(cont.) Do you not think God is everywhere present in time, both immanent and transcendent? Is this another time when you feel he purposefully does not access files to which he has access?
I tend to write God into the world in whatever way He himself implies. If He was already in Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:21), why did He have to go to Sodom and Gomorrah in a more “physical” capacity? If He was already with the Israelites in the desert (Ex. 33:3), why did He say He would not go with them lest He be tempted to kill them? Genesis 4:16 is also quite interesting: Is God implying His presence was not in Nod with Cain? God is omnipresent, spiritually present all the time, in whatever way and sense He Himself claims He is. In instances where it may seem as though I imply He is not, I am merely quoting what God Himself said in scripture. When I say He enters or leaves “physically” it is based on a particular scripture that implies a coming or going. I am not trying to refute the doctrine of omnipresence, just merely trying to illustrate, in a tangible way, what God Himself has said or done when interacting with people over the course of human history.
In chapter seven, Jephthah doesn’t sacrifice his daughter—she just stays a virgin all her life and ends the family line. All this time, I thought he sacrificed her! Was I reading it wrong?! I was happy to read your retelling of it!
Again, it’s all in context. If you were about to be killed as a burnt sacrifice, would you ask permission to visit your girlfriends for a few months to mourn the fact that you would forever be a virgin? And would you then promise that, when you returned, you would never talk about your perpetual spinster status again? Of course not. You might ask permission to mourn your life (while you lived it up for a few months), but you certainly wouldn’t need to promise never to mention it again if you were returning only to be killed.
I don’t know why so many pastors and theologians insist her father killed her just so they can preach on the evils of making rash vows. I think both Japhthah and his daughter are beautiful examples of faith and loyalty in the aftermath of poor decisions, which we all make.
I wanted to affirm your intuition that heaven isn’t all sunshine and roses all the time and ask you if you came to that conclusion through biblical study.
I’m not quite sure what you mean. Satan goes to ask permission to test people (Job/Peter) and one would think that God isn’t always happy (based on the prophets). Is that what you meant?