A Love Story – Part 2

Perhaps just a brief review of Abba’s Love for humans would be a good thing to do before I continue to tell more of his story. The following comes from the end of Part 1 which follows this post.
 
“Abba’s way of justice is to forgive as often as it takes to get humans to catch on to his Spirit of Love. And his way of justice is to accept humans as they are, that is, as they had chosen to become. Most important of all, he does his way without any threat of punishment. His way does not depend upon fear to bring on a change of behavior. Fear and the threat of punishment are used by humans to force a change of behavior, but not by Abba! We will be learning much more of Abba’s way in his story of Love within humanity…..he would call his way a “new thing” when compared to the (in)justice of humans.”

Humanity’s love for each other was not perfect. In fact, with a few exceptions, they were very unloving to each other as time went on. But they were very intelligent and some learned to do amazing things. One time, as the story is told, Love simply confused their communications because they were so far off in their search for him that they were no longer growing in their consciousness of his love within them and within others. They were only building up their own pride.

Later, another story is told that his Spirit of Love almost gave up on humans EVER learning about his love for them. That is when he simply removed them from his “Head Start Program” here because they were nothing but an unloving influence, so I imagine that he took them straight into his Reality to be surprised by and learn of his Love first-hand and without interruptions. I can also imagine that he still does that with some humans who just do not seem to be able to catch his loving Spirit. This is another view of his justice. He will not leave them or forsake them in spite of their behavior. After all, they have and are a unique part of his image even if they have not discovered it yet.

That story goes on to tell of saving an entire family and many creatures from what must have been a disaster flood that really impressed them for many years to come. Many ancient writers recorded their versions of the story after they heard of it. Since the story is found in several ancient mythologies, perhaps something like it DID happen. But usually such accounts were embellished many times over in the telling of them and before they were finally recorded. The most important thing about the story was that Love saved a loving human family from a great disaster, and it was this saving of them that was really the surprise. Their families told of this saving act for many generations to come.

A more credible story about Love began to unfold in the story of a man called Abraham and his wife Sarah. Abraham must have been a dreamer of big things that were going to happen in their lives. He had huge goals for himself and Sarah. (Love has a way of planting those big ideas in our minds.) It took them a while to really believe the possibilities, but when they finally did, great things happened to them.

First, there was the idea of a new home in a new country and then there was the idea of having a large family of their own. This new home was to remind them of Love’s Reality here and now which may not have seemed like much at the beginning, but which became a symbol of a much greater Reality far beyond their comprehension. They moved from a very beautiful home surrounded with huge rivers, palms, buildings, and fascinating ancient traditions of the East to a home where they had to “rent” from the locals. By comparison, it DID have a forest of cedar and oak trees in the hills to the northeast, but otherwise it was mostly wilderness and had nothing but a small “creek” running through it. I can imagine that Sarah was not very excited about their new home and the tents they had to live in. But that would change soon enough.

I wonder if they ever went to the great and beautiful sea which was not very far to the west. I am quite sure it would have given Abraham even more ideas about trading with people up and down the coast. No doubt he was already profiting from trading with many who passed along the great trade route they now lived on between Egypt and Mesopotamia. I can imagine that the consciousness of Abraham conceived of this plan long before they ever left their home in the East between the mighty rivers. (I happen to think that good ideas come from the Spirit of Love that lives within us.) Besides, their move got them away from becoming more influenced by the Eastern traditions and myths. The idea to move was a good thing for that reason alone.

Abraham was not always the perfect husband. Soon after their arrival, they made a trip to Egypt, maybe to arrange a trade deal with the government.  On the way down, he told Sarah to tell them that she was his sister because she was beautiful and he was afraid that they might kill him and take her. Such was the unloving way of Egyptian government officials. Sure enough. They did take her and she was added to the king’s harem. But Abba was looking out for her. Just about that time two things happened. Some of the king’s men happened to see Abraham and Sarah necking and hugging and they went to tell the king what they had seen. It was obvious that she was NOT his sister! And the Egyptians were very superstitious. At the same time there was a terrible contagious disease going around. The king’s priests and health officers figured that the disease was happening because the king had put Abraham’s wife Sarah into his harem. The king always valued the advice of the priests. The result was that the king quickly ordered that Sarah should be taken back to Abraham, plus he also ordered to give them herds of livestock and silver and gold with the hope that he would be forgiven for his mistake. He thought that the Egyptian gods would then put a stop to the disease. Interesting story. Probably even true for the most part. The  king reacted to his religion that promised punishment and made his payment. But it was good for Abraham and Sarah!  And I’ll bet that Abraham learned a lesson about unloving behavior and the great Love that forgave it and still protected and blessed him and his wife.

Abraham’s herds and flocks continued to grow. It became obvious that there was not enough room left for all his property and the property of his nephew Lot. Abraham discussed the situation with his nephew and they decided to part company. Abraham loved him and gave him first choice. Lot chose to move his family and property to the nice valley close to the small river and Abraham stayed in the hilly wilderness. Abraham’s flocks and herds became so large that he had to hire many locals to help him with their care and feeding. He was very friendly to them and treated them fairly. They considered him to be an honest and loving man who always treated them with generosity. His loving Spirit had made an impression on them.

One time a band of robbers from the north attacked some of his friends in the valley, and also kidnapped his nephew and their wives and children. They even stole their livestock. Abraham refused to put up with this behavior because it was not right in his mind, so he gathered together a large group of his own men to go after the robbers. He caught up with them in the middle of the night and because of the size of his group and their bravery, the thieves gave up without a fight and returned the stolen goods and kidnapped women and children. The thieves probably felt lucky to escape with their lives and learned a valuable lesson because they never troubled Abraham’s friends again. (Only idiots mess with someone way out of their league.) I think that Abraham gave them something to think about instead of harming them, and it changed their behavior. His way was Love’s way which showed the strength of a still small voice even if it came from someone mighty in word and in deed. Phew! What a lesson!

Abraham and Sarah’s next challenge was that they still had no children, and even worse, Sarah was getting too old to be able to have a child. But Abraham never gave up on his dream of having a large family. One night, as he was looking up at the sky filled with stars, he got the idea that his family would probably be at least THAT many and probably more. In fact they would fill this land that he was now renting and many lands beyond. (This was Abba’s dream too. Abba had placed these ideas into Abraham’s mind and Abba knew that Abraham’s loving Spirit would finally catch on in the hearts and minds of many humans, even in distant lands, and they would become Abba’s loving family in time.)

This time, Sarah made an unloving decision and asked Abraham to take her maid and try to have a child by her. Her hope was that the child could be counted as her child. Unfortunately, Abraham thought the idea was a good one and did as Sarah suggested because it was not unusual for men to have more than one wife in those days. The maid’s name was Hagar and her child’s name was Ishmael. One unloving idea led to others. Hagar became quite smug toward Sarah and Sarah became very jealous of Hagar and her son. Then Abraham gave Sarah permission to do what she wanted with Hagar, so Sarah chased them out into the wilderness with a stick. Hagar was extremely disappointed and was deeply sorry for her behavior and also felt that the injustice done to her and Ishmael was very unbecoming of Abraham and Sarah who usually had such a good reputation for their loving ways. That night, Abba sent her a dream as well and, of course, it was a loving dream. She dreamed of forgiving them both and returning to them to stay on as Sarah’s maid, and she dreamed that one day HER son would become someone well known too. – She must have overheard Abraham telling Sarah about his dream for their family. Apparently Abraham and Sarah were astonished enough by Hagar’s forgiveness that they also forgave and accepted her back as Sarah’s maid. Love was the winner all around in the story so far!

Unfortunately, Ishmael must have grown resentful of his treatment as the bastard son in the family of Abraham, because he became a wild adolescent who was always getting into trouble with everyone, especially the neighbors. In the meantime, Abraham worried about his nephew Lot who had chosen to live among some very unloving people down in the valley. Abraham kept hoping that Abba’s love would spare Lot from harm and their influence. When some travelers came by on their way to the town, and while they were enjoying Abraham’s hospitality, Abraham spoke of his concerns for his nephew and told the travelers that they could depend on room and board from his nephew when they arrived in town.

Sure enough, Lot still remembered to offer hospitality to those in need. Even they wondered how he could live among the unloving people of this town. He considered their observations and advice and decided it would be best to move out of that town. Good thing too, because not long after they left, some of that debris from broken up meteors hit the city and destroyed it in a rain of fire. One ancient story blamed this disaster on an angry sky-god, but we know that there is no such god. I think that it was a natural disaster and that the travelers who had stopped in to see Abraham passed Uncle Abraham’s loving concerns on to Lot. (Sometimes we listen to strangers better than we listen to our own family. Love finds every way possible to pass the right Spirit on to us. I also think that Abba must have seen the natural disaster of the meteor coming their way. Today, astronomers would see one coming in their telescopes and warn people in harm’s way.)

Abraham and Sarah finally did have a son of their own. His name was Isaac. When Isaac was old enough to eat real food on his own, they had a celebration for him. That is when Ishmael made the mistake of making fun of little Isaac and Sarah heard it. Sarah asked Abraham to send Hagar and her son Ishmael away because of his bad attitude and influence within the family. It was difficult, but he did it. Later, Hagar found an Egyptian wife for Ishmael and Abba blessed his desert family because of Abraham who had loved him in spite of his unloving behavior.

This is how the family of Abraham began to grow and fill the land, just like it happened in his dream: Sarah passed into Abba’s Reality and Abraham was still renting from the locals.  He had to buy a family cemetery plot from them. Abraham understood that his dream plans may include the local real estate one day, but it merely symbolized Abba’s Reality which was beyond his imagination. He also explained his dream to Isaac so he would understand it as well. And so it became the family dream.

Before Abraham passed on he was careful to send a trusted servant to find a wife for Isaac among his relatives in the land between the huge rivers. His hope was that there were some who had not become followers of the ancient Eastern traditions. It was customary for parents to do things like this. The servant returned with a beautiful young woman named Rebekah. Isaac’s excitement and love for her was amazing from the very first time he saw her. At first she had difficulty giving him children, but the dream of Abraham was strong in Isaac and Abba made sure that she would finally gave him twin sons, Esau and Jacob. We will save their interesting story for part 3 of this love story.

Perhaps a little preview will bring you back. Many generations later, after a long stay in Egypt where Jacob’s side of the family would grow and become slaves to the Egyptians,  they were remembered and saved from tyranny by Abba. That is an impressive story in itself. They would return and homestead this same land. By then it had been mostly taken over from the locals by the great grandchildren of Esau, Ishmael, other children of Abraham with his second wife, Keturah, plus others who had come from the North and the East and decided to remain at this center of the great trade route. Most of these had married and accepted the unloving religious ways of the immigrants by then. All had their own sky-gods that they worshipped in strange and mysterious ways. This was the one influence that concerned Abba the most.

(Unfortunately, after Jacob’s family, better known as Israelites by then, had claimed and fought for most of the land, they tended to misinterpret Abraham’s family dream, and wondered less about Abba’s Reality. The land became a very important issue for them from that time on because they called it their “promised” land which they had a right to own because, as they said, it was given to them by their G-d. That claim led to countless unloving wars.)

June 6, 2011 ~ Henry Hasse

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Published in: on June 6, 2011 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

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