Thursday, April 22, 2010

229: God, Still Making People Eat Babies

Jeremiah 18-22
"I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives." - Jeremiah 19:9

In the first chapter today, God continues his strange metaphors that he insists Jeremiah act out. This time he tells Jeremiah to go to a potters house and watch him work. Jeremiah obeys and watches the pot maker mold clay. God tells Jeremiah that, like the pot maker molds clay, God will mold the people of Israel. God also mentions that, like the pot maker, God can choose to destroy his creation at any time. You couldn't have just told him that, God?

In the next chapter, God tells Jeremiah to buy a jar and take some of the elders out into a valley. When they are in the valley, Jeremiah is to tell them that God is going to destroy Israel and feed them to animals (and all the other things that God has been saying for the past several chapters). Also, God is going to make the people of Israel eat their children, then eat each other. After Jeremiah tells them this, he is to break the jar and tell the elders that that's what God is going to do to Israel (break them?). Because they didn't quite get what Jeremiah was trying to say until he broke the jar (I guess God thinks everyone is a visual learner).

When Jeremiah returns from the valley, God tells him to go to the Lord's temple and tell everyone that all the villages around are going to be destroyed. When the priest hears Jeremiah preaching this, he has him beaten and put in the stocks. The next day when Jeremiah is released, he tells the priest that God is going to put him to the sword. This sounds more like someone that's pissed off for spending the night in the stocks, rather than someone that's channeling God's word.

Jeremiah then complains that God deceived him. He did just as God said, yet he is mocked and ridiculed. Jeremiah then curses the day he was born and asks why he ever came out of the womb. Still, after all this, he praises God. For what? More and more Jeremiah sounds like a crazy person rather than someone who is actually talking to God.

In chapter 21, King Zedekiah tells one of his prophets to inquire to God about Nebuchadnezzar (the king of Babylon). Apparently between chapter 20 and 21 the Babylonian siege of Israel began. Zedekiah asks God if he will perform miracles and save Israel from the Babylonians. God responds by saying that he, himself will fight the Israelites. He will send a plague among them to destroy men and animals. Well that prayer was a little counter-productive.

God spends the entirety of chapter 21 condemning random kings of Israel. He says they are all going to die, and they can't do anything to save themselves. But as usual, remember that God loves you even when he's about to kill you.

We have yet another question "answered" by Billy Graham.
Dear Rev. Graham: Where did the world come from? My junior high school science teacher says that it just happened, but my Sunday school teacher says God made it. They can't both be right, can they? -- M.N.
Hint: Nobody knows where the world came from. "It just happened" is probably the most accurate description, based on our current level of knowledge about the beginning of the universe (not much). Somehow I don't think that's what Billy is going to say:
Rev. Graham: No, they can't both be right; you can't say on one hand that the world happened by accident, but then say on the other hand that it was created by a deliberate act of God -- not if you're going to be logical.

But the Bible is clear: God created the universe. It didn't just happen, nor was it an accident; it was created by a deliberate and purposeful act on the part of God. And God didn't just form it out of a shapeless mass of material that somehow already existed; He created it from nothing. Think of it: God willed for the worlds to come into existence -- and they did! God spoke -- and it happened! The Bible says, "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6). God is that great and that powerful!
I didn't know Billy Graham was so concerned with being logical. Of course, this always brings me to my next question, "Where did God come from?". He must have just happened.

(via The Town Talk)
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