In many cases, threats of god’s judgment are just another form of exclusion…when it shows up in the Bible, its best to think of it as one group claiming god on their side. It really serves as a threat: “get in line, or else!” which means the bible is not infallible word of god, but reflects human interests.
However, when threats of judgment are taken in conjunction with the Old Testament commandments to welcome the stranger, to care for the widow and the orphan, the Old Testament can be read as a story of one people’s struggle to understand the call of justice. In fact, some of the most threatening judgment passages are those which warn Israel of the repercussions for excluding the stranger, the weak and vulnerable people in their midst.
Maybe the folks in Arizona should listen up….
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