Tag Archives: religion

Politics, God, Jerusalem

 Hello, it’s me. How have you been these last few months? I know its been a while!

I haven’t blogged since this past April (5 months have flown by and I regret not having the time to catch you up now – such is life) and I hadn’t planned to today either until I saw a short YouTube video last night and I felt compelled to share a few words and thoughts. Who knows, maybe this is the spark I needed to get back on my once-a-week usually on Sunday afternoons blogging horse. Maybe the 2-3 of you out there who read my ramblings will begin to find joy in your life once again or maybe I’ll just remain on a perpetual one man island out in the vastness that is called cyberspace or maybe……..

I’m sure you can agree with me based on the subjects listed in the post title, that these have and will always be very divisive topics and even much more so in a presidential election year. I know, I know, politics and religion are not very kosher subjects to talk about to most people. The beliefs on these subjects are often very deep seeded, the opinions run hot and the arguments often times overflow into a full-fledged anger at the opposite human being in your presence that is obviously not as well-informed and definitely not nearly as smart as you are. It’s a good thing those types of people don’ t read this blog;-).

For the record, I don’t have an official party affiliation. I would personally tend to lean more to a Libertarian or Constitutionalist political philosophy that advocates “maximum freedom, minimum government” in our present times, and though this political philosophy has been on the rise in American politics for the past few decades, it still primarily comes down to the Big 2 (Democratic & Republican). As my grandpa says “Don’t waste your vote on someone who you know will not get elected and by default add a vote to the person you like the least” or something like that. Ultimately though, I’m waiting for the Theocracy that will be coming in the future and will completely eradicate the biased, self-serving and greedy political systems of the world. Who will be in charge of this Theocracy? Well, the King of Kings of course – King Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah)!

It was a untelevised Democratic National Convention platform vote on whether or not to include “God” and “Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel” that prompted me to write this post. The event happened in the late afternoon on Wednesday, hours before the primetime speech of former President Bill Clinton that would be broadcast to millions. Apparently, President Obama and his counselors thought it would be best to add the “God’ and “Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel” verbage back into its party platform for this very close election year. Afterall, you wouldn’t want to offend or even worse, lose a vote from many of the nation’s majority of religious voters or the powerful minority of Jewish voters. I had heard about this controversy in the news and read a few articles on the matter over the past few days but I didn’t watch the video until last night and the predominate idea and question of this blog struck me.

If you are a man or woman of faith in the God of the Bible and you believe in its admonition to support Israel and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in some form or fashion then it should be at the very least concerning if not disturbing to hear the response of half of the Democratic party’s faithful at the convention so vocally against adding “God” and maybe even more so against adding “Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel” part. To be clear, there are obviously many of those who affiliate with the Democratic party who do have an immense faith in God and support Israel and Jerusalem as her undivided capital. As for me, in my hot political and religious opinion, I could not support a party if my and my other party cohort’s zeal for the God of the Bible and her people Israel only made my party’s zeal for the same religious values only lukewarm at best. As most of us are aware of, lukewarm is not a good place to be in relation to God or Jerusalem.

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah, on this election year and always!

Add to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to Twitter

Advertisements

Passover on the Plains of Jericho

“Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.” Numbers 9:2 ESV

Our family Passover preparations are now in full swing as we prepare to host a Seder at our home with family and friends in just a couple of days. Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 6th. Today we are busy finalizing our guest list, grocery shopping, studying, rehearsing, writing this blog and doing plenty of Spring cleaning (which also means we have to drink up all the beer in the fridge really soon – it’s not that much I promise:-)!

Last week I wrote about The “Egyptian Passover” and gave a brief history of that very first Passover event and what made it unique in comparison to all others after it. For this post, I originally wanted to take a quick look at the post-Exodic (not “exotic”, but “exodic” as in after the Exodus) Passover up until the time of the Men of the Great Assembly. But as I begin to research the Passover from the Biblical and extra-biblical sources starting with the Book of Joshua to King Josiah on to the Book of Jubilees and The Wisdom of Solomon, I quickly realized that this would not be a quick survey after all. Instead of writing a 4,000 word blog of which I have scarcely the time, I decided to split this chronological theme up into much smaller sections over a longer period of time (I have Passover ideas to blog about for many years to come now:-). Makes sense right?

Passover on the Plains of Jericho

“While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.” (Joshua 5:10 ESV)

This phrase “on the plains of Jericho” sounds very idyllic to me, like some sweeping grandiose setting from a bygone era that gets romanticized in a Hollywood movie. I can picture the scenes in my mind well and imagine some of the interactions of the people. The sweeping Jericho plains at sunset with Palm trees shadowed in the background and the Jordan river flowing in the distance. The tent sites are abuzz with campfires crackling and the excited chatter of the relatively youthful Israelites, almost all who are under the age of sixty with the majority not even forty years old yet. These young generations of Israelites who had weathered the sins of their parents and the harshness of desert life, have just crossed over the Jordan river into this Land they have heard only stories about since they were born. Now it is coming to pass before their very eyes, all of their hopes and dreams will soon be realized in this Land that had been promised to the generations of old, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joshua, who is one of only two who are left from their parents generation, is their courageous and very capable leader. Joshua was Moses’ right hand man while Moses was alive and Joshua was ordained by God to take Moses’ place after his death. Joshua gives a speech to this young nation that is both inspiring and sobering at the same time. He recounts the faithfulness of the Lord in leading them to this Promised Land and details the blessings spoken of to Moses about how God will shower them with so much provision and abundance that it will be like the Land breaking forth into song and dance all around them. Yet, Joshua also reminds them of the dangers of disobedience and rebellion, of a lack of trust in the Lord and the byproduct of that behavior that they know all too well. The youthful crowd responds to Joshua, “We will take care to do all that the Lord has commanded us to do”!

Many of the young men of the camp were anxious to go forth and “conquer” the Land. They were confident and not a few a bit cocky after they had seen what had happened to the Kings of the Amorites and Canaanites (Joshua 5:1). They knew well the report of the their brethren who had went to spy on the city of Jericho and had brought back this report to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.” (Joshua 2:24 ESV). But before the next battle was to begin, the Lord commanded patience, an obedient patience in the form of circumcision.

 Circumcision?! This second generation of Israelites had not been circumcised in the wilderness due to the sins of their fathers, which had delayed the Israelites from entering into the Promised Land in the first place for 40 years. That ancient rite of passage “hadn’t been practiced in many years” some of them said and others cringed at the thought of the pain it entailed. Nevertheless, the whole nation was obedient to the Lord’s command through Joshua and they remained in their camp at a place called Gilgal until they were healed.  After Joshua had all the males circumcised, God told Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” (Joshua 5:9 ESV). This circumcision was important for multiple reasons;

  1. According to the Covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17:10-11, all of Abraham’s descendents should be circumcised as an act of obedience.
  2. Circumcision is a sign of the Israelites being in covenant with God and the Land of Canaan is a Promise of that Covenant (Genesis 17:8).
  3. According to Exodus 12:48, no one uncircumcised may partake of the Passover sacrifice.

During the time of healing and waiting, their was another rite, albeit a much more “modern” one that perhaps some had never took part in and others had but it had been since their teenage years or earlier – The Passover. Passover was the memorial and commemoration of God’s deliverance of His people Israel, that culminated in the Exodus out of Egypt and set in motion the journey that led them here, to the plains of Jericho – the gateway to the Promised Land.

Sure, they all knew what the Passover was and what it meant to them historically, but most had never actually experienced this sacred event. So here they were on the plains of Jericho, on this side of the Jordan river, with their tribes and divisions of families and they were about to fulfill God’s command to Moses to “Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.” (Deuteronomy 16:1). On this night so long ago in the shadow of the infamous walls that would soon come tumbling down, I can imagine all the families remembering the past 40 years gone by since the Lord’s redemption from Pharaoh and his army and a young son of Israel probably no more than 4 or 5 years old asking his father “what does this night mean?” and his father replying with the words of Exodus 13:8 ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ I could also imagine the words and thoughts of the evening not just dwelling on the past but looking forward to the future redemption as well, when God will deliver yet again the people who He saved for all eternity in peace and glory. At least that’s how I suppose it could have all happened out on the plains of Jericho over 3,000 years ago. This was the first Passover celebrated in the Promised Land!

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah, our Passover!

Chag Sameach Pesach 5772!!! Happy Passover 2012!!!

The Bond Family

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter