Basic Moral Courage: The Religious Assertion, Love as the Highest Virtue, Post Five

   Jacob and Rachel, the love story of love stories in the Hebrew Bible, represents the evolutionary acme of masculine love. That is, masculine love, to be self-fulfilling, must also be self-sacrificing. This is not patrimony. Self-sacrificing masculine love is the precursor of prevenient grace. Love is to be anticipated because love anticipates; love is prevenient and gracious.

   Jacob is the tool of God. Esau is so full of life he believes his survival is primary, even over the patrimonial Blessing. Jacob, pitiful creature, requires the Blessing and more. Stripped of his mother's protective cuckolding, he is himself easily gulled by his kinsman, Laban, who has more than one herd to graze and more than one daughter to wed. For some reason known only to God, God loves Jacob. The result is largely disastrous. Jacob has to flee and Esau has to weep.

   We tend to follow Jacob's story, while Esau wins a Kingdom without the Blessing. Is it because Jacob has the Blessing, and if so, what good does it appear to do him? Jacob seems to enjoy the Blessing not at all but he does seem to have the moral advancement of monotheism. That is, Jacob seems to seek to internalize God. God seems to want to live in Jacob's heart, rascal though Jacob may be.

   If God is One God, not all, not even many, but One God, then man can focus on God, the One True and Living God. Focus will naturally lead to portability because man is ambulatory. To worship the One True God man needs something other than a hateful spirit confined to a statue or a needy being housed in a temple. If man is to focus on the One True God, God has to practice something man ought to want. God practices love, prevenient grace, and invites man to do the same.

  

  

  

  

  

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