Sunday, November 21, 2010

Job ... Dude, You Were Screwed

Leave it to me to tune in to a History Channel program with an open mind. History is history, right? Well, in most cases it is ... what has happened has happened and why what has happened is usually explained, yet often the reasons for the makings of history-making are left open to interpretation.

The History Channel is an excellent source of information when it comes to Hitler, any World War, trucking goods over ice-covered Alaskan lakes and determining the value of an autographed KISS concert ticket from 1972 while being low-balled in a Las Vegas pawn shop.

Yet, every now and then, more often 'now' than 'then', the HC delves into spiritual realms. It was during one such program that I was struck with the inspiration to write ... "God Versus Satan". Oh yeah, my kind of program. I pictured Rocky brawling head-to-head with Ivan Drago ... you decide which is God and which is Satan.

As I was drawn further into the show I reflected on the many years of teachings and studying I had plodded through as I sought salvation. I was once an avid student of scripture. As such, I was very often considered the 'go-to' guy for answers to questions of salvation, scripture and sin. Believe it or not, I was as close to being an evangelical, rapture-expectant, Christian with unwavering belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God that you can imagine.

To make a long story short ... a switch flipped ... that belief has changed, as have many other beliefs.

Yet, this 'God Vs. Satan" program drew me in. And, as you might imagine, my mind caught contradictions in certain biblical stories that eluded comprehension during my 'holy' years. One such story is recounted below, paraphrased and modernized so that those with that uneasy, 'WTF?' feeling might understand.

Let me relate to you the story of Job. Job, the man of faith who suffered loss and discourse due to nothing more than having an unwavering faith in his God. Decide for yourself who might be to blame for one man's suffering....

..... "and Satan, the advocate, said unto God.. "Hey, Yah, you gonna give me a shot at proving that you ain't all that and a bag of manna?"
 ... and God said, "look man, I'm gonna tell ya that there ain't nothin' that you can do that is gonna undermine my authority. I made you, by God. I brought you into this world and I can take you out. Who the Hell do you think you are?"
... Satan, stunned, replied, "Ok ... ok... yeah, you made me but you keep on sayin' that you made me in your image which means that, duh, I have in me all the qualities that you have in you, eh? You keep harpin' that you gave your creation on earth your qualities too ... it's in your damn book. Have you even read it? Who was your editor?
... I'll tell ya what, Yah, I'll bet that I can make your most loyal fan on earth look up to the heavens and say, 'What the Fuck!?' I want to mess with Job. He has it all and thanks you for it. Lemme at him."

... "Hmmm ... saieth God. "Lemme contemplate ...."  After considering the mind of the creation, God agreed to the bet. Yet, God had limits ... "You can do what ya wanna do to Job. Kill his animals, his wife, his kids. Destroy his house. Ya know what? Make him wish he was dead. I'll bet you that he will still have faith in Me. Ya know why? Because I'm the 'Big Guy'. I'm bigger and better than you. Go for it."

So, Satan plagued Job with poverty, death, depression, loss. And Job had done nothing more than have faith that he was subservient to his creator, his God. He had no pride. He accepted the circumstances of his life as being given by God. To make a long story short, Job lost everything ... his flocks, his children, his wife. Yet, Job survived.

... and Satan said, "ok, Yah, he didn't cave ... the human spirit is pretty damned strong."

... And, yay, God replied, "You owe me fifty bucks."

The moral of the story? If we, as creatures of God are supposed to live without pride, why is it that a God who considers pride a sin against Him exhibits the ultimate pride by haughitly sacrificing an innocent in order to prove His own supremacy?


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