Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 5 (Part Ten)

Is God Partial?
            How could the scriptures say of God: “Jehovah is good to all,” or: “Jehovah your God . . . treats none with partiality and does not accept a bribe?” (Psalm 145:9; Deuteronomy 10:17 NWT) What caused Peter to say: “God is not partial, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him?” (Acts 10:34,35 NWT) For, Jah is clearly biased, accepting Abel over Cain and Jacob over Esau! (Genesis 4:4; Romans 9:13) His angel says to Mary: “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30 WEB) And he says to his people at Leviticus 26:9 (NWT): “I will direct my favor to you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will keep my covenant with you.” Even Christ said: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Samaritan city; but instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5,6 NWT) How can these be harmonized?
            Firstly, the skeptic has to read into the account of Cain and Abel that which is not there, favoritism. It is true that little is said about Cain, yet we see that his works were wicked, and why? Because he hated his brother, seeking God only outwardly, but internally consumed in envy. (1 John 3:12) Esau, too, was not a spiritual man, but ‘one who did not appreciate sacred things.’ – Hebrews 12:16 NWT
            What of Mary? She was righteous, so God’s favor was not groundless. What of God’s people? Plainly, he did not treat them with favoritism, for he did not spare them discipline. Further, God “did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving [all the nations] rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying [them] with food and filling your hearts with gladness.” (Acts 14:16,16 NWT) And, during this Jewish period, anyone could join God’s people and become part of Jehovah’s nation.
            And, while it is true that Jesus focused his ministry to the Jews – though he did come into contact with non-Jews and taught them from time to time – it was not at the total exclusion of the nations. For, it was Jesus who gave the Great Commission, saying: “[Y]ou will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth,” and: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations.” – Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18 NWT
            So, it can’t be argued that God is partial. The skeptic, though, in most na├»ve fashion, confuses favor with favoritism and hate with arbitrary disdain. He confuses the purpose for Jesus’ mission, that it was directed chiefly toward Jews, with a bias on God’s part, all the while, however, he ignores clear evidence that gives us the complete picture.

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