Analyze one of the supplementary Bible passages in light of the course content. Do you see evidence of the Hebraic map? Did anything about the passage surprise you? Was there any part of the passage that stuck out to you in particular? - Pathfinder

Analyze one of the supplementary Bible passages in light of the course content. Do you see evidence of the Hebraic map? Did anything about the passage surprise you? Was there any part of the passage that stuck out to you in particular?

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    • #1602
      pathfinderlms
      Keymaster

      Analyze one of the supplementary Bible passages in light of the course content. Do you see evidence of the Hebraic map? Did anything about the passage surprise you? Was there any part of the passage that stuck out to you in particular?

    • #1982
      Marina Ghaly
      Participant

      The prophet, Elijah, provides a great example as one who lived with a Hebraic map in mind. 1 Kings 19 displays all five pillars of the Hebraic tradition. The first two pillars, deity and personality, are exemplified in verses 10 through 18. In Elijah’s lowest moment, when depression and fear overtake him, God sent an angel to bring Elijah words of comfort and provide him with food for physical strength. The two pillars display the relationship between both God and humanity. God desired to help Elijah and Elijah’s acceptance of God’s aid reveals humanity’s desire for a relationship with God. The pillar of history is displayed with God sending Elijah on his final mission – the calling of the next prophet, Elisha. Although it is not specifically displayed, chapter 18 provides more detail on the fourth pillar of Hebraic tradition. Elijah’s leadership in his match against Baal displays his leadership as God’s prophet. Plurality takes place when Elijah displays the power of God but ultimately leaves it up the Israelites who they will worship and follow. Lastly, Elijah takes on the responsibility, the fifth pillar, when he obeys God and goes on his final journey to appoint Elisha.

      • #2656

        Esther is one of my favorite books in the bible and it is interesting to see your take on Esther’s leadership. I believe a key aspect to being a Hebraic leader is being connected to God. Esther was a perfect example of what this looks like as she clearly embodied intimacy with God through her time of prayer and fasting before she made any big decision. Because of this, God was with her through it all and in her humility, she was willing to make many sacrifices and step out in faith as God’s servant with a vision of achieving His purpose of saving her people, which she never lost sight of.

    • #2020
      Collin Bastian
      Participant

      Rereading Esther 3-9 after listening to this first Pathfinder course, I found that I recognized elements of the Hebraic map and of Hebraic leadership in several areas in the passage. They are evident from the very beginning, in fact: in Esther 3:2, we see that Mordecai refuses to bow down to King Xerxes. Haman, enraged, conspires to kill not only Mordecai, but Mordecai’s entire people, the Jews. At first, this seems like quite the overreaction, until one realizes that Mordecai, like his people, operates via a Hebraic map. Mordecai understands that temporal rulers, like Xerxes, do not deserve our ultimate and final obedience. Such a thing is due only to God. This attitude is indeed a threat to any temporal authority which seeks to place itself in the seat of God, which Xerxes attempts to do, and which Haman correctly identifies. But this does not mean that Mordecai did not promote the welfare of the state. Instead, in accordance with his Hebraic map, we learn in Esther 6:2 that Mordecai exposed two officers who plotted to have Xerxes assassinated. What the story suggests, therefore, is not that Mordecai viewed Xerxes and the Persian authorities with any particular disdain, but rather that he accurately follows the principles of his Hebraic map, which roots all things in God and an understanding of history whereby He redeems the world and establishes his true Kingdom on earth.

    • #2028
      Norman Low
      Participant

      Recently, our Sunday school class studied Isaiah. Except for a few chapters, we weren’t familiar with the message of the book. As a long book, it got pretty tedious at times hearing about judgment in the first 39 chapters before a change in tone in the rest of the book. Thus, Isaiah points to the directedness of history that is inherent in the Hebraic map. Reading Isaiah 60 today is almost laughable in the eyes of those without a commitment to this worldview. The desire of most countries is just the end of hostilities so that business will grow. The longer-term vision of the Hebraic leader is that God is at work and will cause his purpose to be fulfilled. What is significant is that Israel will not dominate the world, but rather, be an attraction. Specific nations are mentioned in this passage as being preserved. God will draw people rather than the wealth of the land. The image as presented in this chapter is as revolutionary today as it was in Isaiah’s time.

    • #2271
      Gia Chacon
      Participant

      While reading the Book of James in light of the course content, one almost immediately notices that the author writes to those in exile or “the twelve tribes dispersed abroad.” As I read James, I feel the question of “what to do in the meantime” was answered for us. We learned through this course that the first “action item” not just as a Hebraic Leader but as a Christian is to seek the Kingdom of God.

      An integral part of “seeking the Kingdom” is living out our faith every minute of every day. “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can such faith save him?” We read in James 2:14 that the proof of our faith in God is the good work we do for the Kingdom.

      A Hebraic leader, then, would not just be a “hearer” of the word of God but a doer of the word:
      Bearing trials with joy.
      Speaking out against injustices.
      Keeping oneself consecrated to the Lord.
      Being humble.
      Taking action to take care of those in need around them
      — to name a few examples given to us in the Book of James.

      One verse in particular that stood out to me was James 4:4, “You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God.” This verse speaks to the Christian in exile to remind us that God’s Kingdom is not of this world. The Hebraic leader will face trials and opposition because the Christian life contradicts how the world instructs us to live.

      We can use the Book of James as a blueprint of “what to do in the meantime” as we eagerly await the Kingdom that is to come.

      • #2610
        Janae Robinson
        Participant

        Amen Gia! Thank you for your post. James is a great example of what we can do while we wait for the Kingdom to be established on Earth! I too was very encouraged to read James. I was surprised how well it connected to the Old Testament examples of exiles serving God and their government in exile. I really enjoyed the examples you cited from the Book of James as those stuck out to me during my reading. I have renewed appreciation for the Book of James with how it connects to the Old Testament and the Christian example it sets for us while we wait for Jesus to return!

      • #2659
        Christiana Gellert
        Participant

        I agree @Jenae and @Gia. The Lord created us out of love, to be reflections of His love in the world. He gave each of us a unique vocation- waiting for His coming is a very active thing, and our works are an integral part of that. We are to be active in works, but perhaps detached from their worldly results- material wealth, successes that lead to unhealthy pride, etc.

      • #2878
        Sarah Weiskopf
        Participant

        Thank you so much for this response and the beautiful words you wrote about what the Lord spoke to you through Scripture. I love how you described James as a “blueprint” for our lives, as the words within truly do speak of how to be glorifying the Lord in every situation, whether circumstances are great or are incredibly hard. Yes, this is such a sweet reminder that we are living in this world, but not to “be associated” with the world, engaging with the people in the world, but without doing the things that are deemed to be worldly.

    • #2403
      Ilona Chebotareva
      Participant

      When applying the Hebraic map to Elijah’s Journey to Horeb (1 Kings 19), I began to notice how it exemplifies Elijah losing his way as a Hebraic leader and how God nudges him back toward it. Responsibility: at the sign of personal danger to himself runs away from the challenge of Jezebel and Ahab. In God’s response to Elijah he says “Go and return the way you came”, go back to the battle you are responsible for. Plurality: Elijah was fearful before a mere human to the point of hiding, while standing in front an all powerful God. The all powerful God, on the otherhand, shows up as a gentle whisper. Personality: Elijah is unable to deal with the duality of man, of Isrealites abandoning God. God, in return, deals with Elijah by feeding his body and spirit. Deity: In his cry to God, Elijah made himself the main character, focusing only on Jezebel’s personal hatred of him. God, in his response, ignores his personal plea and goes about establishing order, putting up leaders, reaffirming that he is still the sovereign. He alone raises kings and brings them low.

      • #2722
        Hannah Straub
        Participant

        Ilona,

        Love how you applied the Hebraic framework to the Elijah story! The way you talked about God interacting with the prophet on both a physical and spiritual level struck me. It shows God’s complete care for humans, knowing all that we are.

        I think you’re totally right that ultimately God is the one who is in charge of establishing order and authority. It’s easy to get stressed out like Elijah when the world gets so messed up. But it’s reassuring to lean into the sovereignty of God.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • #2593
      Jordan Leatherwood
      Participant

      Daniel has always been my favorite character in the Scripture — for many reasons. First, his willingness to pray on behalf of his people (Daniel 9. Second, his willingness to pray on behalf of himself (Daniel 9). Third, he was willing to take on this role and be a leader for his people. I believe Daniel shows tremendous Hebraic Leadership through his acts in Daniel 9. Let’s look at Hebraic Leadership:
      1. Daniel believes in the Deity of God; That God is pursuing a relationship with his creation, otherwise he would not be in this conversation and plea to him. He understands that God will intervene somehow and in some way.
      2. Humans are relational and understand our position before God. God is the one who gives salvation and forgives sins. Daniel is praying to God for forgiveness, not just of him, but the whole of Israel (Daniel 9:1-19).
      3. Daniel is deeply aware of his responsibility in the face of history — I have to assume that Daniel understands the history of the Israelites and the prophecy of God shows that Israel will be exiled and persecuted. Daniel in chapter 9 is starting to take on his role as prophet, with the passing on of the words of the prophet Jeremiah.

      Finally, I believe Daniel understood when to use words and when to use power. Though Daniel did not have much power in Babylon, he did have much influence. Her interpreted the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, which led to the King of Babylon praising the Hebrew God. The power that Daniel did draw, namely in Daniel and the Lions Den, was from the Most High. As astonishing as it is to the King of Babylon and his servants, Daniel trusted in the Lord and leaned on Him for understanding, insight, wisdom, power, and ultimately, authority. I believe Daniel was one of the great examples of Hebraic Leadership in all of the Bible because of his unwavering faith in the one who brought him through.

      • #2609
        Janae Robinson
        Participant

        Thanks for sharing Jordan! I too am a fan of Daniel and your analysis of Daniel’s display of Hebraic leadership is exemplary. Daniel has great faith and he shows no hesitation in displaying how God works in his life, giving the credit to him, and above all Daniel chooses to serve God first in an environment where he could have easily succumbed to the culture around him. A great example of Daniel leading when no one is watching is when he refuses the King’s food and asks for vegetables and water. Daniel doesn’t eat the food offered to the King’s idols, but obeys God in a small way that reverberates throughout his next steps.

      • #2667
        Kenneth C. Jackson
        Participant

        Hey Jordan Leatherwood,

        I love your response considering the biblical characters you made mention of, especially Daniel. I fully agree with you on point #3 — “Daniel is deeply aware of his responsibility in the face of history….” And because of this awareness concerning his responsibility, he did not divorce himself from the history – the problems (sins) that landed the Children of Israel in exile. In fact, in his prayer of confession he always started with, “We have sinned… We have been wicked…We have turned away… We have not listened (Dan. 9:5-6). The lesson here for me is, Hebraic leaders (Authentic leaders) are people who take responsibility and even if they were/are not part of the cause of the problem (sins) – history.

      • #2673
        Evan Crain
        Participant

        Other than Daniel, my other favorite Hebraic leader archetypes in the Bible are Joseph, Hezekiah, Josiah. While I wouldn’t have thought it before this course, Jesus, the “suffering servant” and itinerant teacher, is a Hebraic leader – the perfect God-man is admittedly hard to relate to! But I better understand the audacity of Jesus’ political claims of the Kingdom of God in his time and extraordinary dependence on God (humility), and ingenuity of his message and timing as someone who I can practically emulate under the Hebraic framework.

    • #2608
      Janae Robinson
      Participant

      I saw evidence of the Hebraic map in Jeremiah 29:1-14 and Daniel and Esther’s stories. Jeremiah brought the message from God that while in exile, his people needed to work for the good of His Kingdom and where they were in exile. The Hebraic leader must engage the Near East with responsibility. Daniel took responsibility and was thus rewarded with a high position in Babylon. Another example is Esther as she too was rewarded with power by King Xerxes to stop the genocide of the Jews. Both Daniel and Esther embodied the five major components of a Hebraic leader: Deity, Personality, History, Plurality, and Responsibility. What surprised me about the passages is that although I have read them a number of times, studied them in Sunday school, and heard sermons about both Daniel and Esther, I completely missed how they were connect to the passage in Jeremiah. I also missed the importance of what Jeremiah was communicating to God’s people in exile. Jeremiah 29:7, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Was the verse that stuck out to me, because I can apply this in my own life. I can be better at praying for the United States and our political leaders. I now have a greater understanding of what the Bible says about civil service, power, and statesmanship.

      • #2679
        Griffin Weiss
        Participant

        Hello Janae,

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this passage from Jeremiah. If I had to guess, I would suspect that this is one of the most important but difficult to actively follow passages for Christians, as we are exiles wherever we are. I like that you referenced other passages of scripture where people are given power to wield, either for good or for bad. It makes me wonder what type of power I wield, or any ‘ordinary’ Christian wields, in our modern geopolitical context. I bet that it is probably more than we would initially think!

    • #2657
      Christiana Gellert
      Participant

      “In the same way the tongue is a small member, and yet has great pretentions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna.” (James 2:5-6)

      This passage struck me because it can be interpreted as a rebuke of un-Hebraic leadership in our post covid crisis political/cultural moment. A small untruth from an unbridled tongue can indeed set a community ablaze! These “fires” have caused serious and enduring divisions between literal and figurative neighbors. Neighbors that handled (and continue to handle) covid restrictions and concerns differently tend to have little empathy for each other- a lack of understanding of how underlying beliefs impact behavior. Adhering to or rebelling against covid restrictions had a ritualistic quasi-religious significance for many (Christians and non-Christians alike), and lots of us tried to quote unquote force conversions of our neighbors, instead of approaching the conflict in a more Hebraic way.

      • #2879
        Sarah Weiskopf
        Participant

        Hey Christina!

        I love the verse that you decided to pinpoint from James. It most definitely is true that our tongue can either bring praise to the Lord, glorifying Him in all that we do & showing Hebraic leadership with our words, but simultaneously can bring people down, cursing our God in the same breath. It relates back to in the course as well how we all have power and influence. The question is will we use it to speak life or death?

    • #2664
      Sabrina Thomas
      Participant

      As I read this passage (Deuteronomy 4:1-49), I was reminded about how simple it is to follow G-d. Yet, it’s hard. He’s actually laid “the map” out for us.

      I was reminded that if we are in relationship with Him, we have an inheritance. Obedience to His instructions allows us to possess our inheritance. The challenge, though, is that it’s actually complicated to take possession because of our fallen nature. Any challenges we face along the journey are not because of Him, but because of us. We’re the ones who struggle. We’re the ones who fail to endure. We’re the ones who choose to circumvent the guidance, thinking we know better or want an easier path

      But He is merciful even then; He remains faithful, even when we are faithless. He knows our human frailty, our propensity toward deviation from His prescribed path. As a result, He has made the path such that we can always course correct and get back to the path, ultimately making it to our destination.

      • #2678
        Griffin Weiss
        Participant

        Hello Sabrina,

        I appreciate your perspective and thoughts on Deutoronomy 4. Our God is so unique amongst other global ideas of gods or deities, because what He asks of us is really so simple, yet He knows in our fallen nature, our twoness, we cannot achieve it. The good news of Jesus is so sweet to salve our wounds in that reality. I also think that the simple yet hard-to-follow nature of God’s map that He laid out for us through His word and history is perfectly represented by the analogy Jesus teaches about the narrow path vs the wide path. One is easy and many people take it, but the other is hard. It is hard and difficult to follow, but as your post suggests, it is still a clear, directive path. It is meant to be followed even if it be harder.

    • #2677
      Griffin Weiss
      Participant

      I see evidence of the Hebraic map in Micah 4:1-13, specifically in regards to the Kingdom of God as the goal of the Hebraic map. Oftentimes, because of the vast array of different viewpoints around the Near East politically, geographically, and eschatologically, it is easy for me to lessen the spiritual importance of Jerusalem and Israel in my mind because it can be confusing and contentious to talk about. However, what surprised me about this passage in Micah was the clear centrality of Jerusalem in the future of the Kingdom. The Lord is active in not only redeeming and restoring Jerusalem, but then he uses this region as the place from which he will rule. Verse 2 says, “For instruction will go out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Again in verses 7-8 Micah writes, “I will make the lame into a remnant, those far removed into a strong nation. Then the Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from this time on and forever. And you, watchtower for the flock, fortified hill of Daughter Zion, the former rule will come to you, sovereignty will come to Daughter Jerusalem.” These verses within Micah’s prophecy stand out because they show our Lord’s clear care for Jerusalem and his plans to use it as his seat of Authority. This can only increase the spiritual significance of the Near East in the Hebraic perspective and it is honestly a bit exciting to read Micah’s words over and over again.

    • #2721
      Hannah Straub
      Participant

      What struck me in the Revelation passage was how similar it was to the passages from Micah and Isaiah. The kingdom of God as seen by these seers is tangible. In it there is no more abuse of power, the weak are lifted up, and the vulnerable are protected. The evil city in Revelation is called out for its excessive luxury and trade in humans. It took advantage of people and grew wealthy from it.

      In contrast, Isaiah sees the coming City of God as a place where people know God. Violence isn’t heard of in the land, but there is peace. Micah gives a tangible image of every person sitting under a grape arbor or fig tree because the land is fruitful and no one is afraid.

      This view of the Kingdom of God as a physical and spiritual reality gives us a grounded image as we work towards peace.

    • #2874
      Joshua Johnson
      Participant

      I was surprised by the universal vision of Isaiah/Yeshayahu 60. Whereas I had previously read this passage, I hadn’t really understood it before, and this time the text, especially the dynamic between “Israel” and the kings of the other nations, really stood out to me in a profound way, and exemplifies the History and Plurality aspects of the Hebraic map.

      The chapter opens, “Arise, shine, for your light has come.” Previously, I had been sure about whom this spoke, but I know understood it to be the prophetic voice speaking to Israel and Jerusalem, specifically. Although sometimes these prophetic texts can be difficult to discern with so many layers of discourse occurring, the context can only be none other than Jerusalem. Additionally, the HCSB Bible text adds a footnote identifying the object of “you” as “Jerusalem.”

      The chapter describes how nations, and kings, and caravans of camels will stream into Jerusalem day and night, carrying the riches of east and west. This is certainly a cosmic vision, with a clear King reigning from Jerusalem.

      “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your radiance. Raise your eyes and look around: they gather all around you!” It describes how the “riches of the sea will become yours,” and “the wealth of nations will come to you.” This is surely an impressive vision of how the glories of the nations will come to Jerusalem, with caravans coming from Midian, Ephah, and Sheba, gold and frankincense, flocks from Kedar, and rams from Nebaioth, cedars from Lebanon, and even ships laden with silver and gold from Tarshish. The previous nations are in the Arabian peninsula, and Tarshish is believed to be in Spain, so it’s from one end of the Mediterranean to another. And these other kings are subjects or vassals of the One King reigning at Jerusalem: they build His walls and serve Him (v. 10).

      This incredible vision includes that the sun will no longer set, which matches the vision of Revelation 21, where Jesus is the light of the city. Violence is gone, and the gates are open forever.

      Interestingly, there is a theme that was picked up by America’s Founding Fathers. Verse 4 implies that the dispersed tribes of Israel will return to the land: that “your sons will come from far away, and your daughters will be carried on the hip,” the latter which carries an idea of child-rearing, which is repeated in verse 16: “You will nurse on the milk of nations, and nurse at the breast of kings.” This image of Israel being nursed or suckled by the nations was also stated in Isaiah 49:23, which reads, in the King James: “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers.” The founding Fathers, including Benjamin Franklin, quoted this passage in some of their writings, applying it to the fledgling nation of America. Apparently, they saw America as inheriting the wealth and the “milk” of the other European nations. But in this context, perhaps it refers to how the dispersed children of Israel were reared by other lands and other nations (just as Daniel and Esther were reared in pagan contexts), but return to Israel for their final redemption.

    • #2877
      Sarah Weiskopf
      Participant

      I absolutely loved reading Genesis 12-17 at the beginning of this course, focusing on how Abram followed God even when God was calling him away from about everything that he had known His whole life. I see evidence of the Hebraic map in Abram’s leadership in how he followed the Lord by entering & engaging the ground right beneath his feet. The theme of being able to be a leader even when we may not have the title of it, but instead focusing on the square foot right below our feet is exactly where Abram seemed to be illustrating this Hebraic leadership. The part of the passage that sticks out to me in particular is how God changed both Abram and Sarai’s names. Our God is a name-changer, a chain-breaker, someone who calls us out into what may be uncomfortable, but it is all for the Kingdom of God for His glory.

    • #2880
      Austin Pellizzer
      Participant

      When reading 1 Kings 19, one of the most poignant aspects of the passage, which I found very much linked with the evidence of the Hebraic map, would be the aspect of Personality. This passage demonstrates this pillar when Elijah is confronted with his death, in which he must run for his life. Being low on both food and water, Elijah faces the reality of the possibility of dying and not finishing his journey. This situation quickly changes as an angel and voice of God visit him on multiple occasions, encouraging him to drink and eat to regain his strength and complete his journey. In the end, he is, in fact, able to both eat and drink as well as regain his strength, complete his 40-day journey and fulfill his word, which God’s messengers had advised him to do.
      As the personality pillar discusses the role in which the human is the secondary character in constant contact with God, Elijah is an excellent example of how the body can be tormented and deprived (in this case of food and drink) while being saved in spirit by God’s words and messengers. This whole passage stuck out to me because many times throughout our lives, we are deprived and tormented in the flesh. Whether through sin or physical attributes which endanger us. God’s grace can pull us out of a detrimental situation and achieve the impossible.

    • #2926
      Nomsa C Mmakola
      Participant

      Hello Emily

      Your point is so beautiful. I love this story of Esther so badly. She makes a very big sacrifice marring to a Persian King. The queen was not able to practice Jewish traditions, yet she succeeded in saving her people because, she was always connected to her big God.
      Mordecai and Esther would have their own reasons not returning to Jerusalem with the others in exiles when they had the chance to do so.
      Appreciation of pointing out your views.

    • #2944

      Josefa, my wife, would find this response amusing.

      I have, for the past 9 years, found myself in some form of exile from my home – not by an external force, but by my own choices. North Carolina, specifically a very small mountainous region of the state, is where I was born and raised. The first 18 years of my life were spent in the same home, going to the same barber, hunting the same woods, knowing the same people – and knowing them more deeply year over year. Even now, when I go home, within minutes I am sure to see people who I know very personally, and who, in turn, know me – having helped raise me. And the place has some sacred quality about it. The Baptist church across the street from my home chimes bells on the hour. I see trees that I planted when I was only 8 or 9 that now reach 30 feet and are bearing fruit, and I’m reminded of what it feels like to belong to a place, a culture, a people.

      The dark side of having a home and belonging to a place, is that by not being there I am incomplete, wandering, a stranger everywhere else. I think this concept is lost on most Americans. Maybe if more of us read Wendell Berry, we would build homes or would be willing to only bear exile for a time before, like prodigal children, returning home.

      For the past few days I’ve been considering Jeremiah 29 and the dual concepts hospitality and exile. It’s counterintuitive, to me, to think of hospitality apart from home – but that’s what God calls His people to. Also, I imagine that what I feel towards my home, is what I ought to feel towards the Kingdom of God. Yet, I’ve been a member of (or involved in) Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, Baptist, and Catholic churches and the idea of our Christian destination being a physical Kingdom of God has not been central to the homilies or teachings of any of these churches. So I’m excited to continue exploring this idea of home, hospitality, and exile through a Hebraic lens.

    • #1969
      Michael Caplan
      Participant

      Cara,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. What you said reminded me of the course’s emphasis on the duality of mankind and our great capacity for good and evil. In the midst of the chaos that may engulf us in this world a Christian is still called to practice basic duties toward family, community, and God. That truly is such a radical response contrary to modernist tendencies to maximize one’s individual good at any cost. Even in exile we are called to plant seeds and tender the garden that we must leave one day for the glory of our true end.

    • #2017
      Cristina Varela
      Participant

      Hi Cara,

      Your comment really stuck out to me! I think that the human condition & the fall causes us to fight against being “exiled” with everything we’ve got. But God calls us to that cross. Even more interesting to me is that even though we live in a fallen world and are called to be “in the world but not of it” , the Christian still has a duty to their community- regardless if that community is the one doing the exiling. It’s much easier to fully disassociate but God calls us to more.

    • #1977
      Jaquan Bryant
      Participant

      Something just stuck out to me as I was reading: seek the welfare, pray to God, you will prosper. It is like a message within a message once you break it apart. What I find intriguing is that we as humans are always seeking something, seeking an answer to a matter, our minds wonder for a solution. Then it says pray to the Lord because that is paramount. When we stop praying all kinds of mishaps and unraveling evil rises. Just a thought: remembered the government took prayer out of school and look at the end results. When we try to remove God, remove prayer which is our connection or telephone line to God then trouble lurks. When seek and pray like we should, we will prosper one way or another. Prosperity is the reward or benefit when we do it God’s way.

    • #1983
      Marina Ghaly
      Participant

      Hi Rebecca,

      What I find interesting about the book of mention is the author’s lack of God’s voice, action, or even God’s presence. With that said, it doesn’t mean God was not working behind the scenes. Personally, I find that very encouraging in my own life. Although I may not be hearing God speak, move, or even at times, God’s presence, I firmly believe God is working behind the scenes for good. With your take on responsibility, Esther had to trust in God’s protection when she took on the responsibility to discuss with the king. Esther’s role as queen is an encouragement to stand up for injustice and trust that God will bring good.

    • #2029
      Norman Low
      Participant

      Whenever I read Daniel, I am amazed at his long-term faithfulness. He was probably in his teens when he was exiled. It would be easy enough to think that he would just settle in and make the best of his life in his new land. In today’s world, we see turnover of leadership every few years when the president or other leaders change. Yet Daniel retained some influential roles when empires changed. Not only that, his conduct led to testimonies by these new rulers who recognized the power of Daniel’s God. One day, it would be thrilling to hear what impact he may have had on Cyrus to allow the Jews to return to the promised land.

    • #2595
      Jordan Leatherwood
      Participant

      Hi Yasmin,

      I love love love Daniel. If you read my thread, you will find out why. Admittedly, I have never even read Daniel 9 until it was our supplemental reading, but it has only enhanced my thoughts about him. It is almost like he does not skip a beat. Things go bad and his natural response is to pray — wow, if we, or I especially had that kind of natural response to when things go bad around us. Also, for me, it is the fact that he praying for everyone around him and his people! I miss the days of the faith of the old, where people were not afraid to get on their face in the presence of the Almighty, and pray with grief over their community and their family. The world may be different if we had more Daniels…

    • #2092
      Heather Lopez
      Participant

      Hi Josiah! I really liked what you had to say about the imago Dei, our quality of being created in God’s image. I think that relates back to the Personality pillar of the Hebraic worldview, how humans are living in constant dialogue with our creator. Additionally, it highlights the fact that this world is not our final destination; rather, we were created for another world, a world where we can be in communion with God. As C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” A Hebraic leader must keep this in mind as they interact with this world.

    • #2665
      Sabrina Thomas
      Participant

      “The Creator purposefully and intentionally created us not only in his image but ultimately for His glory. And once we fully understand the Lord’s purpose for creation, that it is for His glory – that we are for His glory – then all of our wanderings would lead us to a definite destination, into His Kingdom.”

      I love this and totally agree.

      With the recent images from the Webb Telescope, I have been relishing how G-d made all of creation, those areas we are now seeing for the first time, so profoundly complex, beautiful, truly hard for us to grasp in our puny human minds, and He looked at all that and said, that’s not enough. I will make man (in our image) and it will be the pinnacle, culmination of my creation. And though the rest of creation testifies to who He is, we are the ones created in His image and given free will to choose Him. We are the ones created for fellowship with Him.

    • #2267
      Joseph Danaher
      Participant

      Ana Paula, I like how you discuss Abraham and obeying without knowing. That is perhaps the hardest thing in the world for Westerners, when we are taught from day one to seek certainty and knowledge. Yet the Scripture says “lean not on your own understanding,” and Danish theologian Kierkegaard talks about how that lust for certainty is huge impediment to faith. But to be like Abraham and drop everything because God said so despite not knowing anything, that is hard….But that is faith. Faith is hard. But that’s why we’re fortunate it’s not something we just have by our sheer will but as a gift of God.

    • #2597
      Jordan Leatherwood
      Participant

      Katherine,

      Great thoughts! I never even took into account about the diversity aspect. Is this something that people seem to be afraid of, mainly in diversity of thought? Even looking at the different kinds of maps, Robert shows us three: barbaric, hellenic, and hebraic. Is it our responsibility to make sure people are following the hebraic map, or is this some journey that non-believers and some believers need to figure out on their own.

      One thing that really stood out to me was when Robert was speaking about creation and he said something to the effect of God being so detailed and loving the detail that not only did he create cats, but created types of cats, subspecies of animals. That blew me away. I love science and I love history and reading through and listening to this idea of a Hebraic worldview, map, and leadership has been very eye-opening for me.

    • #2666
      Sabrina Thomas
      Participant

      “As C.S. Lewis said, ‘If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.’ A Hebraic leader must keep this in mind as they interact with this world.”

      I concur.

      This truth is what gives us the ability to persevere. We are on a journey.

      There will be times when this world feels foreign to us in reality, we are foreigners.

      There will be times (we might not even realize it), but we’re homesick for a home we’ve never been to. This may occur when our hearts attempt to reconcile feeling an “otherness” and yearning to be “at rest”.

      Reality, though, is that our Home isn’t here. We are passing through. As we pass through, we’re doing His bidding. Fulfilling His purposes, being His active agents.

    • #2723
      Hannah Straub
      Participant

      Hi Emily,

      I love what you wrote about Esther! I, too, grew up with an idealized view of Esther. But now I can’t imagine what it was like to become Queen in a place hostile to her beliefs and religious practices. She had so much courage to step into that role to use the power she was given for the good of others.

      The point you made about Esther and Mordecai not returning to Jerusalem has me thinking now too… I wonder why they didn’t?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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