175) One Hebrew Nation Under El

The early Gentile converts in the Roman Empire understood clearly all that was entailed in converting to a new religion.

The societies of the ancient world were theocratic the ancient Mesopotamian kings were regarded as chosen servants and regents of the gods, and the Egyptian pharaohs were thought to be directly descended from the sun god…ruling it through them. In both Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as among other ancient peoples, kings also…intermediaries between men and the gods.

“These words spake YHVH’s Savior, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said…

  • have glorified thee on the earth:
  • I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do…
  • have manifested thy name / attributes unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…
  • That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one [family, nation, gens] in us:” (John 17)

Being One Family meant

  • adoption into the God of Israel’s kingdom / nation / gens proven by
  • submission to the new Father God which automatically
  • removed them from their former inclusion in a Roman or heathen nation,

Believers in YHVH’s Savior could no longer bow down to or serve other gods or their designated drivers like Caesar.

The reverse condition is also true. The Israelites who

  • rejected the God of Israel’s designated representative Priest-King
  • were removed from their inclusion in the nation of Israel.
  • “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6)
  • God hath not cast away his people.” (Romans 11:1-2)
  • “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:15-16)
  • “this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” (Hebrews 8:10)

Hopefully we citizens of humanistic democracies are beginning to understand that an accurate understanding and application of being a member of God’s theocratic kingdom has to start with understanding ancient ways.

Clans pose a challenge to state development in ways that are often difficult for Westerners to appreciate...throughout history, from medieval Iceland and Scotland to modern-day Libya and Yemen, where clans function as basic units of social organization, they claim to have the legitimate authority to administer justice for their members by using their own force.

Because religion is inevitably a fundamental identifier of a nation / clan.

it was until quite recently fashionable among political scientists to believe that the religious factor had ceased to have much impact at all—whether in the direction of conflict or consensus—on the contemporary politics of the western democracies…If religion itself had not dissolved away in the cold light of Reason, as Enlightenment thinkers had once expected, it was surely much more marginal for the modern European with an essentially secular and materialist approach to life and politics. After 1945 in particular, the political agenda seemed to revolve almost entirely around the humdrum business of ‘who gets what, when, how’…

In the 1960’s, however…a number of studies led political scientists to re-examine the orthodox assumptions about the secularity and materialism of politics in the liberal democracies…a seminal survey of…the characteristic structures of western party systems…showed that not only had religion…been of prime importance in the foundation of the European party systems in the late nineteenth century…but that the effects of this impact had been extended into the most recent period…

these claims were not of course incompatible with the deeply rooted assumption that the religious factor was in some way archaic—a survival from some earlier era…the outcome of events as distant as the Reformation and the French Revolution…however…examination of the social bases of political parties led…to the surprising conclusion that…’religious divisions, not class, are the main social basis for parties in the Western world today.’..since then a number of publications have been concerned with the question of assessing and accounting for the strenth of the religious factor in the politics of the liberal democracies….

the impact of religion could in fact increase as ‘political Christians’ engage themselves for and against the ‘new politics’ of peace, environmental, development and other issues.

In Libya, Moammar Gadhafi put clan loyalty at the heart of his revolutionary ideology, seeking to forge a stateless state, guarded by his leadership but organized around decentralized local institutions and clans, which he viewed as the natural basis of the social order.

As did Jesus when he forged his New Testament church.

In Yemen, the Saleh regime’s highest priority has been to buy at any price the loyalty of the more powerful clans.

In the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat implemented a series of policies in the wake of the Oslo Accords that took power away from the university-educated leaders of the first intifada and strengthened the power of clan elders, which he could control directly through patronage.

As did Jesus Christ in the wake of the new covenant, where the nation that lost power is not the entire group of Israelites, but the rulers of the tribe of Judah and the new nation / clan is the group that identifies with him and he empowers with his Spirit, the Christ-ians.

When during the second intifada Israel destroyed numerous local government institutions, such as police stations and courts, the clans Arafat had strengthened rushed to fill the vacuum.

As did churches after 9/11. This should be the biblical response to men’s hearts failing for fear.

These cases are part of a more general dynamic, which varies in intensity throughout the region. The 2004 Arab Human Development Report calls it “clannism.”

How can modern democracies be built in the face of push-back from clans?…in addition to encouraging trade and economic development

America’s economic dependence on Consumerism is contrary to biblical “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (I John 2:15-16)]

the United States should do what it can to help reformers in the region strengthen the identity and power of the intellectual and professional classes, among whom personal identity is most powerfully peeled away from the social core of kinship.

This may explain why Paul notes that:

ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (I Corinthians 1:26-27)

Tragically, for a world desperately needing salvation in this world and the next, much of modern American Christianity has lost sight of the true meaning of “one nation under God”. We need to start with studying the exemplary life and times of our ancient religious leaders.

“there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered,

‘It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites…’

(now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel…the children of Israel had sworn unto them: [but] Saul [broke that sacred oath and] sought to slay them )…

Saul was from Gibeah so seizing their property would increase his wealth. He may also have attacked them as easy prey to save face militarily after being embarrassed by the PhilistinesBut he had broken a vow made by the Israelite government, which demanded – not only punishment on Saul’s clan – but reparations, according to God’s law.

Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites…wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless [instead of cursing as apparently they were doing] the inheritance of the LORD?

And the Gibeonites said unto him,

  • We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house;
  • neither for us shalt thou kill any [random] man in Israel…
  • The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose.

And the king said, I will give them.” (I Samuel 21:1-8)

This God-authorized blood feud may seem appallingly uncivilized and allow you you to confirm your rejection of the God of the Bible as a cruel tyrant, but it is actually the basic principle of redemption. How many more deaths were prevented by this act?

Would you risk dying to donate a kidney to your dying child? Mothers routinely risk dying to birth children. Would you willingly outright die so your beloved child could live? When seen from the side of the person whose life is saved by another family member substituting his life, this practice isn’t so bad after all. 

But take note, just as with Saul’s replacements and organ donations, you must share the same genetics as the life-giving donor.

This is why God rebuilt himself in the last Adam and humans seeking salvation from the sin feud and death must be members of God’s genetic family / clan.

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