Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Lover and a Fighter (as explained by an orthodox rebel and Vegeta)

"For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses...and He shall stretch out upon [His enemies] the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness." Is. 34:8-11

Our God is a fighting God. This does not sit well with a modern Western audience, who have done everything in their power to castrate God into inconsequence. They cut out His wrath and holiness like they're tumors, and then they water down His love to such a level that even the most syrupy sentimentalist would find it banal. This so-called "love," this abominable "love" that they assign to God is so lethargic, so apathetic, so utterly pointless and pathetic that it does nothing at all: neither punishes nor saves from sin, neither fights for or against anyone or thing, and neither blesses nor curses or involves itself in any of the affairs of mankind (except to allow the occasional tsunami or mass shooting). Theirs is a god of all fluff and puff, a marshmallow in the clouds, a Santa Claus so doped up on Prozac that it is unconscious of everything, including itself.

This marshmallow god is as true a creation of the secular world as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Likewise, it is also foreign to the God of the Bible. There we find the Fighter, the Warrior, the Father, the Lover. Just listen to the wording of Isaiah: The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies. He has utterly destroyed them; He has delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and their stench shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood...and the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch (Is. 34:2-3, 9). That sounds less like Santa Claus and more like Vegeta. Our God has a Lover's heart beating with Warrior's blood. He has spilt much blood in the name of His beloved, including His own (Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:9-10).

Yet this Fighting-Lover God has enough power in His wrath to humble even the likes of Vegeta. The proof is found in the strange wording of verse 11: "He shall stretch out upon [His enemies] the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness." Now, "line" and "stones" refer to the measuring rod and plumb lines used in ancient (and even modern) architecture, and they are a common image in biblical prophecy (such as in Ezekiel and Revelation). "Confusion" and "emptiness," however, are even more interesting. In Hebrew, they mean "formless" and "void," respectively, and they are the exact same words used in Genesis 1:2 to describe the world in its uncreated state. Thus, the image that seemed so strange should now be terrifyingly clear: the Fighting-Lover God will not simply destroy his enemies; He will uncreate them. Literally (in Hebrew), He will use the means of building ("line" and "stones") to unbuild them, to make them without form and void, the formless void of precreation. The annihilation will be absolute. This is the power and terror of our God, the one true God, for the Warrior Lover is also the Mighty Maker. Only He can make, and only He can and will unmake.

"I'm gonna need a bigger Flash."

-Jon Vowell (c) 2013

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of God unmaking his enemies. It calls to mind a scene in the Sandman comics in which Morpheus uncreates The Corinthian (a nightmare gone rogue).