Monday, August 17, 2009

Gen 8:1-9:17

Today very briefly we will discuss the lesson. We are told that God remembered Noah. This is a Jewish expression. It doesn't mean that God forgot that Noah was floating on the flood waters. It means it was time to do something, so the waters begin receding. Noah sends out a raven, which does not come back, presumably feeding on carrion. He sends out a dove twice. The second time the dove comes back with an olive branch, which shows that plant life is returning to the earth.

God makes a promise, and to confirm it send the rainbow, so that he and we will remember his promise. That promise is that as long as the earth exists, God will never wipe out everything with a flood. We need to take care of what is promised. God does not promise that floods will cease. H merely declares that the entire earth will not be destroyed by flood as long as it exists. At some point, (I think maybe within the lifetime of my children), the earth and heavens will be completely destroyed and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. All mankind will face the Lord Jesus, those who accepted him to eternal bliss and those who did not to eternal judgment. So we need to get ready.

Any time I see a rainbow, I think of the promises of God. God tells Noah and his sons to multiply, but the world is forever changed. Now in addition to fruits nuts and vegetables, man is now permitted to eat meat, although, not with the blood in it, for blood is the life.(we might note that this injunction is one of the very few dietary restrictions placed on Christians as well) This is a huge change, but mankind is still to have dominion over the earth we are still to command the animals. Another rule is given to all man kind. Man is not to be killed because we are made in the image of God. The tanach places real value on man's life. We have a special relationship with God as co creators.

May God bless,

Mar Michael Abportus

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


III Maccabees 2: 1-20

Technically speaking, this book is not part of the Tanach because the Jews do not recognise this book of the Bible, which is recognised by the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox. For those of of you who are not familiar with I and II Maccabees, the four books relate to the event relating to the history of the Jewish people just after the time of Alexander the Great, when Antiochus Epiphanes attempted to force the Jewish people to adopt the pagan Greek religion. Judas Maccabees and his sons lead the rebellion.

Anyway, leading up to this chapter, Ptolemy wants to enter the Holy of Holies, and verse 1-20 are the high priest's prayer. Verses 1-13 describe what God has done for the people. Verses 14-15 relate to God's promises. Verses 16-20 are a confession of sin.

This prayer is very much a model prayer for us. When we begin our prayers, we should begin with what God has done for us, both the miracles in the Bible, our salvation, and the things he has done for us individually. We also need to remember what God has promised us. In addition, we need to be very consious of our sins, and to bear in mind that many of our problems are of our own making because of our sinful nature.

To see this wonderful prayer go to: