How God Treats and Reacts to Human Behavior … Essay
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¶ … God Indifferent to Human Behavior & Suffering?
It is the opinion of many people that God shows a different sentiment to human behavior in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy and Joshua as compared to the God that is portrayed in the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. Some people argue the God shows care in first four books mentioned but is rather indifferent in the latter two. Some would classify the God of Ecclesiastes and Job as indifferent or even heartless towards humans. Indeed, many hold that God extends no emotion to humans. However, the author of this report holds that God is fundamentally indifferent to human behavior in all books of the Bible. However, he does show favor to certain people but they are people that have believed in him and heeded his wishes. Indeed, humans that are loyal to God are almost always rewarded. Perhaps one exception to that was what happened in Job but there was a specific intent and outcome desired from what God with to Job.
The author of this report holds that the reason why people may think God does care about people in Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy and Joshua is because of some of things that happen in those books. For example, the world and humans are created in the book of Genesis. God certainly did not have to do that and he is actually very kind and benevolent to Adam and Eve when they are initially in the garden. He does given one rule about the certain tree in the garden but he is certainly not punitive or rude to the two. To quote the actual scriptures, it is stated that "God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them ... God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea" (Genesis 1:27-28).
Much the same pattern can be seen in the book of Exodus. Specifically, it state that God does not want his people suffer while living their lives anymore. As such, he lets Moses lead his people away from Egypt to find the Promised Land for them. In the book of Exodus, it says "the Lord said 'I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their salve drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering ... I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt" (Exodus 3:7-10). Much the same pattern continues in the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua. Within those books, God helps the Israelites achieve victories over another nations during acts of war and conquest.
The author of this report holds the opinion that God did everything based on his own interests and wisdom based on the circumstances that existed at the time. Obviously, this may or may not coincide with what humans perceive to be love or wisdom. Indeed, many hold that we cannot always fathom why God does things the way he does but that does not mean he is wrong, which of course he is not. In the book of Ecclesiastes, the point is made that one has to fear God and that what will be, shall be. No matter how wise and analytical someone may think they are, they are not as wise and all-knowing as God. The aforementioned fear is much more important than knowledge to have because people must understand that they shall be judged. However, everyone will be saved so long as they believe in God and their salvation. To quote the good book directly, it says "For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered" (Ecclesiastes 2:16). Further, a passage near the end of that same book says "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12, 13-14). These passages make it quite clear that no matter what someone otherwise achieves in life, God will treat everyone the same way. So long as the judged fear God and have faith in him, judgment time should go well for that soul. For those that turn away from God and do not confess his status as the almighty, the chances of salvation diminish significantly. For those that are saved, they will not be punished and they will instead to Heaven for all eternity.
As alluded to earlier in this report, there are a number of passages in Job that would seem to reveal that God is trying to ruin Job's life. God causes or allows for Job to endure great suffering. However, despite all of this Job is all-trusting and does not allow his faith in God to waver. Even so, Job is not really offered a direct explanation as to why he had to go through those trials and tribulations. Even when asked by Job himself, God does not answer him. However, this is the way things are if God wills it to be that way and we must accept that. Indeed, the books of the Bible under review in this report reveal that the main reason for torturing and testing Job was to prove to Satan that Job was a faithful and adherent man. This remained true despite the fact that Job was tested both physically and psychologically. In the first instance, Satan does not think that Job will remain loyal. As stated in the book of Job, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger" (Job 1:12)
The author of this report would go back to Genesis to cite some more verses and information. Within that book, God did create humans. Initially, they were created in such a way that they did not know of good and evil. When the humans, those being Adam and Eve, ate from the tree that they were told not to eat from, God was dejected and this is stated explicitly in the Bible. Indeed, it says "The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said "I will wipe from the face of the earth, the human race I have created." Also, when God tests the loyalty of Abraham, he even asks Abraham to use his son for a sacrifice, even if he eventually called him off before he completed the act. In the book it says "Sometime later God tested Abraham 'Take your son, your only son, whom you love Isaac and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you ... Now I know that you fear God' " (Genesis 22:1-12). For the author of this report, the sacrifice he initially asks Abraham to do is not just about loyalty. It is also about the fact that God tested his loyalty without actually making Abraham actually go through with the sacrifice.
In Exodus, God saving the Israelites is more likely about God asking for a relationship with them. Indeed, if God gives them rules to follow the Israelites worship God, this would seem to require that God gives them a reward. As noted earlier in this report, God is indeed sometimes indifferent to behaviors and actions but he does reward people that are loyal to him. Perhaps it gives people a sense of accomplishment to be rewarded and lauded for their faith and perhaps God feels the same in light of what went wrong in the Garden of Eden. Regardless, he proclaims in Exodus as follows: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other god before me but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:1-4). To state the obvious, one way that God punishes unbelievers is death but there are also intermediate punishments as well. People that persecute Christians in particular have faced God's wrath. Just one example were the Egyptians that tried to kill the Israelis.
In Deuteronomy and Joshua, God helps the Israelites reach victory. As part of this, they kill everyone in the town. As such, it is clear that God has three main behaviors that he tends to exhibit. He may be indifferent to a given situation. However, when he does act he will tend to reward those that believe in him and follow his teachings and he will punish those that do not believe or that otherwise act against him. Indeed, his love and grace is conditional. In the book of Deuteronomy, it says "So the Lord out God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We… [END OF PREVIEW]
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