This assignment is designed to allow you to practice formal essay writing skills. The essay grade is based mainly on the essay’s compliance with basic requirements: clarity of your argument, structure, use of evidence, and other factors stated in the ESSAY STRUCTURE handout.
Overall, you essay is good. The only issue is the use of evidence, which can be used more skillfully. See my marginal comments below. To view them, you must see this file using Microsoft Office. It is important that you review these comments. If you need me to explain my comments in more details, we can arrange a virtual meeting through Blackboard.
BE FAITHFUL OR GET PUNISHED
Israelites disobedience by making the calf and got punished by God andbrings up the question whether God is merciful or not.The Book of Exodus overall says,Moses savedIsraelites from Pharaoh by the help of God and led them to God. After God announced the ten Commandments and other rules, Moses went with God for long time. They thought Moses and God gone forever,and Hebrew people started worship different God. God got angry and punished them by sending Plague because God command them not to worship other except him. A sketchy perspective from readers concludes that God’s mercy and forgiving character are not evident because he sent a plague on the Israelites. If God were merciful, God would have forgiven them and not punish them. He would not have let the people suffer because of the plague he sent. Such an argument disregards that God did not destroy the Israelites when they made the calf and worshipped it. Therefore, it is also valid to say that God is indeed merciful and forgiving.
On the surface, God is not merciful because he unleashed his wrath by sending a plague. The book records that he sent a plague on the Israelites because they worshipped the golden calf (Ex. 32: 35). If God is merciful, he would not have let his anger on the Israelites. Instead, out of love and pity, a merciful God would have pardoned the people he had saved from the brutal Egyptians. It can further be argued that God should have considered the fact that Israelites had waited for Moses for a long time and did not know what had happened to him on the mountain. God acted out his anger, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book “(Ex. 32:32,33). Here, we see that God decides that anyone who worshipped the calf will be destroyed, and indeed in the later verses, God sent a plague.
The attribute of God being merciful is canceled and replaced with him labeled an angry and punishing God. God tells Moses that he will let his anger burn against the people (Ex. 32: 10). How can a compassionate God allow his fury to destroy his people? From this, readers conclude that God does not pity anyone who goes against him. He immediately punishes such a person with severe punishment. It is also deduced that God is irrational and impulsive. He acts on his emotions without putting into consideration anyone or anything. A picture of a God who is difficult to please and is ready to punish whoever goes against him is portrayed in the story.
On the other hand, God is merciful because he could have wiped out the Israelites entirely, but he did not. When Moses heard the Lord saying that he would let his anger burn against Israel, he asked God to forgive them. God was merciful because of Moses ‘pleading. Moses asked God to turn away from his wrath and have mercy on the Israelites (Ex.32:12). Suppose God was not merciful; he would have ignored Moses’ prayer of mercy. He would have done what he wanted without considering Moses or any other person who did not worship the calf.
, God is Compassionate and forgiving because God’s anger cooled down as the book mentions, “Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened “(Ex. 32: 14). On this account, God is portrayed as a kind and merciful God. Both Moses and God knew how grievous his punishment would have been for the Israelites, and out of sympathy, God spared them. Moses pleads for the people because he was aware that God’s punishment would wipe them completely (Ex.32: 12).
God‘s merciful attribute manifests not only because of Moses’ plea but also his promises to the people. We even see that as he tells Moses that he will destroy Israel, God adds that, out of Moses, he will make a great nation (Ex.32:10). This promise appears as a reminder that God is aware that he has promised the Israelites to make them a great nation. He, therefore, would have gone against his words and appear as a liar if he destroyed. Furthermore, in Moses’ plea, Moses reminds God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (Ex. 32:13). Destroying the Israelites because of anger would prove that he does not keep his promises, and the Egyptians would have mocked the God of Israelites. “Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out …” (Ex. 32:12)His mercy is an extension of his faithfulness to the Israelites. Hence, God is merciful because he cannot contradict himself.
In the end, above all points made it justifiable to say that God is merciful because, if people plead for his sympathy, he hears them and forgives them; and does not go against his promises to people. If he weren’t merciful, he would have killed the Israelites immediately. The Israelites indeed deserved a significant punishment because the sin they committed was great and unforgivable. They had forgotten about the God who brought them out of their slavery in Egypt and decided to make the golden calf and call it their God. However, we see that despite their hideous sin and disobedience, God still spared their lives and did not wipe them out of the face of the earth.
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