No justice

“I know all of this already,” Job said, cutting Bildad’s rant short, “but how can we, mere mortals, be justified before God? If I wanted to grapple or debate with him, I’d stand no chance. He’s almighty and all wise. Do you know of anyone who’s won a case in his court? Who summons the Judge?

“In his wrath, God levels mountains, and the hills don’t even know what hit them. If he told the sun not to rise, it wouldn’t. He’s the one who assembled the stars into the Zodiac and placed them in the empty spaces he created.

“I marvel at his works. He’s here right now, and we can’t see him. He moves about my camp, but my eyes are laughably weak. He leaves my presence, and I can’t detain him.

“No one was with God at the beginning to question his actions or supervise his work. Even Rahab, the spirit of the raging flood, bowed before him as he vanquished Chaos.

“Therefore, how can I argue with God? Even though I’m innocent, his reasons are beyond me. All I can think to do is beg for mercy, but he’s more likely to add more time to my sentence than to listen to my case.

“I’m becoming bitter by all of this. Although I’ve done nothing wrong, my complaints sentence me. In my innocence, God has proven me guilty. I am blameless, but it doesn’t matter! God kills the good and the evil. When the innocent die, the wicked rule, and judges are corrupt, who else but God is allowing all this?

“Life is short, but if I forgive and forget and get on with my life, I’d still be terrified because of what my suffering means. It means I’m damned. It doesn’t matter if I scrub my body with soap, God will knock me back into the dirt. So, what’s the use in trying?

“God’s not flesh and blood, so I can’t plead in a court of law and have a fighting chance. There’s no mediator between us to stay his hand. It’s me against him. If he would stop punishing me and filling me with terror, I’d tell him, without fear, what I know to be true: I’m not guilty!”

Inspiration: Job 9

Mythos rising

This story begins at the end of a brooding and desolate darkness.

The God Elohim hovered over the vast and shapeless abyss. After a long breath, He uttered the first word:

“Light.”

A brilliant shaft aroused the sleeping void, and like a searchlight, it illuminated an ancient battle scene. Armed with the wisdom of the eternal will, God crushed the head of the watery dragon Chaos and pierced the spirit of the raging flood.

From out of the storm, a bright, blue curtain appeared and shrouded the earth-in-flux like a dome, its four corners meeting to create the axes of a cross. This airy sphere separated the waters of the chaotic underworld from the secret courts of the heavens above.

Lands formed where God etched boundaries into the waterways, and a lush garden sprung in vibrant color from the banks of a crystalline river. Thick vegetation blanketed the dry land in every direction, and two large trees flanked the tributary. They tangled into an arch at their crown, forming a bridge over the flowing water. These were the Life Tree and the Knowledge Tree, and they dwarfed all other plants.

“Good,” God said as He hurled the sun, moon, and an array of luminaries across the sky. “This is all good.”

He created sea creatures, land creatures, sky creatures, engineering each to multiply by instinct across the land and sea. Insects hummed, mammals groaned, and an assembly of new life vibrated a symphony of praise into the far and outer reaches of space.

Then God made a strange creature like Himself and placed him in the middle of the garden beneath the crosshatched shadows of the high trees. Like the animals before him, Adam rose mightily from the mist-moistened clay. But unlike other creatures he was given a spirit, animated by the very breath of God.

“This is very good.”

God gave His supreme achievement dominion over the hierarchical realms of the new world. Adam named every species, cataloged the stars, tilled the land, and established order. He had full run of the place, but something was amiss.

Considering Adam’s milieu, God caused him to fall into a deep sleep, seized a portion of clay from his body, and fashioned with it another creature like Himself.

Upon waking, the son of God looked upon his equal with immense pleasure.

“Now that’s what I call a woman.” As their bodies intersected, Adam’s loneliness was satiated. The first king and queen ruled their kingdoms together without self-awareness, without shame.

God took inventory of everything He had made, and seeing it was perfect, He rested.

Inspiration: Genesis 1-2, Psalm 74:12-17, Isaiah 51:9-10