pegkerr: (Fealty with love valour with honour oath)
[personal profile] pegkerr
I went to adult bible study before church. Pastor was talking about today's text from Isaiah, which he was basing his sermon text upon rather than today's Gospel text. It's the famous part, often called "The Peaceable Kingdom." Here's the text:

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

3And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

4But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

5Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.

6And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.

7Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.

9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.

10Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.

Isaiah, 11:1-10
This is a text often used during Advent because Christians recognize the shoot from the stump of Jesse as Christ, descending from the house of David. (As usual, I raised my hand and spoke about my habitual irritation that the first chapter of Matthew traces Jesus's ancestry, from father to son ONLY--no women here--through Joseph back to David. And wasn't that pointless, since the story of the virgin birth means that Joseph had nothing to do with Jesus' ancestry. As usual, Pastor acknowledged my point and moved on.) Pastor went on to mention that people reading this in Isaiah's time would take this as being about a newly crowned king, like, say, Hezekiah. I looked at the description of the ideal king here ("The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,/ The spirit of wisdom and understanding,/The spirit of counsel and strength, / The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. / And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, / And He will not judge by what His eyes see, / Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; / But with righteousness He will judge the poor, / And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth"). That doesn't sound a lot like Trump, I thought, sadly considering the recent election. He is so gullible that he bases his reasoning on every baseless thing he sees on the internet, and as for judging the poor and deciding with fairness for the afflicted, no. He sounds like the opposite of that. And the peaceable kingdom sounds like the opposite of Trump's America.

As Pastor continued, I idly started flipping back further to look for references to David and stopped suddenly when a bit of poetry jumped out at me from the middle of a passage of prose. I looked at the top of the top of the page, and read "The parable of the trees." Now, trees, as readers of this blog know, is a subject of particular fascination for me, but I didn't remember this at all. Here is the bit that caught my eye, which is taken from Judges 9:8-15:
“8The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them.
And they said to the olive tree,
‘Reign over us!’
9
But the olive tree said to them,
‘Should I cease giving my oil,
With which they honor God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

10
“Then the trees said to the fig tree,
‘You come and reign over us!’
11
But the fig tree said to them,
‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit,
And go to sway over trees?’

12
“Then the trees said to the vine,
‘You come and reign over us!’
13
But the vine said to them,
‘Should I cease my new wine,
Which cheers both God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

14
“Then all the trees said to the bramble,
‘You come and reign over us!’
15
And the bramble said to the trees,
‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you,
Then come and take shelter in my shade;
But if not, let fire come out of the bramble
And devour the cedars of Lebanon!’
Read this commentary here.

My goodness, I thought. That's Trump, that's absolutely Trump. Read the verses around the parable, too, Judges 8:22 through the entirety of Judges 9 and the wikipedia entry here. He won his throne by treachery, climbing over a heap of bodies (think the Republican primary and then the general election). He is like the bramble; the other trees bore fruit, but the bramble bears only hurtful thorns, and when the other trees turned to him, he revealed only a penchant for selfish ambition and treachery. And that's what Trump has done, too. All he has for us is thorns.

And note the manner of his death: After cutting a swath through and killing thousands of his own people, he is hit on the head by a woman who throws a millstone down on the top of his head from the top of the tower he is besieging. Get this, he beseeches his armor-bearer to kill him so that he wouldn't be known as a man defeated by a woman. I guess treachery goes hand in hand with misogyny.

If the parable can be truly be applied today, putting Trump in the role of Abimelech, it suggests that Trump and the Republicans will end up destroying each other. And the Republicans should have seen it coming, but no, they started with treachery, and started robbing people and jostling for power, causing Trump to take revenge, and so they will reap what they have sown.

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