the angry, bloody God of the Bible? part 5

This series started from a lectionary reading last week, Psalm 68. I can't track with David ascribing to God this invitation,
Psalm 68:21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies, the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
22 The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan; I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
23 that your feet may wade in the blood of your foes, while the tongues of your dogs have their share.”

But then stories come out, such as today's, of women escaping sexual slavery. And I have to admit, there is a part of me that wants to wade in these brothers' blood. What they did was so wrong, I have a hard time processing it rationally, and want to react to it viscerally. This is why our society has a legal process and tries to stop lynch mobs. Those guys hurt three women, yet it disrupts the baseline of trust in our society, and hurts all of us.

Did you see what happened there? My brain and my heart had a dialog and my soul is trying to synthesize those viewpoints. Freud would say my Id and Superego were at odds and my Ego has to straighten it all out.  Gene Roddenberry would have had Dr. Spock and Dr. McCoy argue in front of Captain Kirk. J. K .Rowling would have had Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley bicker in front of Harry Potter.

In the Bible, David is an "all-heart" kind of guy. He is passion embodied. He passionately loves God. He passionately loves women. He passionately loves his best buddy Jonathan. He passionately loves another guy's wife. He passionately loves his kids even when they are raping each other, killing each other, and trying to kill him. David gets God's passion.

In Genesis, in the lead up to the story of Noah's flood, God is said to "repent" of his decision to create humanity because of it's wickedness and violence.
Gensis 6:5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.”
But after the flood he also promised Noah never to do that again.
Genesis 8:21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things.
I'm typically a cerebral guy, all brain, no heart, and I have a hard time understanding passionate people, much less a passionate God.

But news stories like today's awaken the passionate, irrational beast that lurks in my chest. Somedays, like today, I totally get Psalm 68.


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