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Points of Interest

16 Feb

#1. Aztec Removal— The Broken Spears {The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico}

This is the latest book I am reading and as I was doing so I began to think of some OT verses which might explain why the Olmecs, The Totecs, The Incas, the Mayas and the Aztecs were all removed from the face of the earth as a corporate entity. I am sure those have descendents today but they do not exist as one nation or a powerful group of people.

Historians tell us that these South American/ Mexican peoples practiced human sacrifice and coincidentally have all suffered the same fate over the generations. This book spells it out very clearly that the Aztecs did practice human sacrifice, so the historians got one right,  and I wonder if the Spaniards and smallpox were God’s tools of choice to enforce his edicts about killing others. Here are some quotes:

In part, the motive was simply to extend the rule of Tenochtitlan, but the major purpose was to capture victims for sacrifice, because the source of life, the sun, unless it were fed with human blood. (pg. xxxviii & xxxix)

the Aztec warriors never forgot that their first duty was to take captives to be sacrificed.  (pg. xliii)

Motecuhzoma also sent captives to be sacrificed, because the strangers might wish to drink their blood. The envoys sacrificed these captives in the presence of the strangers… (pg. thirty-three)

Here are a few verses that may apply to the destruction of these Southern people

17 ‘If a man [f]takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. (Lev. 24 NASB)

And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. (Lev. 17:10 NASB)

For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’ (Lev. 17:14 NASB)

‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.(Lev. 19:26 NASB)

These are but a few examples and though many people may claim that these verses do not apply anymore, they do give us an insight into God’s attitude about killing others and how serious he takes that act. As for His using the Spaniards and smallpox, here is a quote from later in the book that gives credence to that idea:

This period of normalcy was soon ended by the terrible plague that quickly spread through the city. The plague seems to have been an epidemic of smallpox, which was previously unknown among the Indians…Shortly afterward, the Spaniards reappeared. (pgs. ninety-one & ninety-two)

The book describes the horrific things the Spaniards did to the Indians which makes you not a fan of them or their exploits:

They sentenced a great many people for imaginary crimes; the victims were executed for acts they had never committed. (pg. seventy-nine)

Supposedly they were Christian, though we know the Spaniards were not, and they acted in a most unchristian manner throughout their conquest as the next point will show. You may wonder why I make the connection like this but here is a quote form Motecuhzoma’s thoughts about his and his people’s lives:

We will be judged and punished. And however it may be, and whenever it may be, we can do nothing but wait. (pg. fifty-five)

#2. The Love of Money— The Broken Spears

The following quotes give us a good example of how those who love gold or money above everything else look.

The envoys presented many objects of gold to the strangers, and then observed their reaction to the gifts: The Spaniards burst into smiles… They hungered like pigs for that gold…(pg. fifty-one)

They picked up the gold and fingered it like monkeys… (pg. fifty-one)

The truth is that they longed and lusted for gold. Their bodies swelled with greed, and their hunger ravenous; they hungered like pigs for gold. (pg. fifty-one)

They questioned him closely and then demanded gold. (pg. sixty-six)

They gathered all the gold into a great mound and set fire to everything else, regardless of its value (pg. sixty-eight)

The Spaniards grinned like little beasts and patted each other with delight. (pg. sixty-eight)

They searched everywhere and coveted everything; they were slaves to their own greed. (pg. sixty-eight)

Greed is called a deadly sin and for good reason, it is not a biblical trait (Lk. 2:15; Rom. 1:29; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 2 Peter 2:3) and that last passage can be seen in Cortez’s words when he met Motecuhzoma:

Cortez replied in his strange and savage tongue, speaking first to La Malinche: Tell Motecuhzoma that we are his friends. There is nothing to fear…Then he said to Motecuhzoma: We have come to your house in Mexico as friends. There is nothing to fear. (pgs. sixty-four & sixty-five)

Peter wrote

and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; (2 Peter 2:3a)

Money is not evil, but it is the LOVE of money that that originates evil (1 Tim. 6:10). We as believers can be rich or well off as long as we do not turn our love for God to money and wealth. We keep money in its proper place and see it with the proper perspective.

#3. Even The Aztecs Were Literate— The Broken Spears

Why many scholars and archaeologists claim that the Hebrews were an illiterate people is anyone’s guess. If the Aztecs could recognize the value of education why wouldn’t the Israelites especially since they had God giving instruction after instruction to educate, be educated and allowed for teachers to teach?  Here are a couple of quotes that show that the Aztecs had real schools, knew writing and could read

As we have said, every boy had to attend one of these two types of schools, and every father had to make a solemn vow, on the birth of a son, that he would send the boy to school when he reached the proper age, which seem to fluctuated between six and nine years (pg. xlv)

The highest cultures in ancient Mexico– especially the Mayas, Mixtecs, Toltecs and Aztecs– succeeded in developing their own systems of writing… (pg. xlv)

The literary ‘remains’ that have survived the Conquest  and intervening years are not as well-known as the sculpture and architecture of ancient Mexico, but they are surprisingly rich and abundant. (pg. xlvi)

What ancient governments required of their people are not limited to the laws we uncover (i.e. Hammurabi’s law code) Not everything is written in the law of the land and it is possible that the ancient regions of a civilization had their own requirements just like States and Provinces have today. We cannot always look to the federal laws to know everything about the land or what governed the people.

#4. You May Ask Why…— The Broken Spears

did the Indians behave in such a naive manner towards the Spanish? The answer is quite simple and may be obvious to you. Before people like the Incas and Aztecs came to be their land was visited by a man called Quetzalcoatl who promised to return one day

It was if he thought the new arrival was our prince Quetzalcoatl. (pg. twenty-two)

Also,

Motecuhzoma ordered the sacrifice because he took the Spaniards to be gods; he believed in them and worshiped them as deities. (pg. thirty-three)

When you have this attitude, you do not have suspicion, make defense plans, or treat the visitors as criminals. You welcome them as friends, opening your home for them to come in. The Indians way of thinking left them very vulnerable to being deceived as 2 Peter said a person would be. The attitude expressed above can be seen in Motecuhzoma’s words to Cortez:

Then he stood up to welcome Cortez; he came forward, bowed is head low and addressed him in these words: Our lord, you are weary. The journey has tired you, but now you have arrived on earth. You have come to your city, Mexico. You have come here to sit on your throne, to sit under its canopy.

The kings who have gone before, your representatives, guarded it and preserved it for your coming… (pg. sixty-four)

If anything, the Indians actions and words should serve as a warning to not blindly welcome anyone but to be more discerning as evil comes disguised as angels of light and can do more destructive acts than the Spaniards did to the Aztecs. Use the mistakes of others as a guide to protect your own lives and the lives of your family

 

 

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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in academics, archaeology, Bible, faith, history, leadership

 

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