Why would a God of Infinite Love threaten to break someone’s bones?

God who brought him forth out of Egypt: He hath as it were the strengths of a unicorn; He shall consume the nations His enemies, and shall break their bones, and shall crush his darts (Numbers 24:8).

The biblical passage above is an example of why much of the post-modern world is cynical of religion in general and, more specifically, in the inerrancy and claim of authority of Scripture. Even a devout atheist correctly intuits that if there is a Creator and designer of the universe, such a Divine Being would manifest only goodness.

Since I have addressed the symbolic meaning of unicorns in another blog post, here I will address the statement that God breaks bones—since such a statement challenges the notion of a Deity of Infinite Love.

The reason why God comes across so unfavorably at times in the Bible is that the habitual, everyday mind of humans is childlike concerning spiritual matters. So the literal meaning of the words and stories in Scripture are meant to convey a childlike portrayal of God’s nature.

Children, who have yet to develop their reasoning powers, are often taught that “such-and-such” an action will bring either physical harm or corporeal punishment (like spanking). Most people read the Bible in this simplistic way. However, the human mind was designed to develop more abstract thought as its reasoning powers increased throughout life.

According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, men and women share the same spiritual mind as that of angels. But in terrestrial humans, this spiritual mind is dormant and needs its own special education to become functional. When the spiritual mind is awakened, humans can begin to read and extract higher orders of meaning within the stories of God’s Holy Word.

So instead of comprehending Scripture only historically and literally, men and women begin to interpret its stories spiritually. Another way to put it is that angels can look at the physical events described and depicted in the Bible and distil them into their psycho-spiritual equivalent (correspondence).

For instance, bones represent the foundational structure that supports the other vital organs, muscles and tissues of the human anatomy. But angels, who only view things from a spiritual mind and from spiritual cognition, understand the word “bones” as the fundamental principles we adopt in life to support our worldviews and belief systems. These worldviews represent the quality of our spiritual reality and our very life.

The purpose of true religion is to provide us with a guide for making the best choices in life. Therefore, if we choose improper values to support our inner qualities and life, then these bad choices are what is referred to in Scripture as God’s “breaking bones.” During spiritual growth we advance only by choosing more noble principles and values to live by. In each case, old principles are broken, crushed and cast away.

The future of religion will rely on people who sense the importance of, and struggle to awaken, their spiritual minds. Only in this way will they gain the proper tools to solve today’s various challenges—from God’s Infinite Wisdom!



About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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7 Responses to Why would a God of Infinite Love threaten to break someone’s bones?

  1. Joseph says:

    nice post brother. I’m consistently involved in discussions with those who are looking at spiritual things through the eyes of the flesh. Gotta love hearing, “If God is a loving God, why does He….”

    Prov 3:5-7..

    Keep on keepin’ on. Thanks for your obedience in sharing. You are blessed!


  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Joseph,

    Good luck to you as well!

    Spiritually yours,

    • Joseph says:

      lol, save the luck for the heathens brother! pray for me! haha

      I’m going to prayer right now, got ya on my heart beloved.. Enjoy this day the Lord has made and blessed us with. Let us rejoice in it! 🙂

  3. thegodguy says:

    Dear Joseph,

    Perhaps I should have wished you good “providence.” Don’t give up on the heathens – the Lord God doesn’t!

    Spiritually yours,

  4. Joseph says:

    amen brother.. In-love,


  5. Susan says:

    Hi, Ed,
    I’m reading Proving God and enjoying it. Did you notice how much your diagram (Calabi Yau space) on page 80 looks like a heart?

  6. thegodguy says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thanks for reading the book. The Calabi Yau space shown in my book is one of many depictions scientists use to show how space folds up into extra dimensions. Physicists are not sure which shape is correct. I have put forth the new notion that Swedenborg’s Doctrine of Forms provides the answer. In modern string theory a vibrating (classical) string or filament of energy moves along the surface of a Calabi Yau shape – to give us all the laws of physics. Swedenborg simplified this model by making the higher dimensional space the result of the kinetic trajectory of an event. So he removed the classical “string” from his solution (which is what physicists are currently wishing for).

    Thanks for your comment. I take it that you are in agreement that LOVE drives the universe!

    Spiritually yours,

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