A Theologian Looks at Ebola (Part 2 of 5)

01 Nov

One hundred and sixty-nine times the term “plague” is used in the BibleScreen Shot 2014-10-27 at 6.29.16 AM (109 in the OT, 60 in the NT).  There are the famous plagues in Exodus (blood, frogs, gnats, flies, plague on livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, plague on the Firstborn), found in chapters 7-11.

In fact, God sends the plagues one after another after Moses and Aaron had gone to Pharaoh and said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.” (Ex. 5:3).  Pharaoh’s stubbornness to release God’s people earns him a whole series of nasty plagues.

Apart from the plague of boils (Ex. 9), these afflictions did not directly involve disease.  Some were of the pest variety:  a super-abundance of frogs, gnats, flies, and locusts.  One caused water to turn to blood; another attacked livestock.  One (hail) involved the weather; another a darkness “that [could] be felt.”  The plague on the Firstborn was the coup de grace and revealed a God who could execute His command with great finality.

God has His means of getting His will accomplished.  He shows (at times) shockingly little concern for man’s health, comfort, or safety.  He uses the animal world to afflict the creation made in His image (man), controls the weather as a weapon of His will, and does not hesitate to execute swift judgment by taking the lives of Egypt’s Firstborn sons.

My, what a different God we appear to believe in today.


Posted by on November 1, 2014 in plagues


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3 responses to “A Theologian Looks at Ebola (Part 2 of 5)

  1. john

    November 1, 2014 at 9:48 am

    How different is this God you believe in today from the one you described in the Bible quotes?
    I think he appears to be just as cruel and vengeful as ever, which is quite understandable, because
    the Bible writers made Him this way.
    If you would instead believe in the way how Nature works, it would take away the notions of vengeance and cruelty.

  2. Dr. Larry Dixon

    November 3, 2014 at 5:54 am

    My comment was “My, what a different God we believe in today.” What I meant by that, John, was that many don’t think of God as capable of sending disease, affliction, trials to get our attention. Our God is too safe, anemic, wimpy — a far cry from the God of the Bible. I’m sorry you see Him as cruel and vindictive. I see Him as executing judgment only when forced by His holiness to do so, that judgment is His “strange” work (He would prefer to show mercy to repentant sinners). When we see our sin as slight and minor, we miss His holiness and thus think we have no need of His mercy. I pray you will abandon your pride and take another look at the Cross. Blessings. Larry

    • john

      November 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      It is not often that we agree with each other. But this time it appears we agree that your God of today is no different from the God in the Bible. That todays Christians view him different is due to personal preferences that are influenced by upbringing and environment.It is nobel of you to see Him in the light of shining holiness as just and loving. Your sermon on Job is evidence of this. How can you not see the unjust treatment of this servant of God ??

      Here is a summary of what happened to Job:
      The destruction of all his belongings:
      7 thousand sheep
      3 thousand camels
      5 hundred yoke of oxen
      5 hundred she asses
      All of these either killed or taken away.
      The numerous servants who attended these animals were all killed.
      7 sons and 3 daughters were killed
      Then as this was not enough Job’s health was ruined.

      Of course, all of these was done by the Devil and not by God; God has only given the Devil free hand and He watched the destruction with joy to see that His servant kept his faith in Him. Does this strike you as the action of a just and loving God?
      For what reason you might ask. Solely to prove to the Devil that Job is a good servant.

      In the the long history of mankind many religions were invented by man, but none was so full of acts of violence than the religion of the Israelites, the Christians and the Moslems.

      So, please don’t speak of my pride, as if it would be in the way to become a believer. It is the amount of killings, the horror, the treatment of animals, the animal offerings, the injustices, and all the other horrible events contained in the Bible, that made me an unbeliever as soon as my mind reached a minimum of maturity.


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