This post isn’t about messages supposedly hidden in the Bible in “Bible code” fashion. But there is something in Scripture that is not strictly speaking hidden, and yet many of us fail to see it, at least initially.
What I’m referring to is this: In the Hebrew Bible, there seems to be very little concern that people say “the right things” about or to God.
Whereas so much religiosity in recent decades and even for centuries has focused on making sure the “right things” are said about God, getting down to the nitty gritty ontological and metaphysical details, in the Jewish Bible/Christian Old Testament, not only are questions of God’s “nature” not addressed directly, but many things are said about God that would not only be considered inadequate but downright inappropriate by many believers today.
I am not trying to suggest that what I am discussing here represents “what the Bible says” on this matter. But it does seem to be one thing the Bible includes in relation to this topic. And this aspect of the Biblical literature seems to be as hidden from view to many modern religious believers as God himself seemed to some of ancient Israel’s psalmists.
I think this is an important question, since it is often assumed today that someone who says “I don’t know what I think about God” is moving away from faith. And someone today who asks “What, is God sleeping?” would be assumed to be an impious atheist, not a candidate to author Scripture! The Hebrew Bible seems like it can be a helpful resource for those who are losing their faith in a particular idea of God, and are losing their misplaced certainty, but are not for that reason necessarily repudiating the Bible and the religious tradition connected with it. Indeed, they may be getting into more profound depths of this tradition than the fundamentalists who will make them feel like guilty backsliders for doing so.