Now let’s try this again. Remember: this is my reading the Bible as a layperson, not as a scholar. I am reading it as a lay-Christian would, but without the assumption that it is correct. I am asking the questions that come to me. This is basically a visual of why I can’t accept the Bible as accurate. If you believe the Bible to be true, this is not an attack on you. And this is not an attack on the God you believe in. I do not believe in your God, so I do not believe that I can attack it. This is about the Bible and the Bible alone. Please keep this in mind while reading this post. I do not want to read about how I’m reading the Bible wrong. I do not want to read about all the other books that I need to read in order to understand the Bible. If the Bible can’t stand on it’s own, what good is it? I do not want to read about how I just want to sin, or I’m rebelling against God, or any similar nonsense. Take my post at face value, because that’s how I mean it, and respond accordingly.
Where I left off last time, Jeroboam was setting up two golden calves for the people to worship. This is said to be a sin. Since it was a sin in the past, this makes sense. Though I still don’t understand why God is so threatened by golden calves. Were they representatives of another god in competition with Yahweh? Were they gods themselves (did they have powers)? Or were they simply gold statues? If they were just statues, what threat were they to God?
The Bible says that Jeroboam’s hand shrivels up when he tells people to seize a man of God. What is the significants of this? Is it important? How do we know the man is a man of God? What does it mean to be a man of God? Who is he?
Later on, an older prophet tells the man of God that an angel told him to bring the man of God back and feed him. This is a lie. Why would a prophet lie to another prophet? Why did God go to the lying prophet and not the honest one? Why did God punish the man when he was tricked? Where is the justice in that? Why didn’t the old prophet get punished?
Jeroboam keeps sinning according to the Bible. Why does God allow the sinning to continue? What sins were committed? So far we’ve only heard about idolatry. Is that all that has occurred? Or are there other unmentioned sins?
God says that Jeroboam is the most evil man to have ever lived. He says he will cut off Jeroboam’s family. How is Jeroboam the most evil man to have lived? What did he do that is so much worse than what others have done? Why does God punish his family and not Jeroboam himself? Where is the justice here?
God says that he will give Israel up. When is this supposed to happen? If the problem is the king, why punish Israel? Why not just replace the king?
Jeroboam was king for 22 years.
Under Johaboam, the Israelites did everything detestable that the earlier people had done. What are these things that were done? We’ve never been told what these detestable things are, other than worshiping other gods of course.
Rehoboam and Jeroboam were constantly at war.
David is praised again. What was so great about David? Why is he held up as such a great king when he was so problematic?
Asa did what was right in the lord. He got rid of all the idols and was committed to God. Why didn’t God give Israel to him? Is it better to have bad kings to keep his word than it is to ensure good kings? Aren’t Asa and his descendants more worthy?
Nadat ruled Israel. He did evil. Why is he allowed to do evil? Why isn’t he stopped? And what is this evil?
The Bible then goes through a list of kings who rule for a few years each. What’s the point of talking about all these kings who don’t live very long? How are they important? If they aren’t important, why not just ignore them? What sins do they commit other than idolatry?
Omri ruled for 12 years, and he did more evil that earlier kings. Why is he allowed to do evil? And what is this evil? How can anybody accept that somebody did evil if we’re never told what this evil is? Ahab sinned worse, he worshiped Baal, and he ruled for 22 years. Why did he get to rule for so long if he did so much wrong? What about worshiping Baal makes his actions worse than his predecessors? What is the point in mentioning these two kings? How were they significant?
The prophet Elijah is brought into the story now. He ordered a poor woman to make bread for him. He promised that God wouldn’t let the flour and oil dry up during the drought that he has caused. She made him the bread. What’s the point of this story? Is it about generosity? Or is it merely an example of the miracles God is said to do? Later on, Elijah brought the woman’s son back from the dead, this proves to the woman that he is truthful. This is the first time someone is brought back from the dead. Why did God bring the boy back? Was it to win loyalty? Was it a mere show of power? Did he just do it because Elijah asked?
Ahab then met Elijah. Elijah demanded that Ahab bring the people of Israel to him. Elijah tells them to follow God. He proposes a challenge: Elijah vs. the Baal prophets, whoever’s god answers by lighting a fire…wins? Elijah wins. This story is kind of funny. Elijah demands proof that Baal was worthy of worship, or powerful, or something. He mocks the Baal priests as they fail to light a fire. Then he provides evidence of his God’s power by completing the challenge successfully himself. He’s practicing skepticism here. If this had actually happened, this would be great evidence to suggest Yahweh exists. Unfortunately, it can’t be verified outside of the Bible that this actually happened. However, if a Christian could reproduce this, this would be a great way to convince atheists’ of the supernatural. Of course, if I saw this,I’d immediately assume trickery until it was shown that trickery was not in play. Elijah the had the prophets of Baal killed. God finally sent rain. Where is the justice in that? Why did the people deserve to be punished with starvation? Why did Baal’s prophet’s deserve to be slaughtered?
Elijah hid in the wilderness after being threatened by the king. An angel came to him to feed him. How is it known that an angel came to him? Could it have been a man? What is the significance of Elijah’s running away? He then traveled to Horeb to speak to God. Elijah thinks he is the only one loyal to God left. Is this true? How could it be? God tells Elijah that he’s about to pass by. God comes in the form of a whisper. After a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire comes. What’s the significance of this? What is it meant to show? Is this just a display of power? Or does it have a purpose? If it has a purpose, what is it? If not, why do this?
God said that he will punish Ahab’s son for what Ahab did because Ahab humbled himself. Where is the justice when God punishes innocent children for the sins of their parents? Even if the person deserves punishment, shouldn’t they be punished for their own actions and not for the actions of others?
Asa and his descendants seem to have been forgotten, only Jeroboam’s descendants are mentioned in the later parts of 1 Kings. Why is this?
Aram, Ahab’s son, is killed in battle. Dogs lick up his blood when his men clean his chariot, which is as God commanded. What is the significance of this? What is it meant to achieve?
Asa’s descendants are remembered. Jehoshaphat is Asa’s son, he’s mentioned briefly. What’s the point of mentioning him?
I have now completed 1 Kings. I’ll likely only be able to post these once a week until I finish.