Sunday, July 20, 2014

Met Georges Khodr on the Prophet Elijah

Arabic original here.

The Prophet

What is the prophet, if he prophesies? How is he in his state of prophesying? He is a man only under God's authority. He does not listen to anyone else. No passion speaks in him. He speaks as though God is speaking because he is God's instrument and God's looking over the universe.

"The word of God was on the tongue of Elijah," as the Bible says. He withheld rain and the heavens were commanded not to rain. The word of God was on his mouth and he commanded the heavens to rain, and they did. The word of God was on his mouth at Zarephath when he visited the widow and blew the word of God into the dead by, and the dead boy rose.

Elijah was alone with the word and he came into conflict with the great and small of the people. He came into conflict with all of God's enemies. He slaughtered the priests of Baal and of Ashteroth, but not because God desires slaughter. In fact He chastised him for this, as we shall see. However, the meaning of the words is that there is no place for false gods if the true God appears. There is no place for worshiping power, for worshiping the body if the true God looks down. However, there must be fiery zeal to the point where false gods and false thoughts are exterminated.

Like every ruler, the king was troubled by him, because rulers are rarely just. They are men of lust and passion and they have followers. Prophets, however, do not have lust or passion and they do not have followers. Thus, when King Ahab came and said to Elijah, "You are troubling Israel," Elijah replied, "Rather, you and your father, you and your house are troubling Israel" because the one who errs in sin troubles the people. Sin alone disturbs people.

When the seductive pagan queen Jezebel wanted the luxury coming from adulterous Phoenicia, when she wanted to suppress the prophet and persecute him, she did an injustice to the entire people. She expelled a poor man named Naboth from his vineyard and sent her husband the king to register the vineyard in her name. She gave every appearance of legitimacy to the crime and so the prophet cried out against her. Is there any supporter of the poor besides prophets and those who resemble prophets?

The queen drove our prophet out into the desert. She pushed him out of the country to die choking on the sands of Sinai. But he ate what was given to him by the angel of the Lord, "and walked by the power of that food for forty days and forty nights." He reached Horeb, where God had appeared to Moses for the first time, and took shelter in a cave. Then he went out and stood on the mountain before the Lord. There was an earthquake and God was not in the earthquake. There was a raging wind and God was not in the raging wind. That is, God does not appear in power or in violence and you were wrong, Elijah, when you slaughtered the priests of Baal. You were not wrong in your zeal but in the way in which you embodied that zeal. We people of God do not slaughter. We get slaughtered. There was a gentle wind and Elijah fell on his knees because God was in the gentle breeze.

After this, there did not remain any place on earth for Elijah, so God seized him in a storm and placed him in a chariot of fire with horses of fire. This is not because a person can sit on fire or because he can be led by fire, but because God Himself is fire. Is not God light and fire at once? Is not God the flame and the light of hearts? God carried Elijah on His shoulders and brought him to heaven. Elijah is alive in his love, in his zeal. "I have been zealous for the Lord of Hosts." Why was he zealous for the Lord of Heaven and Earth? Because he is the one who said, "Living is the Lord before whom I stand." Living is the Lord and the people are dead. The kings are dead and the oppressors are dead. God alone is living and he who knows this and stands before the living God cannot live with the dead.

God remains with those who love Him. Their hearts have been seized with love for the one who sits above, above the people of lust, tyranny and violence because He is the God of heaven, the God of peace, the God of hearts that love peace. For this reason we honor Elijah who was with the Lord on the mountain of the Transfiguration. He was transfigured in zeal and in turn has remained for people and for history flame and light.

1 comment:

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Dear Rodrigue,


Allah akbar,
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.