Friend Daniel Clendenin, the theologian, kindly invited me to share some thoughts with him for the lectionary of October 3 for his web site. One of the readings made mention of those who had been smote by God, presumably for their inequity.
By bedtime I was burning with the question, “have I been smote by the lord?” (It is “smote”, no? Somehow “smitten” doesn’t sound right). Indeed Linda and I laughed ourselves to sleep wrestling with the issue.
From this, I guess it’s obvious that, as much as I love the Old Testament, I don’t believe in Abraham’s God, the petulant deity who intrudes, usually for the worse, in the lives of individuals, if not whole tribes, and who arbitrarily rewards, punishes and, occasionally wipes out his creations. That God seems to have a penchant for “smiting.”
A couple of correspondents – both secular and faithful – have recently lamented the seeming absence of God in all that Linda and I have endured these past few years. If God isn’t smiting us, then it would seem she’s not helping us either, at least from this humble earthly perspective. More on this anon…