Sunday Message – The Awe Inspiring Love of God

evil bug
evil bug (Photo credit: acidpix)
I was told by someone that the God of the Old Testament is neither kind nor patient, so I wrote as good a response as I could.

Getting into the OT would probably kill this conversation. Still, if you ask my opinion, I’ll tell you what I’ve seen from my reading so far.

I learned first of all, that God is kind. He created a whole beautiful world, created a man and a woman and told them “This is yours. Inhabit it, use it, fill it with lots of people”. But his people did more than that. They abused his gifts and kindness, killed each other, dishonored him, and committed the injustice of giving what rightly belongs to him to someone else.

Given all that, he could have killed them all. That’s where I learned the second- God is patient. Centuries of people passed through the earth, committing the same evils as their parents. instead of getting rid of everyone once and for all, he would warn them. Promise them wonderful things if they changed their ways, threaten to punish them if they continued down that path. He waited and waited. He didn’t destroy the people of Canaan for 400 years. He waited even longer with Israel and Judah. He sent prophets and whatever was available to get their attention.

In the end, he punished those who never turned – the people of Israel, Judah, Canaan, Sodom with their cruelty, child sacrifice and all round evil.

He is merciful. The people of Niniveh, an example of those who were intelligent enough to heed wornings, he spared. Still humans in general have not learned. We might no longer have alters on which we burn infants, the evil has not disappeared.

So, what does he do then? Wipe us out? No. He sends his son. Those who wish to turn from their evil ways can turn to him. He will take their guilt and and save them. That is love. And it’s love of the most overwhelming kind. It’s not killed by repeated rejections. It reaches out even to those who would hit and spit on him and nail him on a cross to die.

We’re reading the same Bible, but we’re obviously not seeing the same thing. When I read it, I see a story of one who keeps calling to those he loves even though they have repeatedly abandoning him, doing whatever he can to provide them with the gifts that will satisfy them.

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Tracy

I’m Tracy

2 thoughts on “Sunday Message – The Awe Inspiring Love of God”

  1. But we know that Adam and Eve is just a borrowed story. We know through population genetics that the smallest bottleneck in our ancestry was never two individuals but about 1200. We know that our oldest female ancestry lived some 50 – 70 thousand years earlier to our eldest male ancestry. We know that we descended along with the great apes from a common ancestor about 6 million years ago. Frrom this evidence we know that the Genesis story can only be a story… one that stands contrary to what we know.

    The same is true for the flood. The same is true for Exodus. We have no evidence in favour of any of these stories and much evidence contrary to them.

    In addition, anyone with eyes for the natural world can see a world where life feeds off life, a prey/predator world filled with suffering and death. To suggest such a ‘creation’ is a sign of benevolent design stands contrary to reality.

    So the question that comes to my mind is how anyone can read scripture and somehow know which bits are factual and which bits are metaphor and story? It seems to me to be an arbitrary one based on personal preference, bias, and prejudice to find only those bits and pieces that ‘fit’ a predetermined model and call these ‘factual’ while relegating all the bits and pieces from scripture that stands contrary to the model to be ‘metaphor’ and ‘story’.

    1. My response to you will be the same as my response to him. I am telling the story the way it is told in the Bible. You can disagree with the facts, but you can’t say that it claims other than it claims. He was saying that the Bible portrays an unkind God, so I contradicted that.

      I don’t have the patience to argue about Genesis and I haven’t even figured out whether it’s history or allegory or whatever anyway. But I am interested in the evidence you believe contradicts the exodus. I’ve heard that the only evidence against it is that there is no evidence for it.

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