Friday, October 18, 2013

I Samuel Part II: Just a Few Questions

I Samuel Part II

I Samuel is an immensely interesting book of the Bible. I hope you will take the time to read it for yourself and stop to consider the questions that come to your mind...especially those in regards to physical handling of the ark. It seems as though some of the previously mentioned laws of safety while around the ark are not followed here, but amazingly some people survive being around the ark. Go figure.

And now...Part II of I Samuel. As always, feel free to post any answer to any of the questions if you so desire. If using Bible verses for a reference please note the passage location so that I may look it up.

1. I Samuel 3:1
The boy Samuel was serving the LORD under Eli. In those days a prophecy from the LORD was rare; visions were infrequent.


     1) Sooo...what is meant by the use of the term 'boy' in this verse? Other translations use the word 'child' or the term 'young man' which do carry their own meanings, so which is it?

     2) Do you mean serving the LORD as in helping with the offerings, cleaning, organizing, running errands for the LORD, what? 

     3) Why was a prophecy or vision from the LORD rare in those days? I do not understand this. Doesn't the LORD need to interact with His people? If they do not hear from Him aren't they going to think He has up and gone? What else would they think? Does a God Who loves and cares for His people ignore them or give up on them or let them think He does not care about them any more?

     4) If God/the LORD is everywhere all of the time how is it that the Word of God/the LORD is so rare? Why were visions NOT widespread? Doesn't God want to be heard and seen?

     5) Why would God withhold Himself? Since God is EVERYWHERE to begin with, is an act of withholding Himself even possible?

2. I Samuel 3:3
The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.


     1) Remember in previous books of the Bible that there were discussions about how dangerous the ark of God was to people?

     2) How is this little kid able to sleep where the ark is and not be harmed, hummm?

3. I Samuel 3:4-6
Then the LORD called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!”

and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

And the LORD called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”

     1) I am wondering if Eli and young Samuel were the only two individuals in the temple, aren't you? I mean, if they were the only two present when Samuel heard the voice, and if Eli knew neither he nor the boy had said anything, shouldn't Eli's being a priest coupled with this solitude and lack of vocalization by humans have been the first clue that it was God/the LORD speaking?

    2) How can Samuel serve in the temple under Eli and NOT at least have some kind of working knowledge as to the LORD's voice, or at the very least could recognize the difference between the voice of Eli and the voices of others?

4. I Samuel 3:7-10
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the young man.

Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

     1) verse says Samuel served the LORD, and then another verse says Samuel did not yet know the LORD? How does this work?

     2) How does a person who serves the LORD not know the LORD?

     3) Would Margaret Thatcher have been a good prime minister knowing NOTHING about Great Britain?

     4) Why is God being juvenile in His behavior by not simply allowing Samuel to know/realize Who was speaking? Besides, with God being all-powerful you would think His voice would be as well, right? I mean, did He not command everything into existence? SO, how does Samuel NOT know Who is calling him?

     5) If God supersedes all in EVERYTHING, how is it that He does not reveal Himself to Samuel from the very first moment He called him?

     6) How did Eli NOT hear God when God called Samuel? Sure, the Bible says Eli is deaf, but do you really think a hearing problem would ever contain or repel or inhibit the voice of God? 

     7) Why did it take God calling Samuel THREE times before Eli finally realized WHO was doing the calling?

     8) Why did Eli instruct Samuel to go lay back down and see if the LORD would call Samuel again?

5. I Samuel 3:12-13
12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.

     1) Sure, we get it what Eli's sons did was horrible. However, where is the justice in punishing their entire family...FOREVER?

     2) Since when should the blasphemy of a few family members dictate the demise of the ENTIRE family?

6. I Samuel 3:14
14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

     1) God and the everlasting love that He is supposed to encompass is a sustaining factor for man, right?

     2) Are there limits to God's love?

     3) If God is not limited by anything, anywhere, or at anytime, how can either His love or forgiveness be interfered with, even by Himself OR blasphemy?

     4) Wouldn't limitation of God or His character traits work in opposition to the very purpose and center of all God is?

     5) For God to deny Eli and his family atonement is the same as God denying Himself, isn't it?

7. I Samuel 3:19
19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.

     1) Never let his words fall to the ground? Does this mean that God made sure that whatever God told Samuel to say He made sure it damn-well happened/came true?

     2) Did the LORD provide this courtesy to other individuals who served as His personal puppet?

     3) Did God ever let anyone's words fall to the ground? What does this mean? Why would He do it? What would be His motivation?

8. I Samuel 4:8
Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness.

     1) GODS who struck the Egyptians? Surely the Philistines knew that the people of Israel worshiped only ONE God, so why the plural wording?

     2) Since when did God strike the Egyptians in the wilderness? It was the people of Israel that were in the wilderness for what, forty years, right? When God struck Egypt with the plagues the Egyptians were NOT in the wilderness, correct? So, who screwed this one up?

     3) Every sort of plague? Wasn't it only ten plagues?

9. I Samuel 4:9-10
Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.”

10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.

     1) Sooo...part of 'being a man' is fighting and killing? Fighting and killing are considered courageous? Why? Because GOD said so? Is this type of thinking why there are so many problems with men and and the stupidity of fighting over even more stupid crap?

     2) Sooo...tell me what you think about God's promise to His people of the promised land that flowed with milk and honey? How is it going for the people? Are you impressed with the benefits the people are reaping? Are you impressed with the level of debauchery expressed by God?

     3) Sooo...are the days of God giving the enemies into the hands of His people over?

     4) Is God just trying to remind people just Who is in charge? 

10. I Samuel 4:11
11 The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed.

     1) If God did not like the job they were doing why did He allow them (Eli's sons) to keep their temple positions as long as they did?

     2) Why didn't God fire them or dismiss them and get another more upstanding individual to do the job? Why must He kill them? Worship jealousy? 

     3) If God is all-knowing He saw this shit happening from waayyy off, so why didn't He save a lot of time and trouble and have the right person assigned to begin with?

     4) If Eli's sons were so awful and evil then how were they able to work around the ark for so long without dropping dead when Aaron's own son dropped dead when he fucked up around the ark?

11. I Samuel 4:18
18 As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

     1) How in the hell does this ultimate, righteous God kill an old man the way He killed Eli?

     2) Isn't this elder abuse, whether or not what Eli did was wrong?

12. I Samuel 5:1, 3
When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place.

     1) This is a show of the mighty and awesome strength and power of God? God pushes down the statute of the other God? What the fuck is this, recess at friggin' kindergarten?

     2) How were these people able to move the ark without being killed? How would they have known how to treat it? Why didn't God strike them down? Was He too weak and the ark had to 'charge' for energy, or something?

13. I Samuel 5:9
But after they had brought it around, the hand of the LORD was against the city, causing a very great panic, and he afflicted the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them.

     1) Why does God choose to physically cause people pain and great psychological distress where the people more or less get to guess what God is mad at?

     2) Is it above or below God to simply go to the people and have a regular, hate-free, pain-free, and fear-free conversation where He tells His people everything He wants in simple terms?

     3) Does God enjoy seeing people suffer?

     4) Why must the young also be afflicted? Does God NOT know punishing someone unjustly is an abuse of power?

14. I Samuel 6:1, 5-6
The ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months.

So you must make images of your tumors and images of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you and your gods and your land.

Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had dealt severely with them, did they not send the people away, and they departed?

     1) How is it that the heathen Philistines were able to remove the greatest symbol of the most powerful God from HIS people?

     2) order to save themselves the one and only true God Who is noted to have said to NOT make ANY graven images has instructed the people to create graven images of tumors and mice in an effort to alleviate those problems?

     3) If in God's commandments that Moses brought to the people it says to not have graven images or make them...and God is telling people to do just this...isn't God breaking His own commandment?

     4) What do you say to a God Who commanded you to NOT make graven images, but then turns around and says to make them? Is He trying to trap you? Is He trying to teach you a lesson? What is the lesson learned in breaking the commandment?

15. I Samuel 6:19
19 But the LORD killed seventy men from Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark of the LORD. And the people mourned greatly because of what the LORD had done.

     1) Why does God continuously kill people who come close to the ark or try to look into the ark? Does He kill them to keep His image mysterious and to maintain His grip on fears of the human being's mind and the resulting patterns of behavior?

     2) Since God is all-powerful He can do anything, right? Anything including NOT killing people who are curious about God and want to know what there is to know about God, right?

     3) Is or was there something that the LORD/God did not want the people to find out about in regards to the God of Israel?

     4) Are God's actions here quite purposeful and intended to scare the crap out of and remind the people of Israel exactly WHO has the reigns of power?

16. I Samuel 7:1
And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. And they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark of the LORD.

     1) Sooo...were the men who took the ark to the house of Abinadab clean or unclean? If unclean how were they not killed upon approaching the ark, much less moving it?

     2) How did the men who took the ark survive considering if people did not approach the ark at just the right times it would kill them? How did they know when to approach it?

17. I Samuel 7:3
Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, "If you are really serious about wanting to return to the LORD, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the LORD; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.

     1) Doesn't this verse and verses like it very overtly seed intolerance?

     2) Does this verse remind you of those uber-delusional Christians who SWEAR that the United States was founded on Christianity and the Bible and that if we all want America's problems to go away we must do things like God says to do them in the kill homosexuals and stone sassy children and execute witches and sorcerers, yada-yada, plucka-plucka? If you doubt this look up John Hagee, Pat Robertson, and any of their best pals.

     3) You know what else this twisted verse reminds me of? When I was a kid the church my parents attended actually had a book burning. Yes. That is one of my more disturbing memories. I was fairly young at the time, about 13 or 14, and it gave me such a chill when, while watching these people I knew throwing books and other items into the fire, my mind automatically pushed the WWII documentary footage of Nazi book burnings to the front of my mind. Creepy.

18. I Samuel 7:8
And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”

     1) Why didn't the people of Israel simply speak to the LORD themselves? Why not each person take it upon themselves personally to pray a personal prayer to God?

     2) Did God create all of the complicated, intricate rituals intended to communicate with God so confusing that people would think only the special priests could talk to God?

     3) crying out to the LORD/God are we to assume such means begging and pleading and throwing one's self down before God in such a pathetic manner that God decides to help you in His own self-serving effort to throw you a bone?

19. I Samuel 7:9
So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. And Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him.

     1) Do you see anything wrong or off in regards to the LORD always having one person, such as a priest, crying out to the LORD for the people? Do you think things between the LORD and His chosen people would have been a lot better if the LORD had allowed the people to speak with Him personally instead of having someone else do it for everyone all at once?

No comments: