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#spiritualintelligence

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Unlike Amos, Hosea’s take on the spiritual state of Israel and Judah is slightly different. For Hosea, the faith had to modernise. As such, contextualisation of imagery and language were his tools of choice in this final attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people back to Yahweh.
At this crucial point in the history of his people, how far can he adapt contextualisation without loosing the essence of his faith? 
So, like most thinkers and theologians worth their salt today, this dear friends was Hosea’s dilemma. Hosea saw a thin line between obscurity and syncretism in his quest for a safe space for his reform agenda. 

Join us as we explore the poetry, history, culture, spirituality landscape, theology, philosophy, teaching, vision and worldview of Hosea; and its application and relevance in our time.
In the words of the prophet: 

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. – Hosea 4:6

3pm, The English Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Road, Bexley DA6 7DA

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#spiritualintelligence

Spiritual Intelligence: Rambling Rose

But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?”

Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”

Good morning friends. At this point in history, the children of Israel were now in exile after years of rebellion against God. After years of flirting, coveting, lusting, and serving the gods of their neighbours. In my humble opinion, no other story better captures this situation than that of Gomer. She was prophet Hosea’s lustful and adulterous wife, who he was instructed by God to go and search for and remarry, after all her lovers had forsaken her. Reminiscent to the lyrics of the song Rambling Rose by Nat King Cole, particularly the second verse:

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin’ days are gone
Who will love you with a love true
When your ramblin’ days are GONE

Like Hosea, God’s love for His people is unfeigned, His words will not return to Him void. His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; based on His love towards all humanity and their faithfulness, remained unbroken!

Nehemiah was deeply moved when he heard about the state of Judah; the wall, the gates, and the welfare of those that remained in the once exalted nation. He took up a fast and started praying for God’s mercy upon the nation. God responded to his act of faith, granted him favour with the king, and he took up the commission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

With this as a backdrop, let’s go back to our opening verses. When he arrived at Jerusalem, he experienced major hostility and psychological warfare from Sambalat, Tobiah and their posse of friends; but amidst these challenges he stayed focused and committed to his mission.

He maintained his faith in God, motivated the builders, and he stuck to plans without wavering. He led by example, he was selfless; depriving himself the pleasures and privileges of his office as governor of the province. His work inspired a major spiritual awakening among the people; which led to the rebuilding of the temple, and a major social reform and repatriation programme.

In the words of the psalmist:

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Nehemiah was an asset to the kingdom, a vessel of honour, who loved “rambling rose” with a love true. His work laid precedence for the establishment of Israel as an independent state within the Middle East by the United Nations in May 1948.

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~ Sabali

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Much love,
Clem

Categories
Essays

Essay: Strange Love

One has my name (the other has my heart), Nat King Cole

This song was originally released by Eddie Dean, and co-written by Eddie Dean, Hal Blair and Lorene Donnelly. It was later recorded by Jimmy Wakely, Jerry Lee Lewis, Nat King Cole, Willie Nelson and a host of other artists.

It is a track on one of Dad’s Nat King Cole albums — entitled’s Rambling Rose. I can still remember the sky blue sleeve and a picture of the young artist with a jolly smile on his face! I never got to hear the original version until much later, as a result Nat King Cole’s version will always have a special place in my heart. As the title goes, so does the tale. A man in dilemma between two women; one he was married to (has my name), the other he was in love with (has my heart).

What correlation has this got with matters of the spirit you might be wondering — well some theologians have described the bible as an epic love story. The story of a creator in love with His most precious creation — humankind. A love that leads to incarnation, birth and ultimately death for our sins. It can be encapsulated in these words from John’s gospel;

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

In the Old Testament the Prophet Hosea was commanded to go and search for his long lost wife who had given herself to prostitution. Once she is found, re-new his vows towards her and forgive her of all the hurts, pain and shame she caused him. A symbolic gesture typifying God’s undying love towards us, even though we turn our backs on Him in pursuit of other gods — self, money, sex and power.

Perhaps the most inspiring account can be found in the book of Ruth… In the days of the Judges there was famine in Judah. A man named Elimelech, his wife (Naomi) and their two sons; Mahlon and Chillion decided to relocate to Moab in the hope of a better life. They settled into life in Moab, their sons got married; Mahlon to Ruth and Chillion to Orpah. Sadly Elimelech dies, to compound matters both sons also died, leaving Noami with her daughter-in-laws.

Amidst this all Naomi gets wind that the famine was over in Judah, so she decided to head back home in the hope that she might be able to cope better with her misery. To her surprise, Ruth and Orpah decided to go back with her. On getting to the major road leading to Judah, she said to them;

Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the LORD show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.

Both women wept aloud clinging unto Naomi. But after much persuasion, Orpah decided to return, she kissed her mother-in-law and said her goodbye with a very heavy heart. With Orpah gone, Naomi continued diplomatic talks with Ruth, but the lady was not for turning. Her eyes were fixed on Judah, her spirit would only be separated from Naomi’s in death — wow! In defiance, Ruth went on to make this profound statement;

Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.

On that note Naomi rested her case, Ruth had won, she was coming to Judah — and the rest is history. In Judah she got back far more than she bargained for – she was blessed beyond measure!

Every now and then human radicals emerge demonstrating strange manifestationsOrdinary people doing Extraordinary feats. You see friends, Orpah had the lord’s name, but Ruth — His heart. Ruth went far beyond the call of duty! She made a vow like Orpah, however she chose to esteem hers — even after her husband’s death. In the words of her great grand son;

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you oh Lord

Little wonder how this woman ended up in the chronicles of time and the lineage of Jesus Christ.

~ Sabali