We’re now a month past Christmas and I would like to take a moment to thank all Atheists out there for their hard work to make this year’s war on Christmas a huge success. This year we stopped nativity scenes on private property, closed down all church Christmas Eve services, made it illegal to say grace at your own dinner table, and once and for all made it a punishable crime to say Merry Christmas. Wow! I never imagined we’d eventually win the war on Christmas and now it’s suddenly here! Oh…wait. None of those things happened nor do Atheists care that Christians do all of these things. What you do on your own time on your own property is your own business. Sigh. Oh well, there’s always next year’s war on Christmas to look forward to! </sarcasm>
God, in Numbers 22, was crazy, telling Balaam to go somewhere and then punishing him for doing just that! Will Numbers 23 bring more sanity? The gist of Numbers 23 is that God gives Balaam two messages (there are more in future chapters) to give to Balak and his people. Here’s the first message:
“Balak brought me from Aram,
the king of Moab from the eastern mountains.
‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me;
come, denounce Israel.’
How can I curse
those whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce
those whom the Lord has not denounced?
From the rocky peaks I see them,
from the heights I view them.
I see a people who live apart
and do not consider themselves one of the nations.
Who can count the dust of Jacob
or number even a fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous,
and may my final end be like theirs!” – Numbers 23:7-10
How can I denounce the Israelites, says Balaam? One could start with the slaughtering the Israelites are doing across the land. That’s a good reason to denounce them! Here’s the second message:
“Arise, Balak, and listen;
hear me, son of Zippor.
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?
I have received a command to bless;
he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
“No misfortune is seen in Jacob,
no misery observed in Israel.
The Lord their God is with them;
the shout of the King is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt;
they have the strength of a wild ox.
There is no divination against Jacob,
no evil omens against Israel.
It will now be said of Jacob
and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
The people rise like a lioness;
they rouse themselves like a lion
that does not rest till it devours its prey
and drinks the blood of its victims.” – Numbers 23:18-24
God doesn’t change His mind? Seriously? In the previous chapter he told Balaam to go somewhere then got mad at him for doing just that!!! That’s changing one’s mind! God fulfills promises? Tell that to Moses and Aaron who were denied the promised land. Tell that to the babies and infants killed over the last few books, those babies who were denied the promised land. Drinks the blood of its victims? Biblical morality. SMH.
The third message doesn’t appear in this chapter, but the next. Again, I’m not sure what to say. Balaam’s messages from God are clear contradictions of the previous books in the Bible. God does lie. God does change his mind. God does not fulfill all promises. It’s right there in the Bible for all to read if only people would open their eyes!
Coming Soon: Numbers – Chapter 24: Balaam’s Third Message
So where are we at in the book of Numbers? Most recently in Numbers 21, the Israelites are marching through the land, slaughtering, under the protection of God, the people they come across. Will they come to their senses in Numbers 22? Let’s find out.
“Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.” – Numbers 22:2-3
I would be too given the Israelites are slaughtering town after town! Balak seeks the advice and help of Balaam.
“A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.” – Numbers 22:5-6
Is Balak acting in self-defense? A better approach might be to diplomatically reach out to the Israelites. Given what the Israelites have done thus far, that may be a failed approach, but one that should be attempted nonetheless.
“But God said to Balaam, ‘Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.’” – Numbers 22:12
Okay, so God does pass along a good command to Balaam. Putting a curse on others is not a nice thing to do. Too bad God doesn’t stop the Israelites from slaughtering others.
“But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God.” – Numbers 22:18
Balaam is a man of his (and the Lord’s word). He won’t be bought out. Are we witnessing a moral character in the Bible?
“That night God came to Balaam and said, ‘Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.’” – Numbers 22:20
“Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him.” – Numbers 22:21-22
Are you fucking kidding me God? You just told Balaam to go and now you are mad at him for going? FUCK…YOU!!! OMG! OMFG!!!
“Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’” – Numbers 22:28
Oh great. Now we have a talking donkey. Please excuse me while I go see a doctor to address the massive concussion I have from banging my head against the wall!!!
“The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.” – Numbers 22:32
Your path is a reckless path? This is the path God sent Balaam on! God told Balaam to go on this trip!!!
“The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, ‘Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.’ So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.” – Numbers 22:35
Seriously? That was the original command!!! Balaam finally reaches Balak and they speak.
“Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. ‘But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.’” – Numbers 22:38
If I was Balaam I’d be very worried. After all, he was just punished for following God’s command to go to Balak. Will he be punished for saying what God told him to say? Confused yet? You should be because God in this chapter is making no sense!
Numbers 22 ends before Balaam speaks again. I don’t know what to say about this chapter. At first glance we have Balaam, who listens to God and doesn’t give in to Balak’s bribe. God tells Balaam to go visit Balak, and then God punishes Balaam for doing just that! Wow!
Coming Soon: Numbers – Chapter 23: Balaam’s First Message
It’s crazy Bible verse Tuesday and today I bring you yet another verse showing Jesus is far from an all-loving character in the Bible.
“But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.” – Luke 19:27
So if one doesn’t want Jesus or God ruling over him/her, Jesus commands that person to be put to death. This is Jesus/God were talking about. There’s no other way to reach an agreement? There’s nothing else to be done? Jesus/God doesn’t care. Disobey him or ask questions and the result is death. There’s no room for free thinkers in the land of God (OT) and Jesus (NT).
The point of the last several weeks is to show there are many verses in the New Testament that clearly show Jesus is not all about love. There’s plenty of hate and death in Him as well. Ever had a Christian argue against the crazy in the OT by saying “Oh, that’s the OT, Jesus preaches love”? No, Jesus preaches just as much hate and is filled with just as much crazy nonsense as the God of the OT. Take an afternoon and read the gospels of the New Testament. It’s all there in plain view.
The previous chapter in Numbers, Chapter 20 was a doozy with much to discuss. It included magic, death, and misogyny. Can Chapter 21 top it? Let’s find out.
“When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them.” – Numbers 21:1
A dick move by the king, but after Exodus I’ll always be suspicious of God hardening someone’s heart to push His agenda.
“Then Israel made this vow to the Lord: ‘If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities.’ The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.” – Numbers 21:2-3
Interesting. In the previous chapter the Israelites asked for water and as a result, God took the promised land away from Moses and Aaron. In this chapter the people ask for permission to destroy a town and God’s okay with that. Biblical morality at its finest.
“They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’ Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.” – Numbers 21:4-6
Ask the Lord for war and He delivers. Ask for food and water and He punishes. SMH!!!
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” – Numbers 21:8-9
Or, I don’t know, the Lord could simply take the snakes away!!! I’m banging my head against the wall right now! Next the Israelites travel through several lands on their journey until they meet resistance.
“But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel.” – Numbers 21:23
Was Sihoh’s heart hardened like the Pharoah of Egypt’s heart?
“Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites and occupied them, including Heshbon and all its surrounding settlements.” – Numbers 21:25
And how many innocent children died in the process?
“Woe to you, Moab! You are destroyed, people of Chemosh! He has given up his sons as fugitives and his daughters as captives to Sihon king of the Amorites.” – Numbers 21:29
This is the “love” of the Bible.
“After Moses had sent spies to Jazer, the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there.” – Numbers 21:32
The Israelites are no longer fighting in self-defense. They are actively attacking and taking over occupied lands, all with the guidance of a so-called loving God.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.’ So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors. And they took possession of his land.” – Numbers 21:34-35
That concludes Numbers 21. The Israelites are traveling through the land, sometimes attacked unprovoked, although we don’t know if God continues to harden the hearts of the enemies of the Israelites. Later though, the settlements the Israelites destroy were the result of Israel on offense and not defense. Apparently the grace of God includes slaughtering those who are not part of your community.
Coming Soon: Numbers – Chapter 22: Balak Summons Balaam
In the previous chapter of Numbers, God handed down some ridiculous rules involving the cleansing of oneself after touching a corpse. The process takes seven days and to disobey God in any part of this process results in being banished from the Israelites. That’s God’s true love for His people. Chapter 20 is going to show us how to extract water from a rock!!!
“There Miriam died and was buried.” – Numbers 20:1
Miriam is Moses’ and Aaron’s sister. There’s no lead up to this verse nor is there any follow up. She’s a female, so she just suddenly dies, end of story.
“Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, ‘If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!’” – Numbers 20:2-5
Let’s remember that God has NOT shown Himself to the Israelites, so they have every right to question Moses and Aaron’s leadership. If there truly is a God, He just has to show himself once to be believed, but nope, nothing.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.’” – Numbers 20:7-8
This is going to be fun. Water magically appearing from a rock! 🙂
“Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.” – Numbers 20:11
Bullshit. Not true. Not possible. To believe this is to ignore all of reality. It’s like the talking snake in Genesis. If you really believe a snake talked then you do not live in reality.
“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’” – Numbers 20:12
Wow! God lays down the smack on Moses and Aaron. Moses and Aaron are God’s two most devoted followers and God chose them to lead His people to the promised land. They make one little mistake and God punishes them severely. It’s hard to not feel just a bit sorry for Moses and Aaron in this verse. Well, they’re making the whole thing up, so maybe not. 🙂
Next Moses and the Israelites pass near a territory ruled over be Edom. They ask for passage and Edom says:
“You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.” – Numbers 20:18
Edom saying no is a dick move, no doubt, but I wonder how much choice Edom has in the matter. Remember that God hardened the hearts of the Egyptians many times. Is God hardening the heart of Edom here?
“Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah.” – Numbers 20:24
Sucks to be Aaron, although he and Moses did not really rebel against the Lord. They simply bowed down and prayed to God for water. I guess asking God for something is a rebellion. God sets the rebellion bar very low!
“Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.” – Numbers 20:28-29
Mourning for a loved one is a very tough situation and nothing to take lightly. I do wonder, however, why Aaron had to die naked? Was that really necessary?
That concludes Numbers 20. Moses magically makes water appear from a rock (yeah, right). God gets pissed at Moses and Aaron and declares they will not reach the promised land. I guess that land wasn’t so promised after all! Finally Aaron dies. Compare Aaron’s death to Miriam’s. Aaron gets a full set of rules and several verses. Miriam gets a half verse that says she’s dead. Biblical misogyny.
Coming Soon: Numbers – Chapter 21: Arad Destroyed
We’re continuing through the book of Numbers. So far there have been a lot of numbers and several rules, many of which are silly and outright crazy. Chapter 19 brings us some cleansing!
“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: ‘This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. While he watches, the heifer is to be burned—its hide, flesh, blood and intestines. The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening.’” – Numbers 19:1-8
Poor Eleazar. He has to slaughter the heifer and watch it burn. Something tells me that burning in the Bible is not the same as grilling steaks. 🙂 I understand the need to clean oneself with water after a good heifer slaughtering, but being unclean till evening? Makes no sense! What does the position of the Sun have to do with your cleanliness?
“A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.” – Numbers 19:9
Heifer ashes are to be used for the purification from sin? WTF?!?!?!?
“Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days. They must purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on the third and seventh days, they will not be clean.” – Numbers 19:11-12
Um…God needs to take a basic middle school health class. If you touch a human corpse, just wash your damn hands and be done with it! Waiting seven days? That’s crazy talk!
“If they fail to purify themselves after touching a human corpse, they defile the Lord’s tabernacle. They must be cut off from Israel.” – Numbers 19:13
Yes, not washing your hands after touching a corpse is not proper hygiene, but to be cut off from the people? That’s overly harsh and not a justified punishment.
“Anyone out in the open who touches someone who has been killed with a sword or someone who has died a natural death, or anyone who touches a human bone or a grave, will be unclean for seven days.” – Numbers 19:16
What if someone is unnaturally killed by a stone?
Following this verse are a few verses on the exact method to go from unclean to clean in seven days. Here’s my hypothesis. God doesn’t want the people to think. There’s not much to do in biblical times, so God fears that in boredom, the people will begin to think. Therefore He gives them ridiculous rules and procedures to follow to keep them “busy” and prevent them from critically thinking. Sneaky move God, sneaky move…or shall I say Moses pretending to by god?!?!
Coming Soon: Numbers – Chapter 20: Water From the Rock