Thursday, September 18, 2008

Questions God asks in the Bible

Here is a Bible study I wrote once. Instead of simply writing a long article, I simply listed some of the many questions God asks in the Bible. The article follows in its entirety. Note the following actions, as concepts compared with concepts:
Long-time readers of the Bible have a subtle understanding of the consistency of God’s personality. That is: they know God. Throughout the five thousand years and dozens of authors who wrote the Bible, God’s personality traits and actions remain consistent and can be compared one with another. For instance, have you noticed that Yahweh has a habit of asking the guilty person searching questions instead of coming straight out with an accusation? Yahweh is not the “accuser” and seems to have a dislike of straightforward accusation, therefore he rarely uses it. This is part of God’s unchangeable personality, something that shows up in the God of the Old Testament as well as in Jesus, whom Christians also believe to be God. Both approach the sinner with questions designed to create a relationship of reasoning and truth. (I will refrain from listing the Bible chapters and verse so that you may use your concordance and read the stories in context.)

1. In the Garden of Eden, after Adam had sinned, God said, “Adam, where are you?”
2. To Eve, after the Fall, he said, “What is this that you have done?”
3. To Cain after Cain had murdered Abel: “Where is your brother?”
4. To Jacob, as he fought with the angel of the Lord, “What is your name?” Perhaps, the Lord wanted Jacob to get back to his roots. Before Jacob becomes a “prince” (Israel), he must acknowledge that he is a “supplanter” (Jacob)
5. To Sarah when she disbelieved and laughed in her disbelief, “Why did you laugh?”
6. To Hagar, when she was despairing in the desert, “What is the matter, Hagar?”
7. To Moses, when Moses asked Him to part the Red Sea, “Why are you looking at me? You stretch out your hand and part the sea.”
8. To Moses, after Miriam had caused a fuss because of Moses' Ethiopian wife, “If her father had spat in her face, would she not be ashamed seven days?” (This is the third person invisible, more insulting than usual. Miriam is nearby, but God is making a point of not talking to her directly because as a backup for her racism, she had said that God had also talked directly to her.)
9. To Satan, after he came to see God in the court of Heaven, “I see you have been pondering my servant Job?”
10. To Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul since I've removed the kingship from him?”
11. To Balaam, “Who were those men who visited you?”

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ does the same thing which shows that he is very much like his Father.
1. After He had left His mother and father and made them worry themselves sick about him, “Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know I would be doing my father's business?”
2. To his mother after she asked him to turn water into wine: “Woman, what is that between you and me?”
3. To the man who told him that his brothers and mother were waiting for Him outside, “Who are my brothers and sisters?”
4. To the woman taken in adultery, “Woman, where are your accusers?”
5. To the man who wanted to know what the greatest commandments were: “Tell me who acted as a neighbor?”
6. To the man who wanted Jesus to give the man’s greedy brother a talking to. “Who made me a divider among you?”
7. To John and James when they asked Jesus to make them special in heaven, “Do you think you can swallow the cup reserved for those who will stand at my right hand?”
8. To the man who wanted Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance properly: “Who made me a divider between you?”
9. On the question of tribute, “Whose inscription and face is on this coin?”
10. To Simon Peter, “Who do you say I am?”
11. To Simon Peter, “Do you love me?”
12. To Simon Peter, “If I will that he (my best friend) waits around until I return, what is that to you?”
13. To Paul on the road to Damascus, “Paul why are you persecuting me?”
14. In the gospel of John chapter 14, Phillip asked Jesus to show them the father. Jesus said, “Have I been so long with you Philip and you don't know me? He who has seen me has seen the Father.”

Did you buy a concordance? Did you find all the chapters and verses? What words did you use in order to find the verses? Did you read the entire passages in context? Good, now you are an expert in the use of concordances, finding patterns and concepts, and commonalities in words, phrases, symbols and actions. With this knowledge you can develop mindfulness and be able to hear those insights which the Holy Spirit gives you.
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