God is Love (11)
Apr 06, 2016
God is Love (11)
1 John 4:8
Love is not easily angered (1)
1 Corinthians 13
So much of the Old Testament speaks of the Wrath of God, how the Israelites had better obey all the commandments laid on them in order not to raise the ‘Wrath of God.’ Looking up ‘wrath’ in a bible concordance gives well over a hundred references, from Genesis to Revelations. These references constantly speak of the wrath of God in this context or another, sometimes ‘visiting punishment unto the third or forth generation’ for any number of transgressions, even wearing the wrong clothes. Obviously the writers of the various parts of the bible could not imagine a god that was not a wrathful god, ready to whip one into submission at the least provocation.
Yet at the same time, the bible speaks gloriously beautiful texts of God’s love, overlooking all transgressions, giving unceasingly into the thousandth generation the bounty of the Love of God.
So which is right? I have talked often about the progression of the understanding of the various writers of the bible, and the reflection of that understanding in the writings that we claim are inspired by God. Are these writings inspired by God? Yes, I believe firmly that they are. But why do they show such a wide understanding of who God is in truth? The reasons as I understand it and as many theologians understand it is that the inspired word of God came through human instruments, and the thinking of the writers and thinkers are colored by both the inspired language of God and their own human prejudices and abilities to understand the process. A very good example of that is the stories (note that there are two of them) of creation. Neither of these stories reflect the knowledge we have gained of the universe, the age of the universe, and the evolutionary path of the universe. So it is asked, if these facts of the universe that we now claim are true, whey did not the inspired writers just say so? This modern thinking was so far beyond the thinking level of humanity at that time that they did not have words to express them. How can we say that the universe is “13.4 billion years” old, when the largest number at the time of the assembly of these tales was “tens of thousands”. When they wanted to express larger numbers, they just said “tens of tens of thousands”, as no larger number existed in their system at that time.
So the reflections shown in the bible always reflects the limits of the language and thinking of the day. I firmly believe if the bible were written from the vantage point of today’s ability to understand God, given the insights gained over the past 10,000 years, the bible would appear much different; but I question if the messages in the words of the bible would bee any different than what we can discern today.
The principle problem we have today is that discerning the intent of the original author, God, from the blunderings of the human author that the intent flowed through, is a difficult task. Much of what we think today has an additional layer on what we see: our own prejudices and what our viewpoint is when we see something. This personal layer colors everything we see, from everything in the natural world to everything in the world of the spirit.
We will continue this in the next post.
The Lord works righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
And abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103: 6-8
My Divine Wisdom, You fill my heart with Love and Peace. I am grateful that You have shown Your Grace to my soul, which is in great need of compassion and solace. I have been blessed with your spirit even when my actions seem otherwise; Your Love for me has put these actions of mine into the infinite past so they no longer exist in Your sight. Even these actions You turn into blessings, giving me understandings of your power of Love and the compassion to feel from deep understanding what pain is involved in those who seemingly fail in their human interactions. Only You, my Divine Wisdom, know the pain we are in during these episodes in our life, and only You can lead us back to Truth. Out of such pain comes only good, as our spirit is forced to turn to You in true humbleness, finally forcing our ego to relinquish the hold on our humanity that leads only to pain, but resulting in the end exultant bliss that only this path could cause. I am blessed by Your patience in my life, giving me the years and time to find my way into the bliss of Your path.
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