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November 23, 1962     Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 23, 1962

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6--THE PROGRESS Friday, Nov. 23, 1962 THEOLOGY FOR THE LAYMAN: (Lesson 5) CHRISTIAN CULTURE SERIES I 0 Chapter V Preparation For Redemption The two main things to notice in the events leading up to Moses are: 1) the selection of the Jews by process of elimina- tion and 2) the fact that after sin entered the world things The Flood Seth's birth is recorded; Cain now drops from the narrative and a genealogy is given ending with Noah. The Sethites were good, but because of their fallen nature troubles begin. They begin to marry bad women and to practice polygamy. God was of- fended at their impiety and the !/,   , . ' went from bad to worse. A quick glance through Gene- sis immediately discloses a num- ber of genealogies or family records of people, many of whom are viewed as the progenitors of nations. These lists are not com- plete by any means; they are concerned with the origin and relationships of the Jews with their neighbors. A closer reading of Genesis shows one single purpose for these listings: to show the selec- tion by God of the twelve chil- dren of Israel (Jacob) to be His flood account emphasizes God's terrible reproval and punishment when confronted with sin. The story says the flood covered the whole earth and destroyed all men, yet after the flood the de- scendants of Cain are mentioned. The area actually flooded was limited in extent. Remember al- ways that in studying the books of the Bible we must be aware of the habits of mind of the au- thors. The Jews use universal expressions (all men, whole earth) but their story we know from the elimination scheme, was concerned only with a portion of unity for a religious unity under God. This was doomed to end in complete failure. In fact, con- fusion and squabbling began, resulting in migrations. Man had not learned a thing from his past sins. He is absolutely inadequate by himself. The example of Babel shows this clearly. Therefore, salvation must come in some other way; some saviour from outside is needed. The story of Abraham sets the scene for the selection of Abra- ham. t READ: Genesis li:1.9 ] Abraham--Father Of The Jews God finally chooses one man in a specM way as direct ances- tor of the Jews; He calls him and over many years and wan- derings prepares him to become the father of the Chosen People. Men had abandoned the true worship of their Creator and Lord and had forgotten Who He was. They were seeking false idols to which to pledge their allegiance; they were doing things "on their own." And man cannot save himself from the consequences of the Fall. God wants man to be saved so He selected Abraham; one man, then a family, and finally the Kingdom of his descendants. Thi is a great role and it is not without reason that Abraham was a true national hero of the Jews and an example to all men Genealogy Tracing the Direct Lineal Ancestors of the Chosen People Cain { ADAM Abel Cham Father Seth Noah Japheth r of all Sem Abraham Ishmael ( nations '- Isaac Esau Jacob the Sethites. They were the ones flooded, not the others. To the best of our present knowledge the flood occurred around 4,000 B.C. Archeological findings and early Babylonian writings show that the flood was fairly extensive and caused a definite break in history. After the flood, Noah built an altar to God and sacrificed. God accepted his sacrifice and made a one-way contract or Cov- enant with Noah and his de- scendants never again to flood the earth. This was a preliminary Covenant leading up to Sinai. Now the "sons of God" were freed from the corruption of their wicked neighbors and the ancestors of the Jews have a chance to generate and raise their offspring in more virtuous sur- roundings. I READ: Genesis 6:1-9; 17 [ Chosen People, the one family chosen to receive His revelation and to prepare for the coming of the Messiah and, in fact, to be His Kingdom on earth. Observe how people are elimi- nated who were not direct lineal ancestors of the Jews. As each main character is eliminated from the story, his genealogy is given to show what tribes familiar to the Jews he was the father of and therefore what their rela- tionship was to the Chosen People. Especially large genealogies are listed for Seth and Sem to cover schematically the years in- tervenihg between them and their important descendants, that is, Noah and Abraham respectively. Cain and Abel Sin entered with Adam and now things are really falling to pieces. The first thing related after the Fall is the sin of mur- der, and that, the murder of a man's own brother. There are several lessons to be learned. It was petty jealously that led Cain to kill Abel: small sins can lead tobig sins, the spiritual counter- part of the proverb, "Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." Man per- verted God's founded-in-nature system of monogamous union of one man with one woman: polyg- amy was introduced. Man with- out God turns to solely material comforts and too much absorp- tion in things can lead to neglect of moral life. ADi Genesis 4:i:2-6 [I The Tower Of Babel This is the story of part of the Semites and the only story related between the flood and Abraham, a period of perhaps 2,000 years. It is an example of what was going on in the meantime. Man has unbounded pride and always wants to do things his own way; he wants to be a law unto him- self and tries to put God out of his life. The tower itself was a very large ziggurat, a sort of square pyramidal structure with a flat top, typical of Babylonian tem- ple-towers. And it was to be a large one. The people sought to substitute a mere human material Israel KIHGDOM who lived after him. His place in Providence demanded FAITH in what God revealed to him and absolute OBEDIENCE. The dis- belief and disobedience of our first parents brought misfortune on all men. Now the belief and obedience of Abraham are to bring blessings on all men. Abraham was commanded to go to a strange land and believe that he was to be the father of a multitude---from a sterile wife! And it was a long time in the fulfillment. He believed in what was to come and was justified, that is, he received grace. A pledge was made to Abraham by God by which He promised the Holy Land to Abraham's de- scendants', foretold the oppres- sion in Egypt and the Exodus and promised that "in Abraham all the earth shall be blessed." This contract binds for the de- scendants of Abraham also. God Must Be Obeyed Here is the sublime example of all time for unswerving faith and obedience to God. Obedi- ence to God's commands is not always easy, sometimes it is heroic, but God must be obeyed: this is the only true freedom, the only happiness. Isaac was the son of the promise but here God demands his life! Abraham would again be childless--still Abraham believed what God has told him. Greater faith is almost impos- sible to imagine, but there are many examples of faith and obe- dience for us to imitate. St. Paul in Hebrews, chapter eleven, gives many examples of faith from the Old Testament and verses 8-19 concern Abraham; they are worth reading. St. Paul, in fact, calls him "the father of all believers" and the Popes have declared that "spiritually," we (Catholics) are one with Abraham." With Abra- ham, God has again revealed Himself to men. A new begin- ning is made; God speaks to men; the path of God's revela- tion, of revealed religion, of the one true worship of the one true God is again clear. It is given to Abraham and through Abraham it will come to all men. The way to the Redeemer- Messias, Jesus Christ, has opened anew and God had visited His people. READ: Genesis 12:1-3; 15:2-19; 22:1-19, Hebrews: 11:8-19 The Other Patriarchs Following Abraham in Gene- sis are the stories of the other two patriarchs, Isaac, who was Abraham's son, and Jacob, the son of Isaac. Jacob was called Israel by God and it was his twelve sons who fathered the twelve tribes of Israel. The beautiful story of Joseph is related: How he was sold into slavery in Egypt because of his brother's jealousy, how later he became prime minister of Egypt, saved his brothers from drought and settled them in Egypt where they remained several hundred years, increasing in numbers until the time would come when they would be numerous enough to form a nation--a kingdom--in fact, God's own Kingdom. With the death of Jacob, the Jews now firmly established in Egypt and awaiting a deliverer, the book of Genesis ends. I READ: Genesis 24 to 50 ] Supplemenary Reading Lisi" (Recommended to those who wish to pursue further reading in Old Testament History) Charlier, Dora Celestin The Christian Approach to the Bible Newman Press, 1959 Daniel-Rops, Henry Israel and the Ancient World Eye and Spottiswood, London, 1945 Dougherty, John J. Searching the Scriptures Newman Press, 1959 Hauret, Charles Beginnings: Genesis and Modern Science Priory Press, Dubuque, 1955 McKenzie, John L. The Two-Edged Sword Bruce, New York, 1956 Moriarty, Frederick, S.J. Foreword to the Old Testament Weston College, Weston, Mass., 1954 Introducing the Old Testament Bruce, New York, 1959 Orchard B. (editor) A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture Paulist Series Old Testament Study Guides (series of pamphlets) Schuit, Rev. William N., S.T.L., S.S.L. Bible History (New Revised Edition) Vawter, Bruce A Path Through Genesis Sheed & Ward, New York, 1956 God's Story of Creation Knight's of Columbus Pamphlet Castelot, John J., S.S. Meet the Bible! Vol. I & II Helicon Press, Baltimore, 1960 Hunt, Ignatius, O.S.B. Understanding the Bible Sheed & Ward, New York, 1962 Jones, Alexander, S.T.L., L.S.S. God's Living Word Sheed & Ward, New York, 1961 Vawter, Bruce, C.M. The Conscience of Israel Sheed & Ward, New York, 1961 i:1111'll]fill,!ij'.[fllk]ituvIli!liitlliHih :M ni l: ,!::, 21ifihil!l,il!tilfiij!hi52iL;itiil;L ;; ,il, :ipiiliiliii 51t i:2Diill I:i i; J", ;ii!l!liil]; ;5i:i]!11{Z iilh fig il;i i!ii,;J: ; "i i i i = To be Read During Meeting: Entire Lesson. Come to the meeting with a knowledge of the Biblical narrative i which have learned by reading the following assigred portions of you the Book of Genesis: : Genesis 4:1-26, Genesis 6:1.91 17, Genesis 11:1.9, Genesis 12:1.3; ::: 15:2-19; 22:1-19, Hebrews 11:8-19. S i 1. The Old Testament, much more than the New, presents vivid, and what some people call lurid, details of sin and human depravity. What's the intent of such details? Are they meant to shock us? Should .i we be scandalized? 2. What was the first private Convenant which God made? What : was the public Covenant? . 3. What are the virtues which God demanded from Abraham and ; which still remain the essence of our acceptance of religion? 4. If you were to compare the Tower of Babel to things or institu- " tions in today's world, to what would you compare it? 5. In what way was Joseph like Christ? What events in his life  parallel the life of Christ? 6. How do the Flood and the Ark fit into God' plan to bring us a Saviour?  7. Some modern evolutionists maintain man is continually perfect- ing himself; becoming more refined, cultured, moral, etc. After reading the Book of Genesis do you see much change between human beings today and those who lived 10,000 years ago? -i SUNNY JIM aABLE REATS SUNNY JIM PEANUT BUTTER The youngsters love it- and Dad too. Because it has all the crunchy good- ness of fresh.roasted pea- nutsand you know how good they are. SUNNY JIM JAM, JELLIES and PRESERVES Treats for any meal--with all the tasty flavor of fresh picked fruits. 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