View of Haifa, Israël (123RF Stock Photo/rndms)
One need not travel to Haifa, Israel to discover what three things the Lord requires, but there in the restroom of the youth hostel, I found them spelled out on a colorful poster.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
- but to do justly,
- to love mercy,
- and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NKJV)
On this occasion, my thirty-ninth birthday, the poster gripped my heart. We’d soon be joining new friends to check out the beautiful historical sites in and around Israel’s harbor city. I looked forward to that all-you-can-eat fish dinner. Now, however, facing the poster in that secluded, narrow room, the words to the familiar Scripture chorus challenged me. How did I fare in meeting those requirements?
What if only those raised in the western world believe that the death penalty will deter violent crimes? If the terrorist’s purpose is to die in a blast of glory, killing as many infidels (innocent non-Muslim people) as possible, the threat of death only fuels his fervor. Will the death penalty increase terrorist attacks?
I asked God for a secretary; He sent me a shark. Is that really a “good gift?”
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11 NIV)
Did I really need a secretary? My mission colleague convinced me I did.
Contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible passages provoke confusion, at the very least, and a lot of bad press for God in today’s everyone-gets-published online world. Usually I can understand what the various chapters and verses mean, but putting them in the historical context can sometimes stretch and twist my human CPU (Consistency Processing Unit). Are there really contradictions and inconsistencies or am I missing something?