Sunday, April 25, 2010

232: Save the Old Lady and the Dog First

Jeremiah 30-31
" 'At that time,' declares the LORD, 'I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people.' " - Jeremiah 31:1

[My computer decided to die this morning. So if I post the blog at strange times for the next couple of weeks, you'll know why.]

In the first of two chapters today, God tells Jeremiah to write a book. So I guess what I'm reading right now is the second book of Jeremiah (or maybe Jeremiah is writing about God telling him to write this book, that would be very meta). God goes on to lay out what should be in this other book of Jeremiah. God tells Jeremiah to record how he will punish all of the people that are punishing Israel right now. I'm not sure when, presumably in 70 years when God brings the people back to Israel. Of course, by then Jeremiah will be dead. That's the best kind of prophecy, the one that doesn't get disproven till after you're dead. God also tells Jeremiah to write down that Israel will eventually be restored (I'm not sure why God has to keep repeating this).

Chapter 31, while fairly lengthy, isn't very interesting. God is just repeating all of the things he's said at the beginning of the chapter. Namely, Israel will at some point be restored to it's former glory, and what remains of the people of Israel will eventually loyally worship God again. That's pretty wishful thinking on God's part, considering he's been completely convinced that Israel would worship him and it's never quite worked out. But, of course, I'm sure that was all part of God's convoluted, seemingly idiotic plan.

Choctaw County Mississippi was hit by a tornado. One lucky woman, Jean Oswal, was spared by - you guessed it - God.

The Clarion Ledger tells her full story:
Jean Oswalt heard the shrill whistling, grabbed her dog and a pillow and huddled in a closet in the back of her house Saturday. A nine-shelf shoe rack fell on top of her; a series of what sounded like explosions seemed like they would never stop.

When they did, the first thing she saw was her husband's Bible - which, seconds earlier, was in the front room.

"And it didn't have a scratch on it, and it was not wet," she said.

That Oswalt - the mother of Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt - was able to tell a tale that alluded to divine intervention was significant in itself.
A real miracle! She was saved and the first thing she saw was her unblemished bible. Unfortunately, a key element was left out of this story. A few hundred yards down the road, five people died, another 5 were dead elsewhere in the city.

Why did God spare a relatively old woman and her dog, but not the other 10 people in the city? Was this woman somehow morally superior to those who died? Probably not. What about the dog? Is God sending us a message that some dogs lives are more important than human lives? God really does work in mysterious incomprehensible sadistic ways.

It really bugs me when people claim, or imply in this case, divine intervention when they're saved and others die. In fact, these situations seem to prove that there was no divine intervention. If God is all perfect and all moral, then surely he would only pick the least moral to be killed. And if God were all loving, surely he wouldn't let any of the people die at all.

As usual, the more reasonable explanation is that there is no God at all.

(via The Clarion Ledger/The New York Times)


  1. This kind of story really angers me too. So a guy in the local paper reckons he had incurable cancer (poor guy) but somehow defies medical thinking and gets over it. Good for him! How did this occur - it was God! In could not have been luck, or mis-diagnosis or just that we don't fully understand cancer. No, it was definitely God.

    So one of my good friends is diagnosed with terminal cancer aged 22, and dies aged 24. No help from God there, that was a big FU in the face. We just didn't deserve it I suppose. Fairplay God, you know best. Sigh.

  2. The real scary thing is that the Bible was so untouched.

    Maybe God has no real intention to save any of us, or any of the "chosen people" at all. It's a scheme to preserve the Bible, which is apparently more important than how we treat each other or how we understand natural disasters.

  3. A couple weeks ago I received an alert on Facebook from a fellow Air Force wife that one of her church friends had went missing.A wife and mother of a one year old. The police found her abandoned SUV. My friend was trying to get prayer chains together praying for her safe return saying god will protect her and keep her safe. Turns out she ran off with some guy to Miami to get away from her Husabnd and daughter to start a new life, since then no comment at all from my fellow Air Force Wife. Not even that she was found. Very embarrassing.



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