Friday, March 20, 2015

The Spiritual Observations in The Odyssey

In my review of The Odyssey yesterday I wrote that I was challenged by the worship of their gods in the book. Part of the challenge was seeing how similar their sacrifices were to Old Testament commands for sacrifices to God, at times using the same phraseology. Seeing this, though, made me think, how much am I willing to sacrifice for God? Not in the sense of burning sacrifices, but how often to I stick to my own agenda or do things my way instead of God's way? How often do I get something for myself instead of giving to someone else?

The characters in the book also talked about their gods frequently and always asked them for help. I love to pray, but hearing the way they talk to and about their gods really challenged me to be more diligent in seeking God out in everything. I really want to grow in this more as well as talk about my God and how great He is at all times. I want to worship and honor my God, the One True God, more than those who worship false gods.

I also evaluated why their sacrifices were so extravagant. The characters were seeking to appease, gain favor and, in a sense, manipulate their gods. How often to I do this?

I don't want that kind of worship! 

My God is appeased because He sent His Son to die in my stead. There is nothing I can do to make Him love me more or to fix my sin. Jesus did that. He satisfied God's wrath for me.
I cannot gain His favor because my favor is found in Jesus.
I cannot manipulate God because He Is! He is over all things and His ways are perfect. He will not stray from what brings Him the most glory and His people the most good.

I want to worship my God because by His grace He has saved me, a sinner who does not deserve to be saved, who deserves nothing good. He sent His Son, a part of Himself, to do the work. I cannot save myself. He has done it. That alone is enough reason to worship God with all that I am and all that I have.

The characters also had a deep understanding of sovereignty of their gods, usually referred to as destiny. How is it that we so easily dismiss God as sovereign? He is over all and orchestrates the universe. May I honor the God who is over all things and trust His working, even when I do not understand or like what is happening.

I know there are far more observations than what is written here, but these are the primary things that stand out to me. If you've read this book, did the spiritual elements of the book challenge you? If so, how?

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