We read from 2:41 – 61

2:41 – You shall believe in what I have revealed herein, confirming what you have; do not be the first to reject it. Do not trade away My revelations for a cheap price, and observe Me.
2:51 – False religions always try to create a shortcut to God via an intermediary like the calf.

True religion = only you and God (no intermediary)

2:45 “This is difficult indeed, but no so for the reverent”
90:11 “You shall choose the difficult path.”  
65:4 “Anyone who reverences God, He makes everything easy for them.”

Take Away: When we reverence God, He makes things easy for us

Faith, knowledge and wisdom to go through the dark passage to get to the promise land – need to belief on faith!! That is the difficult path

2:44 – Do you exhort the people to be righteous, while forgetting yourselves, though you read the scripture? Do you not understand?
When we focus on fixing ourselves we will find reverence
tied back to 2:62 and leading a righteous life.
We can always do better
These verses are for us not for others

How do you know when you are being sincere?
How sincere are you with yourself? When we don’t realize our own shortcomings how can you be sincere with God?

49:17 – They act as if they are doing you a favor by embracing Submission! Say, “You are not doing me any favors by embracing Submission. GOD is the One who is doing you a great favor by guiding you to the faith, if you are sincere.”
56:75 – “only the sincere can understand the Quran.”
2:146 Those who received the scripture recognize the truth herein, as they recognize their own children. Yet, some of them conceal the truth, knowingly.

Is it possible to be the judge of your own sincerity?
How can a person be sincere when most people are not even honest with themselves?
Honesty is the foundation of sincerity
6:24 – “note how they lied to themselves
2:11 – When they are told, “Do not commit evil,” they say, “But we are righteous!”
22:32 – Indeed, those who reverence the rites decreed by GOD demonstrate the righteousness of their hearts.
Sincerity is when we make pleasing God our only focus
Definition of sincerity – free of deceit, free of hypocrisy, pure, unmixed
Abraham was a good example of sincerity by loving God with his whole heart
Sincerity and authenticity are related. By coming to the message and Quran studies before it is mainstream we are showing our sincerity.

When we give to charity we are showing that we are not doing it to please others.

When we are sincere we recognize the truth irrespective of what form it comes in or how it is presented.
Look for the truth in the unexpected

Joshua Bell Social Experiment

There is a time and place for everything…When the time is right God will open one’s heart

Can a sincere person with bad qualities?
[25:42] “He almost diverted us from our gods, if it were not that we steadfastly persevered with them.” They will certainly find out, when they see the retribution, who are the real strayers from the path.”
[38:6] The leaders announced, “Go and steadfastly persevere in worshiping your gods. This is what is desired.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience

How can we understand God’s favor?
The expression “My favor” is used in three verses all addressed to the Children of Israel: 2:40, 47, 122 = 40 + 47 + 122 = 209 = 19×11
Going above and beyond what one even expects…
Favor of our lives and of redemption…
Definition of favor: friendly regard shown towards another especially by a superior, approving consideration or attention, preference for one group or individual
Favor to the Children of Israel is how many times God can pull them out of a bad situation…Calf, heifer…

Should we ask for a favor from God?
Supplication: A Form of Worship*
[40:60] Your Lord says, “Implore Me, and I will respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Gehenna, forcibly.”
If God provides or not we submit

How did the Children of Israel get into slavery, and how did they get the gold and silver to make the calf?
Exodus 12:35 – “Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.”

Anything that is meant to happen happens and it is because we deserved it irrespective if it is a retribution, blessing in disguise, etc.

2:61 – “kill the prophets” – which prophet’s prior to John and Jesus were killed?
Luke 11:47 – 52
47 Woe to you! For you build the [ah]tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. 48 So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs.49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will [ai]persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be [aj]charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be [ak]charged against this generation.’ 52 Woe to you [al]lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.”

What is manna?
Exodus 16:4 – 13
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My[b]instruction. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, “At evening [c]you will know that theLord has brought you out of the land of Egypt; 7 and in the morning [d]you will see the glory of theLord, for He hears your grumblings against the Lord; and what are we, that you grumble against us?”

8 Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you [e]meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.”

9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, ‘Come near before theLord, for He has heard your grumblings.’” 10 It came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, that they [f]looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lordappeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, ‘[g]At twilight you shall eat [h]meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morningthere was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew [i]evaporated, behold, on the[j]surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground. 15 When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “[k]What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.

2:61 What is the meaning of substitute that which is inferior for that which is good?

Comparing the translation of 2:54 “You shall kill your egos” compared to other translations and the bible.

2:54 Recall that Moses said to his people, “O my people, you have wronged your souls by worshiping the calf. You must repent to your Creator. You shall kill your egos. This is better for you in the sight of your Creator.” He did redeem you. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

Yusuf Ali – 2:54

And remember Moses said to his people: “O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker.” Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft- Returning, Most Merciful.

Pickthal – 2:54

And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship) so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful.

Shakir – 2:54

And when Musa said to his people: O my people! you have surely been unjust to yourselves by taking the calf (for a god), therefore turn to your Creator (penitently), so kill your people, that is best for you with your Creator: so He turned to you (mercifully), for surely He is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.

Exodus 32: 25 Now when Moses saw that the people were [n]out of control—for Aaron had let them [o]get out of control to be a derision among [p]their enemies— 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him. 27 He said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his [q]neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did [r]as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 Then Moses said, “[s]Dedicate yourselves today to the Lord—for every man has been against his son and against his brother—in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today.”

2:54  – objecting to any situation is having ego. We should point fingers at ourselves. Anything or anyone that bothers us is a sign of ego

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