Thursday, April 8, 2010

215: God Loving People to Death

Isaiah 28-30
"All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth." - Isaiah 28:8

*Sigh* Yet another day of God destroying the earth. I'm starting to get the feeling that Isaiah is only about God killing us all.

First on the chopping block today is Ephraim. God is going to trample Ephraim and throw them to the ground like a hailstorm. The writer says how all the people of Ephraim are drunkards that apparently go around puking everywhere. He says that there is not one spot on any of the tables in Ephraim that aren't covered in vomit. This is, I guess, crime enough for them to be wiped off the planet.

God's wrath continues on to Ariel, the city that David has settled in. The bible says that God is personally going to set up siege works against the city and bring the city to the ground. God says that the inhabitants of Ariel will all be brought low, and their voices will come out of the dust. But wait, he's not done yet! He is going to send hordes of enemies into Ariel to fight them. If anyone is left after this invasion, God is going to blind them.

Before I go on. I'm just curious. Where is God's love for humanity in this book? Where is God's grace if he's killed you? How can he forgive something that's dead? For being an infinite being, he seems to have a (small) finite amount of forgiveness for humanity.

The final chapter today is about the "obstinate nation" (presumably Israel). God says he's mad at his obstinate children for going down to Egypt without asking God first. How would God have sent an answer exactly? God says that Egypt's help will be useless to them. God is a jealous and patronizing God.

For the rest of the chapter God stops talking and Isaiah tells us all about how God would really like to forgive us if we would just ask him. Unfortunately, being blind and dead isn't terribly conducive to asking God for forgiveness. Isaiah goes on to say that God will go back to watering our crops if we go back to him. Again, if all of the farms have been destroyed, and all of the seed has been plundered by invaders, watering the fields isn't going to do a whole lot of good.

If God would really like us to live a certain way, he should tells us in person and often. If God only appears to humanity to destroy, I'm not sure how he expects the Israelites to consistently follow him. He scolds the Israelites for not being loyal followers, but God doesn't seem to ever be there to follow.

I've intentionally not said much about the current Catholic church scandal, because I can't say anything that everyone else on the planet hasn't said already. However, as usual, Jon Stewart can say things much better than I, and his piece on the catholic church was so great I had to share it.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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  1. One more time:







    you little liars do nothing but antagonize…

    and you try to eliminate all the dreams and hopes of humanity…

    but you LOST…


    Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism…



    atheists deny their own life element…



  2. It's hard to remain calm when crazy people speak, but we must.

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  4. Amen, Anonymous. That's a good mantra.

  5. "Before I go on. I'm just curious. Where is God's love for humanity in this book? Where is God's grace if he's killed you? How can he forgive something that's dead? For being an infinite being, he seems to have a (small) finite amount of forgiveness for humanity."

    Limited explanation, but here goes:
    Isaiah is a strange book. There's kind of an attempt here, like in Job, to show that God is even above the law that he has given to his people and not really accountable to the morality he expects either. My opinion here, but Isaiah is kind of like the wimpy kid that always got beat up and yet still thinks somehow he's going to win in the end. And so he gets a real strength from thinking God is on his side and is going to pull an Schwarzenegger: "I'll be back."

    Jewish history, at this point, is in a place where the people of God have been living as a kind of servile province of empires for potentially centuries. The idea of the Jewish Chosen Promised People ruling over others and being powerful and actually owning their own national land, has kind of not really happened. And so they are a little bummed out, but getting on with life as they can.

    Isaiah has a few manic fits of, "It's all yer fault, sinners!" and, "Just wait and see, just wait and see, because God's gotta be coming back!" sort of thing. There is an attempt to fit past promises with a recent history of defeat and (civil) subjugation. If all your past stories say, "God steps in," but he isn't doing that any more, the human brain starts to look for reasons or explanations.

    Likely Brent would be a good source at this point for information and perspective too. I hope he is still reading. I haven't heard about the Ph.D. results. Maybe he's busy with a bigger office and a doctory-professory job at this point. :-)



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