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Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

Judge you not, yet you judge [I Sam 1]

We are told not to judge, and that is because how we judge will be standard used against us, and by that standard we will fail. What is not mentioned is that we all judge, and the most condemning are those who label themselves as tolerant. The people who signal their virtue.

There is a horrible priggishness among them. They look down at the ordinary folk. They would damn Elkanah for having two wives, and Penninah for staying with the father of her children, though he loved Hannah more.

And, like Eli, damn Hannah for pouring our her heart to the LORD silently and with weeping.

Mr Corbyn, and all those who voted against putting sprinklers in tower housing, will be held to account. That is the standard he has set for his political enemies. The same standard will be applied to him.

And let us live by the standard we claim, which is Christ.

1 Samuel 1:1-20

1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5 but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6 Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

9 After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the LORD. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. 11 She made this vow: “O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”

12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. 20 In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the LORD.”

There are too many people who judge. Who do not allow for affection, for exclusion, and for pride. Who do not allow for humour. Who are envious, and consider it virtue.

Who are triggered by tweets of couples in love, particularly when the beloved wife just played wonder woman.

Who would seethe that I’m disappointed this shirt has disappeared from the website that sold it. Because Robyn thinks it is funny, and Robyn lifts.

It is apparently father’s day in the USA. Not here: that is September. We shall not judge. But know this.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

–Exodus 20:12, ESV

For we have work to do.

Congratulations, gentlemen. You have accomplished the first part of your primary duty as a man.

Now for the hard part. Raising your sons and daughters to be ready for the challenges ahead.

John Adams once said, “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”

That was then. This is the Current Year. Raise your sons to study politics and war. Raise your daughters to be the wives and mothers of warriors.