Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A great paraphrase of Exodus 34 by David Plotz - Slate Magazine:
Moses climbs Sinai again to collect a replacement pair of stone tablets. While he's up there, God comes to him and proclaims of Himself: 'The Lord! The Lord! A God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness.' Now, I don't want to quibble here, but does this sound like the God we've been reading about? God certainly doesn't have self-esteem issues, but I'm not sure He has perfect insight about Himself. Would you describe the God of Genesis and Exodus as gracious? As abounding in kindness and faithfulness? As slow to anger? After all, He flies off the handle before the Flood, is fairly merciless to Sodom and Gomorrah, and hardly abounding in kindness toward the Egyptians, leaves the Israelites in bondage for 430 years, and has to be restrained by Moses from wiping out His Chosen People after the Golden Calf. He's got lots of wonderful qualities—He's tough, clever, excitable, awesome, and forgiving—but not the ones He ascribes to Himself.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, are you saying that God's a liar? Can he not be slow to anger, yet get angry sometimes? Can one not be tough when needed but also compassionate when needed?

5:00 PM  
Blogger dbabbitt said...

I'm not saying anything. God's word is like a giant rock that people bash themselves against. This is an example of someone grappling with it.

10:05 PM  

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