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The Superior Intelligence

Published on

April 24, 2023

The Old Testament is often viewed as the lesser part of the Bible — especially concerning new creation realities, the word of faith and Christianity as we know it today. However, now and then, I am reminded (and amazed) that these were the books the early Christians read — the same Christians who performed the feats recorded in Acts of the Apostles.

The New Testament, a collection of the Gospels and letters written by the Apostles was written between 50AD and 100AD and did not become widespread until about 120AD+. Almost every time the word “Scripture” was referenced, it referred to the books in the Old Testament. The Bible records at various points that Jesus expounded on Himself from Scripture (Old Testament). It then implies that other than of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection, the Old Testament books were the basis on which Christianity was hinged.

This is a good place to Selah.

Thinking about the Old Testament in this light paints it as the scene of a “massive treasure hunt” and reminds me of the scripture, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings”, and what better place to start the search, than the oldest book in the Old Testament; the Book of Job.

The self-titled Book of Job tells a perplexing story of a righteous man in whom God Himself declares His pleasure. This honest man goes through ordeals that are “logically” reserved as recompense for evil-doers — as seen in the vehement argument by his friends.

Apparently, this perplexing occurrence is not a one-off, as we see other similar cases in scripture; how God’s declaration of His being pleased with or choosing a person is quickly followed by a season of trials. With Jesus, we find that shortly after His Baptism (where there was an open declaration by God of being pleased in Him), Jesus was led into the wilderness — a prolonged season of fast and not of plenty — and there He was tempted of the devil (like Job was). We find a similar occurrence with David after being anointed — albeit with delayed timelines in his case. The nature of these perplexing events reminds me of the Gom Jabbar Test.

Gom Jabbar Test

The Gom Jabbar test, from the Dune universe created by Frank Hebert, is carried out on gifted individuals. The examiner places a poison needle (called a Gom Jabbar) near the neck of the person being tested, and the person is asked to put their hand into a box that inflicts unimaginable pain. The person must endure the pain, knowing that if they remove their hand from the box before the test ends, the poison needle will swiftly be injected into their neck. The Gom Jabbar test is used to prove one’s humanity, as depicted by the ability to override animalistic instinct/reaction with knowledge/awareness. The test is used to determine whether an individual’s awareness is stronger than their instincts. If their awareness of the Gom Jabbar’s presence were strong enough, it would override their instincts to withdraw from the box, which usually involved great physical pain.

The test fundamentally tests one’s ability to override instinct consciously. It is akin to the perplexing events occurring in the lives of Job, Jesus and David — a close parallel being the test of Job. It may be interesting to note that Job’s wife advised Job to “curse God and die” — an instinctive reaction with full knowledge of the implication; Job would die. Her knowledge/awareness of the aftermath was not strong enough to override her opting for an instinctive reaction. I highlight this: Don’t let your feelings play with your intelligence.

As we begin to wrap up this piece, I leave you with three pieces of intel which would be helpful.

Firstly, 1 Peter 2:9 states unequivocally that we are a chosen generation. It implies that similar tests to what Job, Jesus, and David went through are part of the package — not an add-on. It’s no wonder that Jesus did not mince words when He said in John 16:33, “In this world, ye shall have tribulation”, and He said this that we might have peace — intelligence with which we may override instinct.

Secondly, the trials test your certainty in what was spoken. We see in the ordeal of Job that he held on to his confession of righteousness regardless of conflicting experiences. We see Jesus basing his responses to temptation on knowledge, not sentiment. The trials come for the word’s sake (Mark 4:17).

Lastly, and importantly, this too shall pass; and the end is glory — this is an important one.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory — 2 Corinthians 4:17

With Job, we find his letter end thrice what he started with. With Jesus, we see His fame being spread abroad for “no apparent reason” following the temptation in the wilderness. The story of David is one we are all familiar with.

We wrap up with this simple thought; as we grow in the knowledge of God, becoming more aware of His great and precious promises to us, don’t let your feelings play with your intelligence.

Do have a great week.

Itoro Nehemiah

@_it0r0

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