Man is created in God’s Image and Likeness. So???
As the Bamboos Sway By Rudy D. Liporada
“Putang-ina…” says President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte of God and the Bible.
His cursing of the Almighty and the Holy Book shows his inability to interpret passages in it or shows that he might not have even read it.
Nonetheless, the Bible could really be confusing and that is why there are so many sects claiming to be the bearer of truth. Note that the slave owners of pre-revolution America who considered the black people less than human also read and believed what they read in the bible to be true. They also made the slaves read the Bible so, presumably, the slaves will accept their station in life – that they should be obedient to their masters for the meek shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
Oh! Well. To each his own and those who share thoughts as it appears to them congregate and make up their churches with their pegged beliefs. These thoughts come in eureka moments and are propagated to followers who would then share core beliefs which will constitute their church.
Because of relativity of beliefs, I don’t usually engage when it come to religious precepts. I respect other’s beliefs and I ask that they respect mine. After all we could agree on an Almighty described in the Bible.
Yes, there is this Almighty Who had said in Genesis 1:26-28: 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Given our current COVID-19 situation, these verses and related ones gave me goose-bumps when a eureka moment befell upon me last Sunday. No one has to agree with me but I will respect your disagreement. Nonetheless, I have to express what I believe sprang upon me and if you disagree, I will not engage if you will not express why you disagreed.
To me, given that man was created in His image and likeness, even if men were just “little” gods, the command is clear: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…”.
I guess I share this with many that this passage simply means we should propagate. What happens, however when there is disobedience to these precepts? What happens to those who bar the fruitfulness of the earth and do not allow men to multiply, meaning killing them? In calling a spade a spade, what happens to those who uproot the trees, who contaminate the earth, who starve the people, who kill the people, who engineer the bringing people to the brink of extinction? Simply put, what happens to those who exploit the people?
Apart from the story on Noah and his ark where the evil ones were flooded dead, saving only a miniscule of humanity, the Almighty was more direct to the Egyptian pharaoh in his exploitation of the Israelites, saying in Exodus 4:23 “and I told you to let My son go so that he may worship Me. But you have refused to let him go, so I will kill your firstborn son!”
And when the angel of death came, if you may, we had to first lockdown, as described in Isaias 26:20 where it says “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed. For behold, the LORD is coming out of His dwelling to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer conceal her slain.…”
Please note that, in biblical stories, those who bar the earth from being fruitful and do not allow men to multiply for exploiting or killing them are punished by the Almighty. But what if the Almighty is a collective of the “little” gods who were created in His Image and Likeness? What if the Angel of Death in Exodus and Noah’s deluge were metaphors of uprising that toppled the evil regimes of those times?
What if the drowning of the Egyptians in the parting of the Exodus Red Sea is also a metaphor as they are still searching for scientific explanations of a sea parting during those times?
A previous article of mine comes to mind. This is my interpretation of the Battle of the Red Sea.
Consider that Moses was a great general who conquered nations as far as Ethiopia. He was even depicted as better than Rameses, son of the Pharaoh. He was also a great architect who mobilized thousands of slaves to build the greatest pyramid and city for the Pharaoh. As such, he was favored to succeed the throne of Egypt up until he was discovered to be a son of Hebrew slaves and was banished from Egypt.
…And so, it was that the Israelites reached the banks of the Red Sea…and the afternoon before that morning, Pharaoh arrived with his charioteers and camped by the ridge overlooking the sea…the Egyptians have travelled whole days to catch up with the Israelites…
…Moses, receiving the reports on the Pharaoh’s army’s arrival and their encampment, called a meeting of his able leaders in his tent that night…
“The Egyptians are resting,” said Moses, “so they could be refreshed for tomorrow. I am very sure that they will attack at the break of dawn.
“Now, this is the sea,” he said, depicting it on the sand with a stick. Next, he scratched a parallel line close to the shoreline. “This is where our main force will be.”
“And this is where the charioteers are,” he said depicting the ridge where the Pharaoh was. “This, here, also is the narrow gorge where the charioteers could only pass from the ridge down to the sandy plains, their only path directly to attack us.” He then drew two parallel lines sandwiching the path of what would be Pharaoh’s attack. These two lines were perpendicular to the sea.
“This is what we will do.”
After the meeting, the leaders hurried out of Moses’s tent. They scattered among the thousands of Israelites, passing on the strategy on how they would battle the Egyptians. Under the moonless and starless night, the former slaves dashed in frenzy to beat the dawn in their preparation to continue fighting for their freedom.
When the sunrays sliced through the horizons the following day, the Pharaoh was already standing majestic on his chariot with his charioteer reigning on the horses up the ridge. To him, the orange hues blending with the blue sky and reflected on the serene sea was a perfect view. Perfect, except that even from the distance, he saw the column of slaves in their tattered cloths and morass of confusing rugged colors that perturbed the gloriousness of the wonderful painting in the sky.
The slaves were massed along the shoreline and appeared to be holding wooden staffs, crude spears, mallets, and small gleaming knives.
“Are they going to fight?” the pharaoh chuckled.
“Like they stand a chance, my lord,” his charioteer snickered back.
“Hmp!” the pharaoh smirked.
Stupid slaves, the pharaoh said to himself. What can they do against my experienced charioteers? He glanced behind him. His army was armed with gleaming lances. They were experts with the bow and arrow. With this force, he had conquered many nations including the Hottentots.
He glanced back at the slaves along the shore at the distance. His eyes traced the mile of sand separating the slaves from the ridge. His eyes followed the top of the ridge down the winding gorge down to the sands where the horses would gallop straight to the poorly armed slaves.
The pharaoh called on his lieutenant whose charioteer hastened his chariot beside the pharaoh’s. “Kill enough to scare the rest into surrendering,” ordered the pharaoh. “Spare the lives of those who do surrender as we need these slaves.”
Days before, the pharaoh and his council regretted letting the slaves flee Egypt. Who now will plant and harvest the grains? Who now will build the cities? Who now will serve the Egyptian households? Truly, without the slaves, the masters cannot live. We must have the slaves back.
The pharaoh gave the order to attack.
He stood on his chariot admiring his army snaking down the gorge towards the plains in their seeming invincible chariots.
But he wondered. There appears to be only a thousand of slaves in that column. Where could the rest of the slaves be?
Moses, standing on an outcrop with the sea behind him and with trumpeters by his side, saw the chariots clambering down the ridge. Though they appeared to be just specks in the distance, the lances of the charioteers gleamed as the early sunrays struck them. The plumes of the Egyptians’ helmets fluttered with the wind.
Moses was also aware that the waves behind his column of men pounded on the shore with a thunderous roar like to be in symphony with the anticipated battle.
“Wait,” Moses commanded his men. Most of those closest to the sea had their heels drenched by the incoming roaring tides.
The specks of chargers grew bigger as the first chariots galloped down the gorge with the horses’ hooves started pounding on the sands.
“Wait.” Moses was looking at the end of the chariots still snaking down the gorge.
The charges now sent out cloud of dust billowing as the hooves of horses and chariot wheels churned the sand as they rushed towards the sea of slaves. Howling attacks from the Egyptians can now also be faintly heard. Lances and swords glittered more as hit by the rays of the sun.
“Wait.” Just a few more chariots are left skirting the gorge and then all the Egyptians would have completely left the gorge and be a whole attacking swarm on the beach. The swirling cloud has become more enormous. The howling has now resonated with the clanks of chariots and the digging of horses’ hooves.
Finally, the last of the chariots spitted out of the gorge.
“Now,” Moses ordered his trumpeters.
The pharaoh above the ridge heard the loud blare of the trumpets. Then he saw bodies of men quiver out of the sands across the mouth of the gorge down below. The hundreds of men appeared to have buried themselves under the sands the night before. They now heaved dried wood, and grass, on a line behind the charging charioteers. Then they set the line on fire which quickly bellowed into a huge conflagration.
“Hmp!” the pharaoh smirked. But what could that fire do?
“Wait,” Moses again commanded his sea of men.
The howling of the attackers reached a near deafening crescendo. Their lances and swords are now gleaming, ready to be crimsoned with the blood of slaves. The snorting of horses can now be heard. The swarm of chariots was about to slice unto the sea of slaves.
“Now!” Moses howled at the trumpeters.
From atop the ridge, the pharaoh heard again a blaring of trumpets, now appearing to be more incessant and urgent. Then he saw the sea of slaves by the beach separate into two at where the head of the charioteers was charging. He also saw bodies bobbing out from parallel lines on the beach, perpendicular to the sea. They must have also dug and buried themselves underneath the sands the night before. Now they have emerged, sandwiching the swarm of charioteers.
The lead charioteers could not halt immediately and could only have the open sea in front of them. Then the separated sea of slaves converged back to the center towards the charioteers. Those earlier buried underneath the sands also converged upon the attackers. With mallets, sticks, spears, tiny knives, clubs, and the like, the sea of slaves pummeled the Egyptians. With the sea in front of them, a ball of fire behind them, and the sea of slaves on their sides, the Egyptians became helpless against the onslaught in spite of their chariots, and gleaming lances and swords. Eventually, the Egyptians drowned underneath the sea of slaves who converged and overwhelmed them with even just mere sticks and stones.
At the end of the day, when the tide rose, the roaring waves from the sea lapped back unto the waters Egyptian blood which turned the sea into red.
Even if my interpretation is not correct, the fact remains that “little” men are created in God’s image and likeness must be like God who must punish those who disobey the command of “Be fruitful and multiply…”
History of the earth has proven this time and again. The Roman empire toppled when the “little” people rose to arms. The French revolution was won by the peasants.
Only in the revolution can there be peace for in Psalms 30:5 it says “For His anger is fleeting but His favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay the night, but comes in the morning.”
Thus, woe to Duterte and his kind, his ilk, his minions for in Daniel 11:36, it says “Then the king will do as he pleases and will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and he will speak monstrous things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must be accomplished.”
With his inutility in combatting the COVID-19, his EJK sins, his not fulfilling his promise to eradicate graft and corruption, for pushing the Filipino people to the brink of extinction, for cursing God and the Bible, the “little” people must now collectively act in His angry image and likeness.
After all, it has been said that the BIBLE stands for the Best Information Before Leaving Earth.