Khenn accompanied Siana and her dad on their journey to the desert. While late at night Siana is already sleeping, her dad and Khenn are still sitting on a dune slope and talk – among other things also about the meaning of names ...
“But don’t remind me of the meaning of my name”, declares Siana’s dad. “It just makes me think of all my sins in my youth time.”
“Then you maybe have been taught a misunderstanding”, replies Khenn.
“My name Daniel means: ‘God is my judge’. I don’t know, how it could be understood in a wrong way.”
“Well, in the language of the Bible terms like ‘justice’, ‘righteousness’, ‘justification’ and ‘judgement’ didn’t have a purely legal meaning of rewarding and punishing.”
“What else did they mean?”
“The words ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’ in Hebrew mean to have a relationship which is okay, which is right. Therefore the righteousness of God means, God does all He possibly can to keep his relationship to a person right, or to restore it and to set it right.”
“But the judgements of God in the Old Testament didn’t sound so harmless.”
“I know. But God used such a judgement only after having sent for decades prophets with moving messages to a people which were totally depraved. When they even killed his prophets they left Him no other choice than to intervene in a hard way, so that He maybe could bring them to their senses. But He loved them this much, that He preferred to risk it to be totally misunderstood. I honour and esteem Him highly that He was willing to rather lose his good reputation than to lose all his earthly children.”
“All right. And what does it mean in your opinion, that God is your judge?”
“It means to me that He is my God who will go after me, who doesn’t want to drop me but to save me, even if He has to do it by things happening to me which may incomprehensible or unpleasant for me. He wants to build up a strong and trusting relationship with me. This trust was so important to Him, that in front of the on looking universe He was willing to die for it.”
“Khenn, sometimes you really have unusual views about God.”
“They aren’t that unusual. Try to imagine for a while, you are here in the desert with your little girl. You instruct her to stay close to you, because you want to protect her from danger. Nevertheless she runs away. But as soon as she disappears behind a dune you hear her scream. You run over to her only to discover that she is threatened by a snake whose bite is deadly. What would you feel in that moment? Would you shout at her that the snake shall bite her as a punishment for her disobedience, and afterwards you additionally will put her across your knee?”
“Don’t ask me such silly things. Of course I would do everything I can to save her, and would be more than glad if I would be able to safely rescue her from this dangerous situation.”
“Do you think, God feels differently? He even went this far that He was ready to get involved in a confrontation with the serpent called devil, which – on the cross – ended deadly for Him. You would dare the same thing since you love Siana this much, that you wouldn’t go or wouldn’t want to go for anything else.” Khenn points with his hand at the sand dunes of the desert. “Look at it:
‘The dry land will rejoice, and the desert will blossom like a lily.
It will be in full bloom, for it will see the glory of our God.
Therefore, strengthen the weak hands. Say to those who despair in their hearts:
Be not afraid! Behold, there is your God. He himself is coming and He will save you.’
Khenn looks at the fastness of the moon silvered desert. “Listen, God will achieve this. He wants to set everything right – also our relationship with Him if we let Him do so, and everything which is like a desert in our hearts, in our character ... And the desert will flower like a lily.”
This short story wants to show how the contexts and backgrounds help us to better understand certain issues in the Bible, and along with it God. Therefore I dedicate these pages to topics, which are like a surprising journey through the Bible with the goal to get to know God better, to understand his love, to experience Him, and finally that we learn to trust Him.
For this journey I wish you the joy I feel when by God’s word misunderstandings are clarified and questions I fought with are answered, or when another facet of his love is revealed.