In the book of first Samuel (I Samuel 27) when David was continually fleeing from King Saul, a Philistine king accepted him as a retainer. We later read that he plundered another city without a reason given. The king asked him upon his return “Whither have ye made a road today?”
This question can still be asked of any Christian warrior along the way.
Wither have ye made a road today? Either for something good or for something bad. It is important that we understand any time we look at scriptures from the mind set of an American (a Westerner) that we go back to the beginning. We shouldn't look for a modern pop interpretation, or what we think it means. How many times have you heard a person in a Bible study, ask the question What do you think this scripture means? We look at scriptures through the lens of a contemporary American, and not understanding that the people who penned these things were more akin to Asians, and the Orient than they were the Occident. The East rather than the West. So we tend to apply very shallow meanings that suit ourselves, rather than understanding their precise meaning.
What is their precise meaning?
Their precise meaning is contextual. For example: Over 200 years ago when America was still colonies and “wilderness” a Farmer found a dinosaur bone in his field. Later, it was presented to a prominent minister of that day. Upon examining it he said “surely this proof that giants existed in the land just as the book of Genesis says.” (refer to Genesis 6)Under the context of his understanding of the world and his culture, in view of what the Bible says, he came up with what would have been a reasonable assumption. Now let us compare this to a story of a missionary couple laboring on a remote island far, far in the heart of the Pacific ocean. They were only visited by a supply ship once a year. They often told the inhabitants how they looked forward to mail, and how much it meant to them; how precious it was. The problem in this story stems from the fact that the natives had neither a written language or any form of written communication. Based on the knowledge of what “mail” was, subject to the lens of their culture. When the missionaries were away laboring on a neighboring island, the supply ship came a few days earlier than expected. The captain, uncertain of what to do left the supplies and mail with the natives. When the islanders examined the mail, they didn't know what it really was. They had heard glowing stories from the missionaries but they couldn’t understand what was so special about these pieces of paper with strange images printed on them. They determined that since it didn’t seem to mean anything, it wasn't a tool and there were no real drawings on them… then maybe it was good to eat.
When they missionaries returned they found a large pot of soup made from their mail.
Despite their shock, we really don’t know their reactions after that. It is hoped they showed a Christ like spirit and took their disappointment in stride. We can only guess the physical feelings of bewilderment, anger, disgust or shock. Couple this with the fact they had to hide their feelings and continue their mission. At the very least, they were disappointed. Where do these two stories come together and become the same?
It is all a matter of Perspective.
What are youre thoughts on perspective?