Is God a cruel despot? Why does He demand absolute obedience from man?

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Is God a cruel despot? Why does He demand absolute obedience from man?

Post by empy on 2008-06-20, 10:50

size=12]Why is there such an emphasis on obedience in the Bible? Are we to think that God is a cruel despot and He does not want any one to think or do any thing against Him as some people are prone to think? No, never. God is not a cruel despot at all. He is a God of love. Yes, indeed, God is love (1Jn.4:8,16). [/size]

Why does the loving God expect every one of His creatures to obey Him always? The answer is very simple. Since He is our creator, He knows what is best for us. Psa.103 v.14 puts it so beautifully when it says, “He knows our frame”. He knows what is best for us. He also knows what is going to hurt us. And graciously He has revealed His laws to His people. The Bible is like an operator’s manual. “He shows His Word to Jacob, His Precepts and His judgments to Israel”(Psa 147:19). He has not done so with any nation; and they have not known His judgments. Praise Jehovah!” (Psa 147:20). And that is why Ezekiel would ask, “Oh, House of Israel, why should you die?” Eze.18:31b).

In His sovereign will, God has given man the ability to choose to obey Him or not to obey Him. But when man chooses to disobey Him, God knows it is going to hurt man. And God is helpless as man is using the freedom to his own ruin. When man gets hurt, that is hurting God Himself (Is.63:9). That is why God says, “I have no delight in the death of the wicked” (Eze.18:23). God permits it with tears. God hates disobedience and sin as it is going to hurt the sinner. In turn it is going to hurt God Himself. So let us remember that when ever we break a known command of God, we are hurting ourselves and in turn hurting the loving heart of God. Hence the talk about crucifying the Son of God afresh in Heb.6:6.
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Re: Is God a cruel despot? Why does He demand absolute obedience from man?

Post by Isaac on 2008-06-26, 01:21

Despotism, according to Wikipedia, is "a form of government where power is concentrated in the hands of an individual or a small group".

People may think that God is cruel in the sense that He had given us only two choices, to obey or die. Someone had said, "Those who submit are blessed, those who disobey are marked for death – this is the only ‘free will’ choice your god gives us: “obey or die”. He added, "What kind of morality is this from an allegedly all loving super-being? Tell me why such as deity should be respected, let alone worshiped."

However, I don't think God is a cruel despot. Maybe if I will be using the Bible to prove Him, nonbelievers won't heed us, so let me give a practical example. Situation: You are walking along the street, wherein you are approaching a landmark "caution, deep excavation". The policeman shouts at you, "Stop at once!" He is actually giving you only two choices, either to listen to him or simply go ahead. Is the policeman cruel for giving a suggestion whom he think will be for your own good?

In fact, He does not demand us "absolute" obedience. What He demands for us is an obedience based on our human capabilities.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
He is not instructing us to obey all His commandments but only those that are capable for men to do. He won't give us instructions that we cannot do, exemplified by what the six-winged beasts are doing, to sing day and night without rest (Revelation 4:8).

Neither He demand us to obey Him. In fact, He don't need us, and we cannot do anything for Him. Should we obey, He did not profit anything; should we disobey, He did not lose anything. No amount of obedience nor disobedience can change Him.
James 1:17 KJV, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
If we do study the scriptures deeper, to obey God is to love ourselves, as how Bro. Eli explained. God WON'T need our obedience anyway. Why then we need to obey? It's because we NEED Him, though He doesn't need us. Should we suffer the consequences of not obeying Him, it is our own fault.

In short, we are cruel to OURSELVES if we won't obey Him.
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