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Rels Reflection

Life of Abraham

Episode 1: the call of Abraham (Gen 12:1-9) – good ABRAHAM

Episode 2- Abraham’s Fear (Gen 12:10-20) – Bad Abraham

Episode 3: Abraham’s Generosity (Gen 13) – Good Abraham

Gen teaches that it doesn’t matter where you are, what matters is if

God is with you there.

Abraham knew that with God, the desert can bloom

Episode 4: Abraham the Warrior (Gen 14) – good Abraham

Abraham did not use war to get personally rich

Episode 5: God makes a Covenant with Abraham (Gen 15) – Good Abraham

Grace and mercy

Grace = not getting punished when you deserve it

Mercy = help when you don’t deserve it

Gen 15 is the covenant that Jesus came to fulfil

Episode 6: Abraham and Sarah disobey God – bad Abraham

Ishmael

Muslims

Uyghurs

Episode 7: God Gives the sign of circumcision to Abraham

Every male belonging to Abraham must be circumcised on the 8th day

Episode 8: Abraham the priest (Gen 18-19) – Good Abraham

Episode 9: Abraham and Sarah get a son – Isaac (Gen 21)

Episode 10: God tests Abraham (Gen 22) – good Abraham

Gen 12 : Lek leka – up and go….

Gen 22: lek leka –

Rels Reflection

I2 RELS 101 March 15, 2022

The final plague = the death of the Egyptian firstborn (Exod 11)

The Angel of Death is going to travel throughout Egypt and kill all the male firstborn

How will the angel know not to go into an Israelite house?

By the ritual of the Passover that God will give Moses

Passover ritual:

1. Get a lamb for each house (keep lamb with family)

2. Sacrifice the lamb on the 14th day

3. Take some of the blood and put it on the doorpost of the house

4. Roast the lamb and eat it with bitter herbs

5. Eat it in a hurry with your travelling clothes on

6. Eat it with unleavened bread

Yeast (symbol = you were in a hurry…couldn’t wait for the bread to rise)

Matzah; Pesach;

Israel leaves Egypt and travels east to the Promised Land

Problem: they meet a sea in front of them

Crossing of the Red Sea

The Giving of the Law

The Ten Commandments

Moses leads the people of Israel to Mount Sinai, where God will enter into covenant with them

We now come to the third great Covenant in the OT

The covenant of the Law

God is going to give Israel his law

Before he does, he gives

Israel their new identity

Exod 19-20

· Israel’s new identity

· Exod 19:5-6

1. A treasured nation

2. A royal priesthood (this states Israel’s vocation)

3. A holy nation

Priest = bridge builder; who is Israel supposed to connect together? God with the nations

Holy = to be separated from the ordinary to be put to extraordinary use

The Law The 10 Comms.

1. No other gods; only “I AM”

2. No statues (idols) of God

Why? God cannot be manipulated by a statue

Those who worship idols become like the idol (you are what you worship)

3. Do not use God’s name to do evil (this is the only sin that God says he will never forgive)

To be continued next week.

Rels Reflection

2

I have learned some rewarding and valuable lessons in the past few classes. Learning these lessons has provided me with a more holistic perspective and different perspectives on the Bible and exploring myself. The Bible also offers different types of worldviews for humans.

There are three lessons that have made a deep impression, which are the most valuable lessons to me. Lecture 1 of understanding the Bible and the importance of world views. This lecture is valuable because I did not know anything about the Bible before, but now I know that the Christian Bible consists of 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books together. The stories of the Bible also transmit a worldview for humans. A worldview can be understood as a comprehensive view of life in which we think, understand, and judge that shapes the way we approach life, meaning, and decision-making. Stories, symbols, and events are the ingredients that make up a worldview.

Knowing the Bible not only changed my way of life and way of thinking but also had a great impact on my character. In the Bible, a lot of stories are centered around God. The Bible helps me to a better understanding of God’s will and power. I have become righteous, merciful, loving, kind and holy. I have also become easier to forgive others. I have been struggling in the painful past because of my friend. I am unable to let the grief go. But now, I realize that If I have been immersed in the pain from the past, I will find it difficult to forgive others. Because the damage and the feeling will constantly come out to me and will always affect me emotionally. Therefore, by forgiving others and letting them go, I am also saving myself from sticking to the past and enabling myself to look forward. Moreover, the Bible will also serve as a compass to guide me. Adhering to the fear of God, deep down in my heart, I will restrain bad desires and evil thoughts, to live according to the moral laws established by God.

The second lesson I found valuable is in lecture 3, the book of Genesis. Genesis means the beginning of knowledge of who we are, who is God, and our purpose in the creation. The most impacted part to me is the story of the fall in the Bible. I understand biblical sin is deception, this is one of the big lessons in the Bible. Biblical sin is deception to violate God reveals humans’ eagerness and greediness for power. More specifically, sin does not represent unethical conduct, it is more of an unfaithful expression to God. I comprehend that God will notice the sin and punish any type of deception, which can be hurtful conduct to others. As a Christian, I will follow the path that God had assigned, It is also necessary to constrain my thoughts, speech, and actions and not casually violate God’s will. In addition, as followers of God, must behave properly and not get affected by the purposes that do not align with God. People whose habit is deceptive will be punished by God because it breaks the meaning God gives to us. For this reason, God hopes Christians should not deceive nor be deceived. Behaving with good qualities in everything is a good way to be a minister of Jesus. Instead, when I am tempted to deviate from the path, that is the beginning of the fall. In the future, because I am aware of deception can be hurtful conduct to others. Christians who listen to others for their own greed would sin and lose the ability to judge. With this in mind, I should follow the values God set instead of breaching their meanings in this society. God provides a remedy for the sin to prevent and hopefully change to avoid the sin. Therefore, sin is the antithesis of morality, it is vital to have the ability to think when faced with choices.

Another thing I learned a lot from this course is from Abraham’s stories in Genesis. There is a variety of lessons that I have learned that would benefit me significantly in the future. The first valuable lesson is that it is crucial to have a belief that can help you when you are losing the path to go on. Abraham’s belief in the Lord has always guided him or motivated him to act on certain things or enable him to successfully complete his actions. He believes that if Lord wants him to do so, he will believe in it and execute them without no hesitation. Some examples can be when the Lord makes a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17 which the Lord would give Abraham a child of his own if Abraham followed. The Lord let Abraham to circumcise every male people including those who were bought from outside. Abraham no doubt followed the covenant with the Lord and get what he wants later in the stories. The second valuable lesson I learned the most is that there are no things that are always impossible. When having a belief that guides you on the correct road, everything can become possible. It is often that the thoughts of the impossible can limit the potential to do better. Therefore, always be ready for the impossibility because there can be possible someday. For example, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, have always wanted their own children which have challenged them for a long period. However, even when they were in old age, Sarah still cannot get pregnant. This is until one day when the Lord promises to let Sarah be pregnant in Genesis 17 which is surprising since she is too old to possibly be pregnant. But this is because of Abraham’s trust and respect for the Lord that makes this possible.

These two valuable lessons are important to me because I can have a rethink many things. I used to have no beliefs that give me a value to guide me when making any decisions or I would often think that what I was doing is impossible to complete. After learning the lessons, I find out that I would need to have my own beliefs which are also to trust God because God would always give out the direction or guidelines when I am lost which often happens. Moreover, whenever I encounter things that are impossible to me, I would think of God which would give me motivation and confidence to challenge it to make it possible.

The lessons I have learned from this course have influenced me enormously in my thoughts and characteristics. I become more willing to face the challenges that I encounter during these months. I am more willing to solve the problem instead of skipping it to the next one. I become resilient in everything in my life. On the other hand, I become more ambitious to do more things because I am now having my own belief that gives me the strength to challenge more things. If I am doing things that are uncomfortable to me, I would tell myself that God would always be on my side to give me guidance. Also, I become more positive about everything in my life. With my beliefs, I trust in God’s guidance that everything can be possible if I just do what God wants me to do. 

These will influence my future life from different perspectives. As a leader, I can have more confidence to lead others because I have a belief that gives me comfort and support. When deciding as a leader, I can make better choices because I would have a value that I followed which the value is ethical and good for everyone. This can reduce my probability to harm others by my decisions as I did before. In the past, I would often surrender to challenges because I feel like I lack ability to conquer it. However, my beliefs teach me to face it and that God will always be my back. All I need to do is to face it, experience it, and learn from it. The worst case is that I fail, but every success comes from failure. Therefore, with this kind of mindset now, I can try to do and experience more things that I have never done before. Even when it is difficult, I would still do it and never give up. 

In conclusion, I have learned three main topics in this class throughout the whole semester. It would benefit me not only in short term but throughout my whole life and career. By learning to forgive others, having my own beliefs, and trusting God would improve me in many areas and I am grateful to have taken this course at this stage of my life.

Rels Reflection

RELS 101 I2 Mar 22


https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9PKb/lessons/cnZNKv

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Password: Rels101TWU

10 Commandments

1. Worship only God of Israel

· What is a god?

· Ans. A god is anything that gives you security and significance

· All other gods will fail

· You become what you worship

2. Don’t make an image of God

3. Don’t use God’s name to do evil

4. Rest on the seventh day

· To show that God is not like the king of Egypt who made then slaves

· To test their faith

5. Honor your father and mother

· It is given to adult children

· Both mother and father are equal to receive honor

· Honor? = kabod =heavy

To honor = to treat as heavy

Why? Because the most difficult human relationship is the one between children and parents (especially fathers)

· Honor does not mean listening and obeying everything they tell us

6. Do not murder

Murder = intentionally killing an innocent person; does not mean accidental killing

· Abortion

· Fetus

· Clump of cells

· The more a thing changes the more it becomes what it is meant to be

· Do not = state the negative but imply the positive

· 7. Do not sleep with someone else’s spouse

· the health of a society depends on the health of the family/home

·

· If you want to change the world change the nation; if you want to change the nation change the home; if you want to change the home change the person

· Gay marriage

· Home = father mother children

Feminism = hates the home

7. do not f = do not take something without working for it. Work and earn it

9. do not lie in court

10. do not covet (strongly desire) = watch your thoughts.

The logic of the structure of the 10 comms.

What commands are specifically about the relationship of humans and God? Comms 1-3

Comms 1-3 humans relating to God

Comm 4 = both for God and for humans

Comms 5-10 humans relating to other humans

What is the point of the structure?

Unless you get right it with God, you cannot get it right with humans.

You have to first have a right relationship with God to have a right relationship with others

Next lecture:

Israel taking the land

Israel getting the leader

Rels Reflection

Israel becomes a Monarchy

1 and 2 Samuel

Monarchy = kingdom

1000 BC is when Israel becomes a monarchy

From the time of Joshua to the Monarchy Israel was led by Judges (300 yrs)

Last judge is Samuel

What are good things about a monarchy?

1. One leader who unites the people

2. You never have to worry about not having a leader

Some bad things about a single leader:

1. If king is bad, no way to get rid of him

2. Very expensive

Why did Israel want a king?

Because they were being attacked by the Philistines

Palestine

What was wrong with their request for a king?

They wanted a king “like all the other nation”

Long ago Moses wrote down the job description for Israel’s kings

Deut 17

Rules for the king:

1. King must be an Israelite not a foreigner
– king must have same values and worldview as Israel

2. Not too many horses?
horses = army/military power. King must not have too big an army. Why? Expensive; king can use the army to force his people to obey him; king will depend on army for victory not God.

3. King not to marry too many wives. Why? Wives = political alliances. Why not too much political alliances? Bec. The alliances become the way the foreign nations can influence you with their worldview.

4. Do not use kingship to get rich.

5. King must copy the law for himself and read it everyday. Why?

a. So he will know the law;

b. So that he understands he too is under the law like everyone else (constitutional monarchy – not an absolute monarchy);

c. King remains humble under God

1 Sam 9 – Saul (1st king of Israel)

Who is Saul? Comes from great family; very physically impressive;

Given a mission to find the donkeys. First words of Saul? “lets go back” (gives up the mission)

How did people pick a king?

1. Election = God chooses the leader

2. Demonstration = proving you can do the job – usually by fighting and winning war

3. Coronation = people crowning you king and celebrating

Saul is elected, but he fails the first demonstration of fighting the Philistine garrison at Gibeah.

Saul later demonstrates himself against the Ammonites (a small enemy, not the major enemy)

Then Saul is coronated by the people and made king.

Saul immediately fails as king. He becomes a tyrant.

Saul is a total failure as king.

God has to elect another king

1 Sam 16

Looking at the heart = heart = character

Choice doesn’t make character; character should determine choice

Last son of Jesse = David

Goliath the Philistine Champion:

Physical description = giant, full armor and weapons

Goliath’s words: they too are powerful

How do Saul and David view the challenge of Goliath?

This is David’s demonstration = killing Goliath.

David is not coronated for 15 more years.

David needed the 15 years to develop his character. Character is best formed in suffering.

God makes a covenant with David – fourth covenant of the OT.

Promise = God promises hat David’s house will rule God’s kingdom forever.

Jesus the ruler of God’s kingdom today is the son of David.

Rels Reflection

Israel takes the Land – the Book of Joshua

I. Who is Joshua

Son Nun, he was the follower of Moses

1. The meaning of his name

= “God saves” = Jesus

2. His character as a leader

i. His preparation – mentoring (Prov 13:20)

ii. His mission – to lead Israel across the Jordan river and into the promised land (land of Canaan) – difficult to keep the main mission the main mission

Characteristics of a leader: A good leader is __________

Will sacrifice themselves for others

Two types of leadership attitudes:

· The people exist to serve me

· I exist to serve the people

· The people must be willing to die for me to live

· I am willing to die so the people can live

iii. His success

II. The Mission: To take the land of the Canaanites by destroying them (Deut 7:1-5; Deut 20:16-18)

1. Is it ethical to take other peoples’ land?

i. questioning God’s character: is God commanding ________________? Is God a _________________? Is God commanding ____________ _____________?

2. Some points to consider about the command:

i. All the earth ___________________ (Gen 1:9)

ii. God allows nations to live in the land based on “usurfruct”= the right to live in the land as long as you respect the laws

3. How have the Canaanites behaved in the land God gave them?

i. Gen 15:15ff – God _______________________________ “sin of the Amorites has not reached full measure” (not yet complete)

This shows that God is very patient; God never disciplines too soon; God gives nations time to repent;

ii. The nature of Canaanite religion

1. Baal the god of _______________

2. sympathetic magic _______________ = you do on earth what you want the gods to do in heaven
rain was the sperm of Baal

Baal’s temple had priests and priestesses

iii. Lev 18 – description of Canaanite lifestyle

iv.

1. _________________________ = Incest; love is love

2. _________________________ =child sacrifice

3. _________________________ = homosexuality

4. _________________________ = Bestiality

v. Conclusion: the command to attack the Canaanites and take their land is for:_________________________________ Judgment against the Canaanites for their sinful behaviors
God is not a racist; he doesn’t hate Canaanites just because they are Canaanites;

Joshua and the Israelite army are God’s weapon to discipline the Canaanites

God is patient, but not forever.

vi.

4. Evidence that God does not hate the Canaanites

i. warning to Israel

ii. the treatment of Rahab in Josh 2 and 6; and Matt 1

Jericho =

Who is Rahab: woman, Canaanite and a prostitute

Joshua fought 3 mighty battles and took Canaan.

He then divided the land into 12 parts and gave each tribe one part.

· 930 BC Israel broke into two nations, called Israel (north) and Judah (south)

· In 722 BC Assyria wiped out Israel

· 586 BC Babylon came and wiped out Judah and took most of the people into exile

· Go to SETL and fill in the course evaluation

·

Rels Reflection

  

Final. Take home. Each student shall write a 4 pages in which they critically interact with the following questions: 

1. What were the three most valuable lessons you learned in the class?

2. Why were they the most valuable?

3. How have they affected your character? 

4. How will they influence your future life? 

  

The will be written according to the following criteria: 

– Full title page

– Times New Roman 12 font

– Double spaced

– This is a personal reflection P and so no outside sources are necessary. However, 

if you chose to use outside sources, they must be referenced properly in the notes 

and in a bibliography