Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What is it that God does in the Bible?

What is it that God does in the Bible? Put simply, he gets people. He takes care of them. He lays on this monumental justice. Oh the curses, the admonitions; the plagues, the scatterings, the ruinations, the strikings dead, the renderings unto and the tearings asunder. The floods. The fires. It is interesting to note that God as a character in the Bible seems almost always concerned with the idea of his recognition by mankind. He is constantly declaring His Authority, with rewards for those who recognize it and punishment for those who don't. He performs fancy tricks. He enlists the help of naturally righteous humans who become messengers, or carriers of his miracles, or who deliver their people. Each age has by trial to achieve its recognition of Him -- or to put it another way, every generation has to learn anew the lesson of His existence. The drama in the Bible is always in the conflict of those who have learned with those who have not learned. Or in the testing of those who seem that they might be able to learn. And that's what God does in the Bible.

2 comments:

Shiv said...

that's actually the thought. the Bible deals thoroughly with mankind recognizing His existence, and what would happen if they didn't. "look at past examples", it says. you can choose any point in your life to make that recognition, but before death, for after, only hell awaits if you do not atone for your crimes in time.

an old hindu tale goes, Yama[the god of death] is banished from performing his duty by Shiv[the lord of all destruction] of taking the souls of people who have bided their time on earth. so people live on, and the cycle of birth and death is briefly interrupted. people and animals are born, but the old, tired and weary do not die. Earth is overwhelmed and approaches Shiv for respite saying, "my burden is too heavy, for my children are many". Yama is summoned and asked to chant the mantra, "Let the old tired leaves fall from trees" [of course it sounds awesomer in the Sanskrit]. Yama is overjoyed, and in his excitement chants all wrong and instead says, "Let the old leaves, and the middle-aged leaves, and the little baby leaves fall from the trees". and that is why to this day, you have all sorts of people dying prematurely, in accidents, crashes, and diseases... before they have had the chance to beg for atonement.

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