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ACAD – Rejected: Zechariah 10

Restoration of Judah and Israel

Ask rain from the Lord
    in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
    who gives showers of rain to you,[a]
    the vegetation in the field to everyone.
For the teraphim[b] utter nonsense,
    and the diviners see lies;
the dreamers tell false dreams,
    and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
    they suffer for lack of a shepherd.

My anger is hot against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the leaders;[c]
for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
    and will make them like his proud war-horse.
Out of them shall come the cornerstone,
    out of them the tent peg,
out of them the battle bow,
    out of them every commander.
Together they shall be like warriors in battle,
    trampling the foe in the mud of the streets;
they shall fight, for the Lord is with them,
    and they shall put to shame the riders on horses.

I will strengthen the house of Judah,
    and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
    and they shall be as though I had not rejected them;
    for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
Then the people of Ephraim shall become like warriors,
    and their hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and rejoice,
    their hearts shall exult in the Lord.

I will signal for them and gather them in,
    for I have redeemed them,
    and they shall be as numerous as they were before.
Though I scattered them among the nations,
    yet in far countries they shall remember me,
    and they shall rear their children and return.
I will bring them home from the land of Egypt,
    and gather them from Assyria;
I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
    until there is no room for them.
They[d] shall pass through the sea of distress,
    and the waves of the sea shall be struck down,
    and all the depths of the Nile dried up.
The pride of Assyria shall be laid low,
    and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
I will make them strong in the Lord,
    and they shall walk in his name,
says the Lord.


Footnotes:

  1. a. Zechariah 10:1 Heb them
  2. b. Zechariah 10:2 Or household gods
  3. c. Zechariah 10:3 Or male goats
  4. d. Zechariah 10:11 Gk: Heb He


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Star Trek’s Final Frontier

A Pop Culture vs. The Bible post by LaShawnda Jones

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  ~ Psalm 111:10

 

During a rest period over the holidays, I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Filmed in 1978, it looked and sounded like many of the variations of Star Trek episodes I’ve watched over the years. I’m almost certain I’ve seen this movie at least once before over the years, however it felt I like a first viewing. Halfway through the movie, one of the bridge officers is abducted by a beam of light that penetrated the hull of the starship. The officer’s name is Ilia (the Slavic form of the Hebrew Eliyahu/Elijah meaning, “my God is Lord”).

Some time later Ilia reappears on the ship as an exact replica of herself. Her features and physical body are the same and she can access memories from her former body, however as a recreated being her function and purpose had changed.

Captain Kirk, curious about this anomaly on his ship, confronts Ilia with his officers and questions her. Their conversation goes something like this:

Kirk: Who is…’V’ger’…?
Ilia: V’ger is that which programmed me.
Kirk: Is V’ger the name of the Captain of the alien vessel?
McCoy: Jim, this is mechanism. (He’s doing a bio scan of Ilia as he speaks.)
Spock: A probe, Captain (confirming McCoy’s finding). No doubt a sensor-transceiver combination, recording everything we say and do.
Kirk: Where is Lieutenant Ilia?
Ilia: That unit no longer functions. I have been given its form to more readily communicate with the carbon-based units infesting Enterprise.
Security Guard: “Carbon-based units”…?
McCoy: Humans, Ensign Prarez – us.
Kirk: Why does V’ger travel to the third planet of the solar system directly ahead?
Ilia: To find the Creator.
Kirk: Find the Creator? Whose…!? What does V’ger want of the ‘Creator’… ?
Ilia: To join with him.
Spock: How?
Ilia: V’ger and the Creator will become One.
Spock: …and Who is the Creator?
Ilia: The Creator is that which created V’ger.
Kirk: Who is V’ger?
Ilia: V’ger is that which seeks the Creator. I am ready to commence my observations.
Spock: Doctor, a thorough examination of this probe might provide some insight into those who manufactured it, and how to deal with them.

I got a kick watching this on a stormy winter Sunday afternoon. It was like an added bonus of a Sunday school lesson!

I had always thought the appeal of Star Trek was the adventure and exploration of the universe as we can only imagine it to be. Paying attention to the words in this movie revealed to me what I have discovered over and over with Star Trek franchise throughout the decades and more recently on my own personal journey with God – the true voyages are internal.  The space adventurers were willing to search far and wide for anything to explain everything they were in that moment of time. Only to come to the realization that the deep space is within our humanoid forms. Exploring who we are is a continuous adventure throughout life. 

An all-consuming search for our Creator leads to an inescapable confrontation with our true selves. Likewise, an all-consuming exploration of ourselves leads us to a face-to-face with our Creator. 

Purpose of a creation            

Decker: Does V’ger object to the presence of the two carbon units?
Ilia: The carbon units are of no consequence; V’ger will determine their purpose.
McCoy: Their purpose is to survive.
Decker: You said V’ger’s purpose was to find and join with the Creator.
Ilia: That is how V’ger will survive.

V’ger was a created entity that was programmed to learn all it could in the universe and return to it’s creator. When the starship Enterprise encountered V’ger, V’ger was in search of it’s Creator. It abducted Lt. Ilia off the Enterprise because it needed a way to interact and communicate with species on the Enterprise – the carbon units aka humans. In short, V’ger was on it’s own vogage of self-exploration.

Spock took it upon himself to go off on his own to explore V’ger and came back somewhat comatose – there were indications of some neurological trauma. Spock attempted to mind-meld with V’ger and the experience literally blew his mind. Imagine! Joining with something that has accumulated incalucable knowledge. In the below exchange, Spock attempts to explain the experience.  

Spock: I should have known…
Kirk: Were you right? About V’ger?
Spock: A life-form of it’s own. A conscious, living entity…. I saw V’ger’s planet: a planet populated by living machines. Unbelievable technology. V’ger has knowledge that spans this universe. And yet… with all it’s pure logic, V’ger is barren. Cold. No mystery… no beauty… I should have known…
Kirk: Known what, Spock? What? What should you have known?
Spock: Jim… (Spock grabs Kirk’s hand) This simple feeling is beyond V’ger’s comprehension. No meaning… No hope… And, Jim, no answers…! It’s asking questions…
Kirk: What questions?
Spock: “Is this all I am? Is there nothing more?” 

Spock should have known about V’ger’s search and experience because his Vulcan half (an unemotional but very intelligent and logical race of people) was in constant conflict with his human half (a highly emotional and often irrational race of people). It’s rare for Spock to show any emotion (I can’t recall any other scene actually), however, this was a very emotional scene for him (he was on the brink of tears!) – analyzing a machine with characteristics similar to himself, a living being with unfathomable knowledge and merciless logic. We all seek knowledge. We all seek some sort of understanding. V’ger was a created machine that had traveled the known universe and amassed all the knowledge therein. When Spock tried to mind-meld with this machine he overloaded his capacity. More importantly, he was made aware of the true knowledge: everything that V’ger had learned on it’s travels through the universe amounted to nothing real. V’ger had infinite knowledge, but no emotional intelligence – no ability to connect with another being. He couldn’t compute touch, love, compassion, joy or sadness.   

The end of logical knowledge…

Spock: Captain… V’ger must evolve. It’s knowledge has reached the limits of this universe and it must evolve. What it requires of it’s God, Doctor, is the answer to it’s question: “Is there nothing more?”
McCoy: What more is there than the universe, Spock?
Decker: Other dimensions. Higher levels of being.
Spock: The existence of which cannot be proven logically, therefore V’ger is incapable of believing in them.
Kirk: What V’ger needs in order to evolve is a human quality. Our capacity to leap beyond logic.
Decker: And joining with it’s creator might accomplish that.
McCoy: You mean this machine wants to physically join with a human? Is that possible?
Decker: Let’s find out.
Kirk: Decker! Don’t!
Decker: Jim, I want this. As much as you wanted the Enterprise, I want this. 
[Decker is encircled in light and Ilia walks and joins him in a pillar of light. Their joining causes and eruption of light beams that spreads steadily outward, across the universe.] 
Kirk: Spock, did we just see the beginning of a new life-form?
Spock: Yes, Captain. We witnessed a birth. Possibly, a next step in our evolution
Kirk: I think we gave it the ability to create it’s own sense of purpose… out of our own human weaknesses and the drive that compels us to overcome.

All of the Star Trek franchise is an illustration of the struggle and melding of logic and emotion, passion and reason, belief and unbelief. faith and doubt. The series and movies discuss fictitious planets, beings and relationships, but the substance is certainly based on something real. 

True seekers – true voyagers – will always discover the True Source. They will come into contact with God and be awed even by their simple comprehension of all that He is.

Psalm 111

1 Praise the LORD, I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

2 Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. 3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate. 5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

6 He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations. 7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. 8 They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. 9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.