Covenants of Special Favor

…or Promises Not Kept.

At Mount Sinai, Moses allegedly received directly from God the list of Laws under which the Israelites were to forever abide.  But when Moses trudged down the mountain to the Israelite camp lugging two stone tablets of Law he found that in his absence the Israelites had fashioned a golden calf to lavish their attention upon.  In anger Moses hurled the tablets of Law at the discontented Israelites and God’s Laws became rubble.  The Lord apparently had no backup technology or recovery system in those days, so Moses had to trudge back up the mountain again to get a second batch of commandments which spelled out the rules by which the Israelites could make themselves worthy of receiving God’s conditional love.  This second set of stone tablets survived and were then lugged around in an ark for years and even served as their battle standard during their weary 40-year wanderings, for apparently the Lord had neglected to include with the commandments a road map to the Promised Land.

The rest of the Exodus saga pivots upon the alleged covenant that the Lord is said to have established with the Israelites at Sinai.  For some never explained reason Yahweh pledged to make the Israelites his chosen ones, and he then bestowed upon them—out of all the people on the entire planet—special favors.  Yahweh’s promises included providing the chosen ones with a peaceful and affluent homeland.  Oddly, that promised land was already inhabited!  But all that the Israelites had to do to receive the “Promised Land” was to indulge in a bit of genocide to show their worthiness of the gift.    According to the priest written “history,” the Israelites thus received their “inheritance” by cleansing the land with Canaanite blood as Yahweh cheered them on.

Once the Israelites were in possession of the coveted land, the Israelites had every expectation, according to their understanding of the Sinai contract, to live peacefully in their cleansed and enclosed region.  But evidently Moses neglected to note the fine print clauses that apparently attended the Sinai covenant.  The inherited land, according to priest “history,” was not as idyllic as the Israelites had anticipated.  After years of guidance under assorted peculiar “Judges,” Philistine armies routed the Israelite tribal levies in battle and took the Ark of the Covenant as booty.  The priests and “prophets” came to the conclusion that the reason for their problem was because Yahweh had expected, although he never told them so, that they would set up their inherited land as a kingdom.  Sure enough, the “prophet” Samuel avowed that was indeed the wish of Yahweh, and the Lord’s selection to be the first king of Israel, Samuel relayed, was to be Saul. (The name translates from Hebrew as meaning “asked for.”)  Saul proved to have been an apparent spur of the moment decision on the Lord’s part, and it proved to be a not so omniscient choice, for even as Saul continued to reign, God was directing the “prophet” Samuel to select the youngest son of Jesse of the Benjamin tribe, David, to be groomed to replace the king.  The timeframe for David is traditionally placed as c. 1040?-973 BCE.

So how did the Lord show his favor of David?  In a deadly combat situation with a Philistine giant named Goliath!  Priest “history” asserts that the youth David, who was too young to serve in the military, was the only one connected to Saul’s defense forces who was brave enough to meet Goliath in one-on-one combat.  The priest authors carefully noted in this scripted plotline that David shouted to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with javelins, but I come to you in the name of the Lord.”  And then, of course, the Lord made certain that the single small stone in David’s slingshot struck the most vulnerable spot on Goliath’s helmeted skull.  Why the Lord needed an intermediary to bump off the Philistine giant is another divine mystery.  Even more mysterious, the Lord did nothing later to assist all those in dire need who had joined up with David when he became the renegade leader of fugitives and soldiers.  After King Saul’s death—some twenty-three years later—traditionally placed as around 1013 BCE, David was then allegedly anointed king of Israel.

The “word of the Lord” was again relayed to David through a minor “prophet” named Nathan who declared still another covenant promise (1 Kings 7:12-16); that the house, the kingdom and the throne of David “…shall be established for ever.”  The only restrictive clause in this covenant was that if the king did wrong in the Lord’s sight, the king, and not the people would be punished; even so God would not take the kingdom away from David as he had done with Saul (after 23 years).  This sounds like an unconditional promise—the house and the kingdom of David was to continue “for ever.

Genuine history seems not to have followed the Lord’s plan, however, for the kingdom of Israel was conquered and completely destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, never to be resurrected as a monarchy ruled over by some descendant of David.  (By the way, something time-altering did occur in 587 BCE which forced every nation on Earth to begin recalculating its chronology: it was not because David’s kingdom fell to the Babylonians.)  Today, of course, there is the nation of Israel, but it is not under the rule of a descendant of David; it functions loosely as a democracy.  This means that the greatest covenant that the priest authors claim was extended by God to the Israelites was another sacred promise that seems not to have been kept.

That predicament does not seem to register with today’s army of Christian Bible thumpers who cherry pick verses out of scriptural accounts that support their inflated egos.  This continues even in defiance of the many archeological findings that fail to support scriptural assertion of the Moses-David-Solomon stories.  Ignoring the unfulfilled promises in the alleged covenants that God is said to have extended to the Israelites (not to the Jews, Hebrews or gentiles) allows the devotees of “revealed word” the privilege of accepting the present day democratic nation of Israel as the fulfillment of God’s promises.  This, in turn, allows Christians to indulge in spiritual lust over the New Testament book of Revelation in which Christ takes total control over worldly affairs.  Considering that the book of Revelation was written c. 135 CE, right after Roman armies defeated the Jewish rebellion in Palestine, the invented achievement of unchallenged world domination by Christ simply mirrors the empirical aspirations of Rome concerning Jewish fanatics in their 135 CE timeframe.  The book of “Revelation” is not an end of the world scenario.

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6 Responses to “Covenants of Special Favor”

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