Sexuality is writ large in the pages of Scripture. Genesis 1-2 sets forth God’s original design for human sexuality, and these first two chapters of the Torah constitute the foundation for the rest of the biblical treatment of the subject.
The book of Daniel is the Bible in microcosm. Indeed, it contains the essence of biblical truth. For Daniel is not simply a religious book full of pious stories. It speaks the language of humanity in a holistic manner, not only spiritually by inviting us to prayer and meditation, but also intellectually by challenging the mind and inviting research.
The Bible does not explain what worship is or why or how we should worship. The living experience of Israel bowing before her God and praying and singing and even shouting at Him is given without any comment or theological analysis.
Fateful words were pronounced by the small crowd of Jews gathered in the Praetorium: “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). This curse has often been used by Christians to promote the idea that the Jews were rejected by God, and therefore to justify anti- Semitism.
According to the Bible, the family is the oldest, the very first institution of human history. It came into being on the sixth day, as the last work of the divine creation, and marked the beginning of human history.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country and your people. Leave your father’s family. Go to the land I will show you. ‘I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you. I will make your name great. You will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you. I will put a curse on anyone who calls down a curse on you. All nations on earth will be blessed because of you’” (Genesis 12: 1-3).
The behavior of the satraps is very similar to that of the Chaldeans toward the three Hebrews (chapter 3). Interestingly, it is a behavior presenting all the characteristics of anti-Semitism: the same hatred of the foreigner, of his customs, of his religion; the same morbid jealousy; the same allusion to his Jewish origin (verse 13); and the same political concern. Where the Jew is perceived as a threat to unity, anti-Semitism becomes the unifying factor of nations and ideologies, from Marxism to Nazism, from left-wing tendencies to rightwing tendencies, down to the religious democracies.
To really live is to engage all the dimensions of being into life. Such a holistic concept of life is biblical. Man and woman, their whole beings, were created by God.
This implies that their being, permeated by the breath of God, cannot be fragmented. The story of Creation specifies: “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).1
Since antiquity, the man of Israel has prayed. He is every day invigorated by the pulse of prayer. This spiritual task of the people of Israel has been best preserved by the Psalms. But prayer has surged beyond the borders of Israel, springing forth in all the world’s religions, the inspiration even of the modern poet whose sensitivity echoes that of the psalmist in his songs and in his outcries.