Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Middle Knowledge Passage

Middle knowledge is mostly an implication of the scriptural truths of God's providential governance of the world and man's choices, but there are some passages that do directly teach God knows what we would do in various circumstances. I came across a passage supporting middle knowledge this week:

In Deuteronomy 28, Moses first tells of all the blessings the people will receive if the follow God's commands 1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth...

Then he lays down all the curses they will receive if they don't obey "15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you...

One of the curses caught my eye. It's gross, but it also supports middle knowledge as it tells what people would do under a siege:

52 “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you. 53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. 54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, 57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.

One of the interesting things about the passage is that the action goes against the personality and character of the people doing it. This is the opposite of some of the more classic passages supporting middle knowledge such as Matthew 11:21:

21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

In Matthew, Christ is chiding the Jews for being obstinate. So while the passage in Matthew, what the Jews would do was 'in character", in Deuteronomy, what they would do is out of character.

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