Judaism is a religion of the Jewish people

Judaism is a religion of the Jewish people. The Jews or Hebrews were the chosen people of God among the whole inhabitants of the earth. They were indeed God's own. It was to them that the promises of old were made. For instance, "they shall be my people and I shall be their God", says the Lord.

No weapon fashioned against you shall prosper. My plan for you is that of prosperity. I have inscribed your name on the palm of my hands. Even if a mother forgets the child of her womb, I shall not forget you. You shall be the head not the tail, and so on and so forth. The point is that the Hebrews were in a special form of covenant with God.

God manifested himself to them in different forms in particular circumstances. Hence, they gave him different names according to these manifestations. Some of those names include: El-Shaddai, El-Donai, El-Rapha, etc. These names were indiscriminately used in their daily lives without pronounced reverence. Besides, God in Hebrew culture has a personal name which no Hebrew citizen calls without deep reverential fear. The name is YAHWEH. This name is scarcely mentioned by any Hebrew.

More recently, bible scholars instructed that this name be reverently removed in subsequent bible translation in order to restore this holy ancient tradition. The reverence for this holy name is inserted into the second rung of the Decalogue ladder: thou shall not take the name of the LORD the God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Ex 20:7).

For the same reason, we were told in the bible never to swear by God's name. Moses, the great leader of Israelites never called this name without his face fearfully covered or prostrated on the ground. As Hebrews reverence this personal name of God, so do they reverence God and all godly things.

For instance, the temple, sacred songs, and even the Holy Bible. That of the bible is so serious that they do not place any other object on top of it because the bible is above all and should be on top.

The high priest ascends the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, only but once for a whole year. These are the platforms from which we can understand why the Hebrews are called the chosen people of God. As a covenant people, they avoid anything that offends God like secularism, sacrilege and profanation of holy things.

The birth of Jesus Christ was inserted into this great Hebrew culture and history. Jesus' history gave birth to Christianity. Christianity is a higher form of Judaism, where the old laws are purified, made perfect and universal. This reverence for God's name which was observed by the Hebrew people alone became as it were, a universal phenomenon binding on all children of God reborn and adopted, not through flesh and blood but by the Spirit through baptism.

The problem today, which informs this write-up is that Christians who are expected to take the reverence of God's name and godly things to the superlative level now make a caricature of their faith and salvation. Indeed, many popular sacred songs used during worship have been so secularized that they are now simply a mockery of God and liturgy.

For instance, the popular Igbo song: k'anyi were ik? aka kele Chineke, mma mma ya ga-ad?gide ebighebi has been secularized into: k'anyi were otu aka kw?ba tomatoes, mma mma ya ga-ad?gide ebighebi. Children that play cards (WHOT), have secularized another hymn: kene ya kene ya n'?bu Eze (3times) Jesus ? d? mma, into: general general market (2times), continue last card, check up egb'm g'.

Our prayer life is another area that suffers gravely. At prayer, we stand face-to-face with God. Today, the experts in ICT have encoded some of our prayers like Hail Mary, Our Father, etc into GSM ringing tones and caller tunez. The question is, when your phone rings with those prayers, do you actually pray? If you do, before whom do you stand offering those prayers?

Before God, or your boy or girl friend calling you? The worst is that the most sacred canon words of consecration reserved only for the ordained clergy of the holy Roman Catholic Church have been configured into ringing tones. Do you know that all knees are supposed to be on the ground at the solemn pronouncement of those words?

Red signal on our faith! What the ancient Hebrews and Jews took as their life wire has become a playground for the modern Christian. In fact, the modern man has so lost the sense of the sacred that "fools now rush where the Angels fear to tread."


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