Looks like we’re back to form already.
Form for this blog is simply me watching, reading, seeing something on the interweb and I respond to it through this venue. This age old process seems to be the easiest thing for me to do right now until I can get my act together and start making videos again. Although my intention was to turn this into a video, I have another problem that I’m going to discuss in a future installment. That’s been a rocky road and the act of writing just comes more naturally to me, so rather than internalize all this and just move on by doing nothing, I’ll write this out and share my “wisdoms.”
So, yesterday I was watching this video:
This is Mike Winger. I’ve gotten into him lately to watch/ listen to as I complete mundane tasks. So far I agree with him on every subject. At the 46:19 mark he answers a question about why does God allow the wicked to continue to make more wicked generations, etc. He gives a two part answer, both are very good answers. I don’t disagree with him and I think he answered very well, but I want to elaborate on the subject a bit more. There is a specificity to this that I think he dances around (Admittedly, he is tired).
At the beginning he gives a kind of warning about trying to discern the motivations and reasons behind God’s decisions, which I tend to agree with, but I don’t think it’s warranted in this particular instance because I believe God makes it abundantly clear throughout the scriptures why He allows evil, and by extension, us, to continue on.
At 48:50 he starts on the second part of his answer.
The first thing Mr. Winger mentions is the flood. God has obviously destroyed humanity once in the scripture. I believe there is more to this because the answer with the flood is not simply a “sin” question because sin is inherent in all of us, simply doing bad things is not enough to eliminate the entire world’s population wholesale. Noah and his family were sinners too. There are other things going on during that time period and those things I’m sure we’ll discuss later.
He later says that God creates his own nation for the Jews and they still go astray. To tie this up into the point about Noah, a lot of what was happening during the invasion of Israel happening with the Canaanites, which is why God tells the Jewish people to wipe them out, again, wholesale. God goes so far as to have the Jews kill and burn everything including the Canaanites animals, their villages, and their stuff. They are not allowed to take spoil from it, that’s how tainted these “people” are. For a hint into what’s happening here, the Caananites and their masters aren’t entirely human. This event and the flood are closely linked and these are the only two times God allows the complete destruction of humanity with little chance of salvation. This is why I believe it’s something “more.”
The bad thing is after this he says that God picked a “Godly family” to restart the world and implies it didn’t work because they were sinners. Obviously. But, it kind of feels like he’s saying God made a mistake or didn’t anticipate this in his plan. I KNOW he’s not saying that, but it can sound like that in his evaluation here to a casual audience. You and I both understand God knows what he is doing. Nothing he does is by mistake, accident, or happenstance. Everything he does, we can assume, is careful planning. He is driving towards an end result. This is why the argument that the flood was exclusively a sin issue doesn’t hold water. People sin. Sin is literally in our nature for now and God knows that.
The asker wants to know why God doesn’t just judge these sinners early and erase their culture as soon as they go astray. Mr. Winger says that there is no culture that would last a generation. This is absolutely true. You don’t have to teach kids to sin. They know how to sin the moment they can string a sentence together. As an example, without training, children know how to lie in an effort to evade punishment. Everyday, with words alone, people justify to themselves all manner of silly things (but it’s just a clump of cells, live your best life, you only life once) to escape personal responsibility.
There is a specific example I would have cited in response to this part of the question: What about the Jews?
In Exodus 32:7-14 Moses and God are talking atop Mount Sinai.
7 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.King James Bible
God says to Moses, “they’ve been nothing but stubborn. They’ve done terrible things even though I’m right here with them. I’ll kill them all and I’ll restart the nation with you, Moses.” What comes is the exact situation the asker is inquiring about. Why doesn’t God just do THIS? God actually threatens this in the Bible. So, not only can we infer an answer, we can see the answer play itself out.
Did God not know what the Jews would do? Of course he did. The survival of the Jews is incredibly important to God’s future plans to insert Jesus into our world. He isn’t going to destroy the Jews. But, look closely, because several great lessons happen next.
11 And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.King James Bible
- Moses intervenes for his people. He acts in a Christly manner with God and directly intervenes for the sinners. This is an archetypal event and foreshadows the exact work Christ is doing for you and I with the father right “now.”
- This is an incredible lesson in the age of old argument of free will vs. predestination. God knew the Jews would do this. He saw it before he even helped the Jews escape Egypt. That’s the important thing. Moses was destined to be here with God, making intercession for them, BUT, God allowed Moses to make the choice himself, despite knowing what his answer would be already. This moment still took courage for Moses to stand tall in the presence of God and make an effort to save his people. This is called character. God gives you the option to make your own choices. You have free-will. Moses exercised his free will, but God had already seen him in this position and still allowed the situation to occur so that Moses could exercise that choice.
- This act of intercession by Moses might be an important event in Moses’ life. God may have allowed this exact moment to happen because it was a character building opportunity for Moses himself. Moses was to led the Jews, and he can’t be a leader if he isn’t willing to stand up for them. He can’t be a good leader if he isn’t willing to stand up for them freely.
- Because of Moses’ intercession for his people by his own choice, he demonstrated exactly why God doesn’t destroy the wicked at the drop of hat: there is almost always a chance people can be redeemed.
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.King James Bible
Mr. Winger quotes this in his response. This is the ultimate answer.
Within every human being is the chance at salvation. God gave you free-will to make this choice. Arguably, your entire life exists so that you might nominate to be with him. He doesn’t want mindless automatons. He wants loving, appreciate, competent children who have learned, suffered, grown, and overcome all the hardships of life to understand just the tiniest fraction of how he feels about us. He needs people of character because, like Moses, we too are destined to be leaders in Heaven. Everything we go through in life is about learning and living his “plan” for us. Because we are to be judges over Angels and creation itself, we must have the courage to stand up for what we know is right and show that we must forgive as he forgave us with love in our hearts so that others may learn from their mistakes. The ultimate goal is that we, ourselves, will self correct, either by recognizing our faults through a Christly lens, asking for forgiveness, and moving forward, but by also seeking support in each other and Christ to help us get on the right track.
A galaxy spanning graveyard of sinners isn’t the loving answer.
[Writer's Note: A part of me also wants to answer the devil's advocates. "But the flood. and Israel." "What about your Murder-God," etc. All the tired, edgy children's questions about this type of topic. This article is already 1700+ words, but I'll write another long-winded piece on that in the future. - I will say that before the flood, Enoch and his descendants preached the flood itself was coming for hundreds of years. Noah took 100 years to build that boat. The coming flood would be heralded by the death of Methuselah (965 Years), the longest living person in biblical history - a true testament to God's long suffering and hope for humanity.]