Tagged: Hebraic map
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Evan you make a good point. It is sometimes difficult to remember that Jesus got political. His whole ministry was political. He was threatening the political leaders of his time with his message and if you think about the world today some might view the Christian message today regardless of the worldview as being highly political. But we as Christians especially those of the Hebraic worldview need to be political. We need to be political because as it is pointed out that “Politics are a gift from God.” So with that reasoning we need to be political because at the same time Jesus was political. Politics are not wrong but letting them control your life is not good either. We must always approach politics and everything else with a clarity and sense of mind that God will guide of through no matter what we do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
I chose to write on Daniel as well – he is a great example of what a leader should be. The history of the Jews did not seem lost at all on Daniel and his Jewish friends but seemed part of what appeared to sustain them. The history of a faithful God was evidence of a future faithful God. Chronology was central to Daniel chapter 2 as the dream that Daniel interpreted not only contained a present but a chronological future account that is sustaining Jews today. Daniel understood that God was not abandoning his children or giving up His relationship with them even in a foreign land. God was still pursuing His people, and their holiness still mattered.
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.
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!
Your reaction to this text is so similar to mine! Just like you, I didn’t understand the connection between Jeremiah and Daniel and Esther before this reading. I think there’s something to be said for Sunday schools that only teach a single Bible snippit each Sunday, so that it can be hard for a child to gain a full picture of the story. I understand that it’s a small amount of time and that there are small minds listening, but I do wish there was a bigger emphasis on the entirety of the Bible when it was told to me in church as a kid. I also like your comments about praying to the Lord for the US. I hope that we can band together in prayer!
“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.
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?
Hi Christina, I think you chose a very important verse. I like how this verse compares our speech to a fire. Words can be weapons of mass destruction. A Hebraic leader is deeply aware of his or her responsibility to use speech in a way that honors God. A leader knows when to use strong words and when to hold back and allow God to intervene. The Hebraic leader also sees that the tongue can also be a “tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4) and “good for building up.” This type of speech is not limited to tenderhearted words, but when necessary, as a stern correction.
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.
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.
I saw this theme a lot throughout the selected texts too (and in many many many others). When we turn from him, there are consequences but ultimately if we are able to reset and come back to him, he provides mercy. And that in itself sets an example for us and our conduct with others. I like your perspective that the path towards God is also the destination we have. I think that is insightful and goes back to an idea that CS Lewis talks about in Mere Christianity. That each little decision we make either turns us closer to or further from God, and that those little decisions ultimately inform big decisions and make marks on our souls.
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.
Great analysis of the text. I agree with your statement. Like you, I never gave great importance to the spiritual significance of the Near East until the last couple of years as I became more serious in my biblical studies. However, it is almost impossible to ignore the significance the further you get into the text because it is so present–just as your analysis proves. If we want a better understand of what the Bible is teaching, we must first get to know the area and the people groups that surrounded ancient and present day Israel. Once we take this into account, the Bible will just become more alive and applicable to us today.
I’m happy you’ve gotten to be excited over the significance of Jerusalem now and in the coming days. Recently, with the events in the area and the heightened focus on the Temple, I have been trying to revisit the time when I first got a taste of Jerusalem’s fullness and importance. Reading your analysis of the text brought me back to that first revelation I felt as I was giving the eyes to see the beauty and majesty in what is here and what is coming to Mount Zion and the city of Jerusalem. Thank you!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hi Austin – I appreciate your insight on the passage in I Kings 19. It is a humbling reminder of our brokenness and need of God’s help in the midst of physical suffering. I think living in a modern world with hundreds of ways to dull our pain (medically and otherwise) we have such a weakness to let physical suffering tempt us to sin. We are not used to suffering, and while modern medicine is a gift and we shouldn’t seek out suffering unnecessarily, Satan could certainly use physical weakness to tempt us. But as God demonstrates in the passage, His grace is sufficient for our weaknesses.
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.
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.
When reading the passage of Jeremiah 29:1-14, there are many elements of evidence of the Hebraic map present–specifically,
deity and responsibility. In the text, Jeremiah is writing to the exiles that had been deported from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 29:1). There is a clear relationship that God seeks to establish with his people by communicating with them through the prophet of Jeremiah. He gives them specific instructions to dwell within the land of Babylon and await the confirmation of His promise to them and restore the Israelites to their rightful place (Jer. 29:4-7, 10-14). Simultaneously, God’s instructions are intertwined with a warning as they dwell with and in the land of the Babylonians. The Israelites are to be aware and the false prophets and diviners that have not been sent by God but claim to be (Jer. 29:8-9).
In this passage, we can see God’s involvement in the lives of the Israelites through the instruction and warning He gives them. Additionally, we see the element of responsibility placed on the Israelites during their time in Babylon. While they are in exile, they are to be fruitful in the land as they actively pursue the Kingdom of God. However, the challenge in this is not to be confused with the beliefs of the Babylonian people while they dwell amongst them. Hence, the importance of establishing and maintaining a relationship with God.
Hi Victoria – I appreciate your insight on the passage in Jeremiah. I was encouraged how God meant this time of exile for Israel’s good. They weren’t to live a life of passiveness just waiting for redemption, but were to continue to be fruitful, contributing to their community and living peaceful, productive lives. This applies so much to our lives today as we live in a fallen world and long for Christ’s return. However, God has given us His word to resist sin and live in a way that honors Him and seeks the good of others. Not because we think we can make this world perfect, but because it glorifies God and advances His kingdom on earth.
In the passages from Daniel (chapters 1-2), Daniel and his three companions gave a great example of how to faithfully live as exiles both abiding by God’s law but also being engaged in the local government. They firstly fulfilled their obedience and responsibility to God by not eating foods that were prohibited under the law. Even in the chapters that we did not read they demonstrate their obedience by God by not bowing down to false gods even at the risk of their life.
The men served in the King’s court influencing decisions that would impact the people. When Nebuchadnezzar demanded that one of his men interpret his dream, Daniel gathered his companions around asking them to fast and pray before he went before the king to interpret the dream. Daniel relied first on the prayer and seeking God’s spiritual help and he relied on his companions to intercede on his behalf (demonstrating Christianity is a communal faith).
Furthermore the dream that Daniel interpreted was a foretelling of God’s coming kingdom that begins with Christ coming to earth and endures forever. Daniel was engaged with the world around him while living a life in obedience to God, seeking God’s spiritual help, boldly proclaiming his submission to the one true God to the King, and continuing to serve the leadership he was under while in exile. Daniel’s life was a perfect example of living out the Hebraic tradition.
Reading the book of James, Chapter 3: 13-18 stuck out to me. In Lesson 2, we were taught that the wisdom for Hebraic leaders “begins with the fear of God.” In discussing wisdom, James explains wisdom that “comes from above” will be shown by good conduct and be “pure, peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy.” Contrast this with earthly wisdom that is envious, selfish, unspiritual, demonic. When I think about my goals of growing into a better leader, cultivating wisdom, and pursuing justice, I am reminded that in order to even begin to achieve those things I have to turn myself to God. Hebraic leaders are different because they are bound to a higher power. This world is not the end-all be-all, and there is accountability after death. To be a good leader in this tradition, one has to be wise because we have more responsibility than an earthly/secular leader. We are servants to those we lead but we are also servants to God. If we claim him, we have entered into a covenant that calls us to a different, harder, and more rewarding life.
If I think about it, it isn’t hard to find examples of earthly and Hebraic leadership, both in the Bible and today. While we all admittedly fail, I think cultivating wisdom based in a fear of God ultimately equips Hebraic leaders to pursue blind justice and peace without fear of men. Holding myself to God’s standard makes it easier to withstand secular censure when Hebraic leadership chafes with secular mores, expectations, and priorities.
I saw evidence of the Hebraic map in Daniel 1-2. Each pillar of the Hebraic map can be discussed in these two chapters.
Plurality: Daniel requested that he would not be forced defile himself by the royal food and wine. He was not offended and upset that other men were eating and drinking of it; this shows a mindset of accepting plurality. Plurality is evidenced later on in the dream – the dream uses iron and clay as an example of how the people will be divided.
Personality: The relationship between body and spirit can be seen in how Daniel and his friends nourish their bodies in accordance with the laws of Judaism and being blessed through this with wisdom and understanding. They relate to their communities by using their talents given to them by God.
Deity: God seeks relationship as evidenced in Daniel 2. Daniel and his friends pray to God, pleading for mercy so that they might not be killed along with the rest of the wise men. God responds by giving Daniel a vision that revealed the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
History: Daniel’s interpretation of the dream recognizes the big story and a final end. The powerful statue in the dream was destroyed by larger forces and ultimately destroyed by God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is one that can never be destroyed.
Responsibility: Daniel was aware of his place in Babylon. He was greatly gifted with wisdom and knowledge and accepted the duty of interpreting the dream, even if it meant risking his own life. He continued to engage and lead others after Nebuchadnezzar appointed him as ruler of the province of Babylon.
Throughout this course we explored a question that is central to the Christian faith- how do we navigate in two dimensions? How do we seek what is hidden in the midst of a constant paradox of light and darkness? In Matthew 6:33, Christ calls us to “seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”. This one verse is a beautiful summary of the Hebraic map. Jesus calls us to engage with him in a lifelong, linear journey of pursuing a Kingdom that is invisible to the physical world. As I completed this course, I was struck by the image of a Christian walking along a straight path towards the Kingdom of God, as a “foreigner and stranger on Earth” (Hebrews 11:13). Abraham accepted the call of faith and lived his life longing for a “better country- a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16). We are called to live with the same longing for the Kingdom of God, for the city God has prepared for us (Hebrews 11:16).
What stuck out to me the most was the wisdom that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah received after choosing not to eat the king’s rich food and to survive on vegetables. There is so much depth in the fact that choosing to live in a different way than others leads to divine wisdom. Mr. Nicholson talks about how the Barbaric map seeks power, the Hellenic map seeks reasoning, and the Hebraic map seeks the wisdom that begins with the fear of God. I’ve been reading Daniel recently and debating doing the “Daniel fast” because of the faithfulness Daniel exhibited when he chose not to treat himself with the luxurious food provided by the king. It was seriously surprising that through depriving himself and experiencing struggle he was able to gain wisdom, not to mention that he was stronger than the others! In this instance, Daniel was displaying the characteristics of a Hebraic leader through suffering. As a nutrition major, the idea that he only had to eat vegetables to be stronger and healthier than everyone else stood out to me the most. I know the power of full and hearty meals! But I also know the power of my God.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
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!
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!
When I was taking the course Ester was the first person I thought of who embodied a political leader and a leader in her faith. She could have compromised to get what she wanted and saved her people but she honored God and saved the Jews. Also it teaches you do not have to be a great preacher, a man, or a leader of significance to create change and navigate the world. You may not even need to leave your own home to do it
Hi Sabrina, great post. I love how you described our yearning for rest. Jesus tells us that when we come to him, we will find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:29). We will have trouble and chaos in our lives in this world, but we can have restful hearts as we look towards our heavenly home and the Kingdom of God. Have a merry Christmas!