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Can a God's Perfect Love of an Imperfect Mortal lead Him to making Imperfect Decisions?

Jun 27, 2009 - 14 comments

In Genesis we have the telling of the tale in which God decides to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  So he appears before Abraham; he is pleased with what he sees. Abraham and his family have honored the contract of the original Covenant and obeyed it religiously.


Note that he appears "at the appointed time". God has set a "check in" clause for the Jews for when he will fulfill the confirmation of the contract (Covenant). Something of an "all mighty parole officer." :->
  
But Sodom and Gomorrah? He has deemed their sin "great and exceedingly grievous" and thus he plans to destroy them.

Now, God does a curious thing here. He essentially invites Abraham to be part of the judgment of the City. He even makes a point of stating he isn't hiding his actions from him, he's allowing for "full disclosure" which is somewhat out of character.

He then goes even further and allows Abraham to engage him in an argument over the execution of his Judgment on the City. A lengthy debate begins over just how thorough God's destruction will be.

It is written in a style which suggests that Abraham is getting God to reluctantly concede that if there are ANY righteous in the city, then they shouldn't be killed with the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah.

It is clear that God thinks Abraham's judgment on the morality of Sodom and Gomorrah is in error; but out of love of Abraham he allows his servants (Angels) to go down and take stock of the situation.

But if God is all knowing then he already KNOWS if there are any righteous in the City. One can only conclude that he is humoring Abraham due to his affection for him.

There is actually a suggestion that God and Abraham leave each other's company rather miffed with each other; God departing abruptly in "divine irritation" and Abraham turning his back to him, a physical action that especially back then signified at the best displeasure, at the worst a grave insult.

Which leads us to Lot.

Now, first; let me define what the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is. Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the favorite stories quoted by those who would lead you to believe that God destroyed the city due to homosexual behavior and thus God hates Homosexuals.

But this isn't so. The actual crime of Sodom and Gomorrah is the breaking of the basic rules of hospitality. The favored passages for the homosexual argument is;

gen19:5 "   ...bring them out unto us, and we know them.' "

and:

gen 19:9: "...now, we do evil to thee more than [to] them;' and they press against the man, against Lot greatly, and come nigh to break the door."

The crimes described here are crimes of violence and breaking of the guest right. (If there is any sexual activity, it is one of Gang Rape, NOT consensual sex, be it heterosexual or homosexual).

Lot is clearly worried that these men will come in and do his guests harm because they have come into his house and he has provided food and drink for them, which is the standard Old World invoking of the Guest right which details that a person has become a guest in the house and is entitled to specific rights.

HOWEVER, we come to the crux. Lot is NOT a man without sin. He OFFERS his daughters to the crowd in an attempt to bribe them NOT to harm his guests!

He does NOT trust in God to provide protection (regardless of whether he knows the two visitors are Angels or not; his duty is to fulfill the rules of the Covenant, regardless of the outcome).
He offers his daughters to an unruly mob who realistically will come in and do as they please anyway.

Yes, you can argue that his sin is a lesser sin than those of the men outside (In the context of the rules of society of that time). But it is STILL a sin and a breaking of the rules of the Covenant.

So, based on the above technicality, God allows Lot and his family to escape the City before its destruction (minus one salt pillared wife).

And Lot goes to hide in the mountains out of fear (of what? God? If he is an honest man, why should he fear?).

And while residing there his daughters decide to get him drunk so that they may commit INCEST and birth a child by him. Yet another sin (if it is not a sin, then why the need to get him drunk first?).

This leads to the birthing of Moab who founds the nation of the Moabites.

And as we see, the Moabites were a people who were often "guilty" of leading the Israelites into casual sex, idol worshipping, and war-like behavior despite their peaceful nature.

So.

Did God allow his love of Abraham to lead him to go against his own judgment in allowing Lot to live and produce a tribe of people who were, in the end run, sinners? By making this decision he essentially invalidated the decision of destroying Sodom and Gomorrah to wipe the "Grievousness of their Sin" from the face of the earth.


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458072 tn?1291415186
by peggy64, Jul 06, 2009
"Did God allow his love of Abraham to lead him to go against his own judgment in allowing Lot to live and produce a tribe of people who were, in the end run, sinners? By making this decision he essentially invalidated the decision of destroying Sodom and Gomorrah to wipe the "Grievousness of their Sin" from the face of the earth".

  If you don't mind, clarify this comment for me. It sounds to me, like it is saying God made a mistake.  My take on it is this way: God is continuing to try to be gracious, merciful and loving  to mankind, even after they continue in their sin.  I don't understand that one, because God knows what all our movements at the beginning of the world.  His mercy is what allows us to continue on, in spite of ourselves.  He still desires a relationship with us.

Not trying to start an arguement, just wanting some clarification in my understanding of your writing.

Thank you....

203342 tn?1328737207
by April2, Jul 06, 2009
We have free will to choose evil or good and God will not go against that free will. He didn't want robots to love and worship him. He wanted people to choose him on their own free will.

885702 tn?1240942263
by BaronMunchausen, Jul 06, 2009
No, please. this is a biblical analysis. I make no pretensions that I know all the answers or have all the truths. So feel free to comment away and argue and debate.

At the end of the development, you see I mention the Moabites, who are the tribe of people that came into existence through Lot's lineage. If God's intent in destroying Sodom was to eliminate this particular nest of sinners and it's taint, who were in essence a disease on the earth, then by letting Lot and his daughters survive, he failed in this mission. Three tainted representatives of this city of sin escaped.

We're dealing with the concept that God viewed these people as unsaveable. Sin in this case is a transferable state of being, from one generation to the next. The Moabite tribe exhibits the two chief characteristics of the sin of Lot's Family; promiscuous sex and cowardice to be precise. Later on in the OT it's mentioned that they are a a peaceful tribe, but God doesn't want "His people of the Covenant" to have dealings with them, because despite thier peaceful nature they often tempt others with their promiscuous sinful nature. This sin is so inherent in their nature that it exists in their tribe many generations later.

The premise for the argument is based on the idea that God is all knowing. So the question is asked; is this a mistake? If God is perfect, then why change his mind and allow this sin to continue by failing to wipe out all of Sodom as he planned to do? I', pondering the idea that it is God's love of Abraham that makes him go back on his original intent.
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April, the very nature of Free Will is a curious thing when taken into context of an "all knowing God", but that's a whole other topic of discussion (more fun!!!). :->

In the OT, God was a VERY active God and while he gave humans free will, he would often punish those people who he felt had made the wrong choice. It isn't until later on that the NT comes along and God takes a more passive role on earth, allowing for the final reckoning of human behavior to be made after death.

736475 tn?1281259327
by sway1, Jul 06, 2009
i feel a thump a comin'

458072 tn?1291415186
by peggy64, Jul 06, 2009
I like how you put that...

You are probably right too, even though we are being sugary sweet.

736475 tn?1281259327
by sway1, Jul 06, 2009
she( or god or whatever) evolves and remains in a constant state of flux. humans are so arrogant in our opinion about our importance in the grand scheme, don't you think?

Avatar universal
by boldsojah4christ, Jul 06, 2009
God gave man freewill!! 2 serve him with love or not 2 serve him @ all!! God makes no mistakes how can he! When he is the creator!! And the God I serve is a perfect God!! The choice is ours 2 serve him or not!!! As 4 me I choose 2 serve him!!! Bs4c;

Avatar universal
by brianlb, Jul 06, 2009
God is perfect end of story

458072 tn?1291415186
by peggy64, Jul 06, 2009
What is so amazing to me, is He continues to love me, in spite of me.  

I do not believe God made a mistake. His grace and mercy are something I cannot even begin to fathom. If I could, then it would not be so amazing.

I just know I am glad He is more merciful than I am.

885702 tn?1240942263
by BaronMunchausen, Jul 07, 2009
So if he didn't make a mistake, the assumption seems to be that he knew Abraham would object and was essentially "playing a part" by pretending to be reluctant in his conversation with Abraham?

458072 tn?1291415186
by peggy64, Jul 07, 2009
So, are you saying you think He did?

306455 tn?1288862071
by flmagi, Jul 07, 2009
I can't seem to understand in my small brain, an all knowing, all loving, merciful and forgiving God wanting to commit genocide, instead of forgiveness. What is free will, if you're punished for your choices? Perhaps the mistake is on the part of Abraham, or whoever reported this event? Perhaps it was Satan that committed genocide and Abraham was fooled.

885702 tn?1240942263
by BaronMunchausen, Jul 07, 2009
Peggy, I find the idea that God is performing actions he already knows he's going to do distasteful. i also don;t think it's true. If we are made in his image, and by eating of the tree of knowledge "became like him in this sense", then that means God has free will as well. And being all knowing eliminates the need and interferes with the concept of free will.

Flmagi, Abraham did go out on a limb by questioning God's will. That's why the issue in this argument is, in the end run, love. God's love of Abraham, Abraham's love of his people, and whether love is a factor that can make even a God go against his initial judgement. And part of the problem you're having is that the Jewish God and the Christian God are really two totally different beings, according to each religion's books, depending on how you follow the New Testament.

When you grow up in Judaism, you understand that God is a stern and harsh master. He makes demands on his people. MANY demands. The Covenant is a Contract between God and his people, and if you break that contract, he WILL do the wrestling equivalent of an elbow from the sky followed by a three count pin that will have you out of the ring so fast your head will spin.

Fear of God's wrath plays a large part in the Judaic tradition. This was an angry, violent God, His love IS conditional. In exchange, the Jewish people were given his protection. People tend to forget that Gods were a dime a dozen back then, more so than now, and each and every one claimed sovereignty. He HAD to be this way because what you had going on was essentially a war between all the Gods, with each claiming to be "the true God" and their worshippers were their soldiers.

God was/ is the ultimate General. In that context, how he acted and behaved makes sense.



736475 tn?1281259327
by sway1, Jul 08, 2009
it musta been a different one. those are still here. sway

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