- To love God who brings a deadly plague on mankind is difficult.
- Religions teach fear of God the beginning of wisdom.
- The Universal faith combines fear of God and love of God.
It is difficult to love the God who has already killed 205,930 people and infected with suffering 2,971,533 people with Covid-19. A vaccination has not yet been made and the future is dark. In 1918 the world suffered the Spanish Flu in which killed possibly as much as 100 million people which was the deadliest pandemic in human history. World War II and the holocaust left its total 6,000,000 Jews and forty million human beings. In the light of these tragedies it is difficult to love God.
However the Bible commands “And you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your might.” Love of God is the most difficult achievement in the light of these tragic events in world history. The Jewish people see the destruction of their holy temple in Jerusalem on the ninth of the month of Av as an event even more tragic than the Spanish flu. Jewish blood was spilled by the Roman from Jerusalem and the city of Betar flowing until the Mediterranean Sea. The day Tisha B’av is the saddest day in Jewish history and an annual fast day.
To believe in God and to fear God is much easier than to love God. Living in Corona Pandemic and looking at these tragic events in history those that believe in God are more likely to fear the wrath of God than to love God. No one even the prophet Moses knew God. God said to Moses, you cannot see my face for no man that looks at me shall live. God revealed himself to Moses saying, I will take away my hand and you will see my back.” In these tragic events God is revealing his back.
The face or countenance of God is his mercy. God the creator of the universe is unknown and revered by his faithful believers. His back is known but even to Moses his face was not revealed. God revealed himself on Mount Sinai to Moses and the Jewish people when he gave to them the Ten Commandments. God revealed himself to the world through Moses and the Jewish people. The Bible the five books of Moses begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God redeemed the Jewish people through miracles in the story of Exodus and brought the Jewish people into the land of Israel to establish the Biblical Nation of Israel and build the holy temple in Jerusalem.
God revealed himself to the world through nation of Israel and the holy temple in Jerusalem. The Biblical Nation of Israel was ruled by the Law of God given to Moses. The people feared the God and the law of the nation. There were strict punishments for sinners. The divine order was to learn and observe the laws of the nation or be punished. No one has ever seen God or come to witness the existence of afterlife.
The revelation of God on earth comes through prophets. The Old Testament relates the development of religion in the world from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, and Moses. Jesus, Mohammed were later prophets. The three major religions represent the revelation of God in the world, Judaism, Christianity, Islam. These three religions stand in the world to represent the creator of the universe the omnipotent God. Atheists deny that God created the world. Atheists cannot deny that there are religions representing God in the world. Atheists and agnostics only look at natural existence , science, physics, and deny the supernatural. They cannot deny the existence of the Bible. The Bible even for atheists and agnostics is worthy of study.
People in the world believe in God and many people today are atheists. Before Judaism people believed in Pagan Gods the stars, planets and nature. Mount Sinai changed the whole picture and brought monotheism into the world, one God the creator above the natural. The battle continued between those that believed in the One God and those that opposed this belief.
The Biblical nation of Israel was destroyed by the Romans who would not accept to be under the rule of the nation of Zion which represented God and his law. Rome later accepted monotheistic religion through Christianity. They fought crusades to spread the gospel of Jesus a gospel which was built on the Jewish bible. Mohammed fought for the belief in One God according to the Koran and Islam. Atheists were forced to believe by Christians and Islam or be put to death. The battle within religions was a different type of struggle. Judaism already had a religion. Christianity was a new faith. Islam was a new faith.
They all believed in One God in different ways. They accepted their belief in God with a whole heart even to believe in God when in the middle of tragedies like Corona virus. They differed in the way they were connected by faith in God the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran.
The atheist and agnostic look at religious wars in history to support their disbelief. The Byzantine Empire fought with the Ottoman Empire, Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Christian, Christian and Muslim against Jews. Many people who were once religious have become atheist and agnostics. Atheists and agnostics also sometimes become religious.
Orthodox religion teaches fear of God as the beginning of faith. Agnostics and atheists fear death and destruction and fight for life in the way of survival. They have their own secular minds and some may even become humanitarian and philanthropists. Belief in God is supported more through fear of God than through love of God. Religions emphasize more fear of God as the foundation of faith.
Love of God is difficult even for religious orthodox observers. Religion introduces at a young age the fear of God which is called the beginning of wisdom. To believe in God is to believe that everything in this world is his creation according to his divine plan. Even the Spanish flu and Corona are part of his divine will. Corona cannot teach to love God but can teach to fear the wrath of God. It is difficult to love God who is unknown and all powerful. Therefore religion leaves the issues of love on the side, and stresses fear and observance of his statutes. Religion teaches that the good people go to heaven after death; the evil go to hell. The evil will perish in the end of time.
To love God is almost impossible but it is the most important commandment in the Torah, “you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength.” Judaism and Islam do not push the issue of love of God and reserve it for those that have first reached the higher levels of fear of his majesty and punishments. The love of God in Judaism and Islam is attached to love of the law of God and the nation of God.
The expression of true love is when one is willing to sacrifice his life for his faith and his nation. Christianity attaches the love of God to the love of the righteous saint Jesus the Messiah. These are two different ways of approaching the goal to reach love of God. God that is unknown, omnipotent, with the power of destruction can only be feared. Only God who is revealed in his law and his nation, or revealed as his holy anointed Messiah can be loved.
The atheist and agnostic cannot accept that Israel was the Biblical nation of God; the law of the biblical nation was given by God. They cannot accept that from Israel was born the Messiah an eternal soul who sacrificed his life for the cause of freedom and resurrected three days later. Accepting the nation of God governed by his law came first. The nation of God was a theocracy. The king and the men of the great Congress called the Sanhedrin were feared by the people, the children of Israel. The people feared the Law of the Nation given to them by Moses and the consequences of transgression.
Those that studied the Torah could also love God through love of their nation and the law which is Judaism. Without intensive study of the Torah love of God was difficult for the simple man in the light of sufferings of plagues and wars with other nations. Christianity made the goal of love of God simpler; to love the Messiah the holy saint in the image of God who represents the eternal mercy of God. Islam like Judaism connects to God through its law and nation, the fear of God and his law.
The way of Judaism and Islam allowed Jews and Moslems to accept the sufferings of life plagues and war maintaining fear of God without love of God, to fear the wrath of God. Christianity which stressed love over fear over many generations has lost its followers. Many Jews left their faith when their nation fell and there was no longer law enforcement of the statutes of God. Without love of God, they went away from Judaism. They were not afraid of divine punishments written in the Torah. Fear of God needs reinforcement. Love of God needs full devotion.
Corona will not succeed to make atheists into believers, but may succeed to make agnostics believers. Those that have held on to their faith in God accept Corona as a punishment for their sins. They believe in the afterlife.
Europe and America were once nations with strong religious values Protestant and Christian. Protestant and Christian teachings gave to the world a holy man to love in the image of God. The Christian and Protestant faith were not strong enough to hold up against life’s suffering of plagues like Spanish flu pandemic and now Corona.
Perhaps these people who have lost their faith in God, love of God and fear of God can recover these lost treasures. The Universal faith, belief in the resurrection of Moses and the prophets offers a renewal of lost faith. It makes it easier for these lost souls to return their faith with love of God as the primary goal. In the light of the Universal faith called Baha”i or Progressive Jewish Spirituality religion is still important.
Orthodox religious connecting to the fear of God maintain their faith in times that are difficult like today accepting their sufferings as a punishment for their sins. They have their own religion and are not seeking for another faith or the Universal faith. Love of God is the ultimate goal; but it can only be attained in its perfection through uniting it with religion and fear of God. There are three major religions in the world which are divided into many sects but the Universal faith is one faith which includes them all, mercy, love and peace Shalom, Salem, Om.
Corona called by Madonna the American Guru and entertainer “the great equalizer” is an incentive for people to seek to find an answer other than which can be given by medicine and science. Medicine and science are important in fighting the Corona pandemic but do not heal emotional wounds like is healed by religion and faith. Corona may make people atheists; but will also inspire people to look deeper than medical science and technology for answers to their life’s dilemma.
Corona the great equalizer has brought together Netanyahu and Gantz failing to make a government after two elections. It has brought together representatives of many faiths in Jerusalem for interfaith prayer to stop the plague. Each of the leaders of these faiths stood two meters apart. Each of their religions have their own unique doctrines and customs. For a few moments they met together despite their differences.