Tag Archives: self-defeating

The Story of Joseph and his Brothers
The Interpreter of Dreams

How God got Joseph into Egypt

Jacob made a fancy robe for his favorite son, Joseph. This made Joseph’s brothers jealous. Then Joseph started having dreams about his family bowing down to him. This made his brothers hate him. So Joseph’s brothers stole his robe and dipped it in goat blood, so their father would think Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. They sold Joseph to some merchants, who took him away to Egypt and sold him as a slave to Potiphar, the captain of the guard.

Inmate interprets increasingly insane imaginings

Potiphar’s wife kept trying to get Joseph to sleep with her, but he refused. Then she accused him of trying to rape her, so Potiphar put him in prison. Two other prisoners, who had been Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker, got Joseph to interpret their dreams for them. Pharaoh’s cupbearer had dreamed about bearing Pharaoh’s cup, which Joseph said meant he would become Pharaoh’s cupbearer again. And it was so. Pharaoh’s baker had dreamed about birds eating Pharaoh’s bread out of a basket on the baker’s head, which Joseph said meant the baker would be executed. And it was so.

Later, Pharaoh had a dream about seven skinny cows eating seven fat cows, and a dream about seven thin heads of grain eating seven full heads of grain. None of his magicians and wise men could tell him what his dreams meant, so his cupbearer suggested asking Joseph. Joseph said both dreams meant that there would be seven years of abundance, and then seven years of famine. Pharaoh was so impressed by this claim that he put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt, without even bothering to wait and see if Joseph’s prediction was accurate.

Do not worry about tomorrow

During the seven years of abundance, Joseph took away all the grain that was grown in Egypt and stored it up, so the people could starve sooner rather than later. Then during the seven years of famine, he sold grain to everyone who needed it in Egypt and Canaan. Joseph gave the Egyptians food (that he had stolen from them) in exchange for all their money, all their livestock, all their land, and their slave labor. He also made them give a fifth of the food they were able to grow to Pharaoh, so that they could have food.

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The Interpreter of Dreams
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Why did God leave some nations among Israel?

According to the Bible, when God brought the people of Israel into what would become the land of Israel, there were other nations already living there, so God had to get them out of the way. He thought those nations were terribly wicked, so he drove them out and destroyed them. Except he didn’t get rid of them completely. He let some nations survive and continue to live in the land among the Israelites. Why did he decide to do that? The Bible gives four reasons, but they can’t all be true…

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Should people give everything to the poor?

Yes.

Righteous people give without sparing. God rewards those who give to the poor by making sure the givers lack nothing. If you invite guests over for a meal, never invite your friends and relatives; only invite poor and disabled people.1 One of the requirements to gain eternal life is to sell everything you have and give the money to the poor. If you do that, you will be perfect, and God will reward you in heaven. Even if you’re poor yourself, you must work your way out of poverty, just so you’ll have something to give to the poor.

But if you refuse to listen to the pleas of the poor, your own pleas will be ignored and you will be plagued with curses. If you ever keep anything to yourself when poor people want it, the love of God is not in you, and you deserve to lose an arm.

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All about angels and demons

This is a summary of everything the Bible has to say about angels and demons.

What are angels?

Angels are spirits and flames.

How many are there?

There are at least a hundred million of them. There might even be one for every human.1

Does that number ever change?

Angels never die. That’s why God told a cherub he was mortal. Angels have existed longer than the earth. They don’t get married, which some might take to mean they don’t reproduce. And no, the Bible does not say humans can become angels when they die. It just says we will be like angels.

Where do they live?

Angels live in heaven with God. But they can travel back and forth between heaven and earth. They take the stairs.

What do they eat?

Sometimes angels refuse to eat humans’ food. And sometimes they don’t. Normally they eat manna, the bread of heaven.

What are their powers?

Angels are stronger than humans. That’s why it takes two of them to overcome one man.2 Angels can fly,3 and sometimes they give God a ride.4 They can also stand on water. They have their own language(s) that most humans can’t understand, which is kind of strange considering what their main job is.

What’s their job?

Angels deliver messages from God to humans. They also do other things for God, like imprisoning the devil, taking people to heaven or hell, protecting people, freeing people, disabling people, torturing people, killing people, and destroying the world.

Are they good or evil?

Angels have a good sense of morality, and like to see people repent. But that doesn’t necessarily mean angels behave morally. When angels sin, God sends them straight to hell. That’s why there are going to be evil angels running loose in heaven.

How intelligent are they?

Angels are very wise, and they know a lot. They don’t know everything though, so sometimes they might make mistakes. But God trusts them anyway. A guardian cherub apparently once ruled the city of Tyre as king, and he was very wise, but there have been humans who were wiser.

Are they superior to humans?

Humans are a little “lower” than angels, but Jesus is superior to the angels. But even Jesus was lower than the angels when he was a human. In the future, superhuman Jesus will take orders from angels, and the angels will be judged by humans.

Are they gods?

Not all of them, but at least one angel might be. The Bible doesn’t really make much of a distinction between God and this one angel called “the angel of the Lord“, so maybe they’re one and the same? It does call God an angel a couple of times. Usually angels don’t want to be worshiped, because they are mere servants of God, not gods. But angels don’t always object to people bowing down to them.

What do they look like?

The Bible usually describes angels as looking like men. Very awesome young men who glow brightly and wear shiny white clothes. Though sometimes they wear clouds and fire and rainbows and stuff instead. They can have up to six wings. Angels can pass for humans when they want to.

Do different kinds of angels look different?

Yes, cherubim look very different. They are fiery creatures with up to four faces (mostly the faces of animals) all around their heads so they never have to turn around. They have at least four wings with hands, gleaming calf-feet, and eyes all over their bodies. They also have big, sparkly, eye-covered, intersecting wheels next to them that move along with them.

What about demons? What are they?

Demons are evil spirits; the devil’s angels.

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The Story of Noah’s Ark
The One Where God Decides to Kill Everybody

More than 1500 years after the perfect God created his perfect world, he realized that creating humans had been a bad idea, because humans are evil. To correct his mistake, God decided to kill all the humans, and all the animals too, for some reason. But there was one righteous man in the world who God didn’t want to kill, and his name was Noah.

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The One Where God Decides to Kill Everybody
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