Hard teachings

Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2 Samuel:11. The text doesn’t say what kindled God’s anger against Israel, though it was probably one more in an endless backsliding into idolatry. However, two things are abundantly clear: God can be angry, and will use human behavior to punish or rebuke those He is angry with. Does that bother you? Why? The idea of a loving God being angry is unacceptable to you? You’ve been taught that anger is bad, it’s akin to hatred? Many will rush in to protest, “no, you’ve got it all wrong….this passage is an important exception, or it doesn’t belong, or it doesn’t mean what it plainly says, or men changed the words…”

Well then, what do you make of this? After David directed Joab to take a census, God then used that action, which He incited, to punish Israel. This is the choice He gave David through His prophet, Gad: So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” The LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 2 Samuel 24:13-15.

Whoa, 70,000 men died because David did something that God incited him to do! That’s so unfair! Is it? By what standard? Do you accept the whole Bible as the infallible Word of God? You do? Then what standard are you using to judge these (and many other) passages as unfair? Where do your foundational standards come from? God could have simply killed many more than 70,000 directly, like wiping out Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from heaven, or wiping out humanity in the flood. But He gave David a choice. I won’t even try to justify any of it by saying His way was more humane than direct action. My main point, why I call this post “Hard Teachings”, is…..well, I’m getting to that, but first, something to really offend the spirit of egalitarianism:

As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable right, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Luke 19:11-26

And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ That’s so unfair…..List your own reasons. I won’t attempt to interpret this passage, others have explained better than I can. My main point is “what standards do you use to judge scripture?”

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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