Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 1)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 1)

The Book Shepherd of Hermas have many similitudes that I find very instructive for the servants of God. These texts help us understand better some doctrines of Lord Jesus and the way of thinking of the righteous of the first century.
I recommend you to read the whole book, but if you want a resume to have a look of what this book have to offer this is it.

First Similitude - We are dwelling in a foring city, preparing to return to our own city.

Why prepare vain habitations?

"1. HE said to me, Ye know, ye who are God's servants,
that ye are dwelling in a strange land;
for your city is far off from this city.
If then ye know your city in which ye are to dwell,
why prepare ye here fields and costly arrays and buildings
and vain habitations?
2. He who prepareth these things for this city thinketh not of
returning to his own city." (Shepherd of Hermas 1st Sim. 1.1,2)

"6. Take heed therefore and, as one that dwelleth in a strange land,
provide no more for thyself than the competency which sufficeth thee..."
(Shepherd of Hermas 1st Sim. 1.6)

Keep the law of your (celestial) city.

"For rightly saith the lord of this country unto thee,
Either use my laws or get thee out of my country.
5. Thou then, what wilt thou do, seeing thou hast a law in thine own city?
See if it is not unprofitable for thee to deny thy law;
for if thou then desire to return to thy city,
thou shalt surely not be received, because thou hast denied the law
of thy city, but shalt be shut out from it. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 1st Sim. 1.5)

What should the rich do with the money?
Invest in people salvation, help the poor.

"7. Take heed ye that serve God and have Him in your heart;
work the works of God, remembering His commandments and the promises
which He promised, and believe that He will perform them
if His commandments be kept.
8. Instead of fields therefore purchase souls that are afflicted,
according as one is able, and visit widows and orphans and neglect them not.
On such fields and houses freely spend your wealth and all your array
which ye have received from God.
9. For thereunto did the Master enrich you, that ye might fulfil
these ministrations unto Him. Far better is it to buy
such lands and possessions and houses as thou shalt find in
thy city when thou goest home to it."
(Shepherd of Hermas 1st Sim. 1.7-9)

Second Similitude - The Elm and the Vine - Rich and Poor

In this similitude the Elm represents a servant of God that is rich but produces no fruit alone, and the Vine represents the servant of god that is poor and produces fruit. If the Elm support the Vine, the vine will produce more fruits and the elm will share the participation on th vine´s fruits so the fruits are from both.
So the rich servant of God should help and support the poor servant so they can produce toguether many fruits.

"... the elm having water nourisheth the vine, and the vine having continual
moisture yieldeth double increase, for itself and for the elm.
Thus also the poor by interceding with the Lord for the rich fulfil
their wealth; and again the rich by supplying the needs of the poor
satisfy their souls.
9. So then both become partners in the righteous work."
(Shepherd of Hermas 2nd Sim. 1.8,9)