Monday, February 28, 2011

God calls the Jews a stiff necked people. Worship the Golden Calf

Last weeks reading (I'm a week behind) had the sin of the Golden Calf (See Exodus 32) in which God calls the Jewish people a stiff necked people.

This photo is from

Moses pleads with God and God stiff punishes the Jewish people by having the Levites kill some of the leaders involved seems like they were men and then God punishes the Jewish people as a whole with a plague. But God first wanted to kill all the Jewish People except Moses to which Moses convinces God not to. And then later on God reveals to Moses the holy attribute of God being slow to anger showing kindness to 2,000 generations and punishing for only 4 and forgiving sins but not completely.

It seems that God was letting Moses speak on behalf of his people and playing this game of making this threat as God wanted Moses to intercede on his people. Which of course Moses then questions God for being so harsh to which it seems that God then reveals his attributes to Moses that are very compassionate.

That is what it seems like to me reading it. As you read it Moses starts questioning God as I think it is about the fact that Moses is wondering why God is being so harsh here as he can't believe he has more compassion then God God tells Moses he can't reveal his full face and only his back.

Later when God is giving Moses the new tablets God reveals that he does forgive sins although not completely and shows kindness to 2,000 generations among other things God being a God who compassionate and gracious, is slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness. (Exodus 34:6)


SouthernBelle Rivky said...

I have hard time understanding what's behind punishing for 4 generations business. I know Hashem can do whatever without explaination, but I have difficulty with idea. Maybe you can explain it???

I don't know what to think of punishing one's grandchildren and great grandchildren. It's very likely that one's great grandchildren never met their great grandparents, so their was no direct influence or benefit from bad ways. A lot of grandparents don't live long enough to know their grandchildren either, so that could be 2 generations completely removed from people that did bad actions. Yet just because they are related they are punished?!?

It seems like pre-destiny, doesn't matter what one does, if they have bad relatives they are doomed from the start. Why bother being righteous and good if there are creeps in the family tree one never even met that one is being punished for their actions?

If a person has bad parents sounds like one shouldn't have kids to spare 2 more generations of punishment. Sure there great great great grandkids get blessing but the prior generations get to suffer.

Just thinking aloud as I don't really understand this.

Analytical Adam said...

Well I don't know all the answers and I do think the God in the Bible the true God is a lawful God and a just God and we should ask questions. If God could do what he wants then we are imitating God when we do what we want and I don't think that is a Godly trait.

I guess the most generation you could know is about four. Some people are lucky to know their Grand Grandparents although most don't but more then 4 generation you are very unlikely to know although even a Grand Parent is unlikely but is possible if you have three generations have their first child at about 25 then the oldest of each generation that child would be born when the Great Grandparent would be 75 which is very possible.

Analytical Adam said...

It should be kept in context. God rewards for 2,000 generations and punishes for 4 generations. Also compared to the world there are those who will NEVER forgive. Look at the world and even in the Jewish community some want to punish people for sins done thousands of years ago. So in context I don't think it is so harsh. Also let us be real. If someone you think is a bad person even though you don't know the son the father and the family gets pleasure if the children do well.

None of this means though that it is all or nothing. One of the reasons I am so much against certain issues is because I know my family has been very involved and it is very wrong and only through some pain and suffering will a person even hopefully change the bad influences in their own family.

Analytical Adam said...

There is NO SUCH THING AS 100% FREE CHOICE. There are things beyond our control and even in terms of coming from a family that did a lot of bad things and we may be punished somewhat for it that doesn't mean we won't be rewarded for our good actions or trying to not follow our parents in bad ways. Not everything is in your control but that doesn't mean you have some effect and it seems to me you want 100% CONTROL OF EVERYTHING or this 100% type of individuality which is not the real world although God to a lesser extent then the world to endlessly hold a person and his descendants responsible for certain sins.

Just because certain things are beyond our control doesn't therefore mean we have "predestination" and I don't know why you would think that.

SouthernBelle Rivky said...

Oh I was just being kind of dramatic for effect. You know you do that too sometimes :)

I figure since you are smart guy I can give you hard questions like the old saw of why bad things happen to good people and the opposite. Don't think any one answer explains fully.

Oh wanted to mention since I haven't in a while....I soo love no moderation for me!! No moderation means go to the extreme :)