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"... a still small voice"

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Initial post: Oct 28, 2012 8:44:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 8:45:25 PM PDT
"And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice..." - I Kings 19

Ahem. Just thought I'd get this out there before anyone starts attributing winds, earthquakes, and fires to the "wrath of God" and saying that these kinds of things show how angry God is with what God created... which... in my humble opinion, would be an example of complete and utter balderdash.

Okay. Carry on then...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 9:50:14 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
That's very synchronistic, Karen. I just finished reading a section in Bishop Spong's book "The Sins of Scripture" concerning that same, exact place in 1 Kings. And he comes to the same conclusion!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 10:10:08 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
Aye. Well said indeed.

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 10:10:48 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas and the Weather of the Future
(Climate Central, 2012)

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 10:13:59 PM PST
'probabilist says:

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:24:07 PM PST
Ken Burns has a new documentary on The Dust Bowl - if it's as good as his documentary on The Civil War, it's great!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:58:14 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Karen, I have my VCR set to record The Dust Bowl. I recently read "The Worst Hard Time", and am looking foward to seeing Ken Burn's show. He never disappoints!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 11:26:09 PM PST
Tonight I watched Ken Burns and Timothy Egan (author of Worst Hard time) talk together about The Dust Bowl - those guys are so smart! I love listening to them! I'm really looking forward to this show!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 3:24:15 AM PST
Harry Marks says:
You mean because of New York City? Why would anyone think New York City has earned the Wrath of God?

Actually, it was the Hamptons.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 10:52:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 10:52:54 AM PST
'probabilist says:
> Actually, it was the Hamptons.

So the Hamptons earned the wrath?


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 11:17:36 AM PST
Come on, prob. Don't pander to them. You know such ideas are nonsense.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 11:20:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 11:21:24 AM PST
Or it might have been Snooky.

(I know. I don't know who she is, either - but her face keeps coming up on the cover of magazines. I'm pretty sure she's from NJ.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 11:20:36 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 11:21:11 AM PST
'probabilist says:
> Come on, prob. Don't pander to them.



In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 2:06:39 PM PST
Harry Marks says:
"So the Hamptons earned the wrath?"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 4:56:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2012 8:31:20 PM PST
Happy Thanksgiving Alphagoof!

Just thought I'd pipe in there from over the steaming pots and fragrances of my Thanksgiving baking. While I'm at it I decided to word-search the 'storm', at an online resource:

They've rounded down their results with this comment from minor prophets, Nahum 1:3

3 "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power,
and will not at all acquit the wicked:
the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet."

J.H.--Picturesque. It wasn't actually what I searched for though. So I fished around a bit more for that parable from Matthew 7:24-27, (ASV)

24 "Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock:"
25 "and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and if fell not: for it was founded upon the rock."
26 "And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand:"
27 "and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and smote upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall thereof."

J.H.--It sticks in my mind as one great example of the text using a simile instead of a metaphor. The people in question who believe the teaching, or don't, are like (likened unto) people who do believe in storms, or don't. Kind of like people who built their homes on ocean-front property, believing those glaciers that have been melting down for thousands of years wouldn't impact the sea level. Or that they'd just get lucky, and storms would never come.

Enough said.

Posted on Nov 23, 2012 8:32:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2012 8:51:48 PM PST
Well OK, now that the turkey coma has subsided a bit, I've had my initial laugh at the suggestion that not New York, but the Hamptons were accountable for the wrath. Since the opening post is framed as a declaration rather than a query, I'd agree it's unlikely that wrath had anything to do with a natural disaster, one way or another.

Back to my motive in posting a Biblical metaphor and a Biblical simile side by side. Since people often wonder out loud, "how can I tell the difference between when the Bible is being literal or allegorical?", here's a topical example of metaphor and simile, both relative to storms, winds, floods etc. Neither passage however is actually about the events which insurance companies underwrite.

While the parable from Matthew can represent an allegorical storm, the previous passage from the prophet Nahum evokes imagery of tornado winds and atmospheric havoc to convey power beyond the scope of human control as a bit of dust from under the heel of God. "The clouds are the dust of his feet."

The Hebrew God, of course doesn't have anthropomorphic feet, nor hands, nor nostrils, eyes, wings, etc. Hence the quandary for Biblical scholars, how exactly can this be interpreted? The Old Testament models, of the Flood, or of the destruction of Job's family indicate natural catastrophe in the hand of God, and also in the hand of Satan through God's permissive will.

The New Testament presents a Jesus who walks (and sleeps) upon stormy water, who speaks the word of rebuke, and the storms Peter out. A New Testament Jesus instructs his followers, to reproach in a way that sounds oddly like a medieval curse, those who won't receive his teaching from the disciples.

14 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, as ye go forth out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet."
15 "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." (Matthew 10:14-15, ASV)

10 "And he said unto them, Wheresoever ye enter into a house, there abide till ye depart thence."
11 "And whatsoever place shall not receive you, and they hear you not, as ye go forth thence, shake off the dust that is under your feet for a testimony unto them." (Mark 6:10-11, ASV)

5 "And as many as receive you not, when ye depart from that city, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them." (Luke 9:5, ASV)

J.H.--This begs the question of "a testimony against them *to whom*?" I called the foregoing reminiscent of a medieval curse, because all the prophets allude to angelic overseers/shepherds in sometimes direct, other times subtle ways. The kind of black magic that the inquisition hunted down and tried to stamp out left manuscripts which are preserved among mystics, soothsayers, black magicians, and some of which are available in reprint form from the Amazon catalog. Some would willingly invoke spirits in a ceremonial fashion, though our Bible teaches us to invest our attentions with the Holy spirit, and neglect the rest. When I read something archaic like shaking the dust off of one's shoe, it sounds just a bit creepy, like a manuscript heavily edited to obscure the intent of the original teaching.

If storm cloud encompassed all the globe, in the eyes of the prophet Nahum, it would be 'petty' beside God, beneath his heel, 'off-scouring' so to speak. Imagine the angst, the sense of hostility such belittling as this must effect upon some humans sense of self relevance.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 8:35:16 PM PST
Astrocat says:
It's an excruciatingly exact portrayal of that awful time. I've been watching it in increments, and Timothy Egan is one of the presenters, very articulate, but of course the most poignant are those people who were children at the time, and who remember what it was like. May Ken Burns live forever, or come back very quickly and keep on doing these fabulous documentaries.

Posted on Jun 3, 2013 5:37:23 PM PDT
'probabilist says:

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 2:14:19 AM PDT
'probabilist says:

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 11:05:58 AM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Hey 'prob -

Hope springs eternal. Now suppose we consider for the moment the notion that success represents God's blessing, which is sort of the opposite of the whirlwind as wrath of God. Some people like to claim that the success of White people in North America shows that they followed the right religion. I have a lot of trouble with that.

But I do think that elite culture in America has had a remarkable degree of responsible and conscientious behavior, and that this has contributed to the success of the U.S. They listened, you might argue, to the still, small voice (or the "better angels"). This may be a view from reading Doris Kearns Goodwin too much. First Lincoln, holding together the Union, then Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, spearheading the Progressive movement. Good people.

For balance, I have also been reading "Twelve Years as a Slave", and a biography of George Washington, who it seems was a finicky and self-promoting bore from a mould closer to Benedict Arnold than to Cincinnatus. He gets some credit for planning, organizing and thinking ahead, but more for looking out for the main chance.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2014 11:47:00 AM PDT
blueskies says:
Which makes George the ideal Father of the USA

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2014 12:36:47 PM PDT
Harry Marks says:
blueskies -

Worth a laugh.

But I am not sure he really was "typical" in that sense. Through some inspiration by seeing an older (half-?) brother make his way in the Anglophone society, George clung to the ladders of the Old World connections. He seems to have been a natural-born Tory, frankly (I am less than half way through the book, so I may be premature, here.) So how did he end up at the head of the Continental Army? The best I can make out is that it was because he was passed up for command by the British (though came close at one point) and so the Patriots were the natural way to climb.

What I would rate more typical of American leadership is the person who heads off into the wilderness and brings social order with him. In their own ways, Lincoln and Jackson fit that pattern. America was the place with more land than people, as Hannah Arendt said, and so risk-taking self-reliance really is a better description than self-promotion and grasping, even though those have certainly been a big part of the story as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2014 3:46:11 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Harry, now, about heading off into the wilderness, I'd nominate Johnny Appleseed for the blue ribbon for that one.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2014 5:58:00 PM PDT
Happy FMoT (Fifth Month of Thanksgiving), Jonathan! :)
(So sorry - I must have missed this one earlier.)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2014 6:07:02 PM PDT
"May Ken Burns live forever, or come back very quickly and keep on doing these fabulous documentaries."
Amen and amen, Nancy! :)

My mom was born at the end of 1927, Dad in 1918, at the end of WWI - both still alive - and the things they have experienced in their lifetimes is mind-boggling to me. They both know how little a person actually needs to survive. They lived through the Depression, World War II (Dad was in the South Pacific), McCarthyism, Viet Nam, landing on the Moon, the wars in the Middle East - silent movies, "talkies", tv, color TV, phonographs, big-reel tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, VHS, DVD, personal computers, the internet....!!! They were both so excited when Obama was elected - I don't think either of them thought they'd live long enough to see a person of color in The White House. (Weirdly, when I voted for Obama I wasn't even thinking about the fact that I might be voting for our first African-American president).

I'm not sure that my generation would handle the Great Depression with as much grace and generosity as Mom and Dad's generation did. I sure hope so, though.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  57
Initial post:  Oct 28, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 26, 2014

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