Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pandora's Box and Deuteronomy

Pandora was Zeus' daughter. Hephaestus, who was the husband of Aphrodite, made her out of clay because Zeus wanted him to make a woman. She was the first woman made out of clay, according to Greek mythology. Pandora was sent to earth to marry Epimetheus because he was sad and lonely.  
Epimetheus was the brother of Prometheus, who angered Zeus by giving people fire without permission. So Epimetheus got a wife. He must have thought that was a pretty good deal. His wife, however, was a curious girl. She was given a box and was told not to open it. It had a huge lock on it. It must have been a very ornate box. I bet that Pandora thought that the box was full of delicious chocolates! Or maybe not. Did ancient Greeks even have chocolate? I don't know. I think that chocolate came from the western hemisphere. 
Anyway, Pandora let her curiosity get the better of her. She stole the key in the middle of the night and opened the box. Out flew unpleasant stuff. Disease, hate, envy, and all of the evils that afflict the world today. Ugly, ugly stuff came flying out of the world, and that stuff flew away. Pandora was sad because she knew that her violating the rules about the box was going to cause so much pain and heartache. But there was no way for Pandora to catch all of that ugly stuff and stuff it back into the box. 
As Pandora was crying, she hear a tiny voice from the bottom of the box. The tiny voice belonged to Hope. It reminded her that, despite her mistake in opening up the box and unleashing all of the evils of the world, all was not lost as long as Hope remained. It is Hope that tells us that our world can be a better place and that it is within us to make it so. It is Hope that tells us that we don't have to be cruel or violent or warlike.
And, speaking of all of the ills of the world, the Bible talks about them in great detail. In Deuteronomy, the ills of the world are mentioned. They are curses that are inflicted upon a disobedient people. When the people are disobedient to God's commandments by worshiping false idols and committing other violations, they are cursed in many ways. These curses include poverty, hunger, consumption, fever, murder, mildew, sores, dust bowls, poor harvests, infertility, nakedness, cannibalism, plagues.
But hope still remains. It is the hope that people can behave as they were supposed to behave. By following God's commandments and by obeying the word of God, many blessings will come. 
Unfortunately, as I have read in the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), there are so many commandments and so many rules and regulations. It is hard to keep them all straight, much less follow them to the letter. 
So I wonder. Were people set up for failure with these massive numbers of rules, regulations, and commandments?  Through these books, it was apparent that no one was able to follow all of the rules well. Moses tried hard but he had issues with his temper that caused him to disobey God's command. As a result, he was not permitted to enter the Promised Land. In fact, at the end of Deuteronomy, Moses passed away. He went to the top of the mountain, and he saw the promised land. He was still in good health and his eyesight was clear... but he died. He was 120 years old. At the end of Deuteronomy that there was never again a prophet like Moses.
But really, all of this started with Adam and Eve. They were too curious for their own good, like Pandora. They were told not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were tricked and they ate the fruit. It was too tempting. An ornate box with a huge lock and mystery contents would be too tempting, too.
But there is always hope for our sad and broken world. 
More later...

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