November 8, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Mercy

Golden text: Isaiah 37:31*

the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.

Genesis 49:1, 8-12

Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come.

“Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Judah. Human thinking progressing and disappearing; the spiritual understanding of God and spiritual beings appearing.

“Be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell,”[1] said Jesus. A careful study of this text shows that here the word soul means a false perception or temporal consciousness. The command was a warning to beware, not of human governments, Satan, nor of God, but of sin. Sin makes its own hell just as goodness makes its own heaven. Sickness, sin, and downfall are not companions of Life or Truth. No law supports them. They have no relation to God wherewith to establish their power.

Mind, not mechanical energy, is causation. A material body only expresses a temporal and human mind. Human beings possess this body and make it harmonious or discordant according to the images of thoughts imprinted upon it. You embrace your body in your thought. Be sure to outline on the body thoughts of health, not of sickness. Make the effort to banish all thoughts of disease and sin and of other beliefs connected to mortality. Our spirituality has an indestructible life. It is the mortal thinking which makes the body disordered and diseased in proportion as spiritual unawareness, fear, or human-will governs us.

Genesis 38:1-7

It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her and went in to her, and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him.And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death.

Genesis 38:12-26

12 In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.

20 When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. 21 And he asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute who was at Enaim at the roadside?” And they said, “No cult prostitute has been here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, ‘No cult prostitute has been here.’” 23 And Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.”

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” 25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.” 26 Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The legacy of the tribe of Judah shows that beliefs engendering a national theology or political religion are the antithesis of true Christianity. Narrow systems and theories concerning God, human beings, health, and a religious society, are restrictive.

Moral courage is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,”[2] the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams the forest. Undisturbed it rests in open fields, in “green pastures…beside quiet waters.”[3] In the figurative passage of divine thought to human, diligence, promptness, and perseverance are likened to “the cattle on a thousand hills.”[4] They carry the baggage of stern resolve and keep pace with the highest purpose. Tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit. The individuality created by God is not carnivorous according to the millennial estate pictured by Isaiah:

The wolf will live with the lamb,
The leopard will lie down with the goat,
The calf and the lion and the yearling together;
And a little child will lead them.[5]

Hebrews 8: 6-9, 11-13

But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Science is a divine demand, not human. Always right, its divine Principle never repents but maintains the claims of Truth by quenching error. Divine mercy pardons a mistake when the error is destroyed. If people understood the blessedness of their real spiritual source, they would struggle to return to it and be at peace. The more entrenched human mind is in error, the more intense its resistance to spirituality. Error must yield to Truth.

Divine Science doesn’t get caught up in worldly evidence. If you haven’t advanced past sin yourself, don’t congratulate yourself for being blind to evil or for not living the good you claim to know. A two-faced attitude is far from Christianly scientific. “No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”[6] Every student’s mind should be strongly impressed by divine Science; by an exalted awareness of the moral, social, and spiritual qualifications requisite for healing, well knowing it to be impossible for error, evil, and hate to accomplish the grand results of Truth and Love. Pursuing instructions opposite to absolute divine Science will always interrupt scientific demonstration.

If the student stays true to the teachings of Christ’s Science, not daring to break its rules, the person cannot fail to succeed in healing. It is divine Science to do right and nothing short of right-doing has any claim to the name. To talk the right and live the wrong is foolish deceit, doing one’s self the most harm. Captivated by sin yourself, it is difficult to rescue someone else from the prison of disease. If your own wrists are handcuffed it is hard to remove someone else’s handcuffs. A little leaven causes the whole mass to ferment.[7] A grain of divine Science does wonders for human beings, so omnipotent is Truth, but more of Science must be gained in order to continue in well doing.

Doing wrong to other people will react most heavily against yourself. Right adjusts the balance sooner or later. Think it “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,”[8] than for you to benefit yourself by mistreating others. Your morals confirm your healing ability and fitness to teach. You should practice skillfully the good you know and you will then advance to the extent of your honesty and fidelity—qualities which assure success in this Science.

The understanding of what governs the universe harmoniously is comprehended slowly and it comes with doubts and disappointments, as well as successes.

We resist Spirit because our learned behaviors come with the belief that temporal systems benefit us. When we admit that short-term benefits provide no lasting answer, we turn toward the eternal Spirit. Remove error from thought and it will not appear in effect. The advanced thinker will perceive and advocate the scope and tendency of eternal means.

This advance beyond superficial thinking comes through the joys and triumphs of the righteous as well as through their sorrows and afflictions. We must leave mortal impressions of fleshly being and advance into immortal impressions of spiritual being.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5

[2] Rev. 5:5

[3] Ps. 23:2

[4] Ps. 50:10

[5] Isa. 11:6

[6] Prov. 28:13 (NRSV)

[7] Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21; I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9

[8] Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25

[9] Acts 24:25

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