Friday, November 1, 2013

I Kings Part VII: Just a Few Questions

A Procession of Kings, A Procession of Problems do you like the procession of the kings so far for the people of Israel? It is like a soap opera, and as it runs on and on the writers decide to get crazier and crazier with the story, right?

1. I Kings 16:11-13
11 Zimri immediately killed the entire royal family of Baasha, leaving him not even a single male child. He even destroyed distant relatives and friends.

12 So Zimri destroyed the dynasty of Baasha as the LORD had promised through the prophet Jehu.

13 This happened because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed, and because of the sins they led Israel to commit. They provoked the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, with their worthless idols.

     1) Why did Zimri kill the friends? The friends are not part of the royal family, so what the hell kind of purpose was served by murdering people who had no access to the throne?

     2) When you read the above verses did you get the feeling that there is something strangely subliminal/subconscious going on? These verses seem to have a curious tone about them, I thought. 

It is almost as if they are trying to imply that God/the LORD is not the one responsible for any of this bizzaro behavior, that man acted entirely and completely ON HIS OWN without any type of interference from anyone at anytime, that God/the LORD informed the prophet Jehu almost as a heads-up courtesy (because who knows who might be able to take the information of the impending doom and turn it into something good?) as to the even bigger load of shit that was about to slam the fan of the people of Israel, and, perhaps most disturbing of all, that EVERYTHING that has befallen man in these ridiculous situations of divinely measured and punished insolence/disobedience is the fault and problem of man and man alone. This registers fairly high on the creep-o-meter, don't you think?

     3) Can you think of any reason that an all-powerful Being would be working behind the scenes to manipulate people into thinking a situation followed a certain pattern when in fact it did not?

     4) Why/how is God/the LORD provoked  when HE knew everything that would happen, wanted it to happen, needed it to happen, and definitely made sure that it happened?

     5) If the friggin idols were so damn worthless then why was the LORD/God so badly bothered and jealous and threatened by them?

     6) If the friggin idols were so damn worthless, and if the people of Israel chose to worship those idols instead of the LORD/God...what does THAT say about what at least some of the people of Israel thought about the LORD/God?

2. I Kings 16:25-26
25 Omri did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did more evil than all who were before him.

26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he made Israel to sin, provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols.

     1) Omri did MORE evil than all the others? Is this unsupported assertion supposed to make people not care about what happens to him or his family, not care about why he did what he did, and not care that many people are being/will be forced to pay for the purported sins of this man?

3. I Kings 16:30-31
30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.

31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him.

     1) now it is Ahab who has done more evil than all of those before him?

4. I Kings 17:1-5
Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, "As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives--the God I serve--there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!"

And the word of the LORD came to him:

“Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.

You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan.

     1) No dew or rain during the next few years, hummm? I bet the people of Israel thought their days of parched bellies and dry lips were left back in the desert they stumbled out of when they arrived to take possession of the promised land, right?

     2) Okay, sooo...God is all-powerful and all-this and all-that, the ultimate protector, BUT His own prophet has to hide...and this all-powerful God is the One Who told the prophet to hide?

5. I Kings 17:12-14
12 And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”

13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son.

14 For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’”

     1) Well, doesn't verse 12 imply that the people of Israel are still waiting for the land to produce its flowing milk and honey?

     2) What was the purpose of responding with "Do not fear"? Sure, the woman said she was going to prepare her and her son's last meal...and then die...but she does not sound fearful, but rather sounds resigned to her fate, right?

     3) Feed the prophet of the LORD/God first and THEN feed the starving mother and child? What does this tell you about the priorities of this wonderfully loving, amazingly compassionate God/LORD?

     4) have all of these people in Israel dying from thirst and starving BUT God/the LORD sees fit to provide food ONLY for the woman, her son, His prophet, and fuck everyone else?

     5) Sooo...are we supposed to be surprised and impressed by this never ending supply of food for three people?

6. I Kings 17:15-16
15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days.

16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.

     1) Who gives a shit how many days the woman, her son, and God's prophet ate from the never ending food supply? Jesus Christ, we have an ENTIRE PEOPLE that need to eat and drink, correct?

     2) I am not impressed by the magic jug and magic jar, but I am depressed by how God/the LORD is treating all of these people, HIS CHILDREN, aren't you?

7. I Kings 17:17-21
17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him.

18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!”

19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed.

20 Then Elijah cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?"

21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again.”

     1) Illness so severe he had no breath left? Was it an asthma attack? COPD? A pulmonary disorder?

     2) Verse 18 is hilarious, right? This woman wants to know what the prophet has against her to cause the death of her son? Doesn't this stupid bitch remember at the beginning of this story she herself was prepared to make herself and her son some kind of cakes and then die from starvation? The likelihood of death was already there when Mr. Prophet rode into town, right?

     3) We already know that the LORD/God is a severely twisted sadist, so we do not have to ask why He let this happen. What should be asked is what the fuckey-doo is the deal with the prophet stretching himself out ON the boy three times? I gotta tell you...this sounds ALL WRONG, doesn't it?

8. I Kings 17:24
24 Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."

     1) Sooo...does this mean that this whole time the woman did NOT believe this prophet guy was a real prophet of the LORD?

9. I Kings 18:1
After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”

     1) Does God/the LORD use drought and famine as a means of culling the people who worship Him?

10. I Kings 18:22-24
22 Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only prophet of the LORD who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets.

23 Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it.

24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”

     1) God/the LORD trying to make Himself look outnumbered in order to make His 'victory' over Baal look even more amazing and miraculous?

     2) Sooo...God's prophet and the prophets of Baal BOTH use altars, BOTH use animals in sacrifice, BOTH cut up the animals and put the pieces on the altar, and when following through with their worship ritual BOTH burn the animal carcass, correct?

     3) Sooo...the only true difference between the sacrifice rituals of Elijah and the sacrifice rituals of the prophets of Baal is the NAME of the pretend individual being sacrificed to?

11. I Kings 18:27-29
27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. "You'll have to shout louder," he scoffed, "for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!"

28 So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out.

29 They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.

     1) Well, what have we here but a FINE example of what many modern day believers claim they are subjected to: ridicule and mockery. Do you think Elijah would appreciate people mocking his God?

     2) What makes it okay for Elijah to mock people who worship a different God, but it is NOT okay for anyone to rail and mock Elijah's God?

     3) Want to try something interesting? Consider verse 27. Now, take this verse, the meaning and words of this verse, and then apply it to modern day troubles and terrible situations, okay? Think about 9/11, the Japan tsunami, the mega quake in Mexico in the mid eighties...yada-yada, plucka-plucka...and ask them where their God was when these terrible things happened. Was He in traffic? Was He too busy? Was He angry with man? Was He out doing laundry?

12. I Kings 18:36-37
36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command.

37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”

     1) What the fuck is Elijah talking about turning the hearts of the people back to God? This is NOT what happens or will happen here, right? There is no deliberate effort to truly turn their hearts back to God, is there?

13. I Kings 18:38-40
38 Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!

39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”

40 Then Elijah commanded, "Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don't let a single one escape!" So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.

     1) Doesn't God know that frightening people into believing in Him does not qualify as the same people having turned their hearts back to Him?

     2) God is supposed to be Truth, correct? Would you agree that coercion is NOT akin to truth? 

     3) Here in this particular chapter in I Kings we very clearly see that FEAR is again utilized by God as a tool to encourage the people to change back to worshiping God alone, correct? Sooo...if God is the ultimate in truth, and if God decided that the best way to get His people back was to scare them to death, and if coercion is NOT akin to truth...doesn't that significantly alter the characteristics that define God/the LORD?

     4) If God/the LORD is using coercion to make people believe in Him, and if coercion is NOT truth doesn't that then mean that God/the LORD is a liar and most certainly NOT worthy or deserving of the attention or praise He receives?

14. I Kings 18:44-46
44 Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, "I saw a little cloud about the size of a man's hand rising from the sea." Then Elijah shouted, "Hurry to Ahab and tell him, 'Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don't hurry, the rain will stop you!'"

45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.

46 Then the LORD gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab's chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.

     1) How in the blazing blue did the servant happen to spot a little cloud the size of a man's hand rising from the damn sea, hummm?

     2) Sooo...Elijah was granted special powers by God to run super fast? Do you suppose the process to grant the prophet this power was like in that old television show starring Lee Majors, uhmmm...the Six Million Dollar Man? You know the one. I can see it now, right? God and His other two personalities getting ready for surgery on Elijah. God says to His other selves, "Gentlemen, We have the technology..."

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