 10 tribes and Judah consisting of the 2 tribes of Judah and Benjamin. So AHAB was in that line of the Kings who ruled Israel minus the 2 tribes of Judah and Benjamin and for brevity called JUDAH the kingdom.

JEHU was one of the commanders of the army of AHAB and later served his son Joram, but JEHU was a believer in the God of Israel, whereas Jezebel was a worshiper of BAAL and this had led to a lot of internecine manoeuvrings within the kingdom. 

To come back to the thread of the story, Jehu kills JORAM and rides to the palace in JEZREEL, then the capital city of ISRAEL. So JEZEBEL sees JEHU riding into the palace and she “painted her face and tired her her” to receive JEHU and when her offer of PEACE was rejected outright, Jezebel asks him a very LOADED QUESTION; “HAD ZIMRI PEACE? THE MURDERER OF HIS MASTER”

With a little help from 1 Kings 16:15-20 we would be able to understand the connotation!

  15In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days at Tirzah. Now the people were camped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.

16The people who were camped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and has also struck down the king.” Therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp.

17Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah.

18When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire, and died,

19because of his sins which he sinned, doing evil in the sight of the LORD, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, making Israel sin.

20Now the rest of the acts of Zimri and his conspiracy which he carried out, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

So here JEZEBEL from the upper floor of the palace addresses JEHU and tells him to recall the fate of ZIMRI and how people would rebel against his regicide and turn against him and kill him. Jezebel had lost her son/step-son JORAM and is still finding time to paint her face and tire her hair- is it because she, as having got used to her regal ways had to present herself ‘beautified’? I guess not. She had lost Ahab and was continuing her life unaffected with her son Joram and now that JORAM was dead her motto must have been THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING – THE NEW KING JEHU. But inter-se between Jezebel and Jehu she wanted to have CONTROL OVER Jehu, so that her writ would continue to run in the kingdom.

JEHU, tells the eunuchs in the palace to throw her down and JEZEBEL meets her match and end in the hands of JEHU. In effect what JEZEBEL told JEHU was YOU COULD HAVE KILLED THE KING, BUT TILL YOU TAKE OVER THE INSTITUTIONS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE KINGDOM, YOU CANNOT EXERCISE CONTROL AND ADMINISTRATION OVER THE KINGDOM. AND I, JEZEBEL, HAVE CONTROL OVER THE ADMINISTRATION TAKE ME AND ALL IS YOURS AND YOU, JEHU, DO NOT HAVE TO FACE THE FATE OF ZIMRI. IF YOU, JEHU, WANT PEACE, THEN MAKE ME YOUR QUEEN! I AM ALL DOLLED UP AND WAITING…….TAKE ME AND WE CAN RUN THE KINGDOM!

This was nothing but SEDUCTION, not all sexual but POWER flavoured with sexual innuendo.

Why was Jehu wise? Jehu DID NOT ENTER the palace, but stood outside. There could have been TREACHERY inside and JEHU was aware of Abhimelechs and Siseras who had met sordid end by getting too close to the tower or inside the tents where women were staying!

THAT WAS THE SERPENT LIKE WISDOM IN JEHU. Yet at the same time he bided his time till he was anointed so that he could take over the reins of Israel. In the BIBLE, the only person who was assured kingship to heirs till the fourth generation was JEHU, not even DAVID was able to retain all the 12 tribes beyond the third i.e David, Solomon and Rehoboam!

But why was that so? A man who wants to be the king should be away from the wiles of wayward women. JEHU succeeded where even DAVID failed and history shows that. That SEXUAL INNOCENCE coupled with the WISDOM to wait and choose the most opportune time to strike makes JEHU a bigger hero than DAVID, but DAVID is incomparable as he makes up with his humility, ability to obtain the Grace from God, poetic talent and cunning!

 

 
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NEO-CHRISTIAN THOUGHTS


The Christian Bible (ie. The King James’ Version) is complete in itself. The only book that a Christian is mandated to follow. But there are two major divisions of the Old Testament and the New Testament, and the total number of books are 66. So where do we place the emphasis of our Beliefs and how do we personally resolve the apparent contradictions, that arise in our minds?

The Bible is the WORD OF GOD. It is the word that was spoken thru Prophets, seers and priests to a particular generation, who found themselves in a particular social setting, and recorded for the future generations for edification, warning and promises.

So the Bible has the facts that were true to the setting of the past times but capable of being made relevant to the PRESENT, thru interpretation of the WORD.

The Old Testament was the identification of the Chosen people. They were not chosen because of their greatness or their skills or diligence but thru the Eternal GRACE of the Almighty. He knows why HE chose them. None can question the choice or His reasons, if at all any, for the choice of ABRAHAM and his seed forever. That was a prerogative and it cannot be questioned but we – as humble, time-bound mortals -will have to accept and move on. The alternative is to tilt at the wind-mills of the past, which would, without doubt, leave us tired and exhausted.

So the Choice of Abraham and his seed is a fait- accompli and leaves us in no uncertain position about God’s choice. Thru Moses, God revives His promise and He gives the basic tenets in the form of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, thereby defining the limits of human action without guilt. But man cannot, by his very nature be sinless, so he propitiates thru the priests for his sins and seeks reconciliation with God on a continual basis.

But man loses the spirit and gets stuck with the form. God knew that man was apt to get stuck with the form and abandon the spirit and therefore sends HIS OWN SON to be a PROPITIATION for our sins. JESUS, who was with God ( before Abraham was I AM), is sent in the human form and as a RESURRECTED JESUS stays in the human hearts as the WORD (cf. Gospel of JOHN) which had taken the form of flesh.

THE WORD that is put in the human heart, finds the expression in the human form in the Gospels and the Human understanding of THE WORD in the books subsequent to the Gospels. But let us make no mistake that the BIBLE has not been figured out, and human understanding is subject to human discoveries. For example The Epistle to the HEBREWS, according to the KJV was authored by St.Paul, till the subsequent discoveries have ruled out St.Paul’s authorship. Now most of the Newer versions have dropped the tag of St.Paul to The Hebrews. So that had left a few generations with a wrong belief of a fact that had turned out to be non-factual. But that hardly matters. There was a position held by the CHURCH that the Earth was the centre of the universe. Therefore the facts , as understood by humans, from the reading of the Bible has no certainty. So errors are likely to creep in if one were to read the Bible as a mere HISTORICAL DOCUMENT OR AS SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS.

So despite all these pitfalls in the interpretation of the Bible, where do we start?

Let me cite an anecdote before proceeding any further. Dr. Billy Graham in one of his sermons said, ” If the king Hezekiah had accepted God’s intimation of Hezekiah’s impending death, his son Mannaseh would not have been born to Hezekiah and Israel(Judah) would not have had the WICKEDEST king.”

The above is speculative and, similar lines of thought is against LIFE and for whatever REASON should be avoided. GOD gives LIFE and it cannot be denied. One could speculate, on similar lines, that if King David had killed Absalom upon him killing his half brother Amnon- who raped Tamar, Absalom’s sister- David would not have had to fight the battle with Absalom subsequently. These are speculative on the facts available in The Bible and is contrary to LIFE. LIFE comes from God and therefore LIFE, as we know it, has to be supported on the facts made available in THE BIBLE.

So the interpretation has to be firstly LIFE ORIENTED. Life in this world as well as in the next. JESUS says, “If u don’t love you brother , whom u have seen, how can u love the God whom u have not seen?” Therefore the LIFE that one is given has to be respected, as it is from GOD. The life hereafter is a HOPE built on FAITH in the WORD. But the LIFE of this LIFE, when in contradiction with the LIFE hereafter, this LIFE shall be sacrificed, if it has to be. But that is not to be taken lightly.

The only Apostle disciple of Jesus who had a natural Death was St. John. It was his belief that made him LIVE. Please confer the last few verses of the gospel of St. John, where Jesus is stated to have told Peter with reference to John that IF I WILL THAT HE TARRY TILL I COME, WHAT IS THAT TO THEE? Therefore if man ASKS GOD, he shall be granted. God is eager to answer the prayers of those who seek diligently.

LIFE is the most important gift of God. The same life is to be used for HIS GREATER GLORY. That is the purpose of man. But, never to CHOOSE THIS LIFE OVER THE NEXT. But even if one did it, there is still salvation and Hope. Otherwise, how can anyone explain the reconciliation of Manasseh, the king and the assurance of the thief/ robber who asked for Jesus’ grace while on the cross and obtained it?

THE IDEA IS THAT MAN SHUD BE RELIEVED OF HIS GUILT EVEN IN THE LAST MINUTE. But waiting for the last minute may not be wise, as one may not have the consciousness in the last minute. So man shud race towards his salvation, he may not obtain it immediately, but God in His due time shall grant it.

But CHRISTIANS have become negative and are under a mistaken belief that God wants man to suffer for HIM. God gives LIFE and gives it ABUNDANTLY. He doesn’t want man’s life. Man cannot make it his purpose to die for Christ- a kind of return favour!! God in the form of Jesus has died for us and He wants to give man life here and provide a MANSION there. A benign God cannot be portrayed a God who seeks your blood (Please do read Psalm 30, where the Psalmist asks God, verse no.9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?). There are instances when Jesus hid and slunk away when the mob tried to lynch him. But when the TIME had come for HIM to lay down his life, he submitted to the will of God the Father. His mission, had DEATH as one of the components as HE had to overcome it thru DEATH itself and thereby secure for man the INNOCENCE LOST in the garden of EDEN. So that MAN CAN LIVE.

SO to CHOOSE LIFE IS MAN’S PRIMARY JOB.

The second challenge, is to decide which side to stand for?

Abraham Lincoln once said, “We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

The beauty of this line is the contrast drawn unobtrusively to the words TRUST and KNOW.

TRUST is the Faith reposed, whereas KNOWLEDGE is the awareness of the existing reality and the interpretation thereof. Since it involves INTERPRETATION, the tools used have to bear the Christian mark and the PURPOSE has to be Christian too.

The ways are given in the Gospel itself. In the story of THE RICH MAN & LAZARUS. the Rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead and enlighten the rich man’s brothers who, according to him, were still committing sins. Abraham says, THEY HAVE THEIR MOSES AND PROPHETS AND IF THEY DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM, EVEN IF ONE WERE TO GO FROM THE DEAD THEY WOULDN’T LISTEN.

So as a Christian, one has an option to STUDY the Bible and follow it according to the revelation he receives from ABOVE, or to follow the spiritual leader to whom God has led him in His Grace. Both are good options, but to make an effort to study THE BIBLE and follow it, would be preferable as it gives a certainty that is coupled with HUMILITY. After all it is desirable to be a HUMBLE & KNOWLEDGEABLE CHRISTIAN than to be a SHEEP OF SOMEBODY’S PASTURE.


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