Thursday, February 02, 2012

Grab it, quick!

“If Genesis 13 points to the importance of seeking peace in response to anger when family members are involved, then Genesis 26 points to the importance of seeking peace when outsiders are involved. In both cases, the text suggests that it is better to relinquish land than to foster anger—a particularly bold message given the value and limited nature of fertile land in Palestine. Although YHWH has promised land to the patriarchs, this text does not advocate the seizure or even retention of land through violent means. With the death of Abel lurking in the background, readers see characters who place the highest value on the preservation of life, no matter how limited the options before them. They take anger quite seriously, particularly its potential for great harm. Abram and Isaac respond to this emotion by doing what is right, finding a path that leads to ׁשלום [Shalom](‘peace’, 26:29, 31) even though doing so involves personal sacrifice and hardship.”—From Fratricide to Forgiveness, pages 148-149

<idle musing>
Would that the leaders of nations—and their people (including the U.S.!)—would learn this lesson! Self-denial is a lost value, sadly.
</idle musing>

No comments: