Whatit means to be a Human
Whatit means to be a Human
Foran individual to be human, there are purposes they need to live forand mission to accomplish. There is some sort of intrinsic worth thatpersons harbor in which just a political theory or government couldnot just give. Therefore, Biblically, there is some essential valuethat humans must have before God. This paper focuses on the OldTestament in the Bible. In answering the question, what it means tobe human, information, including the place and time of the Bible`sstories, such as major empires of the time in Egypt, Hittites,Assyria, and Babylon are used. Additionally, the work focuses onproverbs and Song of Songs, given that the books cover the areas ofbeing human through some topics such as friendship, being wise, beingstupid, getting consequence, love, romance, becoming wealthy and poo.The life of Esther and how she lived together with the other culturesin the Bible is covered. The paper additionally covers the life ofJoseph in the bible and portrays the virtues that Joseph lived for.
Manyindividual do not understand what it means to be human and for sureit is a great loss to the generation today not to understand what itmeans to be human. Such definitions are essential as they define ourbeing and worth in the society today. The sacredness as well assexuality is understood upon understanding what it means to be human.Keenly focusing on Psalms 8, we find that King David praises God forthe creations and goes ahead to query God what man is that God ismindful of him. What is in the son of man that he cares for and thisascertains that we are not in the world by accident but for apurpose. Indeed one can confirm that we are in existence through themind as well as by design of the creator.
Hence,for an individual to be human, there are purposes they need to livefor and mission to accomplish. There is some sort of intrinsic worththat persons harbor in which just a political theory or governmentcould not just give. Therefore, Biblically, there is some essentialvalue that humans must have before God. Such values can be alluded ashaving been discussed by Jesus in and are entrenched in the tencommandments. One of such being to love the Lord your God with allyou heart and with all your soul as well as your mind. This, togetherwith loving your neighbor as you love yourself is considered thegreatest commandment according to Jesus.
Readingthe book of Genesis, it is clear that human beings were a specialcreation and had to live as such. Human were made differently fromother creations, they were made in the image of God. So then whatdoes it mean to be human according to Genesis? The understanding ofbeing human can be analyzed in three perspectives according to thefirst and second chapter of this book. The perspectives includetheological, anthropological and eschatological (Moberly, 2009).Theologically, since human beings are created in the image of Godthere are several things that we can learn from the passage. Anthropologically, we get the full description of what it means to behuman as it provides a clear picture of how humans were designed andthe characteristics of human beings and what the lives shouldfulfill. Also, in terms of eschatological perspective givesdescription of the lives of humans after life, that is, eternal life(Moberly, 2009).
Readingthrough Genesis 2: 15, it is evident that humans were created and putin the earth to work. As such humans are obliged to work in order tomake ends meet. Adam was not just placed in the Garden of Eden tohang around and have food into his mouth. Having Adam work was not apunishment but it was meant for humans to be productive andaccomplish something that is seen to be different and better as a wayto appreciate his presence in the world. Theologically, this issupported given that the Bible asserts that God is not a static beingbut a working God (Moberly, 2009).
Onthe other hand, anthropologically, the meaning of being a human fromthe creation story is to work, be productive and be able toaccomplish things and ultimately enjoy the accomplished items. Humannature dictates that all that human beings sweat for, they should beable to enjoy. Thus, this is one reason why human beings are supposedto pursue excellence in their jobs, so that they become professionalin their undertakings. Hence, from this human are able not just towork to live but even more as God designed them to work and do itbefore Him.
Therefore,this explains why working being a hobby is enjoyable for any being.Also explains why human beings retire in their work lest they arestill active and productive in the society. Individuals who are bornagain thus can also get themselves in the work of sharing God’slove and the truth of His message in what is famous known as“ministry”. While creating the world, God worked for six days andhis creation are wonderful to date. This means that we have a workingGod and given that humans are created in His image, they have noalternative but to work. When the Bible talks about God resting onthe seventh day in Genesis 2:2 it does not mean that He stopped fromcarrying out all the activities but rather God started enjoying thecreation He made. Eschatologically, it is stated that eternal lifewill involve working and it will not be resting. The Kingdom of Godwill have activities as well as goals to accomplish.
Readingthrough Genesis, 2:18-20 it is evident that living as humans we arepurposed to have some intellectual activity. In this verse, it isseen that God did not name the animals for Adam, rather he had Adamname the animals. The naming of the animals was intellectual activitythat involved careful observation and describing the animalsaccording to their different and distinguishing features (Hurley,2002). Hence, this is an activity that one can link to the firstscientific inquiry in human life. By carrying out this activity, Godintroduced Adam to the joy and beauty of making certain discoveriesin the universe through understanding the works and how they areinter-related. Thus, it can be seen that God in other termsintroduced Adam to intellect and then posed a challenge to hisintellectual activity. This explains the intellectual capacity inwhich human beings are blessed with and are able to make certaincognitive choices as well as innovations and technologicalimprovements in the society today (Davidson, 1989). Theologically, wecan confirm that God is indeed intelligent and this is supported bythe explorations of the world He made (Moberly, 2009).
Additionally,this is seen through the redemption where there was a complexity insymbols and inter-related prophesies in the old testament predictingthe coming of Christ. From, these in terms of anthropological humanslearn that they can never exhaust the knowledge they have given thatthey are finite. Proverbs 10:23 asserts that we should continuallyencourage enjoyment in learning instead of letting the human brain torot. Thus, this explains the scientific investigation that humanbeings are obliged to make in the current society and is encouragedworld over as well as biblically (Hurley, 2002).
Beinghuman means being in relationship with God and as such appreciatingthe creation that is God. Thus, the pivotal point of humans and Godis being in relationship with God. According to Genesis 2:7 Adam wascreated in more than just physical being but also created in spiritto allow him relate to God who is Spirit. The ability to properlyrelate with God entails two main items which include the ability tocomprehend the word of God and the ability to commune personally withGod. According to Genesis (2: 17, 18) God put the responsibility toobey the word on both Adam and Eve and thus Adam had to understandthe word then communicate to Eve.
Giventhat the Bible says God speaks then owing to the fact that we aremade in His image and likeness, we can then clearly understand whathe says. Though the understanding might not be complete and exhaustedbut we can sufficiently get something from the message and trust andobey such. On the other hand, the ability to commune personally withGod comes through comprehension of the word. Thus, the personalcommunion was lost when Adam and Eve turned from God and usually itcan be restored upon turning to Christ.
Accordingto Songs of Solomon
Thebook of Songs of Songs is very important in human life as ithighlights how to live like a human being. In its content, it mainlyhighlights on love and marriage. It plainly talks of the physicallove in married couples. The beauty of marriage and falling in lovewhile in marriage is defined. The full union between married couplesis splendidly discussed in the vast poetic language.
Inreality as we know it where such a variety of discuss God`sexceptional endowments with coldly clinical or passionless measurabledialect, the enthusiasm of Solomon`s verse revives a world anxiousfor reality about marriage. Solomon started his rendering of thisrelationship with the two lovers in dating yearning for fondnesswhile communicating their love for each other (Song of Solomon1:1–3:5). In the long run, they meet up in marriage, the man of thehour praising his spouse`s excellence before they perfect theirrelationship (3:6–5:1). At long last, she battles with thetrepidation of division, while he consoles his lady of his affectionsfor her (5:2–8:14) (Hurley, 2002).
Thereis yet another vital point to remember when perusing the Song.Notwithstanding being a lovely love story of wooing, engagement,marriage and enduring development, the Song of Solomon is brimmingwith original imagery. At the point when words have typical and alsoexacting importance in the Bible, the typical significance of a wordis dependably the same the distance from Genesis through Revelation.Since they overlook this key purpose of Biblical translation, I findnumerous discourses on the Song of Solomon let us know more about thecreator`s mind than about either the Song, or the Lord (Clifford &Harrington, 2012).
Advancededitorials on the Song ordinarily despiritualize the story with thegoal that it is about the creator`s own view of conjugal love in theconnection of the way of life he happens to be living in. This limitsthe scope of enthusiasm of the Song by barring more youthfulunmarried individuals, those with a normal or fair marriage, and moreseasoned individuals, for example, dowagers and widowers. The fresher"despiritualized" discourses on the Song concern me. TheSong is not a Christian Kamasutra. At the point when taken just as amanual for a superior marriage what drops out is the sacred ponder,worship and stunningness of knowing God. Sexuality in marriage oughtto be a piece of that love, not an end in itself. The way that therelationship in the middle of Christ and His congregation, and in themiddle of man and wife in marriage is "an extraordinary secret"implies that we should not to decrease the Song of Solomon to amarriage manual (Clifford & Harrington, 2012).
Tome, the Song of Solomon ought to first be perused from as anotherworldly voyage out from and far from the commonplace andhackneyed models of sentimental love which is all the world knows oflove. This implies paying consideration on the images in Scripture.These don`t shift from Genesis through Revelation. The majority ofthis fortifies the topic of the integrity of marriage. Thus as humanwe should share love and as married couples humans should expresstheir love freely and totally love others.
LivingIn the times of Egypt, Hittites, Assyria, and Babylon
Livingas human in the times of Egypt, Hittites, Assyria, and Babylon therewas some sort of romance and intimacy highlighted. The lives of Kingsshowed how human beings should enjoy themselves upon being at thethrone. The love life of Alexandar or Ceasor during their time isworth imitating and portrays how best humans can enjoy themselveswhen at the apex of leadership. The personal lives of theseindividuals are seen through the ritual decorations that exist in thetombs. The wars and conquest that characterized these empires isindicative of the human life and the daily challenges that they mustbe ready to encounter every other time.
Josephwas another icon as far as demonstration of what it implies to behuman is concerned (Kotva, 1996). He promoted the divine gift of lifethe Almighty God entrusted to human beings. He satisfies theAlmighty’s call for humans to extend appreciation towards theinestimable value and to assume full responsibility for it. Hepromotes the fundamental principle of humanity in various adventureshe encountered in his walk of life. Christians have a great deal theycan learn from the human values he stood for throughout his life,right from when he was still a little kid to the time he was chosento become the king of Israel (Redford, 1970).
Forinstance, on many occasions, Joseph stood changes to be consumed bybitterness. In particular, coming from a traditionally nuclear andpartriarchical family, he had to live with many siblings (Kotva,1996). Since he was relatively young and blessed with the capacity tointerpret complex dreams, he encountered significant hatred,mistreatment and discrimination from his elder brothers. A goodnumber of them were jealous of Joseph. When he told them about thedreams of glory the Almighty had entrusted in him, they literallywanted him dead. However, instead of killing him, they resolved tosell him to a certain trader who transferred him to Egypt. Theirvenomous character saw Joseph endure long, painful years in a strangeland. However, things took another turn when drought stroke theirhome and forced his brother to seek food from other lands,consequently, finding their way to Egypt, where Joseph had beentaken.
Thebiblical story of Joseph attempts to define to people what it meansto be human. He understood the power of God and stood for severalvirtues human beings can emulate to live a just life (Redford, 1970).For example, his story teaches us the virtue of forgiveness andperseverance. Despite a damaged relationship with his brothers whichwas characterized with mistreatment, discrimination and hatred, hestill welcomed them and forgave them all the sins they had committedagainst him. This is the truth that ought to settle in human’shearts. Today, many people go through traumatic experiences just likeJoseph did (Redford, 1970). However, unlike Joseph, they opt to weartheir suffering on their sleeves for the good part of their live.Vengeance, bitterness, vindication, and other social vices cloudtheir heads. Some may claim they believe in God, but duringtemptations and suffering, they react as if God has abandoned them.They fail to ask themselves why God let his children undergosuffering, trials and temptations, and why does He take long tounfold his plans.
Additionally,Joseph demonstrated what it means to be human in believing that GodHad destined him for greatness. He perceived the divine dreams asevidence of divine blessing, not personal ambition. On the otherhand, his brothers saw them as manifestations of the unfairprivileges that were accorded to him. Therefore, people should notfail to empathize with others when they are in the right direction,they should cooperate instead of envy. Also, such virtues saw himpromoted by Pharaoh an opportunity that elevated him from misery.
Moreover,the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife is clear illustration ofwhat is expected from human life. When Potiphar’s wife made sexualadvances toward him, he stood firm to his values. His declination ofthe sexual interests was far much reasonable. It demonstrates thedegree of trust Joseph had invested in his relationship withPotiphar. He offered a loud resistance several times and make effortsto desist from her presence. Furthermore, despite the physicalassault he was subjected to, he opted to run away half-naked insteadof submission. This story is analogous to a number of sexualharassment people go through at their workplaces, social gatheringsand other sexual-unfriendly settings today. Generally, people havedifferent standard for want entails appropriate and inappropriatespeech and physical contact. Thus, they often lose their self-controlrather and give in such temptations rather easily.
Estheras offers a significant demonstration of what it means to be human.Her biblical story is centered on two essential virtues that beinghuman entail: faith and courage. In addition, her story provides us,as Christians, many examples from which we can learn and beencouraged.
Asa tradition, the king of Medes and Persians ordered the parade ofseveral young girls to his palace. The young girls would be providedwith special pampering which was meant to prepare them for the king’ssearch for a possible royal replacement (Allen & Laniak, 2012).Esther, a young orphan, was among the girls who had been arraignedbefore the king for scrutiny. She followed Mordecai’s advice (hercousin) not to reveal her ethnic identity, a tactic she adhered toand consequently saw her chosen as queen. After some time, Ahasueruswas appointed to a prominent position in the kingdom, a literallyhigher position than Esther’s. He immediately commanded allservants to bow down to Harman, in paying him homage, a commandMordecai refused to obey. Mordecai’s actions outraged the Harman,who instead of seeking revenge on an individual person he sought todestroy all the Jews in the kingdom. He went ahead and convinced theking to issue a degree, which went out and eventually resulted indevastating human suffering.
Mordecaitold Esther what had conspired and asked her to approach the king andplead for her people. At that time Esther had not contacted the kingfor almost 30 days and the king had ordered that anyone whoapproached him without his specification would die (Clifford &Harrington, 2012). This turn of events entered the young Esther intoa dilemma of whether to approach the king or die along with herpeople. At that juncture, she must have asked herself a lot ofquestions. For example, “Could she seat and watch wild Harmanstarve her people?” “Would her God let her die should she let herpeople perish just like that?”
Fortunately,she came to the realization that she had only one choice, to save herpeople. She lacked the courage to face Ahasuerus. Therefore, sheinclined to God through prayer and fasting. At the end of the story,Esther managed to disclose Harman’s heinous motives. Consequently,the king ordered the execution of Harman on the very same gallows hehad prepared for the hanging of Mordecai (Allen & Laniak, 2012).Nonetheless, the Jews were finally freed and Mordecia promoted in thekingdom.
Generally,Esther’s story teaches us that fear is a common reaction whenhumans encounter hard experiences. We should learn to acknowledge ourlack of courage in an attempt to overcome the fear. However, weshould not give fear the room to cripple us into taking no action. Wealso learn the importance of seeking help and the fact that God ispowerful and cannot forsake his children (Kotva, 1996). Furthermore,humbling before God through prayers and fasting enables humansaccumulate courage to make the right decision.
Allen,L. C., & Laniak, T. S. (2012). Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther(Understanding the Bible Commentary Series). Baker Books.
Clifford,R. J., & Harrington, D. J. (2012). Reading the Old Testament: anintroduction. Paulist Press.
Davidson,R. M. (1989). Theology of Sexuality in the Song of Songs: Return toEden. Andrews University Seminary Studies, 27, 1-19.
Hurley,J. B. (2002). Man and woman in biblical perspective. Wipf and StockPublishers.
Kotva,J. J. (1996). The Christian case for virtue ethics. GeorgetownUniversity Press.
Moberly,R. W. L. (2009). The theology of the book of Genesis. CambridgeUniversity Press.
Redford,D. B. (1970). A study of the biblical story of Joseph:(Genesis 37-50)(Vol. 20). Brill Archive.
Saggs,H. W. (1965). Everyday Life in Babylonia & Assyria (p. 17). BTBatsford.