Fact vs. Myth
- Deuteronomy 4:9 (NKJV)
- Deuteronomy 4:10 (NKJV)
- Deuteronomy 4:11 (NKJV)
- Deuteronomy 4:12 (NKJV)
- Deuteronomy 4:13 (NKJV)
I said on my Facebook profile a while back, "The only thing I like about Holocaust deniers is that they are living proof that it only takes one generation for fact to become myth".
As I read through the Old Testament, I am astounded at how many miracles can be done in front of a group of people, and still have them continually rebel against God.
At times I find it hard to believe everything the bible says, but at the same time I consider a few things.
1. You don't just make up a story about being slaves in Egypt to pass down over generations every passover that corroborates the same written story found in ancient manuscripts. Slavery is not the kind of legacy people make up. Saying you're the offspring of a god fits with what is much more historically common. Moses' mother, father, sister (Miriam) and brother (Aaron) were all slaves. He was born a slave, and raised in Pharaoh's house as a prince, but an impostor. He admits to commiting murder and running away. That's not something you make up about yourself.
2. What I do find that the Israelites do continually, is rebel against God. There is no, "And they saw God's final super miracle, realized he meant business, and decided never to rebel again". It's always, "They saw many miracles, and feared God for a little while, until they rebelled again often within the same generation" That constant act of rebellion is what makes this story seem real to me, besides any aspect of faith required. Because that makes them human. One generation passes, and God's miracles are nothing more than fairy tales Grandpa uses to scare kids into behaving themselves.
Here's Israel's pattern.
Miracle, awe, obedience, blessing, pride, disobedience, idolatry, judgment, repentance, miracle, repeat.
As a human being who is observant of social dynamics, I find two constants through history.
1. People have short memories.
2. People find safety in numbers.
In my own life, I find that I often forget what God has done for me in the past, and I whine to God when I really should be past that. If God has done this, this, and this, why should I think he'll abandon me now. Or if God is real and said "don't do this," or if I did it in the past with consequences, why am I still doing it now? Moses forgot how Holy God is, so he struck the rock twice. David occasionally forgot how faithful God was, so he often whined (though quite sincerely) in his Psalms. Gideon, after his 15 minutes of fame, apparently went bonkers and died an idol worshipper. Solomon was the son of a godly man famous for slaying a Giant and never losing a battle, he was spoken to directly by God, who gave him super mental powers. He ended up breaking nearly every law in the book before repenting near the end of his life. So this isn't just a problem with people who are God's enemies. Jesus told the disciples a billion times he was going to die and rise again, yet when he did, they lost all hope. When Moses calls the Israelites a "stiff-necked people" he might have as well been talking to me.
Short memories are a curse of sin nature on humanity. Jesus could come down tomorrow and do a repeat of everything he did 2000 years ago, but in a modern context, yet every bit as miraculous. 3 years after he was gone, you'd have nutjobs saying it was a government conspiracy and edit video footage of him convincing us of some alternate story. In 50 years, the entire story would be in dispute. 2000 years later, our descendants will question whether he even existed.
Lastly, I find in others (not so much myself) a sense of "safety in numbers" when it comes to God. Benjamin Franklin once said, "gentlemen, we must hang together, or we will most assuredly hang seperately" (or something like that). The gallows aren't as scary if you're there with all your best buddies. I see this in the Israelites, I see this in Atheists today who say, "Even if God was real and everything the Bible said was true, I wouldn't serve your God." Or "Hell will have cooler people," Then there's the tried and true, "See you in hell," whether used as an insult or endearment. As if knowing people in hell will make it more bearable. I also see this in "Christians" who aren't even members of a church, nor have they read a word of scripture. They're just part of a "team" that votes a certain way, and spews a certain rhetoric. They dont know what they're for, only what they're against: Muslims, gays, and anything that isn't Mmmerican. Not that there isn't scriptural teaching to valididate at least some of their sentiments, I doubt they'd know it. Safety in numbers.
I think this might be why God was so offended when David numbered Israel out of pride. God knows human nature, and knows we find comfort, strength, and pride in numbers. That pride leads to rebellion against God more often than not.
There is no safety in numbers if your enemy is God.
Created over 3 years ago