"Tempting" as in "provoking." Kind of like when my mom, raised in the south in the '50s, pointed it me and said "Don't test me, child." (Heh, if i were to have foolishly popped off a smarmy "Test all things, holding fast to what is good" she would have backhanded me.)
So yhwh was a southerner? No wonder I don't like him. And technically, I suppose it is true. yhwh was the god of judah. In the north, Israel, they worshiped elohim. So that would make yhwh a southerner, relatively speaking.
I still think you're wrong.
The Israelites weren't asking nicely for water. It's a question of attitude.
? seriously? They are in a desert with no water and yhwh doesn't like their attitude? You make yhwh sound like a dick. "What are the hebrews crying about now? What? They want water
? Jesus christ, what next, more manna from heaven? The gall of those little bastards!"
In fairness, though, the OT kind of does too. For example, yhwh, being omniscient, would presumably understand the logistics required in moving an entire nation through a desert. He would know they would need food and water. And yet, he never provides it until they beg for it. I'd think an omnimax deity would be the ultimate in being proactive.
The command delivered in Deuteronomy 6:16 (with the key being Massah, as you rightfully point out) is one not to arrogantly assume that God will provide a miraculous intervention in a dangerous circumstance.
Why is it arrogant to think that? They had a deal. They were to perform specific sacrifices, follow ridiculous and arbitrary rules, not worship other gods and cut the ends off their penises (peni?). In return, yhwh was supposed to give them protection and make them awesome sauce in the region. So, I don't really think that expecting the deity to keep up his end of the bargain is arrogant.
I'm surprised they stuck with him for as long as they did, to be honest. If you look at all the times they were conquored or nearly exterminated, you would recognize yhwh has a terrible
track record. Egyptians kicked their butts. Assyrians kicked their butts. Babylonians totally kicked their butts and trashed yhwh's house. Romans kicked their butts, trashed yhwh's house and kicked them off their land. It only goes downhill from there, historically. You can see why the jews never bought into the idea of a devil. With a god like that, who needs one?
... so the question of whether God was with them or not had, in fact, already been answered,
I think they knew he had
been with them (past tense). The question was, was he still?
They are angrily demanding a new miraculous intervention,
And what would be wrong with being angry? They pointed out it would have been better to stay in Egypt and have food than freed and starving. I don't disagree. Moses and yhwh put them in this whole situation. Well, maybe not Mo. They had a drought - yhwh's doing - which lead to no crops - yhwh's doing - which lead them to move to Egypt - as if yhwh didn't know they'd do that - where they got food in exchange for bondage - as if yhwh didn't know that would happen.
Then yhwh sics 10 plagues on the Egyptians - and by the way, he changes the pharaoh's mind every time the pharaoh agrees to let them leave just to prove what a badass he is - and more or less strands the hebrews in the desert without food and water. For what? To show what an awesome god he is.
I dunno about you, but that strikes me as unnecessary, vain and ridiculous, particularly if we are talking about an omnimax and perfect deity. If we're talking about an old school pagan god, well, then, I'd say it's a perfect fit.
bitterly asking if God is with them
I don't blame them. And frankly, I don't see how your position is defensible in the least.
No, it's not about faithfulness or worshiping other gods, I already copped to my mistake and attempted to explain it.
yep, you did already explain that. My mistake for bringing it up.
There are plenty of magicians still around. Penn & Teller, Copperfield, Blaine, etc.
Is that a dodge or are you saying Mo's duel with the wizards was just stage magic? Smoke and mirrors? Non-miracles?
I didn't know Emperor Vespasien (if that's to whom you are referring) did miracles, and if he did, I'm not buying. I gave the reason in a post above.
Wha...? You've never heard of Vespasian's miracles? Were you raised in a cave? Home schooled? He healed the blind! Restored use of limbs to the lame! jesus christ, man, he was a miracle worker! Of course, I don't believe that. But you
have no reason not to.
You dismissing him out of hand is, frankly, preposterous. Me doing that is completely natural. I assume every miraculous claim is bullshit. So for me, there is no incongruity. You, however, have a huge problem. Huge.
For starters, you think miracles actually happened at one point. Of course, that point was at a time when lots of different tribes all over the world claimed all different kinds of miracles. And it was distant enough in the past that none of them can be analyzed in detail. Yet you have singled out the miracles of one specific tribe, backwards even in their day, as being acceptable, while disregarding all others. How do you justify that?
Secondly, for all you know, or can know, Vespasian too was carrying a message from god. Your facacta
rationale rather arbitrarily limits what you consider. The hebrews allegedly had several prophets, and only a couple were consecutive. The rest were separated by many years. And sometimes they changed things. Why is it unthinkable to imagine that maybe there have been others since jesus H? Maybe yhwh needs to send a prophet to straighten shit out every now and then? That was always the function of prophets.
This all strikes me as excuseology for the fact that you know miracles do not
happen. You anticipate the universe behaving in pretty much the same way we do, which is to say, as if there is no god. The idea that there is a cut off period for miracles only exists so that people can believe an Iron Age book of fables is literally true. But why does that have to be so? Why is that important? We both know that if we set up two piles of wood and watered them down and you prayed for god to set it on fire, it would never happen. And if I used kerosine and elemental sodium, it would.
Why then, can you not as a man of reason, say "1Kings account off Elijah was just a story they cooked up"?
That's all that meant. I was being a little unnecessarily literal.
Okay. Let's not get hung up on that. My whole point was, biblically speaking, it was perfectly fine to ask or demand yhwh to jump through some hoops and put on performances. So if there is a god and it does take action in this world, we should be able to detect it. It seems to me you are saying, god takes no action in the world and has not for about 2000 years. Is that correct?
If so, the only reason to believe in god are the say so of primitive barbarians who lived in the Iron Age, which seems dicey to me. And why pick that particular Iron Age god? Why not Marduk? Afterall, Marduk led his people to kick yhwh's people's asses.