The Wrath of God

By: Thomas E. Brewton

No one who questions God’s retributions for sin, as well as His bounties, can lay claim to faith in the Judeo-Christian religious beliefs repeatedly proclaimed in the Bible’s Old Testament and New Testament, the faith upon which this nation was founded.

John Lawrence’s two postings (see Tolerance vs. Acceptance) point to the need to restate some basic understandings repeatedly affirmed in the Bible.

From one point of view, the Old Testament can be summarized as often repeated cycles of calls by God, through the prophets, for Israel’s repentance of sin, followed by Divine retribution for their failure to live up to their side of the Mosaic Covenant.

Between the birth of Abraham (Abram) in 2166 BC and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in approximately 30 AD there were many periods of prosperity and justice among the people of Israel, interspersed with calamities inflicted by weather and invading armies. Most of the latter were foretold, often many decades ahead, by prophets who admonished the people to turn back from the ways of sin into which they had drifted, or to face the consequences. Conquests by the empires of Assyria, Babylon (the
captivity and transportation away from the promised land), and Persia were foretold, as well as the release of the Israelites to return to their land by Cyrus, the ruler of Persia.

The prophets’ warnings of doom always were coupled with messages of God’s providence if and when the people should return to Him.

These events are not some sort of mythology made up, as Marx would have it, to enable the powerful to subjugate the masses. They are more than 2,000 years of history, in the sense both of recounting actual events, as well as of the Jews understanding who they were as a people. They are the unfolding experiences of real people living in the world and seeking to live happy lives within a society of justice and righteousness.

Exodus from Egyptian bondage is both literally and symbolically a confrontation between God (Yahweh) and the cosmological religion of Egypt, in which the Pharaoh was both the representative of divine power on earth and a divinity himself. Pharaoh repeatedly refuses Moses’ pleas to allow his people to leave Egypt and worship Yahweh. Each time God inflicts massive punishments on the Egyptian people, until finally Pharaoh implicitly admits that his gods have been defeated by Yahweh and tells Moses to leave with his people. The final stroke occurs at the Red Sea crossing, when the Israelites make it through the waters, but Pharaoh’s troops are drowned.

This symbolism is the meaning of the Old Testament history of the Jewish people. When the people obey the Word of God and live righteously, God will deliver them from evil. When they turn away, disaster is around the corner.

The mystery of God’s creation of, and His presence in, the universe are quite beyond the limited capacities of the human mind to see face-to-face. But God from time to time revealed aspects of His Being to Old Testament prophets and, in the New Testament, through His incarnation in Jesus Christ. If you feel more comfortable with contemporary terminology, think of God providing inspirations (literally breathing-in the source of Truth and life) of the highest principle of social and political order.

In our society today, there is no question that far too many people have abandoned God and the path of righteousness to worship material things, wealth and power. We are now paying the price in the accelerating disintegration of our nation, founded on Christian principles, into a cultural civil war.

None of us can foretell the future, but common sense should tell us that continuation of worshipping hedonism and materialism will leave us sitting ducks for whoever our conquerors will be.

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776

About The Author Thomas E. Brewton:
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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