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   We live in a consumer society, which brings about a lot of negatives. Pursuit of material wealth, career, fame, respect of others, thrilling experiences etc. has caused that as early as childhood, more and more people are being hurt by a lack of love, cuddling, encouragement and time spent with their parents. Their hearts have suffered such a deep wound by rejection and a deficit of love and care that they are not able to recover without God’s help. They are hurt people who have problems with relationships and are almost unable to give and accept love, or even believe in it. And because of those wounds they are not able to believe in God’s goodness and love.

  I know what I am talking about, because this is also the story of my life. For many years I viewed God mainly as a punishing judge rather than a loving Father. Many things have changed, but even now not everything is all right. Jesus says:

Matthew 5, 8 (ASV): Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

   Unless we are pure in heart, we won’t see God, rather a caricature of His the distortions of which correspond to the wounds in our hearts. Reading the Bible, some people see death on every page. Others see only God’s punishments, others a collection of commands, prohibitions and rules. When I once read about God’s offer of deliverance, I saw only God’s threats of hell. God is, above all, the loving God and Father, not only the punishing God. I suggest reviewing the Bible with a prayer to God to reveal His true character to us. I believe that it is also God’s wish for us to know Him as He is…


All the good and agreeable for man

   In the first chapters of the Bible we can find the description of how God created all the life on this planet. Whenever He created something new, He checked it and asserted that it was good; then He continued His work. The last of God’s creations was man. We can see God the Creator who creates agreeable things for the man:

Genesis 2, 8-9 (ASV): And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

   We can see that God created the world to be “pleasant to live in”; not just pills full of nutrients or sockets to get charged up, but trees with beautiful and delicious fruit.

   God created man in His image, blessed him and assigned him a task: 

Genesis 1, 26-28 (ASV): And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 2, 19-20 (ASV): And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him.

   While Adam was calling the animals, God listened intently. The Bible doesn’t say whether Adam noted that there is none equal to him among the whole creation or whether it was God’s loving initiative to create a mate for Adam. Whichever was the case, it was again a manifestation of God’s love and care. 

Genesis 2, 18 (ASV): And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.

Genesis 2, 21-24 (ASV): And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.



Noah and the Flood

Genesis 6, 5-9 (ASV): And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, and perfect in his generations: Noah walked with God.

Genesis 7, 1 (ASV): And Jehovah said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

   It took only six chapters from the beginning of the Bible to find absolutely perverted mankind, which gave God pain and which God wanted to destroy. It was a good thing that there was a single righteous and honest man - Noah. God instructed Noah about how to built a giant ship (ark) and Noah obeyed him implicitly. 

Genesis 6, 22 (ASV): Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

   Now we are getting to the key fact that can be seen through the Bible at every turn. Besides righteousness, the key issue of the relationship with God is love expressed through obedience. God is a fantastic loving being, however, we are bound not to enjoy His love if we are disobedient. We have read about Noah that he was not only righteous and honest, but that he did according to all that God commanded him. 

   As descendants of the fallen Adam we are born with the tendency to rebellion, selfishness and other ugly things, including disobedience against the authorities (parents, teachers, superiors, God). For some reason, Noah “rose up” against this corrupt human nature and lived a righteous life in submission to God. The result included that complete obedience. 

   God’s love demonstrates itself also in His treatment of Noah. Because of Noah, God again blessed the man though he knew that the man was evil and corrupt from his youth. 

Genesis 8, 21 - 9, 1: And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.



The story of Abraham

    The 18th chapter of Genesis tells us about how “God” with two angels came to Abraham. God announced to Abraham that his wife would have a son within a year. Then He and the angels were on the point of leaving for Sodom and Gomorrah to find whether the cry heard in heaven was justified and if so, punish them.

   God is so great that he often let His faithful ones know about His intentions and goals. 

Amos 3, 7 (ASV): Surely the Lord Jehovah will do nothing, except he reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Genesis 18, 17-21 (ASV): And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

    What followed was similarly amazing. Reminding God of His righteousness Abraham was able to negotiate with God so that God promised him that if he found in the whole Sodom as few as ten righteous people, He would spare all the city. This story can be found at Genesis 18, 22-33.

   However, this was not the end to the story of God’s mercy on Sodom. When the angels came to Sodom, local perverted men nearly raped them. They were let in into Lot’s house, who was to be saved according to God’s decision. The angels urged Lot to take his family and leave the city quickly. Considering it a jest, his sons-in-law refused to leave. The angels had to take Lot, his wife and his daughters by their hands and lead them out of the city. Then they instruct them to flee to the mountains not to be destroyed along with Sodom. However, Lot objected that he was not able to flee to the mountains to avoid destruction, asking them to allow him to hide in a nearby town. God obliged Lot also in this point and spared the town (which had been meant for destruction) because of Lot. You can find the story in the 19th chapter of Genesis.


   These are just some of the many stories that exemplify that God is often willing to change His decision at the intercession of His faithful servants (who usually ask Him for mercy). Reading carefully, you’ll understand that God even tries to find somebody who would ask Him for mercy so that He wouldn’t be obliged to punish in applying justice. 


Genesis 22, 1-3 (ASV): And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.


   This is one of the best known Bible stories. I would like to bring two points of it to your attention. As I said before, our good relationship with God has to be based on our love demonstrated in obedience. In this story, Abraham showed what his obedience and faith are like. Let’s look at Abraham’s response. God ordered him something appalling (he wanted him to offer his beloved son as an offering). Abraham neither argued nor shouted nor cried, he even didn’t try to negotiate with God. He wasn’t mulling over for a month about how it was possible that God had wanted him to do something like that, or that it perhaps hadn’t been God at all who had wanted him to do it etc., rather, taking his beloved son Isaac and everything he needed, he set forth early in the morning to fulfil the strange order of God. 


   In the nick of time, God prevented Abraham from killing his son, giving him a great promise: 

   Genesis 22, 15-18 (ASV): And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

   Do you understand what happened? Abraham was willing to give Him his beloved son and this is what God would do some centuries later - send His beloved son Jesus to earth as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. 



Joseph as an interpreter of dreams

    Let’s look at the 41th chapter of Genesis. Pharaoh dreamt two vivid dreams that unsettled him very much; however, none of his magicians was able to interpret them properly. Remembering Joseph who once had presented a right interpretation of his dream, the chief cupbearer told Pharaoh about him. As Joseph produced the interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream, Pharaoh made him a caretaker of the whole land of Egypt. The dreams dealt with what was to happen in the following fourteen years. God let Pharaoh know through them that seven years of plenty would come, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph suggested laying in supplies during the first seven prolific years for the following period of famine. The story doesn’t tell us why this situation was to occur, however, it shows us God’s love for and care about people. Through the dream and its interpretation, God gave Egypt and its neighbours an opportunity to live through this seven years of famine.



Blessing through obedience

   God wants to give us victory if we obey him. A fantastic example of how it looks like when it is God who fights can be found in the 31st chapter of Numeri. The story tells that Jehovah told Moses to take revenge on Midianites. Moses did everything in accordance with God commands. He sent out 12,000 men to fight, 1,000 from each tribe of Israel. The result was an overwhelming defeat of the Midianites. The Israelites killed all Midianites to the last man, including five kings of Midian. This is an astonishing result. However, shocking news is what you can read in verses 48-50:

Numeri 31, 48-50 (ASV): And the officers that were over the thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses; and they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war that are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. And we have brought Jehovah's oblation, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, ankle-chains, and bracelets, signet-rings, ear-rings, and armlets, to make atonement for our souls before Jehovah.

Deuteronomy 10, 12-13 (ASV): And now, Israel, what doth Jehovah thy God require of thee, but to fear Jehovah thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve Jehovah thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of Jehovah, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

   Do you understand? The reason why to honour and love God and obey His commands is not to do something for God, rather it is just the best thing we can do, as Moses says, for our own good. We aren’t sensible, wise and knowledgeable enough to recognize by ourselves what is good or the best for us. We haven’t been created to be “gods to ourselves”. Trying it is not courage to take full control of one’s life, it is only a demonstration of our rebellion, pride and lack of sense and wisdom. If we knew God’s character, it would be much easy for us to obey and follow His recommendations and commands. We would be thankful even for His admonitions, because we would understand it as a discipline from our perfect, loving heavenly Father rather than “accusations and bullying”. And this is also the main reason for writing this article – to note the true character of God as shown in Bible stories.

Deuteronomy 12, 23-25 (ASV): Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou shalt not eat the life with the flesh. Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it out upon the earth as water. Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah.

   God repeatedly reminds us that we should follow His commandments and provisions in order to be well, to live a “happy” life. However, it is not to be thought of in terms of gaining advantage. God himself is infinitely better than any of His blessings.

Deuteronomy 28, 62-63 (ASV): And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou didst not hearken unto the voice of Jehovah thy God. And it shall come to pass, that, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Jehovah will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest in to possess it.

Deuteronomy 30, 19-20 (ASV): I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed; to love Jehovah thy God, to obey his voice, and to cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which Jehovah sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Isaiah 1, 11-20 (ASV): What unto me is the multitude of your sacrifices? saith Jehovah: I have had enough of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample my courts?  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; new moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies,  -  I cannot away with iniquity and the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of bearing them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.

Jeremiah 7, 23-26 (ASV): but this thing I commanded them, saying, Hearken unto my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day, I have sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff: they did worse than their fathers.

   Can you see God’s character in this? Willing to give us His blessings, God has wanted and expected us to be obedient since the very beginning. He does everything for us to understand it and start obeying Him. He sends all his servants - prophets to us to give us His message and remind us of His word.

Jeremiah 35, 14-17 (ASV): The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; and unto this day they drink none, for they obey their father's commandment: but I have spoken unto you, rising up early and speaking; and ye have not hearkened unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. Forasmuch as the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father which he commanded them, but this people hath not hearkened unto me; therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

Jeremiah 18, 7-10 (ASV): At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it; if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

   It is all the same - it is our obedience or disobedience what makes a difference.

Jeremiah 26, 2-3 (ASV): Thus saith Jehovah: Stand in the court of Jehovah's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in Jehovah's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word. It may be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way; that I may repent me of the evil which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

Jeremiah 36, 3 (ASV): It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

   Have you noticed the sigh of God? God longs for us to get it at last. He longs for us to obey and cease to trespass his commands, to stop committing evil deeds. He longs for being able to bless us (to give good things to us). It is only our assumption that He want something to withhold from us, to deprive us of experiences etc.



God does not want to punish

Ezekiel 22, 30-31 (ASV):  And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought upon their heads, saith the Lord Jehovah.

   Bůh nás opravdu nechce zničit. Touží po tom, abychom Jej poslouchali a učili se od Něho. Dokonce hledá lidi, kteří se budou za svou zemi a její obyvatele přimlouvat - aby Bůh tento lid nemusel potrestat....

Ezekiel 33, 10-11 (ASV): And thou, son of man, say unto the house of Israel: Thus ye speak, saying, Our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we pine away in them; how then can we live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?


   It has just occurred to me that we should perhaps stop for a while to sort out a problem of ours posed by the notion of a God who want us made into His servants or slaves. This is an idea various forms of which are often used by the evil one to prevent people from seeking God and His will. If you consider it more thoroughly, you may wonder how something like that could have ever cross your mind, nevertheless, this idea may be a recurrent one. Does God really need our sacrifices? Let’s look at what the Bible says about it:

Psalms 50, 7-23 (ASV): Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify unto thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices; And thy burnt-offerings are continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, Nor he-goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, And the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains; And the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving; And pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, And that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth, Seeing thou hatest instruction, And castest my words behind thee? When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst with him, And hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, And thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; Thou slanderest thine own mother's son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself: But I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: Whoso offereth the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifieth me; And to him that ordereth his way aright Will I show the salvation of God.

Job 35, 5-7 (ASV): Look unto the heavens, and see; And behold the skies, which are higher than thou. If thou hast sinned, what effectest thou against him? And if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? Or what receiveth he of thy hand?


   God surely doesn’t need ‘to be served to’. He is nor tired nor hungry, all universe with everything in it belongs to Him. If we don’t obey him, committing sins, it is only to our own detriment. Our unreasonable behaviour may affect people around us at the worst. God teaches and admonish us solely for our good because He loves us as the best father loves his children. To rectify our attitudes, we need to know it deep in our hearts. God’s desire is that we obey His commandments not out of fear from His anger or punishment, rather because we know that He loves us and wants the best for us.



Punishing God?

    Reading about the severe punishments described in the Old Testament, many people have a problem believing that God is really so loving. One of the reasons may be that we don’t understand the inherent rules of human behaviour at the national level. It is similar to economics. Most of us understand the principles of microeconomics – i.e. the economics at the level of an individual or a basic unit, e.g. a family. We are able to work out our monthly income and the necessary expenditures and think about what to do with the rest of money, if there is any. Not so many people understand the economics of larger entities, such as enterprises. And only a handful of people understand to some extent the principles of macroeconomics – e.g. the economics of a state. The principles and modes of operation are different at each level. And it is the same with upbringing. Different means are used in the upbringing of an individual than in the collective upbringing, perhaps in a school class. People response differently to the individual upbringing than to the collective one, perhaps in a class. And even more different is the behaviour of masses of people or of whole nations. Not that I am familiar with these principles, I only feel they are the cause of different attitude of God to individuals, small groups and whole nations.

   We wonder about the harsh punishments in the Old Testament without even trying to think about their reasons. And we don’t need to guess or grope, because in many cases, God himself comments on the issue. He himself says that these severe punishments are to be deterrent so that the evil would be eradicated from among His people. Similar principles apply in judicial systems all over the world. Harsh punishments are to deter us from committing evil - thefts, embezzlements, murders, bodily harms, blackmails, deceptions etc. Considering our judicial system too soft, most of those who don’t commit such crimes call for tightening it up. Even now there are many countries that have the capital punishment a part of their judicial system. Many people consider it inhumane and lacking any educational or corrective effect. However, the actual threat of the capital punishment may well deter most of the offenders from their crimes. Nevertheless, I don’t want to discuss this issue here - let’s return to the Bible!

Deuteronomy 17, 12-13 (ASV): And the man that doeth presumptuously, in not hearkening unto the priest that standeth to minister there before Jehovah thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

Deuteronomy 19, 16-21 (ASV): If an unrighteous witness rise up against any man to testify against him of wrong-doing, then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before Jehovah, before the priests and the judges that shall be in those days; and the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and have testified falsely against his brother; then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to do unto his brother: so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee. And those that remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil in the midst of thee. And thine eyes shall not pity; life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Deuteronomy 21, 18-21 (ASV): If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and, though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones: so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Deuteronomy 24, 7 (ASV): If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and he deal with him as a slave, or sell him; then that thief shall die: so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

   A very interesting verse can be found in the book of Isaiah:

Isaiah 26, 9-10 (ASV): for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not behold the majesty of Jehovah.

   It seems as if an amicable approach does not count for much with us...


What does God want of us?

Micah 6, 8 (ASV): He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?

   God does not want any “insanities” of us. Once more read the mentioned verse a say whether there is a reason to revolt against anything of it. Of course, a man in his rebellion does not want to obey anybody, wanting to be “his own man”. When somebody comes to believe God that He is such as He says He is and as we can see from His behaviour, he can relax and enjoy His goodness:

Psalms 34, 8 (ASV): Oh taste and see that Jehovah is good: Blessed is the man that taketh refuge in him.

   A very interesting verse can be found in the book of Psalms 78,11-39:

Psalms 78, 11-39 (ASV): And they forgat his doings, And his wondrous works that he had showed them. Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He clave the sea, and caused them to pass through; And he made the waters to stand as a heap. In the day-time also he led them with a cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He clave rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths. He brought streams also out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. Yet went they on still to sin against him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert.  And they tempted God in their heart By asking food according to their desire. Yea, they spake against God; They said, Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, so that waters gushed out, And streams overflowed; Can he give bread also? Will he provide flesh for his people? Therefore Jehovah heard, and was wroth; And a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also went up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, And trusted not in his salvation. Yet he commanded the skies above, And opened the doors of heaven; And he rained down manna upon them to eat, And gave them food from heaven. Man did eat the bread of the mighty: He sent them food to the full.  He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens; And by his power he guided the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them as the dust, And winged birds as the sand of the seas: And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled; And he gave them their own desire. They were not estranged from that which they desired, Their food was yet in their mouths, When the anger of God went up against them, And slew of the fattest of them, And smote down the young men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, And believed not in his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, And their years in terror. When he slew them, then they inquired after him; And they returned and sought God earnestly. And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their redeemer. But they flattered him with their mouth, And lied unto him with their tongue. For their heart was not right with him, Neither were they faithful in his covenant. But he, being merciful, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: Yea, many a time turned he his anger away, And did not stir up all his wrath. And he remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

   Another relevant verse is in the book of Psalms 103, 8-14:

Psalms 103, 8-14 (ASV): Jehovah is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness. He will not always chide; Neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins, Nor rewarded us after our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is his lovingkindness toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, So Jehovah pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

Isaiah 48, 9 (ASV): For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.

Jeremiah 3, 12 (ASV): Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Jehovah; I will not look in anger upon you; for I am merciful, saith Jehovah, I will not keep anger for ever.


Libor Diviš - author of this article and this website

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