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God and man

The Book of Job describes a frightening confrontation between God and man — the deliberate “testing” of Job by God for the purposes of revealing Divine Wisdom; however, the revelation of the Divine is steeped not in overt love or friendship or even communion between Job and God, but by the existence of pain adn frustration — the persecution of Job through the devices of Satan which were allowed to occur by God as a demonstration of the bond between mankind and its Divine Creator.

The story of the Book of Job starts out with “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” (Job) — and this beginning serves primarily to promote the ensuing tension — in fact, radical inversion of what might be expected in a story of God’s most devout worshiper.

By allowing Satan to disturb Job’s sense of faith — God is instructing both Job adn humanity in the mysteries of God’s moral cosmos which seem to present, not definite indications of “right and wrong” but definite displays of the omnipotence and unquestionable authority of God Himself (or itself) which trumps not only human ambition, but human morality in totality. The spirit who visits Job states clearly: “I heard a voice, saying, 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? ” (Job) and the implication of the spirit’s statement is that God alone can discern morality and goodness in the universe.

This idea is reinforced by God’s own voice which asks Job “Can thou draw out leviathan with a hook? ” (Job) a rhetorical question which serves to demonstrate the almost abject lowliness of human enterprise when contrasted with the knowledge and wisdom of God. By contrast, the Bhagavad-gita shows an entirely different relationship between Divine and moral parties with Krishna existing as a willing teacher of Arjuna; the mentor of his spiritual journey and quest for enlightenment. Krishna first comforts Ajuna by instructing him on the externality of the human soul and helping to stave off Ajuna’s own fear of personal mortality.

In this sense, the Divine stands as a protector of mortals rather than a judge of “Higher Power” per se, as described in the Book of Job. The idea that the Divine might exist as a favorable influence — a bringer of wisdom and gifts — to the individual is based, in the Bhagavad-gita, not by a consideration of personal morality as such, by by a consideration of the organic evolution of the human soul where “sin” or immorality are viewed not as slights against the Divine but as steps through which an individual passes on the road to eventual union with the Divine.

So when the wisdom that “”Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position,” (Bhagavad-gita) is not based in the idea of punishment but in the idea of organically rooted function and processes of the human soul: one is one’s own worst enemy when it comes to ignorance of enlightenment.

While God in the Book of Job chastises his mortal creation with his own Divine power, the Divine power described in the Bhagavad-gita is offered as an act of cosmic truth, regardless of man’s present mortal designation; for Job the eternal mysteries remain in God’s province, for Ajura, the mysteries will someday belong to him: “I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous.

This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know,” (Bhagavad-gita) adn it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find more diametrically opposed visions of the Divine influence than are apparent in these two examples of Holy scripture.

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