God’s Nature, Love and Life After Death (Part 2)
This is the second of four responses to Donald question:
In your … opinion what and who is God, his nature, his will, his role in the universe, does he “love” us, is there life with him after death, etc.
His nature and will and role in the universe
Now searching Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers for “His nature and will and role in the universe,” it seems to me that the purpose of God from Abraham to Moses was to set out rules or laws for people to follow if they wished to live lives of wellbeing. Those rules were not only given to the Israelites; the Bible clearly states that other peoples who did not follow them were doomed to destruction.
At the same time, there is nothing that suggests that it was God’s intention to continue a dialogue with humans much after David, considering David’s conversation with God through the ephod. So His role in the universe, as it relates to people, if we pay close attention to the words, was pretty much finished after that time. Then we might conclude that, from the point of view of the legislative part of the Bible, God’s role in the universe was to lay out rules and thereafter resign His responsibility toward the people. It might then follow that from that time on the people were on their own.
To take this a step further, one might ask if God was much interested in the Israelites as a group. True, the purpose of the exodus was to liberate a whole people, move them relatively safely across the wilderness, and give them a home nation. But the Bible really puts this happening in context with a covenant God made with Abraham hundreds of years before.
It is interesting that with almost no exceptions God never speaks to a group. When this was attempted at Sinai, there was so much danger that it was a dismal failure and never tried again. One could say God’s speaking to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, when the latter two conspired against Moses, was speaking to “a group.” However, that was also a dangerous situation. The cloud seriously affected Miriam and not Moses and Aaron only because they were properly protected.
No, God’s conversations were primarily one on one. This seems also to have been the case with the prophets, though I don’t believe their telling of their experiences with God was anything other than in their imaginations. (This extends right up to today when sermons go off on made-up tangents regarding what was meant by this or that biblical verse. I have no patience with anyone who says he speaks for the Lord.)
Certainly when the Israelites reached Canaan, there was no longer any communication. God seems to have withdrawn from “His people.”
Applying some logic, another possibility is that god might be a personal God, not necessarily a God to a specific people, other than at the time of laying out the law at Sinai.