Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Numbers Part II: Just a Few Questions

You Must Ask Questions:
Have you an inquiring mind?

What is it that you want to know when it comes to God/the LORD and any kind of faith built upon the Bible and belief in God? Do you value the fact that you have a reasoning mind? Do you think that it is in any way appropriate to place complete faith in something without any valid answers as to the 'bigger' questions of that faith? Do you think that just because something is labeled as faith and just because it has anything to do with God/the LORD that the requirement for valid answers is somehow waived?

Sometimes it is difficult to find answers to the questions asked. This does not mean we should at any time stop searching for the answers. Sometimes we do not find the answers we are looking for, or even we may find nothing in the form of an answer at all. This does not mean we should stop asking questions. Sometimes we do not know what to ask, or perhaps we are afraid to ask or told that it is dangerous or a bad thing to do to ask questions. This does not mean that we should, with complete abandon, place stock in something called 'faith' which is becoming more and more of a cop-out answer that many people give for the answers they refuse to give or even attempt to answer in some cases.

The truth of what faith is is not synonymous with not understanding something that makes zero sense in the first place, but something you choose to believe as complete and total truth nonetheless.

Answer these questions about the books in the Old Testament. Tell me why you believe in God and why you believe in the Bible if that is in fact what you choose to believe. If you wish to make any other kind of comment, well, you can do that as well. Just click on the little comment link at the end of each posting. Please note the number of the question you are answering, and if you are using Bible verses as reference please put down the passage location so that I may look it up.

Now we continue with the remainder of the questions for the book of Numbers of the Old Testament.

1. Numbers 15:15-16
15 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the LORD.

16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.


     1) Do you think the people of Israel follow this line of thinking now and actually practice what was preached here? There are some interesting documentaries on how life is for people in that region of the globe, especially in relation to who considers what parts of Jerusalem to be holy. Watch the documentaries and the idea that these verses offer a statute forever and ever will go right out the window.

2. Numbers 15:17-18
17 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

18 Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you enter the land where I bring you,


     1) Dude, when will this LORD fellow learn to speak to whomever He needs to speak to on His own instead of constantly asking people to do the talking for Him?

     2) When I was a child I was taught that God/the LORD was always asking someone else to do the talking for Him for quite a few reasons. I would like to share them with you here.
     As I have said in previous posts I do not provide what I think may be answers to my questions since what I really want is to hear why people DO believe. I do not want my own personal ideas of the answers to mar what could very well be a MUCH better answer, even if that answer is from a Christian. 
     Generally, I try very hard to stick to this rule of mine, allowing very few exceptions. However, in this case I did come to the conclusion I should include what answers I was given in explanation of the problem at hand in these particular verses. Please take into consideration that these answers are not of my own creation. I was given these answers when I was yet still a small child; I believed these answers for many, many years.

     So...let's take a peek at the answers I was given:

     One, it would totally freak people out to hear the voice of God, and just like looking at God would do to people (except a chosen few) hearing God would also kill them.
     Two, God did not want His messages getting bungled by people who may try to change the message to fit their own needs, or by people who claimed to be speaking for God when they really were not.
     Three, people would become confused if there were all these people claiming to be talking to God. In such a situation who were people to believe? Seriously. Bob says God said to mow the lawn. Billy says God said to only rake the lawn. Bubba says God said to tear out all of the sod and put in fresh sod. Brian says God said to only water the lawn. Who are people to believe? 
     Lastly, it was the wisdom of God that assigned the ability to hear His voice to various prophets and elders and leaders instead of everyone. This way, when people needed to 'approach' the LORD with an issue, when they needed advice, when they needed to know if the inability to conceive was punishment for sin...well, all that the people of Israel had to do was go straight to Moses or Aaron or to the special priests. The priests were intermediaries, advocates of a sort to represent/stand in place of the people before God/the LORD.

3. Numbers 15:22-24

22 But when you unwittingly fail and do not observe all these commandments, which the LORD has spoken to Moses,

23 even all that the LORD has commanded you through Moses, from the day when the LORD gave commandment and onward throughout your generations,

24 then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, all the congregation shall offer one bull from the herd for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma to the LORD, with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the rule, and one male goat for a sin offering


     1) Sooo...basically we are talking unintentional torts here such as negligence, correct?

     2) HOW is the live sacrifice of an animal and the burning of that sacrifice pleasing in smell to the LORD?

4. Numbers 15:32, 35-36
32 Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day.

35 Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.

36 So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.


     1) Where do you begin with Bible passages that are screwy like this?

     2) Sooo...the LORD shows no mercy to the man collecting wood on the Sabbath and orders the people to kill him, while He does absolutely nothing about Lot's daughters who for all intents and purposes got their father drunk and then raped him, TWICE

     3) Why does the LORD order that the congregation throw the stones intended to cause death? If God/the LORD wants the man murdered why doesn't He do it Himself instead of getting His people to play patsy?

5. Numbers 16:28-30
28 Moses said, "By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing.

29 If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me.

30 But if the LORD does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the LORD.


     1) What is the problem with God being upfront with pertinent information? Why doesn't He just say guilty or not guilty in plain language free from bizarre stories and absurd challenges? Is it because the people would not understand plain language? Are the people of Israel during this time incompetent?

     2) When Moses says "something entirely new" does he really mean another novel way God has dreamed up to frighten, hurt, and kill people?

6. Numbers 16:32-33
32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods.

33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.


     1) The earth has a mouth?

     2) How were the people cast alive into Sheol? Sheol has been interpreted in many ways but what it basically is is a place where the dead gather together when they die. Some translations interpret it as hell. The problem here is the idea that a good number of living beings were cast, alive, into this hell...where they have absolutely no business being since they are all still alive. So, are these people still alive there?

     3) Okay, so basically Sheol is at least similar to hell in that it is a place people go when they die, right? Sooo...if the earth swallowed up the doomed people and they fell into this 'Sheol' place then the implication is that Sheol or the similar hell are inside of the earth, right?

7. Numbers 20:4-5
Why have you brought the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle?

And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.


     1) Don't the people of Israel have a good point here? When God/the LORD made all of the grand promises to the people didn't He make it sound like everything would be provided for without issue?

     2) Do you think the people of Israel would have wanted to leave Egypt if the LORD had told them they would be wandering about the desert, often worried and concerned as to where their next meal or drop of water would come from?

8. Numbers 21:5-6
And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.

Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.


     1) Does God/the LORD have something against the truth of a matter? Didn't the people of Israel have a VERY good point?

     2) So does God send the snakes to kill people because they are pointing out the flaws in God's planning or because, even worse than bad planning God simply doesn't know what the frickety-frack He is doing and the less people know that, the better?

9. Numbers 21:34-35
34 But the LORD said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people, and his land. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.

35 So they defeated him and his sons and all his people, until he had no survivor left. And they possessed his land.


     1) These verses very clearly relate that the people of Israel completely obliterated entire peoples, correct? Do you see something wrong with this picture?

     2) Sooo...so long as the land was promised by God, and so long as God said to exterminate the people on that land you haven't done anything wrong?

   3) Genocide is okay so long as God/the LORD ordered it?

10. Numbers 22:28-29
28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?

29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you."


     1) So an ass riding an ass decides to unjustifiably beat the ass of the ass who then turns and asks the ass riding the ass why the ass is beating his ass?

     2) Was Balaam used to crazy shit like asses talking happening all the time? Why wasn't he surprised when the ass began to talk and tell him he was being an ass?

11. Numbers 25:4-5
And the LORD said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.”

And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.”


     1) You know who God/the LORD reminds me of? He reminds me of those asshole husbands in the movies where once he marries the girl of his dreams he wants to control who she talks to, where she goes, what she wears, and all of that horse puckey, right?
     So much for free will and free choice. Sure, man. Go right on ahead and pick ANY of the gods you wish to worship, only keep in mind that if you do not worship the LORD and ONLY the Lord your ass is grass, and guess what? Your own people will kill you.

12. Numbers 25:7-8
When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand,

and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped.


     1) Doesn't this sound like the honor killings you hear about on the news from time to time?

13. Numbers 25:9
And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.


     1) So, is the purpose for keeping track of how many people died in a plague supposed to be a deterrent? Are people supposed to look at that and go, "Wow!! Sakes alive! If God can kill twenty-four thousand people from plague at the drop of a hat I had best listen to Him," or something of the like?

14. Numbers 25:11-13
11 Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest has turned my anger away from the Israelites by being as zealous among them as I was. So I stopped destroying all Israel as I had intended to do in my zealous anger.

12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace,

13 and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.’”


     1) Say, what do we have here but a set of verses that deluded followers around the world take to mean that they can do anything for God and never be wrong? Take a good look at these verses and really think about what they mean.

     2) Why does God/the LORD insist on labeling His tantrums as zealous/righteous/holy anger when it is clear He has zero control over His anger, zero respect for others when it comes to who is affected by His wrath, and seemingly prefers to punish EVERYONE even though the deed that pissed God off was done by a few or one person?

15. Numbers 30:5
But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. And the LORD will forgive her, because her father opposed her.


     10 And this is how God/the LORD sees women...not worthy of having a word or a mind of their own?

16. Numbers 31:2-4
Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.

So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the LORD’s vengeance on Midian.

You shall send a thousand from each of the tribes of Israel to the war.”


     1) I know it is elsewhere in the Bible, but doesn't the LORD say at one point vengeance is His alone?

     2) If vengeance is God's alone then why is He telling the people of Israel to go and execute the vengeance? 

     3) If God wants people dead why doesn't He do it for Himself? Why get the people of Israel to do it? Does God not want to get His hands dirty? Is it because murder is a bit too sinful, even for the Mighty Almighty?

17. Numbers 31:17-18
17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.

18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.


     1) What is this bullshit? God says to kill everything including all of the people unless the people are female virgins?

     2) Keep the young girls for yourself? Explain this one away, please. I really want answers on this one.

18. Numbers 31:32-35
32 Now the plunder remaining of the spoil that the army took was 675,000 sheep,

33 and 72,000 cattle,

34 61,000 donkeys,

35 and of human beings, of the women who had not known man intimately, all the persons were 32,000.


     1) Plunder? Plunder? Jesus Christ, these people make it sound like they were on a treasure quest with Captain Ahab on the friggin' Jolly Roger!! They fu**ing murdered loads of people and then stole what belonged to the people they murdered and God/the LORD is not only okay with this, but TOLD them to do it?

19. Numbers 31:50-52
50 So we are presenting the items of gold we captured as an offering to the LORD from our share of the plunder--armbands, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will purify our lives before the LORD and make us right with him.

51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest received from them the gold, all crafted articles.

52 And all the gold of the contribution that they presented to the LORD, from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, was 16,750 shekels.



     2) Does this God and His great need for gold have anything to do with being an alien/extra-terrestrial being that needs the precious metal gold to make their machines and spaceships function?

     3) Isn't the measurement of gold here about 450 pounds, or something like that? Why does God need 450 pounds of gold?

20. Numbers 32:14-15
14 And behold, you have risen in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the LORD against Israel!

15 For if you turn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all this people.”


     1) The LORD sounds like those creepy boyfriends in the movies where in the end the boyfriend kills the girl since he figures if he can't have her, no one can have her, right?

     2) Sooo...if the people of Israel want to live they absolutely MUST listen to the LORD at all costs, and if they do not they will ALL die?

21. Numbers 33:3-4
They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the day after the Passover, the people of Israel went out triumphantly in the sight of all the Egyptians,

while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the LORD had struck down among them. On their gods also the LORD executed judgments.


     1) Did you notice that God/the LORD has quite the bad habit of striking down the most helpless people? Why does He do that?

     2) If the other gods do not exist WHY did God/the LORD execute judgments on them? Wouldn't executing judgment on something that does not exist be about as pointless as you can get?

22. Numbers 36:10-12
10 Just as the LORD had commanded Moses, so the daughters of Zelophehad did:

11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to sons of their father’s brothers.

12 They married those from the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained with the tribe of the family of their father.


     1) Why is the LORD still encouraging this incest 'thing' He has with His people? Why? Why didn't God/the LORD make changes to the laws so that the inheritances would stay where they should instead of instructing the women to fucking marry their own kin? Doesn't anyone see this as screwy and sick?





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