04 Numbers

04 Numbers

-What if… God Lost?-

Going back to my theory that the Bible is the historical record of God battling with other deities to win the souls of man, I have to pose a question.
What if God lost this battle?
It is a similar question to what if Germany had won World War II. The answer is always, “we would be speaking German”. But I think if you look at the Bible in this way it makes that question much more profound.
If God had lost his battle to the gods of the Greeks, we would not have the “Christian” America that we have. I don’t know a bunch about Greek mythology, but my guess is we would not have the morals we have. If God lost his battle to a religion with more bloodlust we may not have the questions of science versus religion. I think that the idea that Christianity made the journey from Adam to today is what has given us as much freedom of thought and action as we are accustomed to here in America.

Bible Read: Numbers 1


Government is a Modern Day God

So, God has instituted a draft of all me, twenty years or older. This is a big deal to me. It is ok to fight for you God if you are twenty, but today it is ok to fight for your country if you are eighteen. There seems to be a problem here.
The Bible is pretty harsh on people. God kills people and incites plagues for sins, but even he does not think an eighteen year old is old enough to die for their beliefs. Why then does our country feel that is old enough?
When I was young, I thought nothing of the age to join the military, but now I find it a little sickening to think that we let kids who are not even two decades old go and die for their country. I would think as a people we would want to protect our children longer and fighting for your government doesn’t seem like the best way to do that.
It makes me realize how much we have raised our government up as our god. We are willing to send our children to die for it, we tithe to it through taxes, and even let them tell us what we can and can’t ingest through drug laws.
The Bible has not made me believe in God as of now, but it has made me less proud of where we have come. No matter if God exists, I do not think we should be putting the decisions of men on a pedestal and treating it like the word of God.

Bible Read: Numbers 6


Didn’t Your Mother Teach You Not to Swear

The Bible says you shouldn’t swear to God. It also says you shouldn’t curse your parents. I can understand these as being good ideas, but I do not believe they mean what we take them to mean today.
I think the ideas behind swears and curses of the Bible are more in the literal sense. It isn’t the same to be frustrated and say “I swear to God if you don’t clean this room…” as it does to say “I swear on the Lord my God, I will avenge!”
I think the idea behind the swearing to God is more along the lines of you should not gamble your faith. Just as I would never risk the life of my child for anything, one should not risk their faith and love for God for anything either.
The idea with the parents is the same thing. I think when the Bible says don’t curse your parents I think it literally means don’t curse them. Don’t try to literally damn them to Hell.
Maybe the idea is that love is greater than passion. Maybe the idea is don’t let emotions control you. Maybe the idea is to keep cool, calm, and remember the bigger things in life.
I think our language has evolved to a point where these words don’t mean what they once did. But then again, it seems fairly plain that God, in Genesis, does not hear the thoughts of people. He had to have vocal confirmation of their actions and thoughts, so, maybe the intention of the words isn’t important. Maybe a huge portion of the population should be put to death because of saying things just to blow off steam.
I can hope not, but maybe I should say it out loud, just in case.

Bible Read: Numbers 14
-Could He be Mortal?-

I can see why Moses is so celebrated in the Jewish faith. If it wasn’t for him God would have eradicated the Israelites multiple times. He convinced God not to kill them all when he was on Mount Sinai and they were in the forest worshipping a golden calf. Later, in Numbers, he convinced him not to again when they were complaining about living in the wilderness.
I still find it odd that man is the voice of reason to God, but the Bible has continuously surprised me. I guess if I was an immortal, all powerful being I would probably abuse those powers some as well. But, this does highlight the idea that he is a vengeful God as well as a compassionate God.
But as I go on I am noticing that God does not appear to be immortal. He has an entire tribe of people guarding the Ark of the Covenant which I believe is where he resides while he is among the Israelites. And also Moses tells him to go away when enemies are nearby. This to me is not the way you treat an immortal. You would think with an immortal God you would want him to lead the charge.
As my preconceived notions of Christianity all shatter one by one, I am thinking that the Bible might commonly be misunderstood. Thus far I am coming to the conclusion that the Bible suggests, God is not the only of his “species”, God is not always right, he is not immortal, God does not hear our thoughts, and the words curse and swear do not mean the same thing today that they did in the Bible.
I know there is a lot more to go, but I am shocked where it has gone so far.

Bible Read: Numbers 15


Welcome to the Matrix

Creationism and science always seemed to be at odds with each other. It seemed that science was becoming its own religion where the idea of a creator was nothing more than nonsense.
Enter Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation. This study, authored by Silas R. Beane, Zohreh Davoudi, and Martin J. Savage, talks about the behavior of cosmic rays. Apparently cosmic rays move in a way that leads them to believe that reality is quite possibly a number simulation. Or, that this reality is just a designed simulation that we are experiencing.
Now, I am not going to pretend I understand the science behind this. I have read a few articles about it and am coming to the conclusion this is main stream science at this point. And for once you can quickly see the connection between science and religion.
As boring as the abstract is, this makes me rethink the Bible. If everything is a simulation and was designed by someone, I’m going with God, all the miracles and world altering events start to make sense. Understanding that everything is coded in, you could easily use the code of the simulation to create impossible happenings.
If everything went out of control you could flood the world and restart. You could ban everything from Eden and restart. If the point is to reach positive conclusions you could always restart or destroy the things that are keeping you from achieving your goals (Sodom and Gomorrah).
But then if everything keeps going back to the wrong outcome you might try a different idea. You might let the corruption appear and create a new character that tries to sway everyone, someone who can perform the miracles, someone who is a friend and teacher, someone who would sacrifice themselves for the simulation itself.
Sure sounds like the Matrix.
Ok, all seems too far overboard, but an interesting idea. But if this idea is continuously researched and they find it to be more and more likely, then the evidence for God seems to become more and more real as well.

Bible Read: Numbers 20


Talking Donkey, No Big Deal

Balaam is riding his donkey to go attack Israel. An angel stands in the road with a sword drawn and the donkey stops as he sees the angel although Balaam does not. Balaam wants to go forward but the donkey will not, three times. So he hits the donkey.
Then the donkey asks Balaam what he ever did to him. Balaam is so angry that he tells the donkey he would kill him if he had a sword.
I’m sorry, but if I am riding a donkey and it talks to me my reaction is not anger. My reaction is fear or astonishment or greed for what I can get for a talking donkey. How is it possible that this guy is not amazed by the talking animal?
Maybe once he sees the angel, which happens shortly after, he puts two and two together, but before that… These types of passages in the Bible just seem unrealistic. I know, I know, donkeys don’t talk, but let’s assume this one did. I don’t know of anyone who would just reply as if it were normal.
I also am intrigued by this passage because it is the first time I remember that an angel appears before man. Seeing how most of my assumptions of the Bible have proven wrong, I am curious as to what the angel looked like. I picture a golden woman with a flowing robe floating in the middle of a dirt path brandishing a sword straight up at her side. I picture it as something that is so bright it is hard to look at. But there is no real description. So, as of now I will assume I’m right and be shocked later.
It is also curious to me that the donkey saw the angel first. It wasn’t until the donkey spoke some sense into Balaam that he saw the angel. It kind of speaks of the phrase blinded by hatred. When he was off to kill the Israelites he did not see the messenger of God, but when he calmed down the angel was in front of him.
Over the last few years I’ve noticed that the world is a better place and nature is more awe inspiring when I am in a better mood. When I have bad days or get upset in the car or just feel angry, the world feels like it is beating me down. I think this story speaks to those ideas, that we need to, as people, try our best to keep a positive frame of mind. We need to affirm that we are going to have good days and not be angry at the world around us.
So, I think I will try to hold onto the phrase “the ass saw the angel” as I think there is a good lesson there.

Bible Read: Numbers 24

Death to Your Followers! What Does that Mean for Your Enemies?

God is obviously a vengeful god. He wiped out the Earth with a flood. He banned man from Eden. He allowed the Israelites to be enslaved in Egypt. He made the Israelites live in the wilderness with very little to eat. He burned two of Aaron’s sons alive for not following directions. He opened the ground and killed 250 Israelites… He has had no qualms about killing his followers. He almost wiped out the Israelites twice, but was talked out of it by Moses.
This makes me wonder how terrible it is to be an enemy of God. If he is willing to do these things to the people who follow and worship him, what will he do to those who oppose him? I guess we can look at the plagues of Egypt. Those got pretty bad, but beyond that he forced the Pharaoh to reject Joseph’s pleas forcing him to endure more and more plagues.
I could be wrong, but today it feels like there are fewer and fewer Christians. And seeing how wrong I have been about the Bible, I am guessing that most people who think of themselves as Christians are probably misunderstanding what they say their religion is. My guess is the number of true Christian followers is probably very small.
With this being said, maybe it makes sense why we have so many problems today. There are countries that have fully oppressed their people. There are constant wars, constant hunger, widespread disease… I could see how today’s problems could be the wrath of God. Maybe everything we do is so offensive to God he has cast plague upon plague on us. Of course we explain it all with science and say that it is just natural for all these bad things to occur which would anger God even more. At least from his temperament in the Bible, that is how I would guess he would react.
It makes me want to follow the Bible word for word to see if I become protected from the horrors of modern day, but that feels like the wrong motive. I would hope that those who do follow the Bible don’t do it out of fear. I would hope the overriding morals and lessons are what drive them.
But I guess it all depends on the motives of God. Is it by any means necessary?

Bible Read: Numbers 29

Status Report Day 25

Numbers was better than Leviticus, but not as good as Genesis. I am coming to the conclusion that the Bible is incredibly repetitive, some in the stories, but mostly the instructions of sacrifices and such.
Since Sarah, the Bible has more or less ignored women. But in Numbers it mentions women a few times. When God wanted the Israelites to kill their foes he let the girls who hadn’t slept with a man to live. Which makes me think being born is the right of passage for a male, but sex is the right of passage for a female. I don’t really understand this, but it isn’t the first thing that hasn’t made a lot of sense to me.
It also says that a man will be held to his word, but a woman will not while a woman’s father or husband will be held to her word. And if he doesn’t like it he can essentially take it back. I think that there is a cultural issue with me not understanding how women are looked at in the Bible. In an age of equality these types of passages really confuse me.
The Bible is incredibly inspirational, but only so in the stories, the over abundance of instruction takes away from the inspiration. When I go for days without reading a story and just get instruction it makes the whole thing feel antiquated and useless.
I am looking forward to finishing the first five books of the Bible as I understand them to be different and sometimes considered cannon in themselves.

Questions
1. Again who are the Nephilim?
2. Who are the Anakim?
3. How many more rules can God make?
Bible Read: Numbers