You’re Using the Secret, Marge! (Chronicles 2 19-20)

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, has safely returned to Jerusalem only to be blind-sided with a trick question by Jehu: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” (Chr 2 19:2). Hmm. Let me think about that one. “No?” Jehoshaphat – 1. Jehu – 0. Jehu, a sore loser, spends the subsquent two paragraphs chewing Jehoshaphat out and telling him what a bad leader he is (jealous?).

In Chapter 19 of Chronicles 2, Jehoshaphat has to deal with enemy forces trying to invade. The Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites all unite against him. He decides to ready himself by going on a fast that all his people must also do. This is a bad idea, from a sports performance perspective. He gathers all his people together on the eve of the battle and the Spirit of the Lord enters a guy named Jahaziel who tells him, “Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God’s… You will not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf” (Chr 2 19:15-17). Oh – okay. Basically, the Spirit’s advice is this: “Show up deconditioned and woozy from lack of protein and just stand there and let it all happen”.

This sort of reminds me of the Secret, which is like praying in modern garb. As in praying, using the Secret involves wishing for something (if you’re using the Secret are you… secreting?). If you get the thing you wished for then the Secret works; if you don’t then it wasn’t meant to be and the Secret still works. Genius.

Anyway, there isn’t much of a battle at all. Jehoshaphat’s men move toward the invaders and find them all dead so it’s all pretty anti-climatic. It would have been cool if the Spirt of the Lord did something like make all the invaders attack themselves like when your older brother would take your hand and make you hit your own face (“Stop hitting yourself!”). I don’t have any siblings but this is immediately what comes to mind for me when I hear “older/big brother”. ¬†At the end of the day, Jehoshaphat’s men pick over their bodies for valuables. There’s a passage that details all the goodies that they find which leads me to think that the Bible approves of grave robbing in certain contexts.

I'm using the Secret to lose 3lbs.

Published in: on October 3, 2011 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hi, My Name Is… And I’m an Existentialist (Chronicles 16-18)

King David is pleased with himself for bringing the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem and housing in a tent and making offerings and appointing a whole bunch of people to watch it. Division of labour isn’t David’s strong suit since he appoints about a million gatekeepers and he probably needs only one. They probably stand around talking about their relationships most of the time. And he appoints one guy to clash some cymbals together while another guy plays the trumpet in order to create “atmosphere” around the ark.

Kissing ass, however, is David’s strong suit. He sings a long, boring song about how wonderful God is. Nothing is ever said about such songs being prepared beforehand so I imagine that it’s all improvised, kind of like religious scatting. I had to go to church every week until I was sixteen (and unruly); it would have made it so much more entertaining if the priests had to make up the hymns on the spot. I bet there’s some really cool priest out there somewhere named “Father J” who does just that. Maybe he even raps.

It dawns on David that he lives in a nice, fancy house and the ark – a very important symbol of the enduring relationship between God and the Israelites – is in some crummy tent. So David sidles up to God and says things like, “You’ve been too good to me” and “I’m not worthy” and other nonsense. He really doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut – he’s got a good thing going. Nothing really seems to come of this. Maybe it’s simply a lesson in how to be a groveller, which is a baseline expectation of Judaism and Christianity. Various existentialists have pointed out over the centuries how the overriding motif in these religions is “God is everything. You’re nothing. Deal.” I remember reading something from the second year course I took in existentialism that asked something to the effect of, “Why can’t we be our own ‘little gods,’ empowered and in control of our own morals, values, choices, etc.”. The phrase “little gods” really hit home with me but then again, I’m an only child.

If the existentialism doesn't get ya, the syphilis will.


Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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