Divine Punishment???

by Saethydd 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Saethydd

    I was recently at a Sunday Watchtower, reading one of the novels I have on my iPad to help me get through the dreadfully boring event. Every once in awhile though I'll glance at the article just in case anyone is peeking at my screen, and in the article, I noticed these paragraphs.

    3. How did exile in Babylon differ from the slavery the Israelites had experienced in Egypt?

    3 What the prophets had foretold came to pass. Through Jeremiah, Jehovah advised the future exiles to accept their new situation and make the most of it. He said: “Build houses [in Babylon] and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their fruit. And seek the peace of the city to which I have exiled you, and pray in its behalf to Jehovah, for in its peace you will have peace.” (Jer. 29:5, 7) Those who submitted to the will of God lived a relatively normal life in Babylon. Their captors allowed them to administer their own affairs to some extent. The exiles even had freedom to move about the country. Babylon was a center of trade and commerce in the ancient world, and documents that have been unearthed indicate that many Jews learned the art of buying and selling there, while others became skilled craftsmen. Some Jews even became prosperous. Exile in Babylon was nothing like the slavery in Egypt that the Israelites had experienced centuries before.—Read Exodus 2:23-25.

    4. Besides rebellious Israelites, who were affected by captivity in Babylon, and what limitations were placed on their ability to worship God acceptably?

    4 Although the material needs of the exiled Jews were being met, what of their spiritual needs? Jehovah’s temple with its altar had been destroyed, and the priesthood was no longer functioning in an organized manner. Among the exiles were faithful servants of God who had done nothing deserving of punishment, but they had to suffer along with the rest of the nation. Nevertheless, they did what they could to observe God’s Law. For example, in Babylon, Daniel and three of his companions—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—abstained from foods that were forbidden to Jews. And we know that Daniel maintained regular communication with God in prayer. (Dan. 1:8; 6:10) Still, under a pagan administration, it was impossible for a God-fearing Jew to do everything the Law required.

    Bear with me please as I try to follow this string of events. God creates the nation of Israel, the nation of Israel doesn't worship God according to rules he set up, God punishes the Israelites by removing them from an environment that allows them to follow all those rules he set up, but other than that they have their needs cared for.

    So basically this punishment didn't adversely impact the people who were not worshiping Jehovah whole-souled, in fact, if the statements made in these paragraphs are accurate it was ONLY the people who continued to try and worship Jehovah that faced any large difficulty. Which means that God was, in essence, administering a form of punishment that primarily had a negative effect on his faithful servants.

    Isn't that simply absurd? It would be like if one of your kids acted up, so you decided to punish them by taking a toy away from their sibling.

  • waton

    , It is an old-odd story. Take Cain. offering approved food, grown with difficulty in cursed ground, and he gets rejected, whereas Abel. offering soon to stink stinking garbage, carrion, that neither dog nor man could eat, and he gets blessed.

    No good deed will go unpunished. just reporting, not supporting. QoB.

  • Diogenesister

    I was just reading the hilarious story in 1 Samuel 16 Where the Philistines, for stealing the ARC OF THE COVENANT get struck with a bad case of piles! ( Well, their 5 leaders). Then there is the ridiculous story of the cows, and deciding whether it was God who cursed them with piles based on which way the bloody cows went.

    Well, cows go toward the Isrealite village so they decide to send the ARC back to the jews on the cows. Just to make sure old Jehobo wouldn't get mad they decide to send 5 GOLDEN statues OF HEAMORRHOIDS! !Don't know whether still attached to the arse, or which king posed as the model!

    Any road, off they send the Arc and the GOLDEN PILES on the back of the cows, it turns up at the village and ever fair God decides to KILL 70 men of the village for peeping at the Arc, presumably to see what the damn thing was!

    So, thieving the Arc gets you piles.

    Looking at it gets you death.

  • Saethydd


    Yeah, I remember having read that account and thinking how it seemed an incredibly cruel thing to kill people for looking upon or touching the Ark. (Which seems like ought to have been considered a "graven image" in the first place, but anyway...)

    You've also reminded of another befuddling case of an unjust execution carried out by God. I don't remember the specific book it's from but it's an account about a prophet who is told not to eat anything in a land he is going into to prophesy. Anyway, some other guy who lives in that land comes up to the prophet and tell him that an angel told him to tell the prophet that God decided he could come and eat a meal with this man. (Kind of like God changed his command to Abraham about killing Isaac.) But as it turns out that man was lying. In any case, God kills that prophet even though he was deceived, but no punishment was recorded for the man who willfully deceived him.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    The Israelites were never enslaved en masse in Egypt the first place, they lived next door and got work at Goshen just to the east of the Nile delta. Had they really been "captive" the Egyptian records would have told us. There was no exodus either!

    We have to remember that the Bible is mainly a collection of magic yarns to entertain and frighten the peasants.

    Golden hemorrhoids--what a joke!

  • James Mixon
    James Mixon

    Deuteronomy 28:30-35 Holy crap.You marry but another man shall lie with her (another man receive blessing), you build your house but another will live in it (who),your ox shall be slaughtered but you shall not eat it (another blessing someone receive), your sons and daughters shall be given to another people (that may be a blessing not sure about that one) and then you will be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. You got to love the God of the OT...

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