Honoring a Prophet

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24 Jan 2020 04:07 #348754 by Alethea Thompson
Cards Drawn: Break Attachments, Honor Your Apprentice and Honor Your Master

(^ The cards above are drawn from a meditation deck called "The Jedi Sextant", a project I've been working on since 2012, there is also a reference to the Jedi Compass below [Duty to All] :) )

Most Christians I encounter want to ignore the God spoken of in the Old Testament, and only look at the God that Jesus tells us about. But Jesus didn’t reject the God of the OT, he embraced Him and tried to get the people to better understand that God. One of the attributes we continually ignore about God, is His nature towards destruction of that which He hates. His attachment is to His hatred for that which He deems wickedness and unthankfulness. But in one story, we see a Prophet encourage him to break with this attachment at least once.

Numbers 14:10-12
But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.

And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.

In the beginning of this chapter, the Children of Israel are crying and asking why God would put them in such a horrible situation as to be enduring hardship. They start to talk about going back to Egypt and submitting themselves into slavery. They can’t appreciate the freedom that God has given them. It is here that God’s jealousy (Exodus 20:5) surfaces once more. It’s in this moment that Moses has an opportunity to change positions from the Apprentice to the Master, manifesting a perfect image of our own Jedi Ethic “Duty to All”-

Numbers 14:13-19
And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them; ) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.

God, considering everything that Moses has said, decides to Honor Moses request, by breaking free of his most favored means of punishment (destruction) and instead delivers a different punishment upon them-

Numbers 14:20-23
And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:

This might not seem like it aligns with the concept of “breaking attachments”, but by the time that we reach the story of Christ, God’s wrath had gotten a lot less destructive, and moved towards more compassionate methods of dealing with His Children. Breaking an ideological attachment is progressive. It begins somewhere, and with cultivated understanding and experience, we can overcome them. This same thing happens in societal change. It is only relevantly recent that we have been able to eat away at societal racism, beginning with legislation against slavery. It’s also a very recent thing that Western Culture has been able to eat away at the disfranchisement of minority groups like those in the LGBT community. But it is changing. This slow, progressive, transformation can be frustrating, but what we can learn from the interaction of Moses and God in this story is that we simply need to have the courage to challenge these attachments with compassion in order to begin breaking them down.

NOTES: Scholars adhere to the belief that God never changes and that He is perfect, thus they make the argument that Moses did not change the mind of God. This belief seems flawed to me, in that a perfect being- to me- has the capability of changing their mind about something, because such a being would be able to take information and see it’s merit. God has repeatedly changed His mind while honoring His own values. In this story, for example, He changed his punishment realizing Moses was right- that the punishment didn’t suit the situation. But in order to establish who He was, he found that the most effective way of proving to the next generation (Caleb’s generation) that He was perfectly capable of taking care of Israel in the harshest of conditions. Through this, they would come to understand how to rely upon Him for all things.
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24 Jan 2020 09:41 #348771 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic Honoring a Prophet
If God is omniscient in some naive sense, then there is no such thing as "taking in (new) information" for him. The question then is whether omniscience is entailed in perfection (if God's perfection is a premise we want to stick to) or supported by the narrative/context under consideration. I suspect that people who say that God's mind cannot change due to its perfection are insisting on it because their definition of a perfect mind includes awareness of exhaustive information, such that it is incapable of learning anything new that could possibly motivate it to re-evaluate its positions. Whether the character of God as presented in the book of Numbers possesses omniscience or perfection in this sense, of course, remains a matter of interpretation.

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24 Jan 2020 13:38 #348773 by Alethea Thompson
Replied by Alethea Thompson on topic Honoring a Prophet
I don't hold the belief that God is Omniscient, Omnipresent or Omnipotent- the Bible doesn't actually support this. It only supports that He is a being with much greater knowledge, power and presence than any other being in the universe.

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29 Apr 2020 21:50 #351510 by forceuser
Replied by forceuser on topic Honoring a Prophet
Similar story about when G-d told Abraham he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
Abraham started to bargain with G-d about what happens if I find a certain amount of good men he said OK then I won't destroy it and he kept going on and on lowering the number
Until it got down to 10 men.
The point of the story is once G-d has his mind fixed it can be changed.
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