Stone Plaque Gods
As the population increased during the first civilization period, people started dispersing into caves and tents. Although the sketches of Gods they drew in the caves were not sufficient to worship together, they stippled portraits of Gods on rocks, which are visible to everyone. With the chisels and hammers used for their agriculture, they chipped images of God on stones as idols and kept in commonplace, like under the tree or in the base of the rock, where everyone gathered together for prayer.
As time advanced, more powerful and sharp tools were used to make the idols more beautiful. They have created common prayer venues to worship with idol Gods as the focal point for better yielding and livestock.
Offerings and Sacrifices
Though they faced many unfavourable situations even after worship and prayer, they never stopped prayers to please God to resurrect their agriculture crops and animals. They believed God could eat the agriculture offering but animals have to be cut, cleaned, and baked in fire. Hence they started offering agricultural crops, fruits, vegetables and living sacrifices from their livestock to God.
But most of the farmers refused to do it by themselves hence decided to appoint a person to do such activities for God on behalf of the community. Selected and appointed interested people to do such activities and named them as priests. When they felt these activities bringing more yielding they reduced the importance of gods like sun, moon, and stars, and gave more importance to the manmade idol gods. Even though it looks like fun to see the manmade good for nothing stone-idols as gods, they found it very easy to handle and transport these Gods. The images and shapes made to represent a supernatural power, now became the real gods and they fail to remember the supernatural power.
Priests and Custom Practices
The offerings of crops, fruits, vegetables, and baked flesh were placed as sacrifices kept in front of God. The priests were feasted on them without wasting it considering the effort of the farmers. As this formality of offering became a custom, the priests started taking advantage, using God as a focal point and demanding more offerings in exchange for more blessings to avoid curses. People never took chances and brought whatever the priests insisted for God. Then onwards priests took an upper hand over the community and commanding power. They manage and demand anything on behalf of God. Hence people were forced to produce the same out of fear without question. Customs and practices of blessings in return for the earthly things started establishing this way.
Temples and Rituals
Initially, idols of Gods were a single focal point of prayers and worship for a common cause. As the numbers increased in the priest’s family they formulated different strategies for their existence. One of the main fixations they stress was, “all Gods can’t be in a single place” as they have diverse responsibilities and duties, depends on the demands and types of prayer and worship for every specific need. So they moved each idol into different locations and started separate prayers, offering according to the nature of God.
It was a strategic move by the priests, to include their family members to get more revenue. As the priest suggested people started bringing their agriculture products, to please each God and those specific items got fixed as a ritual. The priests were getting plenty of items for their daily life on behalf of God as an offering, to impress the public they scheduled extra Pooja with flowers and leaves. When these Pooja became the daily custom, they decided to build lodging for the convenience of Priests. The priests knew, how to put it across to the public, without informing, it’s for their convenience. So announced the aboard is for God, to protect the idol from bad weather conditions and named it as Temple.
Then onwards the priest took the responsibility of cleaning the premises and bringing flowers and items for Pooja. These selfless acts of the priests inspired people to add in their own additional offerings like flowers to the temples, to get extra blessings from God. Flowers agriculture items accumulated in surplus and priests found it difficult to manage, perishable items. For those who came for individual prayers, the priest gave away perishable items and flowers on behalf of God. Everything the priests have started during those days became rituals and customs. Afterward with all these customs priests developed as a religion.
Mesopotamian religion, Sumerian religion, Akkadian religion refers to the religious beliefs and practices of the first civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia particularly Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia between circa. Mesopotamian moon God was called Nanna in Sumerian, and Su’en or Sin in Akkadian. É (Cuneiform) is the Sumerian word or symbol for house or temple.
Ur’ is a Sumerian city-state in the ancient city-state in Mesopotamia near the mouth of the Euphrates River. The city’s patron deity was Nanna (Sin), the Sumerian and Akkadian moon god, and the name of the city is in origin derived from the god’s name.
Ram in the Thicket
This ancient Mesopotamian sculpture is known as the ‘ram in the thicket’ (goat in a tree a common sight along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers). This sculpture reflects the wealth, status, belief, and importance of the trade networks of Mesopotamia.
Even though ancient generation could sense about the supernatural personality who created and controlling everything, gradually focus changed from divinity to human needs. And hence they could realize the sources sun, moon, stars which controls the seasons and weather. Instead of following these sources to know about the external controls in seasons, for the agriculture planning they started pleading to these life sources deviated humans from the original divine person. Even though the supernatural personality made evident himself (His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature) in their inner consciousness, through all His creation and wonderful things that He has made, they fail to believe and trust in Him.
For even though they knew the Creator, they did not honour Him or give thanks for His wondrous creation. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking Godless, with pointless reasoning and silly speculations their hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged glory and majesty. They exchanged the immortal supernatural personality for an image of a worthless idol in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.