Saturday, February 6, 2010

154: God Would Overwhelm Me With Misery

Job 8-10
Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers. - Job 8:20

Job's friends continue to try to talk him out of being sad. Again it's a lot of flowery poetic talk so they don't end up saying much. Basically they say that God would not pervert justice. And Job's kids really deserved death because they sinned. That's not really the reason, but whatever makes you feel better friends of Job. Then the friend gives our quote of the day "Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers." But he just did both of those things, he rejected Job and gave him into the hands of the biggest evildoer (Satan).

Just as a side note, Job is still a huge fan of God. So I'm not sure what this conversation is about. His friends try to be talking him into loving God again, but he's already there, he's just sad.

It almost seems like Job likes God less as his friends try to say how wonderful God is. Job writes a pretty amazing critique of God, I'll quote him:
When he passes me, I cannot see him;
when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.

If he snatches away, who can stop him?
Who can say to him, 'What are you doing?'

God does not restrain his anger;
even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.

"How then can I dispute with him?
How can I find words to argue with him?

Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;
I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.

Even if I summoned him and he responded,
I do not believe he would give me a hearing.

He would crush me with a storm
and multiply my wounds for no reason.

He would not let me regain my breath
but would overwhelm me with misery.

If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!
And if it is a matter of justice, who will summon him?

Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me;
if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.
Basically what Job is saying (if you can't read bible speak) is that he would never summon God because he would only overwhelm him with misery. And if anyone wanted justice they shouldn't summon God (ouch).

Job goes on to say that he wishes he could bring God to a court to argue his case with him. And that he wishes there were someone between God and him to stop God's terror.

I almost want to quote the entirety of chapter 10, Job's criticism of God is so great. I'll do my best to summarize and you can go here if you want to read it yourself.

Job asks God to tell him the charges against him (that is how justice works). Of course, God can't give Job the charges, because there are none (and God doesn't make house calls)! God himself said Job is blameless in everything. He goes on to ask God if he smiles at the schemes of the wicked (no, he just aids and abets them). He asks God if he has the eyes of a mortal so that he can see the suffering he causes.

This is probably the saddest story in the bible if you believe in God (it's pretty sad even if you don't). God just randomly destroys people's lives? God, who is supposed to be all just, does things that are completely unjust? But of course, this is totally ok, because "God defines morality" so whatever he does is automatically moral. I'm calling bullshit.

The chapter ends with Job again wishing he'd never been born.

*News*
Fox (read: Faux) News knows the perfect solution for the president's problems. Ask for God's help! Because it worked so well when Bush listened to God. This is on the opinion page, for the record.

They even mention Bush's decisions:
The issues that face America as outlined in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week are, at their core, issues of the heart. Two wars may have contributed to our deficit but it was the heart of man that created the wars themselves. It was greed that began the mess on Wall Street and greed that brought about the downturn in the housing market. The need of the hour is a call to place our faith not in government but in God.
So we should look to God for the problems that God himself caused (through the prophet Bush)? The article goes on to quote a bunch of religious presidents saying God helped them. Undeniable proof God helps presidents? *check*

Maybe if we didn't vehemently opposed everything done by the other party, just because they are from the other party, we might get something done. Oops, that's nothing to do with God.

(via Faux News)

2 comments:

  1. Job sounds like he has battered biblical dude syndrome -- similar to battered spouse syndrome, only ... biblical.

    It's weird enough to believe in an imaginary sky-being that created everything, yet another to attribute all manner of unthinkable acts of sadsitic cruelty to him **and still think he's awesome**. This isn't exactly sane.

    This is also a prime example of why it's never "wrong" to be an atheist - if by some bizarre chance the biblical god actually exists, an actual entity with massive superpowers who is cruel, capricious, egotistical, jealous, petty and violent, he's certainly not worthy of worship.

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  2. If, on the judgement day, I was confronted with God and I found that God took himself seriously, I would ask to go to the other place. -- Malcolm Muggeridge, 1969


    [key word of course being the awfully big 'if' :-)]

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