The aim being to just hit a page "at random" (and if you are a believer, you know nothing is random with God), I ended up yesterday in Ezekiel 19 and 20. The verse that caught my eye was 20:25-
I also allowed them to follow laws that were no good and rules by which they could not live.
...and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. (VV30-36)
As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD: Go ye, serve every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but my holy name shall ye no more profane with your gifts, and with your idols. (v 39)
And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have polluted yourselves; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. (v43)
Which is fine if you're looking for history or disconcerting if you are a Jew, but what did it have to do with me? That afternoon, we watched an episode of ADAM-12 in which a little girl got raped and nearly killed, and Malloy almost beat the perp when he said, "She asked for it! She got what was coming to her!" The show being based on true stories, and the likes of which you see on the news all the time, I had a struggle with God over His "allowing" of such things (carefully trying to work my way through all the qualifiers). This struggle boiled down to, when you strip away all of the "God does all things for good to those who believe" and "unable, as a human being, to understand the full plan of God," how does such a thing happeneing, how does a monster who could make the rationalization that a six year old "asked for it", how is this allowed at any level? How can you convince people past their doubt when stuff like this happens?
My answer: "You are upset, and I understand. You are angry, and I do not blame you for it. And maybe you doubt- AND IT IS THAT DOUBT THAT SHARPENS YOUR FAITH." Faith is easy when you grasp all the whys and wherefores. To have that faith faced with things that cannot be understood, that is the next level.
And that brings me to what I read today. It was from Acts 17, Paul's famous sermon on the Areopagus in Athens, about the "Unknown God". For Pauls message to make sense to the Epicurians and philosophers listening, he has to fundamentaly change their concept of God:
"And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.'
Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man." (vv 26-29)
"I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly." (Gen. 17:1-2)