Sunday, February 1, 2015

problematic interpretation

the interpretation of satan, as being a kind of divine court prosecuting attorney,
looks sensible at first, but there is an inherent problem. It is that it would posit
him having some legitimate role. All he does in fact is try to persuade God
(and anyone observing) that someone is his legitimate prey, because they are
either out of step with God, or don't love God for His own sake. The latter
was the argument given regarding Job, satan getting permission to harm him.

Perhaps this is also an effort (doomed to failure) to persuade God away from
His mercy.

The problem people have with the Book of Job, is that they don't take the
devil seriously as a player in all this. The answer to this "problem" of figuring
this book out, is right in front of them at the beginning. But a materialistic
bias blinds the questioners.

Basically, the whole event made the devil out to be the fool he is. satan lost
that game. And Job ended up both spiritually and physically better than he
started. Spiritually, because now he had had a visit and answers from God,
and though some people are not happy with these answers, they do make
sense. They highlight that we cannot know everything. And that we are not
in any position to question God, except perhaps to seek if we have sin and
need to change, that something is a wakeup call.

Job had indeed been righteous. Did he have some sin in his heart, some
pride unaddressed? Perhaps, if so it was eradicated, and he ended up better
than he started.

God called a halt to the testing, which also drew out all those people with
wrong ideas who had been Job's "comforters." Most unhelpful, they gave
him little solace and no physical help as far as I recall being mentioned.
Did they give him oil for his sores, or more clothes? If so I don't recall it
being mentioned.

The core of their idea behind all their statements, is that God rewards
the good and punishes the evil - which is true - and does nothing else
- which is not true. They almost make Him out to be a machine, punch
in this stimulus, good deeds, you get this response. Punch in that
stimulus, bad deeds, you get a different response. the possibility of
demonic action being allowed for some reason other than punishment
and reward is not even thought of.

One of them even draws on a visitation in his sleep, or at night, and
the persuasive arguments given in that. Noteworthy is that this caused
his hair to stand on end, a shivery cold feeling most likely. This is
a typical evil spirit (though some can give a false warmth, usually more
like the warmth of rot when you analyze it) event.

The readers get two bit of information: God is up to more than just
rewarding good and punishing evil, though He does do that, but not
always on the timeline we want or the way we want to see happen. And
that you can't trust supernatural visitations or dreams, especially when
they include physical sensations like described.

Notice that God not only defeats the devil, making a fool of him, but
also uses the situation to correct the thinking of three other people
besides Job, and to display all this incl. the warning to beware of
messages from the spirit world, however sensible and biblical they
sound on the surface. So God tripped the devil up regarding the
games he plays with people.

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