Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Biblical Story

What is the Bible?  How did it come to be?  A little tribe, many years ago, called the Habiru,  were suffering from a famine in their own land and migrated into Egypt.  They lived there for generations and as their population grew they became a threat and a fear to that great military empire.  The threat and the fear resulted in the enslavement of the Habiru.  They were “put down” and cruelly treated, forced to “making bricks without straw.”  Then, one of their number, got it in his head that he was being “called” to the impossible hope of leading this ragged company out of slavery and into a new land.  And somehow it came true!

After years of wandering the desert, they came to a little piece of land which as a primitive people with a crude religion, they called “promised land”—a “land of milk and honey.”  Their “promised land” was swept out from under them, however, by tremendous international movements.  Their little “promised land” was broken, their capitol city ruined,  their little nation swept away, all their hopes demolished.  They were again enslaved as exiles in strange lands.  All the hopes and dreams had failed.  Not so!  Here and there among those exiles there were those who got it in their heads to tell these people in this dark time that there was still hope.  (These were the prophets). There were singers of songs encouraging this impossible hope.  (These were the Psalmists).   A few did make it back to their “land of milk and honey” and there barely survived,  They were an object of ridicule and derision for their devotion to One God—most people back then had many! They eventually developed an official religion of this One God which held them together and has held them together through thick and thin for several thousand years.
Costa Rica

Then years later another Habiru got it in his head that all that impossible hope of years gone by, all that struggle of a people meant something.  God was Love. He entered on a quixotic adventure, but that quickly flickered out and came to nothing within three short years.  Though there were a few crazy people, including a little fellow with a stammering tongue named Saul, later Paul, who went all over the world with some weird story of a dead man, whom they said was not dead but  alive.  

The Bible is a story of dreamers and fools and yet that story has left indelible marks on all humanity, the world over, in our laws, our character, and our faith.  Dreamers of hopeless dreams and fools that believed that impossible dreams come true wrote the story.  This is the story the Bible tells—and that story goes on still, through those who get it in their heads to dream hopeless dreams  and be foolish enough to believe that impossible dreams will come true.

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