Friday, 26 February 2016

More Fool Me - A Waiting God

Parts of the Bible are - in modern terminology - "problematic". There's the occasional incitement to genocide, for instance. Everybody loves "By the Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M, but who ever reads down to this part of the psalm? 
O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
blessed shall he be who repays you
with what you have done to us!
Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock! (Psalm 137)
And then there's the bits of the Bible where Judah and Israel are compared to wanton whores. Who, as we all know, are the most whor-est variety. But then sometimes it becomes a bit more amenable to modern ears and eyes - and becomes simply about a marriage relationship. And yes, OK God is still the man. But it's an old book, innit? Don't mean the truth ain't still there - we just have to approach it carefully.

Because the Bible often parallels human love with God's love for people, you can find some odd parables. For example between this rather sweet - or possibly a bit obsessive - little Genesis love song, and the book of Hosea.
And you'd be the one who was laughing
Except when things weren't going your way
And then the lady would say that she'd had enough
Wandering around on her own. ("More Fool Me")
In the same way the people of Israel will continue many days without a king or a leader. They will be without a sacrifice or a memorial stone. They will be without an ephod or a household god. After this, the people of Israel will come back and look for the Lord their God and for David their king. In the last days they will come to honour the Lord and his goodness. (Hos 3:4-5)
So an ignored God is not less than God. A God that the Western World does not believe in does not stop existing. The God that brought the universe into existence will still be upholding all things, still breathing life into us, still directing the traffic on the Westway - whether we think he is required or not. An eternal God will still be, among other things, a Waiting God.
Ah, but when it comes
Round to you and me
I ask myself
Do I really believe
In your love.
Yes, I'm sure it will work out alright.

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