"...with God all things are possible.”
-Jesus Matthew 19:26
I once heard a sermon titled "Things God Can't Do." God can't go against his nature so he can't lie, or hate, or be unjust. In the past, theologians have debated if God could create a rock he can't lift. The bible tells us that all things are possible with God, so the answer would be there is nothing God can't do. The question was the center of a recent discussion I had with my Favourite Atheist (FA) that looked at the subject in a different light.
We were discussion the nature of God and what FA calls the "four omnis -omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience, and omnibenevolent." In the middle of our chat he asked me what my thoughts were on Judges 1:19:
The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.The questions:
From this verse FA had a few questions:
- Is God one of the fairy-folk? If you miss his joke, the Fae can't touch iron it weakens and the chariots were made of iron.
- If God is all powerful and he was on the side of the men of Judah why were He/they stopped by iron chariots?
- If iron chariots can stop God, can we trust any Scripture, since this event contradicts other verses that say God is all-powerful?
- No, God is not one of the Fae. I might have thrown a pillow at my friend at that moment. Additional thoughts: God is not on of the Fae, especially not a leprechaun so please don't make a connection to Noah, the rainbow promise, and pots of gold. :p
- I have no idea why the people of the plains were not defeated but I do not believe that it means God has not power.
- Again I don't know, but I don't think this verse is a contradiction. I don't think the "because" means we should worry about iron chariots. 40 years earlier God defeats a whole army of chariots in the Red Sea. My thought was we need to look at the Hebrew (which I haven't done yet).
That was the end of the discussion, but I'm still mauling over the verse in my head. My answers that day were true, I don't know what to do with this verse or how to answer my friend. These are the possible solutions:
- FA is right, my whole Christian faith is based on man made lies and this is one of the flaws/proofs of the that. This is not my conclusion but I at least have to state that it is an option.
- God is all powerful. He can defeat iron chariots and the verses have been mistranslated or misunderstood. With scholarly research we will be able to correct the apparent contradiction.
- God is all powerful. God can defeat iron chariots and chose not to in this situation and the reason is not disclosed to us.
- How would you respond to this verse and FAs questions?
- Do you agree or disagree?
- How do you support your view?
- Do you have any insight to add?
- Am I missing a possible conclusion?
- This is an interesting verse that does raise valid questions. If all Scripture is God-breathed we can't ignore this verse so what do we do with it?