Let me just say this: It’s not my intention to disrespect anyone elses opinions.
When you look at something that someon holds sacred in a different light, it can feel very offensive.
We’re looking at some classic stories in a different light, but I’ve very purposely made it so that these new ways of looking at these stories can co-exist with classic interpretations.
If you’re very literal when it comes to the bible, I’m not trying to dissuade from that. But hopefully you can buy into the idea that there’s MORE going on than just the surface level story.
If you believe that portions of the old testament are more ‘parabolic’.
Both opinions have been recognized as legitimate in the christian faith for the last 2000 years.
Believe it or not, I’m NOT trying to comment on that.
Whether you’re a literalist or not, let’s all agree: there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the bible.
Prodigal Son – “There was this man with two sons.”
Let me ask you ask you a question. Do you believe the prodigal son was real or just a story? I don’t know, but I don’t think that’s the point.
Let’s be people who build bridges, not lines in sand.
When I say “story” – I don’t mean something fake.
People of the OT feared the sea. – Feared water.
Mankind – wicked
God – angry – “I regret ever making you”
Wipe mankind from face of earth
Noah – Ark him & family
Bring some of all animals on earth
1 pair some (unclean), 7 for others (clean)
Rain 40 days/nights
Every living thing that moved – killed
Water receded – ark – mountains of Ararat
8 more months
Finally, got out of boat
Built altar – worshipped – burnt offering – 1 of clean animals/bird
“Never do this again.” – Rainbow – Naked – Curses son – cananites
LET’S TALK ABOUT FLOODS.
Sumerians Mesopotamians Babylonians
Modern Day: – Hindu’s Flood – Islam – Nuh
Flood in Genesis – 2500BC-1500BC – It’s only about 1000 years after we invented the wheel.
Water – power to destory everything
Not uncommon – Divine judgement – Wickedness – Angry – Starting Over
Flood in Genesis – Angry – Wrath – not unusual
“I’ve actually already heard this story”
But then – does something strange – ends w/ promise – never going to happen again.
Not how other stories ended – Gods satisfied.
But this God – different
Life is preserved/respected.
QUESTION: What does this story tell us about how people understood God at the time?
Imagine – no pictures – earth.
300BC – Aristotle – earth was round
Hut – never traveled – Terryifying
Causes: God’s mad. That’s the BG
Twist: Promise – Compassion – Rainbows – Covenants
Not how people talked – Angry.
But this story – relate. & save.
THE STORY OF THE ARK IS a story about a new view of God.
Relationship. – Need today.
“IT’S PRIMITIVE” – PROGRESSIVE.
Never talked like this before
“I can’t believe people still believe this stuff!”
Yes the boat was big enough.
Of course God had a plan for the elephant poop.
Try: take seriously – Result: miss point
If it’s only a historic story about how God kills people when they’re wicked. – Not interesting to me.
Story: major step – understanding God
Now: Cross – They didn’t – WHEEL
Few points about story:
THIS IS A STORY ABOUT GOD’S PEACE
For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. (Isaiah 54:9)
For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54:10)
Isaiah: God never angry w/us
THIS IS A STORY ABOUT CONTRAST
OUR GOD VS OTHER GODS
HUNGER GAMES – CAPTAL / POOR DISTRICTS
Contrast: Ugliness of angry God – God “never be angry w/ you”.
GOD’S GOODNESS, DISPITE OUR WICKEDNESS
Contrast: Destroy b/c wickedness / Peace, not dependent
Like Jonah/whale – focus ark – miss rainbow.
Old story. Obvious: both sides of literalism
Don’t get stuck: history, miss:
Kinder, better God Intention is not violence but love.
Classic story – violent/wrathful God
Look correctly – opposite:
Looks like Jesus
ABRAHAM SARIFICING ISAAC
Then God said to Abraham: “Take your son, your only son, whom you love-Isaac-and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there…” – Genesis 22
This story – classic – new athiests – use to tell us that all religion is dangerous.
“What kind of God would ask someone to kill their own son?”
That’s the question, right? There’s an answer.
BUT 1ST – BRIEF HISTORY – RELIGION
Forces didn’t control – dependent on.
On your side or not – Sacrifice
Imagine: Made sacrifice – didn’t rain/shine – Not enough
All religion – Anxiety
Never knew where you stood
Angry – disaster
Going good – sacrifice – Enough?
Anxiety either way
Wether good or bad – answer – Sacrifice more.
Crop ,Goat, Lamb, Cow, Birds
Anxiety b/c – always offer more
Most valuable? Child
Obvious – OT – Where religion took us
OK, SO ABRAHAM:
God – Abraham “Offer son”. Not shocked b/c
“early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey”.
Get’s right to it!
B/C he understands religion.
God’s demanded – most valuable. If not – pay price
So he leaves
Reaches the place on the third day.
Travel 3 days – son/dead – Nod to Jesus
Get’s to mountain says – servants:
Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.
Wha…??? Something bigger.
Isaac (son) “where sacrifice will come from.” Morbid, right?
Standard reading: willing to kill son, b/c loves God.
But we’ve already seen – Abraham knows
something else happening.
Abraham – “God will provide”
Clever. Non-answer answer. Abraham is in on the joke.
Abraham gets ready
God stops him
Offers ram instead
Angel – Abraham – blessed / through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed…
ORIGINAL QUESTION: “What kind of God would ask someone to kill their own son?”
ANSWER: Other God’s demanded your first born – not this one.
1. THE DRAMA IS THE POINT
Abraham knows b/c RELIGION
Starts like other stories, but turns.
God’s don’t do that!
2. THE GOD IN THIS STORY PROVIDES
Religion: Worship & sacrifice – you giving
This story – God giving
3. THIS ISN’T A STORY ABOUT WHAT ABRAHAM DOES FOR GOD, IT’S A STORY ABOUT WHAT GOD DOES FOR ABRAHAM.
Mind blowing. New. Ground breaking
Doesn’t demand but gives & blesses.
4. ABRAHAM IS TOLD THAT GOD’S BLESSING WAS GOING TO FLOW THROUGH HIM TO OTHERS
Calling of the nation of Israel – Today – Church
Story – violent/wrathful – opposite
God is merciful – gracious – loving – kind
Better understand bible – God patiently turning perception
NOT: decided to be kind