I almost hate to hear when someone produces a movie such as The Bible, because I know there is going to be either some incorrect portrayal or false information given. Unfortunately, this latest installment of The Bible, despite what may have been the best intentions of those involved, had some issues that have gotten the picture more negative attention than positive.
I did not watch it for that very reason–because I did not want to be annoyed by anything erroneous. But how can I not have heard the uproar about the man who played Satan?
Glenn Beck… who I must admit I abhor–sent out a Tweet comparing Obama to the Mehdi Ouazanni, the Moroccan actor who played Satan. He was not alone, and the Tweets exploded. (I swear, social media is the bane of decent society). I do not see the resemblance other than similar skin tones.
Satan’s appearance puzzled me in the movie. I am not sure where the typical portrayal of Satan as a red guy with horns and a pitchfork come from, because the Bible describes him as being beautiful. He was, at one point, the greatest of God’s creations. Imagine the most handsome man you know (I’m picturing my husband, naturally), and multiply his beauty by about 100. That is how handsome Lucifer must have been. The Bible does not suggest that he lost his looks after he fell. I kind of think Satan should have been pictured as being relatively attractive (not trying to dump on this actor, at all).
Next, on to “Jesus”.
Nice looking guy.
In the Revelation, John, the author of that particular book (which I love–it is also one of the most difficult but the symbolism is enchanting), describes a vision he had of Jesus Christ. The following is from Rev. 1:10-16:
“On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said, ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a Son of Man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was shining like the sun in all its brilliance”.
There are some people who reject that this is a description of Jesus–white woolly hair, not straight and brown, and bronze skin. I tend to believe it is. Why? Well, the most obvious reason is because whenever Jesus speaks in the Bible, it is in red, and the passage that comes from the unknown speaker in this passage is in red. Also, John reveals to us that this is a vision of Christ… so who else would this person be? Finally, Jesus is mentioned with “trumpet” in some way or another in other passages of Scripture. Rev. 4:1 also mentions His voice sounding like a trumpet, and it is recorded that a trumpet will be blown to announce His arrival during the Rapture.
Not to mention the location…Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but lived and ministered in Nazareth, Judea, Galilee, etc. So we are talking about Israel.
Here is Israel during the lifetime of Jesus. This fantastic map can be found at http://bible.org/assets/netbible/nt1.jpg
And here is modern-day Israel, from http://www.israelsmessiah.com/maps/images/israel_map_w_cites.jpg:
There is no need to be divisive here. I think it is safe to say that the people who lived in this region were probably people of color. I’m not saying Black, either. I am saying “of color”.
Now, as I mentioned, I personally do not care about what Jesus looks like, but I do wonder why the description that is given of Him, along with the geography, are rejected.
That’s enough of that though.
Well, I have finally figured something out. I had some insight today, and I feel great. So, my toothache is getting worse 🙂 I am unable to get to the dentist until next week, as I have to pay out of pocket. I was getting pretty upset about the tooth, and wouldn’t you know it–it ALWAYS gets worse at night. Well, nighttime is when I tend to do my writing, as my entire family is asleep and I have nothing else to do but finally spend some quality time with my Master, read, and write. I just thought today, “how ironic that my toothache gets a thousand times worse whenever I get it in my mind that I am going to finish my discussion on Genesis…”
Again, that Satan, he is a clever character. Always looking to exploit you at your weakest. What a guy.
Now that i figured it out, I am going to press forward. I am still thankful to God–I am thankful that the exam is only $92 and that I have people willing to help me pay for it. And I am thankful for whoever created Orajel and pain meds!
The last event I discussed in Genesis was the utter destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, etc. Another interesting story comes up in Genesis 20. Abraham is seemingly at it again!
After Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Abraham moves to a new land. AGAIN, he tells the same tired lie that he told in Genesis 12: That Sarah was his sister! Didn’t this dude learn the first time? (Obviously not). Sarah must be a gorgeous 90-year-old woman, because Abimelech adds her to his collection of wives. Abraham recycles the same excuse that he used to justify his actions the first time–that he feared he would be killed by someone who coveted his wife. I find that hard to believe. He had confronted the exact same scenario before, and not only that, he had been subject to God’s protection thus far. Shouldn’t he have assumed that God would take care of him and Sarah even in Gerar?
Is it possible that Abraham perpetuated this lie in order to achieve the results of the last incident? He ended up pretty wealthy from the parting gifts Pharaoh in Egypt gave him the first time. Was he looking for some more wealth with which to establish himself, and thus failing to trust that God would provide, too? I don’t know, but I tend to think that is just the more cynical part of me formulating that thought. I doubt God would approve of such a heart. So I guess we should just believe that Abraham feared for his life.
Abimelech was a pretty upright, God-fearing guy, which is kind of surprising. God comes to Abimelech in a dream and tells him that he is as good as dead because he has married another man’s wife.
Sounds like God takes adultery pretty seriously, doesn’t it? He didn’t even care that Abimelech was clueless as to that fact. This was God warning Abimelech that he needed to rectify the situation ASAP.
Abimelech effectively pleads his case–both Abraham AND Sarah had lied to him about their relation to one another, to which God responds: (paraphrasing) “Yeah, I know you did not know, which is why I kept you from sinning (having sex with her, I suppose).” He instructs Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham and refers to Abraham as a prophet (making Abraham the first major prophet of the Bible). Abimelech was a smart guy, because the very next morning he got his crew together and confronted Abraham. Obviously he had no doubt as to what God told him was true, and he was afraid.
Abraham provides Abimelech with his lame excuse for lying, and receives his parting gifts. Abraham prayed to God–I hope he asked for forgiveness in the process–and God, who had kept the women in Abimelech’s household from conceiving the entire time Sarah was there (I do not know how long that was), healed them all.
On to Genesis 21, bring on the juicy bits! Hagar is coming!
The chapter begins with God fulfilling his promise–Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah when Abraham is the ripe old age of 100. Per the covenant, Isaac is circumcised on the eighth day of his life. Recall that Ishmael was born when Abraham is 86, so by the time Isaac comes, he is either 14 or 13-going-on-14. Abraham and Sarah throw a great feast for Isaac when he is weaned–I wonder if Ishmael got a similar feast when he was weaned??–and the problems begin.
This whole situation would have made for great reality television. This entire time, I can only imagine the looks and under-the-breath remarks going back and forth between Hagar and Sarah. During her pregnancy, Hagar developed a sense of entitlement, as she had been able to conceive the baby that Sarah had not been able to. I am sure, like any other mother, Hagar expected great things for her child. Now, here comes Sarah with her son, and HE is the one subject to all the blessings. I am sure that ticked Hagar off.
I would also be willing to bet that Sarah had been looking for any reason to get Hagar out of her house. At the party, Ishmael mocks Isaac, providing Sarah with the ammunition she needed. She tells Abraham “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac”.
WHOA! Once again, I am left to wonder why Sarah chose Hagar, and I do not think Hagar necessarily consented to the plan to bear Abraham a son–I think she just went along with what her mistress told her to do. And now look at the mutual disdain between the two of them. Abraham does not want to do this, because again, he loves his son, but God tells him to do what Sarah wants, because through Isaac, not Ishmael, will the nations become numerous.
Upon my first reading, I felt bad for Hagar. I felt she had been used as a pawn to get a male child, and was now being tossed aside and labeled useless. The son she had been maneuvered into having was not acceptable. Abraham gave Hagar some food and water and sent her to wander around the Beersheba Desert.
Now I realize that God had a plan for her. Obviously, God was a part of her life–I remembered that God told her to go back to Sarah when she ran away during her pregnancy in an earlier chapter. Hagar puts Ishmael under a bush (probably to protect him from the scorching sun–and that right there screams GOD to me, because how many bushes are there in a desert??) and begins to sob, as they have run out of water. God hears Ishmael’s cries… it does not say that God responded to Hagar, the Bible specifically says “God has heard the boy crying”… (Gen. 21:17). God produces a well of water for the two, promising that Ishmael will be made into a great nation. They return to Hagar’s native Egypt, where she finds Ishmael a wife. As promised by God, Ishmael has twelve sons. He appears again when Abraham is buried. Arabs and Muslims typically trace their lineage to Ishmael. This can get kind of hairy, but the Bible says that the Ishmaelites had persistent problems with all of their neighbors. No doubt that some of our Middle Eastern nations have enmity with fellow nations.
Wouldn’t you know it… my pain pill is kicking in. I will probably be unconscious within the next few minutes. More to come tomorrow…
P.S. My tooth did not hurt a bit while I was writing this post.