At church this morning, the pastor was preaching about the Lord's prayer. He noted that it starts with "Our Father." The pastor talked about how our image of God will influence how we interact with God. If we see God as a strict Santa Claus sort of being, who grades us by our performance, then we won't particularly like God's knowledge of all of our ways. But if we see God as a loving Father, then we will welcome God's omniscience, seeing it as caring.
agree with the pastor on this, at least when it comes to my own
spirituality. The thing is, when I read the Bible, I wonder at times if
I am truly reading about a loving Father. I'm reading I Chronicles
right now, and I recently went through the Chronicler's telling of the
story of how God struck Uzzah dead for reaching out his hand to balance
the ark. The Chronicler actually seems to be more explicit than II
Samuel about why God did this: because God wanted for the
Levites to carry the ark, and the Levites were to be sanctified before
they could do so. On some level, I can respect the Chronicler's high
regard for the holiness, transcendence, and majesty of God. When I read
the Chronicler or the priestly writer (P), I get the impression that
God is above and beyond me, or any one of us. But is this God a loving
Father? I have difficulty characterizing him as such. The God of the
Chronicler does do good things for people, such as David and Israel.
But this God also seems to exclude others: God may bless David such that
David wins battles and gets land, but where is God's love for those who
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