Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Samuel Part I: Just a Few Questions

Dear Lord, We Need a King

Something different is afoot in I Samuel, yes? What is it? Well, we have gone from man trying to lord over himself in the perfect Garden of Eden and failing (actually, that experiment went over like a fart in church), then you have man trying to do things kinda-sorta on his own in a not-so-forgiving environment that included a stubborn ground that was supposed to produce food and where man ended mucking things up even more (Yes, GREAT job with Cain killing his brother Abel, right?), then you have this mega flood and Noah on his floating asylum and God/the LORD making a covenant that seemed somewhat difficult for both sides of the deal to keep (although God seems to blame it ALL on man), then you have a series of judges (to include those that would shred a young lion with his bare hands...lovely), and THEN you get something completely new: KINGS. So, would the people of Israel, God's/the LORD's chosen people, do any better under the leadership of a king?

I Samuel is where an already interesting path of Bible-lore becomes even more interesting. Of course this increase in 'interesting' information on this totally whacked path does absolutely nothing to cull the number of questions that just keep springing up with every book in the Bible.

Though all of the questions that continue to grow in number, and even a few of them in depth and width, it would do you well to remember that it is not necessary for you to answer EVERY question. No. What purpose would that serve you? These are MY questions. These are the reasons why I do not believe. It does not have to be the same for you.

Perhaps you would have less questions. Perhaps more questions. Maybe even you hold that you have NO questions. If that is the case I would really REALLY like for you to leave a message or comment. I personally find it very difficult to think a person could trudge through the books of the Bible and NOT have questions, but like I just said that is me.

However, if you truly believe these stories don't be shy. For Pete's sake answer some questions. If you really and truly think these stories are true then stand up for what you think is true, dammit! Stand up for what you believe! Say why you think and believe these stories to be true. DEFEND these stories, DEFEND what you believe...and make sense doing it.

1. I Samuel 1:2, 5-6
He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb.

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.

     1) What is it with the LORD closing the wombs of the women that are loved more by the man whom they share with another woman as a husband?

     2) Why would the LORD/God close the womb of the woman who is loved more?

     3) Is the LORD/God penalizing love by closing the womb of the woman who is loved more?

     4) What would be the purpose of penalizing the woman who is loved more, to even the playing field?

     5) If the LORD/God is penalizing love, and if GOD is supposed to be love, is He then penalizing Himself? Is that even possible?

2. I Samuel 1:8
And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

     1) Okay, OBVIOUSLY during these 'Bible times' it was immensely important to women personally that they bare children, right? Surely Hannah's husband knew this, right?

     2) Did this man really think that telling his childless wife (who desperately wants children, remember) that he is more to her than ten sons would help to alleviate her sorrow? What is it with some men having a knack for saying the stupidest shit at the worst times? I mean, I am sure many of them MEAN well, but damn...sometimes it just isn't there, you know?

3. I Samuel 1:11, 13-14
11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.

14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”

     1) Why does it seem that God/the LORD goes out of His way to put people in positions where they feel the need to promise the LORD just about anything (to include the life of another person) so long as they get what they want?

     2) Isn't this willingness to promise anything to get what they want similar to selling their soul to the devil, except in this case they are selling the soul of another to God?

     3) Do you really think the logistics of selling your soul (or the soul of another) to God is any different than doing so with the devil?

     4) Wouldn't selling your soul to God/the LORD be worse than selling your soul to the devil since God/the LORD can control your free will (like He did with Pharaoh in Egypt when He kept hardening Pharaoh's heart to not let the people of Israel go)?

4. I Samuel 1:19
19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

     1) The LORD remembered her? Had He forgotten her?

5. I Samuel 1:22
22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever.”

     1) The child is already in the presence of the LORD, correct? Isn't the LORD everywhere at all times?

6. I Samuel 1:28
28 Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life." And they worshiped the LORD there.


     1) You DO remember what I said about free will being affected adversely when it comes to making promises with God, right?

     2) What do we have here but the free will of this boy being affected from the very beginning, right? Someone else is making the decision to serve the LORD for him, correct?

     3) Do you understand the problem with free will and personal choice that is evident here?

7. I Samuel 2:1
Then Hannah prayed: "My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.


     1) Don't you think it is immensely interesting how these people always seem to think that the LORD is rescuing them from the very situations that He Himself has caused?

8. I Samuel 2:2
No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.


     1) And WHY do these people say that no one is holy like the LORD? Isn't it because the LORD has told them no one is holy like the LORD? How do they even know there is no one holy like the LORD if the LORD is the only being ever to tell them this? Do you see the self-serving nature of the LORD in this circular reasoning?

     2) You mean there is no rock like our God since talking to Him sometimes is like talking to a rock, right?

9. I Samuel 2:3
Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don't speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions.


     1) How can this verse say that the LORD judges actions when what REALLY happens is He assesses and responds out of ANGER each and every time WITHOUT FAIL?

     2) Man already believes by this point in the Bible that he is useless and worthless without God/the LORD, so considering that WHO is really the One Who is being proud and haughty and arrogant, hummm?

10. I Samuel 2:9
He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone.


     1) Of course no one will succeed by strength alone, and do you know why? Because there is this voon-der-bar fellow named GOD who just loves to stir the pot and fuck things up as much as possible, right?

     2) And what kind of things, people, situations has this GOD fellow fucked up? Do not telling Adam and Eve about the serpent or the meaning of "you shall surely die" and all of that garden lingo, NOT telling Cain about what offerings were and were not acceptable (which led to the death of Abel, remember), NOT providing the people with OTHER people who were not their brothers or sisters to have children with (God seems to have been a real champion for incest), and NOT allowing Pharaoh to make his own decision inasmuch as letting the people of Israel go was concerned ALL QUALIFY as God purposely fucking things up instead of allowing man to practice doing great things with his own strength, or what?

11. I Samuel 2:10
10 Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the LORD judges throughout the earth. He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one.


     1) And why do those who fight against the LORD end up shattered? Do you REALLY think it is because they were always in the wrong? Really?

     2) And what, pray tell (pun intended), is the small print of the part about giving power to His king?

     3) Isn't it true that whenever God/the LORD 'gives' any amount of power to anyone all it truly is is the power to do only those things which God/the LORD wants for His own glory?

     4) The LORD's anointed one is only anointed to the point that he does everything that the LORD requests, isn't that true?

12. I Samuel 2:17
17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD's sight, for they treated the LORD's offerings with contempt.


     1) Treated the LORD's offerings with contempt, eh? Maybe it is about time someone give senor LORD a little taste of His own behavior, right? Perhaps now the LORD can get a feel for what He did to Cain when He refused Cain's offering of veggies that he busted his ass to get the ground to produce?

13. I Samuel 2:19
19 Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice.


     1) This is a totally twisted picture drawn here, right? Sooo...every year when she brings her son a coat she can remember what the TRUE sacrifice is in this story, right?

     2) And what exactly is the true sacrifice here, hummm? Isn't it the sacrifice of the FULL joys of motherhood in exchange for being able to have just the one son, and for a very short portion of his life at that?

     3) Who is this terribly selfish God who does not allow a mother the full portion of the experience of being a nurturing individual?

     4) Do these problems with the women who are loved more by men, the same women being able to bare children and these women promising any children they might have to God have anything to do with there NEVER being a mention of a mothering aspect of the supposedly divine God?

     5) Is God sad and mad, lonely and depressed because He did not have a mother to love Him and look out for Him and nurture Him?

14. I Samuel 2:20-21
20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, "May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD."

21 And the LORD gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.


     1) the twisted little message here that since Hannah sacrificed her first son and her role as mother to her first son, that the LORD appreciated her follow-through on her sacrificial promise and so gave her more children?

     2) Essentially, the lesson here is that if a person is willing to sacrifice another person...especially their own child...the LORD will reward them in ways they never expected?

     3) Isn't this suspiciously like the story of God telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and when God saw that Abe would really do it God saved Isaac and promised Abe nations and many descendants (descendants that would number as the stars, no less)?

15. I Samuel 2:22-23
22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

23 Eli said to them, "I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning?


     1) Sooo...could this scenario in modern-times be equated with the televangelists and preachers that seduce some of the members of their congregation? Ever hear of Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Bakker, David Koresh, and other religious leaders who seduce members of their flock, or members of other social groups?

     2) Sooo...being as though God knows EVERYTHING and thus knows of all the wicked things that the above mentioned douchebags do...why does He continue to allow people in these types of religious leadership positions to do crap like that?

     3) At least Eli can say he was very old, even though he WAS aware. What is God's excuse? He has been around longer than anyone, but since He is supposed to be timeless He can't use His 'age' as an excuse, right?

16. I Samuel 2:25
25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede?" But Eli's sons wouldn't listen to their father, for the LORD was already planning to put them to death.


     1) Since God is supposed to be omnipotent/all-powerful wouldn't HE be the One Who intercedes on behalf of a man?

     2) When it says that the LORD was already planning to put them to death and that Eli's sons wouldn't listen...does that mean like what God/the LORD did to Pharaoh when God wanted to wax a bunch of Egyptians, and so purposely made Pharaoh to harden his heart? Did the LORD purposely make Eli's sons ignore their father so He could kill them?

     3) If all things are possible with God then wouldn't intercession on behalf of an erring human always be possible? Didn't God's own people know this?

17. I Samuel 2:26
26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.


     1) Well, here we go again with God displaying through His emotions a very human fault: FAVORITISM. Oh, wait...are things that would normally be considered a fault for humans NOT considered a fault for God since He is...well, God?

18. I Samuel 2:29
29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me--for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!

     1) What is the REAL problem here?

     2) Is the real problem here the fact that God felt put out that someone else got more than He did?

     3) Sooo...God always wants the best for HIMSELF? God punishes people when the best of anything is given to anyone other than Himself, doesn't He?

19. I Samuel 2:30
30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

     1) Doesn't the grouping of the words "I promised" followed by "but now" infer that, yes, God made a promise, but now God has decided to amend that promise at least in part?

     2) Can God break the rules in regard to promises since He is the One Who made all of the rules to begin with?

20. I Samuel 2:35-36
35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.

36 And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, “Please put me in one of the priests’ places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.

     1) Sooo...if God/the LORD said here that they would go in FOREVER before the anointed, and if the Word of God/the LORD stands forever, is this sure house of the faithful priest still around?

     2) If this sure house of the faithful priest is no longer around, what does this say for the unchangeable, unerring, infallible, and everlasting Word of God?

     3) Is the answer to the question directly above that in the present times the sure house is now the church (which also happens to be the Bride of Chucky...I mean Christ), and the 'faithful priest' is the believer who receives Jesus into their heart?

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