A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Seven.

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The Ten Plagues of Egypt.

This is my final story that I will be looking at. This was another hard one to do because of how iconic it is and how much it says that God instructed Moses to do what he did. From the very start at the burning bush, I have questions about this whole story.

I am going to be looking at the story from the burning bush to the last plague. I am not going over all of the text, as there is quite a lot to cover. Just the parts for this study. Lets have a look at the story from the old testaments point of view.

Exodus 3 is where we begin.

Moses is looking after his father-in-laws sheep when he comes to a mountain called “the mountain of God”. Unlike the cartoon version, Moses is not in a cave. The angel of the lord shows up in a bush on fire and tells Moses that he is standing on holy ground. They then have a conversation about the cry of Israel and how God wants Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go. Moses finds out Gods name. Even after seeing a stick turn into a snake and his hand withered Moses still isn’t keen, because he stutters. God says Moses can take Aaron along but Moses has to get Israel free from pharaoh.

Moses goes off and tells the elders with Aaron. They then go to pharaoh and the battle for Israel’s freedom begins. Ten plagues later and pharaoh kicks Moses and his people out. They then go off and the story continues.

This is the quick version. You can read the whole story from Exodus 3.

A few things that got my interest before we carry on.

The snake, the plunder and the Withered hand.

First I noticed the withered hand. Why would God wither Moses hand? He already showed Moses the snake stick. Surely the people would believe with out having to have Moses hand withered. Surely that would be enough for any man to convince them it was God that Moses had talked to. Exodus 4:1-9.

Straight after the snake, Moses hand is withered. God then says if that doesn’t convince the people then throw water on the ground and it will become blood.

Why would God turn a rod into a snake (the form that satan used in the garden) Gen 3:1. wither Moses hand and then say to turn water into blood. It doesn’t seem right to me. The snake clearly scared Moses.

EX 4:3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.(UKJV)

Then his hand is withered. This doesn’t seem like a God of love to me. Surely God would have changed the rod into an eagle. Something less threatening. It could have something to do with the Egyptian gods but why would God scare Moses. Another thing of interest is the plunder. God strikes Egypt with ten plagues then robs them. It doesn’t add up to me. Here is something else which is strange.

EX 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 4:25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband are you to me. 4:26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband you are, because of the circumcision.(UKJV)

This has always confused me. I have had a look to see what it says on the Internet and I think I know why. Moses son had not been circumcised. Because of this sin and because of the new leadership role, being the new spiritual father of Israel, could this be why God wanted Moses dead? Even though God had just given him the instruction to set Israel free? Does that make sense?

The plagues.

Ten in total. Not very nice. Moses goes to pharaoh, asks for his people to be let go. Pharaoh says no. Each time until the last, a new plague comes as a punishment to pharaoh and his people for defying Gods wishes. The interesting thing about the plagues is that Israel suffered some of them as well. If you look, there are only a few that say that Israel was separated from the plague. Another interesting thing is on the second plague pharaoh tells Moses to go and take the Israelites with him.

EX 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Implore the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.(UKJV)

He implores Moses. The frogs go then God hardens his heart. From the start of this God says to Moses that He will harden pharaoh’s heart. Doesn’t quite seem fair to me. EX4:21. Also God said early on about the tenth plague.

EX 4:22 And you shall say unto Pharaoh, Thus says the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 4:23 And I say unto you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.(UKJV)

That makes Israel Gods firstborn. But what about Adam? Wasn’t he Gods first born?

What did Jesus teach or say about Moses?

Jesus references Moses to the leper. Matt 8:4, there is the transfiguration story. Moses comes to visit Jesus. Matt 17:3 there is the reference to what Moses says about divorce and death, Mark 10:3, 12:19. Matthew, Mark and Luke talk about the same references.

There are many references to Moses in the gospels but Jesus doesn’t mention the ten plagues. He does mention the burning bush passage but only in Mark 12:26 and Luke 20:37. The Matthew account does hint to it but doesn’t say it the same as the other two. Moses law is mentioned also. Luke 2:22, 24:44, John 1:17, 1:45.

How would Jesus have dealt with this?

Jesus would have warned the Israelites to flee Egypt. He wouldn’t want anyone to suffer or die. Even His enemies. Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. He wouldn’t want them to suffer. Matt 5:43. He would have told Moses not to send the plagues, like He did with the sons of thunder, when they wanted to call down the fire from heaven. He wouldn’t have been waiting to kill Moses after asking him to go to pharaoh. He also wouldn’t have withered Moses hand to convince people who He was. He would have healed not hurt.

What do I Believe? 

I believe it wasn’t God in the bush. WHAT? I hear you cry. Why would God use a snake and wither Moses hand. It scared Moses. I don’t think God is into scaring people. Also you have the plunder and the blood. Doesn’t sound like God to me.

Update: 24.08.2016

It was brought to my attention that Jesus calls himself I AM. Jn 8:58 which I believe is in reference to Exodus 3:14. This caused me a lot of problems because Jesus acknowledges that He was there and that I AM is Gods name. That means that it must have been God talking in the burning bush. After much prayer I think I have come up with a possible solution. In chapter 3 God tells Moses that He has heard the cry of His people and He wants to do something about it. He says He will deliver them in verse 8. The sign that God says first is that the people will serve God on this mountain.

Ex 3:12 And he said, Truly I will be with you; and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have taken the children of Israel out of Egypt, you will give worship to God on this mountain.(BBE)

So far there is no God of wrath. It’s only towards the end of this chapter that God says He will smite Egypt with His wonders. That shows that its God that sends the Plagues. But why would He say that the sign to Moses would be the people serving Him on the mountain after they are free. Could it be that God stopped talking and satan took over. We are told by Jesus that false Christ’s will deceive the elect. Matt 24:24, Mk13:22. Paul tells us that satan goes around like an angel of light. 2 Corth 11:14. Could it be that it was satan that continued where God left off. satan could have been waiting in the wings for God to finish so he could have his way. Like I have said before satan gave David instruction as if from God. From the smiting onwards I believe that it was satan talking to Moses. That would explain the fear of the snake, the withered hand and the plagues.

He has been trying to wipe out mankind since Adam. Why would he not try and do it now. Why else would the rod turn into a snake and the withered hand? God does not inflict sickness on people. Especially not to convince them to do His will. What about Job I here you cry. That is a study for another time. But I will say that I don’t think it was God then either. I don’t think it was God who wanted to kill Moses before he even started. Why the circumcised flesh stopped the angel I don’t know. May be it was all to reinforce the law.

I believe that satan influenced Moses to inflict the plagues so that he could destroy the Egyptians and the Israelites at the same time. It might have been satan who caused the plagues but it also could have been Moses. There are other accounts of people commanding the elements. Joshua stopping the sun. Joshua 10:12. Joshua told the sun to stop, God didn’t tell him to do it. Elijah and the rain. 1 kings 17:1. Elijah told the rain to stop not God. God didn’t command Elijah to do it. In the New Testament Paul makes a man blind. Acts 13:11. The sons of thunder wanted to call down fire from heaven but Jesus stopped them. Luke 9:54. Could it be that Moses had the power to command these things? God did say in Genesis that we where to subdue the earth and have dominion over the animals. Could it be that Moses used that power to do these plagues? The only exception would be the tenth plague.

I believe that the tenth plague was satan trying to kill all the first born. May be to in-rage pharaoh to kill the Israelites. It did make him go after the Israelites and chase them to the sea. As far as the blood on the posts. I don’t believe that God wanted that. God could have stopped the angel with out the need for sacrifice. As we know in my other blog’s I have said that God doesn’t like sacrifice and offerings.

I believe that God was trying to warn Moses about the plagues and the destruction of Egypt. May be satan spared the Hebrews from some of the plagues to in-rage pharaoh even more. I think that it was all a plan from satan to try and kill the Israelites because they were Gods chosen people at the time. God got the Hebrews out in the end but I don’t think He wanted it to go the way it did. God had blessed Egypt when Joseph was there, why would he want to send the plagues? Some might say as revenge for the Hebrew children that where killed by the other pharaoh. But God isn’t like that. We see that in Jesus on the cross.

There is so much more that we could look at in this story but I would like to bring it to a close here. God would not have sent the plagues or withered Moses hand. I don’t think He would have used a snake to show His power. God is love. Perfect love. Perfect love casts out all fear. 1 Jn 4:18 any thing that is evil in action or destroys and lies is from satan not from God. James tells us an interesting thing:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tested, I am tested by God; for it is not possible for God to be tested by evil, and he himself puts no man to such a test:14 But every man is tested when he is turned out of the right way by the attraction of his desire. 15 Then when its time comes, desire gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is of full growth, gives birth to death.16 Do not be turned from the right way, dear brothers.(BBE)

God does not test. He doesn’t use evil to test. God didn’t send the plagues nor did He harden Pharaohs heart. God is love. He doesn’t send suffering to train us in His ways.

The running theme of this story is fear, intimidation, suffering and violence. All caused by God? Is that the God you worship?

In my next blog I will give my concluding thoughts.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Six.

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David and Goliath.

This is like the last story. There is no out right sin or need for rescue. I thought it would be an easy one to do but I was wrong. I only put it with the others because it’s a well-known story. I have found out some interesting things. Lets have a look.

The story.

We start in 1 Sam 16.   Samuel, who everyone is scared of, has anointed David king secretly.  1 Sam 16:4. God didn’t like Saul so has given the kingdom over to David. A spirit from God is tormenting Saul. David plays for Saul to ease the suffering. The Philistines have set up camp and are getting ready for battle with Saul and his armies. Goliath who is very tall and a mighty warrior comes and says if any one can defeat him then the battle is theirs. But he mocks them and isn’t very nice about it. Along comes David and says how dare he mock the armies of God. He also asks what rewards the man who slays Goliath will get. 1 Sam 17:12-31. One of David’s brothers who David was bringing supplies to, tells David off and says he has pride and a naughty heart. David continues anyway. Saul hears and tries to put David in his armour as David convinces Saul to send him out against Goliath. David goes with his stones and sling. Goliath mocks him and his God, at which point David replies and knocks Goliath out and then chops his head off. The Philistine’s freak and David and Israel win.

That is the only part of this story I want to look at. There is a lot more but I am only interested in this part.

A few things caught my attention. First everyone is scared of Samuel. Isn’t he meant to be a prophet of God? Why would they be scared of Samuel? It might have something to do with Samuel slaying kings in the name of the Lord. Just for one example:-

1 Sam 15:32   Then said Samuel, Bring all of you here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 15:33 And Samuel said, As the sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.(UKJV)

This is another study all by itself, but I don’t want to get into this now. Another thing is that God didn’t like Saul as king anymore so He chooses David instead and inflicts Saul with a troubling spirit. 1 Sam 16:14.Was David asking about the reward? Also his brother’s response to what David was saying. We all know that God loved David because of his heart but in verse 28 his brother isn’t very complementary to David.

1 Sam 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why came you down here? and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you are come down that you might see the battle.(UKJV)

I decided to look into this more because it doesn’t show David in a very good light. I had a look in the Septuagint. To my surprise this verse wasn’t in it. In fact there were a few verses missing from this story in the Septuagint. These are the missing scriptures:1 Sam 17: 12-31,41,51,55-58, 18:1-5,9-11, 17-19,30

I am not going to look at all of them, just the one that I think is relevant to this study.

1 Sam 17: 12-31. This tells us of why David comes to the camp. David is asking about the reward and his brother’s remarks are included. Take this away and David’s heart is not put into question. Which I think is important. It doesn’t show David to be reward driven or full of pride.

This to me was the only one, which I thought interesting in light of this study. Why the Septuagint doesn’t have it I don’t know. I find it interesting that the modern day translations include it when the Septuagint is said to be older than the others and is quoted a lot by Jesus and His disciples. But that is a study for another time.

Did Jesus teach or speak about David and Goliath?

David is mentioned in the genealogies. Jesus is called “the son of David” a few times. Jesus talks about when David was hungry. Jesus also says in a way that He is not David’s son. Because David calls Jesus lord. Maybe Jesus was trying to set them straight about calling Him David’s son. It might also be that they where expecting a conquering king to come and save them like David was. May be Jesus was trying to separate Him self from that image. Mark 12:35,Luke 6:3, Luke 18:38.

Jesus didn’t say anything about Goliath. But He did teach about loving your enemy and turning the other cheek. Matt 5:39,43,44. Jesus would not have gone to war or sent David out against Goliath. Jesus would have loved them. How He would have shown that I am not sure. But He wouldn’t have told David to cut off Goliath’s Head.

I believe that Samuel did things, which God didn’t ask him to. Like slaying the king. Even when it looks like the king was pleading for his life. It was the people that demanded a king not that God wanted them to have one. 1 Sam 8. It was God they rejected. The people where scared of Samuel because of the way he brought wrath against them. I don’t think that was from God. I don’t think the spirit that tormented Saul was from God.

I believe that David saw how Goliath was talking about his God and felt offended by it. Like we would be if we heard someone say bad things about our loved ones. Because David had had success defeating lions and bears he probably thought that Goliath would be no different. God didn’t tell David to slay Goliath. Was God with David when he did? Well it does say that the Spirit of the Lord was with David. 1 Sam 16:13. If he had died then Jesus would have no line to be born from. May be God was with David to protect him from death. Did satan organise the fight thinking that Goliath would win? After all satan is trying to kill off Jesus’ line. satan would have known which of David’s buttons to push. In sending Goliath satan would have known how David would respond. I believe that God wouldn’t have wanted David to be in that fight. May be there is a choice and consequence here. David should have been looking after the sheep not fighting. He hears the rants of Goliath and instead of leaving it to Saul’s men David seeks to sort it out himself. Saul did try to put him off. But David wasn’t having it. Could it be that God used Saul to try and stop David from fighting? God would have known the outcome. Would it have stopped David becoming a man of war instead of a man of worship and peace?

With all these stories I am trying to look at them from Jesus’ point of view and God’s point of view with love. Would a God of love have a prophet that scares people? Would He command young lads to go up against mighty warriors to chop off their heads and kill lots of people. These are the questions we need to ask when we read the old and new testaments. As I have said before the bible is the inspired word of God not the literal word of God. I have had to re-think my idea of the bible to be able to look at the bible through Gods eyes. Holy Spirit needs to come first. He will help you to understand and see the truth. It isn’t easy but with Holy Spirit’s help you will see God in a new way, which will blow your mind and heal your heart.

In my next blog I will look at my last story about the 10 plagues of Egypt.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Five.

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Abraham sacrificing Isaac.

 

This is an interesting story, which I have been looking forward to doing since I started. The reason is, the scriptures I found from Jesus’ teaching. We will start with the story.

Genesis 22 is where we begin. God visits Abraham when Isaac is a young lad. He is old enough to carry his own wood but there is no record of how old he is. God tells Abraham to go to the mountains and offer his only son as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham packs his stuff and they all go off to do this. Keeping his intent to himself Abraham commands the two young men that went with them to stay, while him and his son go up the mountain. Once there, Isaac says “where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Gen 22:7. Abraham replies that God will provide. Isaac is bound to the altar. Abraham takes his knife and just before he is about to kill his son God shouts at him to stop and provides him with a lamb to sacrifice. God then sees Abraham’s willingness to give up his son and blesses him. Abraham calls the place God will provide.

I want to look at a few scriptures before I look at what Jesus says about Abraham.

First: Jeremiah 32:35 “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”(UKJV)

It never came into Gods mind to sacrifice children or burn them. God calls this a sin! Interesting.

Next:Hosea 6:6” For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings”(UKJV)

Psalms 40:6” Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; mine ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required.”(UKJV)

Psalms 51:16” For you desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: you delight not in burnt offering.” 51:17” The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”(UKJV)

These are but a few of what I found. I get the impression that God doesn’t like sacrifices or burnt offerings. If we think about Cain and Abel, their offerings were the first fruits. Nothing with blood in it had to die.

In Psalms 40:6 it says that sin offerings are not required. WHAT. Why did Jesus die then if no offering was needed for sin? Jesus died so that satan, death and sin could have no more hold over us. It was for us that Jesus died. To meet our requirements not Gods. God, Jesus and Holy Spirit covered all the bases so that there could be nothing in the way for us to be with them.

In Psalms 51 all God requires is a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Not burnt flesh or child sacrifice. Lets have a look at what Jesus taught or said about Abraham and His response to sacrifices and burnt offerings.

There are a few references to Abraham in the genealogies. John the Baptist mentions Abraham. Plus a few more. The one I am interested in is in John 8.

John 8:19 “Then said they unto him, ‘Where is your Father?’ Jesus answered, all of you neither know me, nor my Father: if all of you had known me, all of you should have known my Father also.”(UKJV)

8:37” I know that all of you are Abraham’s seed; but all of you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and all of you do that which all of you have seen with your father. 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus says unto them, If all of you were Abraham’s children, all of you would do the works of Abraham. 8:40 But now all of you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.”(UKJV)

This could be a study by its self and there is more but I wanted to concentrate on this bit. First Jesus says that they don’t know Him or His father. He then goes on to talk about Abraham. Jesus says that satan is their father. It’s the last bit that interests me.

v40 ‘Abraham did not do this.’ (NKJV) Abraham was not like them. He didn’t want to kill. Jesus is saying they don’t know God and they don’t know Abraham, for if they did they would love Jesus. Another scripture before I tell you what I believe.

Mark 12:32 “And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, you have said the truth: for there is one God; and there is no other but he: 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 12:34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, You are not far from the kingdom of God”(UKJV)

The scribe is agreeing with Jesus and sees that love is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Jesus replies by saying the scribe is not far from the kingdom. Does Jesus agree that love is more important than sacrifices?

Jesus knew God and He knew that the burnt offerings and sacrifices were not required. I believe Jesus wouldn’t have asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son just to prove to Jesus that Abraham loved Him. Jesus wants us to love Him but I don’t believe that we have to go to such drastic measures to prove it to Him. For God so loved the world. It doesn’t say God wants us to prove to Him that we love Him and then He will send His Son. God loved us first. We don’t have to prove it to Him.

I believe that satan told Abraham to kill his son. I believe that satan wanted Abraham’s line to be stopped so Jesus would not be born. He convinced Abraham to do this. Then God stepped in and stopped Abraham. In the story God then says He will bless Abraham for being willing to kill his son. I don’t believe that God would bless Abraham for nearly killing his only son. God had already said He would bless Abraham. Gen 17:4. Was this satan? I don’t know?

The more I do this study the more I see that all the law and offerings and sacrifices were not Gods idea. He never was angry with us or wrathful. He has never needed us to satisfy His need for offering etc, because He doesn’t like them. I believe its us that puts all these things in His way. He is just waiting for us to let go and come back to Him. He is waiting with open arms.

In my next blog I will look at David and Goliath.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Four.

Image8Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Before I start I would recommend you look over the last three posts and ask Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you to understand. I do recognize that this is a hard thing to understand. I am not saying that the bible should never be read again. What I am trying to show you is what a God of love would do. Jesus tells us that as we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Jn 14:9. With every story or account in the bible, what I would suggest is you ask, what would Jesus do? Lets begin.

God has visited Abraham and told him and Sarah that they will have a son. They have all eaten together and two angels that came with the Lord are heading to Sodom. The Lord then tells Abraham what He is going to do. Gen 18:20. Abraham then begins to plead for the city beginning with 50 righteous men. He continues pleading with the Lord until he stops at 10. Why he stopped at 10 I don’t know. As Lot was classed as righteous. 2 peter 2:7. The two angels go to get Lot. They meet and Lot hides them in his house so they don’t get attacked. The angels protect them and they all flee. Lot’s wife looks back and turns to salt. Lot’s rescued and the city is destroyed.

With the other stories so far there has been a point where God has warned them. A chance to be saved from satan and his mischief. With this story I couldn’t think where that was until now. When the angels go to Lots house they ask him if he has any other family members who needed to be rescued. Lot then goes to find them and tells them to flee with him. They do not. They think he is joking. Gen 19:14. There is the chance to be rescued.

Before I continue with what I believe I thought we could look at another time when fire came down from heaven. Job 1:16. Satan goes to God and they begin to talk about Job. God gives satan permission to destroy all Job has and make him sick. I don’t have time to go into what I believe about this story here but I want to concentrate on the fire from heaven bit. That’s in Job 1:16.

Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and has burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell you.(UKJV)

Clearly it says Gods fire. But if we look in the Septuagint God is removed. It just says fire from heaven.

Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came another messenger, and said to Job, Fire has fallen from heaven, and burnt up the sheep, and devoured the shepherds like wise; and I having escaped alone am come to tell thee (SEPT)

I looked at the translation of heaven and it could mean sky. In this scripture we have satan bringing down fire onto Job’s sheep and servants. I know it doesn’t out rightly say that it’s satan doing it, but it does say that God gave all that Job had into satan’s power. Job 1:12, which would suggest that satan can bring down fire from the sky.

I had a look to see if Jesus spoke or taught about Sodom. Jesus does mention Sodom in Matthew, Luke and Mark. But not in John. The references in the first three gospels are to do with judgement and repentance. That still shows God as a wrathful judge. Jesus also mentions Sodom when He talks about His return. Interestingly there is no mention of Sodom in John. Fire and Heaven are not mentioned either. One scripture that does give us an insight to how Jesus feels about fire from heaven is Luke 9:52-56

Luke 9:52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 9:53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, All of you know not what manner of spirit all of you are of. 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village(UKJV)

You do not know what spirit you are of. He has not come to destroy but to save. As we know Jesus has said, “As you have seen Me you have seen the Father”. If Jesus would not call down fire from heaven, why do we then think that God would.

In Matt 26:52-54 we see how Jesus could have acted if He wanted.

Matt 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again your sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 26:53 Think you that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?(UKJV)

Jesus knew He had to die for the world, but He also knew the power of His Father. He chooses not to wipe out the whole area with all those angels. He chooses love over violence.

I don’t believe Jesus would have left those people to die. I think He would have found a way to save them and ultimately He did. He stopped the sons of thunder bringing down fire and He didn’t get the angels to wipe out the garden or the city. Because of Love.

I believe that God went to Abraham to warn him of what was coming. Abraham then interceded for Sodom. I believe that satan wanted to kill Abraham and might have tried to get him to go and rescue Lot. satan knew that Abraham had done this before. Gen 14:12. If He could kill Lot and Abraham then Jesus’ line would be cut and there would be no chance of satan’s head being bruised. Also satan wants to kill everyone. The angels are sent to get Lot. Lot then tells his family what is coming. They don’t believe Him and they die. Lot escapes, loses his wife and survives. But Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. God gave them a way out. May be the angels wanting to be in the square, was that they where going to tell the people what was going to happen.

This is another example of trying to see the story through the eyes of love. I believe that if God is love then He cannot be violent or make anyone do violence on His behalf. There is no room for compromise.

In my next blog I will look at Abraham sacrificing Isaac.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Three.

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The Flood. 

This is one of the harder choices that I decided to look at. At first I started to research other flood stories from other cultures but it all got a bit confusing. I decided to stick to what the bible had to say about the subject.

I would ask that you have an open mind when reading this post. What I am trying to do is look at the Old Testament through Jesus’ eyes. Also to try and see a God of love. I would remind you of the story of David and the census that I looked at in the beginning of these studies. One account said satan told David to take the census the other said God did. 1 Chron 21:1, 2 Sam 1:24. Which shows mistakes can be made even in the bible.

Before you continue to read you will need to put aside all that you have been taught about this story. Whether you’re a Christian or not. This shook me when I first looked into it because it says many times that God sent the flood. How could He if He is a God of love? That’s what we will look at. Please remember to ask Holy Spirit to help you understand and test everything. Lets get started.

We all know the flood story. I will do a quick recap from what the bible tells us. Genesis 6 is where we find the story.

The naughty angels see the human women and decided to take them as wives. In doing so they begin to corrupt the DNA of humans producing hybrids or giants.

God sees this and decides to limit mans lifespan to 120 years. Something I found interesting was in some translations it says “ my spirit will not be in man for an age” (EBR,BBE) This gives the impression that Gods spirit was in or with man until this time. But they still were wicked. Like I said interesting.

God sees the wickedness and decides to wipe out the whole earth. It does say he was grieved in His heart but not enough for God to stop the flood. Gen 6:6. God then goes to Noah and tells him to build a boat to save him and the animals. Noah does what God asks and he and his family and the animals are saved from the flood. But all of the earth is wiped out by the flood. Killing all men and beast. God then repents of doing this bad thing and buts a rainbow in the sky to show us that we don’t have to worry about the earth being wiped out again through the use of a flood. REPENT I hear you cry. I looked at the meaning of the word repent and it means:

Repent: feel regret or penitence about, view or think of an action or omission with deep regret or remorse.

Gen 8:21 and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again strike any more every thing living, as I have done. 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease(UKJV)

Does God repent? Interesting. If it was God who sent the flood it means that He repented for doing this to man.

Now my take on this story. Remember I am trying to see how Jesus would react to this if He were the one doing it. I am also looking to see what a God of love would do.

First I want to go back to the Adam and Eve story. To what is said to the serpent.

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. (UKJV)

Satan knows that at some point one of Eve’s offspring is going to do something nasty to him. After seeing what happened to Abel you would think that satan is trying to kill off any of Eves offspring to stop this from happening. Did satan know about Jesus and what He was going to do? I don’t think so. But he did know it was going to be a man. And you shall bruise HIS heal. Gen 3:15.

What I believe is satan tried to pollute the line by commanding the angels to interfere with the human’s DNA. Maybe to increase the wickedness and to get the humans to kill themselves. It does say that there was violence on the earth.

Gen 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (UKJV)

This is clearly not working because Noah is still around and not affected by the angels and corrupted humans. God it would seem was protecting Adams line. If you look at the genealogy from Adam to Noah. All of Noah’s family were dead before the flood. Interesting.

It wasn’t just the humans that were corrupt. But the animals were as well.

Gen 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.(UKJV)

What to do now? Send the flood. How could satan send the flood? Good question. Jesus called satan the ruler/prince of this world Jn 12:31, 14:30, 16:11. Satan is also called the prince of the power of the air. Eph 2:2. I believe that through Adams sin satan got control of this world. God told Adam to subdue and take dominion over this world. Gen 1:28. It could be that the authority was handed over to satan because of Adams sin. That’s how the flood could have happened. Also it would seem that man and creation are linked in some way. As man was being wicked maybe it had an effect on the world around them. It could explain why we have earthquakes and floods still today.

Satan sends the flood to destroy mankind and wipe out any means of bruising heads. But God has a rescue plan. He tells Noah to build a boat and tell all he can about the coming flood. 2 Peter 2:5. Says Noah was a preacher of righteousness.

Why couldn’t God just stop the flood? May be because of free will. There had to be a reason. But earlier it said that God was grieved in His heart. May be He knew the only way to save humanity was to build a boat. But the boat wasn’t big enough? Yes that’s true. But no one listened to Noah. I believe God knew that but told Noah to have a go anyway. There is the choice. The option to follow God or not. To be rescued or not.

After the flood and all are dead Noah comes out and God makes a covenant never to let the world and all flesh be destroyed by a flood again. This is a promise that we still see to this day. I said about God repenting earlier. If God didn’t send the flood then He wouldn’t need to repent. I think that God was grieved in His heart that He allowed it to happen. But the rainbow covenant is God saying it wont happen again.

What would Jesus do?

I had a look to see if Jesus said or taught anything about Noah in the gospels. There are a few mentions of the flood and Noah Matt 24:37, 38, Luke 3:36, 17:26,27. One scripture in Luke is part of the genealogy. The rest is when Jesus is teaching about His return. People will be living their lives as normal and then suddenly Jesus will return.

I thought to myself would Jesus have allowed the flood? I think He would have preached to the people. Telling them of what was coming. Like He did in the gospels when He warned them about the 70 ad attack on Jerusalem. Matt 24, Luke 17. He would have tried to save as many as possible. I believe because of free will God and Jesus cant just turn up and stop natural disasters. He even tells us to expect them. Matt 24:7, Mark 13:8, Luke 21:11.

I believe that satan was the one who helped cause the flood. He first tried to get humanity to kill them selves and when that failed he tried the flood. But God stepped in and rescued Noah and tried to rescue more. God is love. God was grieved in His heart because of what man was doing. I believe He still is. If we just think about the God of the Old Testament at face value and not with the viewpoint of love. Then the God of the Old Testament looks more like satan than God. Something to think about.

In my next blog I will look at Sodom and Gomorrah.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Two.

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We continue with the next story in the Old Testament, which happens to be my next choice. I know that there are other accounts in other books like the book of Adam and Eve etc, but I am sticking with what the bible says.

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Cain and Abel. 

We pick up the story in Genesis 4. Adam and Eve have been removed from the garden. They come together and Cain is born. Followed by Abel. Which means they where twins.

Abel was a Shepard and Cain was a worker of the ground. Cain brought an offering to God and so did Abel. Interesting thing is that no blood was shed. It was the animals fat. Which could have been the milk and cheese from Abel and the fruits of the field from Cain.

God likes Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. Lets have a look:

Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. (UKJV)

I had a look at other translations and the word respect was different. I looked to see what the Hebrew was.

Blue Letter Bible website says:

Respect H8159 sha`ah

To look at or to regard, gaze at or about. Inspect, consider.

God looked at Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. Why? God tells us as we read on.

4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why are you angry? and why is your countenance fallen? 4:7 If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And unto you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him. (UKJV)

Hebrews 11:4 say’s that Abel’s offering was more excellent than Cain’s. Could it be that Cain didn’t but much effort into his offering? But here in Gen 4:6,7 God gives His warning like with Adam and Eve. “Sin lies at the door”. God knows what could happen and the choice is Cain’s. You could say that if God had said that’s a good effort but thanks anyway Cain might not have killed his brother. Again it’s down to free will. It might be that Cain’s offering didn’t get Gods attention. The word for respect does give that impression.

We know what happens next. Cain has an argument with Abel and kills him. God hears the cry of Abel’s blood and comes looking. God asks Cain where Abel is. Cain lies. God then punishes Cain. In most bibles it says God curses but I believe that God was telling Cain of the consequence of his actions, like with Adam and Eve.

Cain cannot handle his punishment and tells God that it’s too much for him to bear. If you look at the different translations and the Hebrew the word punishment is guilt or iniquity or even sin. Cain couldn’t handle the guilt of killing his twin. It was too much for him to carry. I think he also thought that he would never talk to God again. He thought he was an orphan. What does God do? He sets a mark on Cain to show Cain that he is still loved and protected. Cain then goes and has children and builds a city.

I looked to see if Jesus mentions or speaks about Cain. But He didn’t. What do we have? A murder, guilt of sin or even repentance and exile.

What would Jesus do? He would love. He would forgive. He wouldn’t punish. In matt 9:2 Jesus tells the paralytic that his sins are forgiven and heals him. In John 14:18 Jesus says he will not leave you orphans. Jesus would forgive Cain and take the burden of guilt from his shoulders. He would tell him not to sin again. He would Love him.

How should we read this story now? I believe God warned Cain of the sin, which was coming and told him to master it. I don’t think God was mean when he didn’t take notice of Cain’s offering. I think God wanted Cain to give the offering with more heart. I don’t think God punished Cain. I believe like with Adam and Eve’s choice God was telling Cain the results of his choice. God could see that Cain was overwhelmed by what he had done and reassured Cain that He would not die as Cain had repented of his sin. We don’t know if God still talked to Cain when he left. There is nothing to say either way. It was Cain that said he would be hidden from God’s sight not God. But Cain still had a family and built a city so it wasn’t too bad. I believe that God still looked after Cain even maybe talked with him. I don’t think that God would abandon Cain. God is Love. Jesus shows us that. Who are you going to believe?

In my next blog I will look at the flood story.

A wrathful God or A God of Love?

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This has been a tough subject to get my head around, Probably the hardest that I have had in my Christian life. There are a lot of stories in the Old Testament where God tells people to do bad things in His name. Also accounts of God wiping out women and children through disasters. Is God wrathful? Did He order those people to kill and destroy? Did He tell Abraham to kill Isaac? Did God really do all these terrible things?

When we read the gospel of John we are told about a loving God, Who wants to give His life for everyone. Jesus in the gospels especially John shows a God of compassion and love. Jesus tells us “as you have seen Me you have seen the Father” Jn 14:9 and “ I and the Father are one” Jn 10:30. Jesus shows us a love, which is so deep that I don’t think we will ever truly understand it until we are home with Him. How can you have two views that are so opposite about the same God?

This is what I am going to look into. I have decided to look at some of the better-known Old Testament stories to try and see them through Jesus’ perspective. I will do this in parts, as I think the post will be too long to do it all in one post.

Before I start I want you to try and have an open mind about this. I know it’s hard because I have struggled with this a lot over the last few months. I have always held the Old Testament to be unshakeable as far as its translation is concerned. I never questioned that it was all written by who the translators said it was written by. Until I began my research into the New Testament. In my research I have found a lot of people believe that the bible is the inspired word of God. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t believe that it was written by God as to say that God used mans hands to write this book. I believe that it has its mistakes and it isn’t perfect. Please stick with me I am getting to a point. In order to try and accept that God is not wrathful or nasty we have to read the bible with an open mind. We have to read it with the help of Holy Spirit. If we don’t then you might as well stop reading this blog right now, as you will find what I have to say difficult to accept.

To help my point, I found a contradiction in the telling of a story, which is in two books in the Old Testament. It’s the story about David when he takes the census. In the Samuel’s account it says that God told David to take a census. Which I never understood as God then gets angry with David for doing it. In the chronicles account it says Satan told David to do it. Here are the two scriptures so you can see for yourselves:

2 Sam 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.(UKJV)

1 Chron 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.(UKJV)

The youngs translation of 2 Sam 24:1 says that “an adversary moveth David”.

Out of 10 translations that I looked at the youngs was the only one that had the adversary or Satan included in the 2 Samuel 24 verse. If you look in the Septuagint it also is the same as the youngs version.

I think what I am trying to say is that the bible is the inspired word of God but not the literal word of God. If we understand this and read the bible with the help of Holy Spirit then we can see that God is not wrathful, but is a God of love.

I have chosen seven stories which when you first read them you would say that God is wrathful. I will try to look at them from Jesus’ perspective and see if He said anything in the gospels about them. I will start like the bible in the beginning.

Part One: Adam & Eve. 

We all know the story. God creates everything in six days then rests on the seventh. Genesis 1 is the first account of creation. God is pleased and at the end of the chapter you get a little bit about man and his wife and what they are to do. From verse 27 we read how God blesses them and tells them to subdue the earth and have dominion over the animals. God gives them the herbs, fruit and every green plant to eat.

Its in chapter 2 that we get a more detailed account of what happens to Adam and Eve. God rests on the seventh day. God puts man in the garden and tells him not to eat of the tree of good and evil. Verse 17 is the first time God tells Adam not to eat from the tree.

Gen 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die. (UKJV)

This is God’s warning. The first sign of free will. Here a choice is put before Adam and Eve. Do they choose good or evil? The serpent comes along and tempts Eve to eat of the tree. Where was Adam? Why didn’t he stop Eve from eating the fruit? May be he heard what the serpent said and was interested himself. We don’t know. They both eat and become aware of good and evil.

Hiding and afraid they look to cover them self’s. Along comes God. He calls to Adam. Adam tells God he is afraid and naked. God replies, “ Who told you?” God knows they have eaten from the tree. The story then continues with the curses and then the boot out.

When you first read the list of punishments to the three offenders it is easy to believe that God must have order, and punishment must be applied. How would Jesus deal with this situation?

I had a look to see if Jesus mentions or teaches anything about Adam and Eve. The only scriptures I could find were Matt 19:4-6 and Mk 10:6-9. He is talking about marriage here. It didn’t really seam to fit in with what we are looking at. I am reminded of the story of the adulterous women in John 8:11, she was caught in adultery. No one condemns her so Jesus doesn’t. But he tells her to sin no more. I don’t think Jesus would have cursed anyone. Jesus does mention that if you continue in your sin a worse thing will come upon you. He also says that you can be a slave to sin. (Jn 5:14, 8:24,34) But He forgives and sets us free. (Jn1:29, Mk2:9, Jn 8:32)

I think God needed to put them out of the garden because if they had eaten from the tree of life they would have been trapped in their sin for eternity (Gen 3:22-24). I also think that the curses where not curses but God telling them the consequences of their choices. Satan who is a murderer will want to make mankind suffer as much as possible Jn8:44. Satan would make childbirth painful maybe to put women off of having children to stop any possible offspring from bruising his head or even to kill her in childbirth. He will also make Adam suffer in his work. Satan doesn’t like us and wants us to suffer and die Jn10:10. I believe God was warning Adam and Eve about what it will be like outside of the garden. But God didn’t say He would not help them or protect them.

To finish here is an interesting part of the “fall” story.

Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. (UKJV)

He called her Eve. Chavvah is the Hebrew. It means life or life giver. The reason I look at this is because there is no anger or malaise from Adam when he names his wife. She and all women are the life givers as men can not, (God is the one who makes us and gives us life, I am talking about being able to carry and give birth to children) but for Adam to give her this name after she was the first of the two to eat the fruit and then for them to be removed from the garden, to me shows that Adam wasn’t angry with his wife.

The next bit is equally interesting to me. God removes them from the garden and you would think He would just leave them to it. But He doesn’t. He makes them clothes. He provides for them like He did in the garden. He shows them kindness and love.

Now some people say that the skins where the skin or flesh that you and me have today. Suggesting that Adam and Eve didn’t have any skin or flesh in the garden. I looked at the translations of coats and skins. Coats are kĕthoneth, which means tunic, under-garment and long shirt. Skins are owr, which means skin, hide, leather. These suggest to me some form of clothes like what we have today.

I don’t believe that God was angry and had to appease His holiness. I think He was warning the couple of what lies ahead if they choose evil over good or satan over Him. As we continue on our journey I hope you will see as I do that God is not angry with us and needs a Jesus pill to make Him happy. God is love and always has been and always will be.

Like with my other blog’s I encourage you to look for yourselves. I am sharing what I have found because of the freedom it brings but don’t take my word for it. Check it out. Ask Holy Spirit for help. Ask Him to reveal the truth to you like I did.

In my next blog I will look at Cain and Abel.