My latest blog: Seek First His Kingdom
39 But our ancestors refused to obey Moses. They rejected him and wanted to go back to Egypt.
40 The people said to Aaron, “Make some gods to lead us! Moses led us out of Egypt, but we don’t know what’s happened to him now.” 41 Then they made an idol in the shape of a calf. They offered sacrifices to the idol and were pleased with what they had done.
1 Kings 14
14 The Lord will soon choose a new king of Israel, who will destroy Jeroboam’s family. And I mean very soon.15 The people of Israel have made the Lord angry by setting up sacred poles for worshiping the goddess Asherah. So the Lord will punish them until they shake like grass in a stream. He will take them out of the land he gave to their ancestors, then scatter them as far away as the Euphrates River. 16 Jeroboam sinned and caused the Israelites to sin. Now the Lord will desert Israel.
17 Jeroboam’s wife left and went back home to the town of Tirzah. As soon as she set foot in her house, her son died. 18 Everyone in Israel came and mourned at his funeral, just as the Lord’s servant Ahijah had said.
Richard: Sacred poles: Or “trees,” were used as symbols of Asherah, the goddess of fertility. The people here are committing sexual sins.
Founders, Prophets and Saints
1. God’s Champions and Messengers
Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
When God assigns a responsibility within His providential Will to human beings, He raises up for them a central figure. He raises each central figure to be the leading light of the people of his age and link them to the thought of Heaven. In other words, at key moments in history God seeks out a single individual who can represent his age, his culture, and the whole world. God calls on His chosen one to declare His teaching to Heaven and earth. (4:192, April 20, 1958)
Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Confucius are called the great saints of history. They left their traditions to posterity, which became organized as the time-honored religions and gave birth to the great civilizations of humankind.
Did these saints live as they wished, enjoying themselves every day? No, from an earthly point of view they lived miserable lives, far more difficult than the lives of ordinary people.
Why did they live that kind of life? The saints did not live according to their own desires, but instead lived obedient to the divine Will and for the sake of the world God desired to build through them.
Although they had individual desires, the saints lived always thinking about God and how they could inherit His tradition. They were concerned to train their character and to conform their life to God’s Will. When they looked at their families, they thought about what would be the authentic family in the sight of God. They thought about how their society could be acceptable to God. They sought to understand what traditions their nation should have in the sight of God. (95:271, December 11, 1977)
What did these founders of religion teach? They taught centered on God. They taught according to God’s teachings and guided their people to do God’s Will. They did not teach their own will. They did not boast of their greatness. They passed away while proclaiming a God-centered worldview, a God-centered way of life, and a God-centered understanding of the universe. (41:329-30, February 18, 1971)
God is the Source of the principle that governs the universe. While creating the universe, God invested Himself totally for the sake of His creation. Throughout history, God has continually sacrificed Himself to save fallen human beings, who have been living just as they desire.
The prophets, saints, and sages who knew God’s Will followed God’s principle in their own lives. Furthermore, they were not content to keep the truth to themselves, but walked the way of sacrifice to teach others. Moses, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Socrates and Jesus suffered hardships and persecution for their efforts to teach the people. They dedicated their lives to enlighten and liberate humanity. (234:222, August 20, 1992)
The Chinese character for “saint” (聖) has three parts, representing ears (耳), mouth (口), and king (王). The combination of these three elements signifies a saint. If you link the meanings, a saint is the “king of the mouth” and “king of the ears.” What does this mean? As the king of the ears, he comprehends and interprets what he hears like a king. He does not simply repeat what he hears, for if he did it could cause many troubles. As a king of the mouth, he is careful about the words he speaks. He knows that whatever he says could become the law; it could sway the destiny of his nation. (118:44, May 2, 1982)
What is the definition of a saint? A saint is someone who transcends national boundaries. The saints of history did not live merely for their own people or for their own tribe. They transcended national boundaries to live for the sake of all humanity. They could say, “I will die for the sake of all humanity. I transcend all the boundaries that separate the thousands of ethnic groups and nations. I am beyond nations, beyond religions, and beyond races.” Before they went to their deaths, these saints forged a connection to all humanity on a worldwide level. (38:350, January 8, 1971)