Donna Noble: What time does Vesuvius erupt? When’s it due?
10th Doctor: It’s 79 AD, twenty third of August, which makes volcano day tomorrow.
Donna Noble: Plenty of time. We could get everyone out easy.
10th Doctor: Yeah, except we’re not going to.
Donna Noble: But that’s what you do. You’re the Doctor. You save people.
10th Doctor: Not this time. Pompeii is a fixed point in history. What happens, happens. There is no stopping it.
Donna Noble: Says who?
10th Doctor: Says me.
Donna Noble: What, and you’re in charge?
10th Doctor: TARDIS, Time Lord, yeah.
Donna Noble: Donna, human, no. I don’t need your permission. I’ll tell them myself.
10th Doctor: You stand in the market place announcing the end of the world, they’ll just think you’re a mad old soothsayer. Now, come on. Tardis. We are getting out of here.
Doctor Who The Fires of Pompeii 2008
Yesterday I wrote about the question of the Bible as not a video of events for the sake of recording history but as the inspired word of God for the purpose of saving souls. I further explained how events that predates recorded history written by Moses from oral traditions under God’s inspiration are explained not in scientific detail but in a way that people from the bronze age could understand, writing specifically about the story of Noah & the flood.
Now while I think I handled the whole origin of the flood business there is one point that can still be fairly made. Even if the flood was a natural phenomenon of some sort which God warned Noah about why did he not warn anyone else or allow him to do so? Is God culpable for not warning or saving any of the others.
Let’s consider this point for a second.
If you read the entire passage from Genesis Chapter 6-7 you will see (again Bill Cosby and various movies not withstanding) Noah is not instructed to keep what he is doing or why he is doing it a secret. Nor does the Bible record anything how anyone reacts to Noah & his sons building an ark on dry land.
Consider this. We are talking four men doing all of these things from building the Ark to loading all the provisions for all the animals involved. This is something that takes time particularly when you have no mechanical devices to aid you. It’s completely inconceivable that other people in the area would have missed it and given human nature one must believe that somebody asked what was going on?
But either way the Bible doesn’t say a thing, no commentary, no people laughing at him or calling him crazy, no neighbors asking him to get the ark out of their driveway, not a sausage.
Now the exclusion of his information does not mean nothing happened any more than the lack of info on Christ from age 13 till 30 means nothing interesting happened to him during that time. It simply isn’t relevant to what is being recorded.
There are however things we can infer by studying scripture both this passage and others in the Old Testament I specify the Old Testament because after the coming of Christ complete forgiveness for any sin, no matter how egregious, becomes available because Christ is the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. At the time of the old Testament that is not yet available.
So lets consider a similar episode of doom concerning the city of Nineveh and the prophet Jonah:
The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’S bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
Now This is just one of many old Testament prophecies of doom including Noah, Sodom & Gomorrah, Jericho, Jerusalem and many others. What’s different about Nineveh is how the people react to the news God is going to destroy them:
when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.
This is very significant, Nineveh from top to bottom not only acknowledges their evil and turns away from it, but they as a nation beg God for forgiveness. And God (to Jonah’s annoyance) spares them.
Now consider another example, the dialogue between Abraham & God concerning Sodom & Gomorrah. God informs Abraham of his plan to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah Abraham presses God concerning killing the innocent with the guilty. God states if he finds 50 good people he’ll spare the whole city for their sake. Abraham however continues to press God dropping the number to 40, 30, 20 until finally:
But he still persisted: “Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?” “For the sake of those ten,” he replied, “I will not destroy it.”
(I often joke that 10 good people threshold to save a city is excellent news for San Francisco but I digress…)
What do these two passages tell us? Even in the days of the old Testament God is willing to forgive the condemned if they repent and even if a place is crawling with evil a mere 10 righteous people are enough to save them. That passage incidentally is particularly significant because it is from the same book of the Bible as the story of Noah & are recorded by the same writer (Moses).
So what do I infer from this? The following:
1. There were not ten people in the world who were righteous
2. Even if Noah or one of his sons & their wives told anyone of the coming judgement of God Not a single person either believed them or repented.
I find this interesting because it dovetails with a point that I made in August:
And that is the true pain of Hell. Not the suffering outside of time or even the perception of those who have escaped your fate, it’s the knowledge and self awareness that your permanent separation from God, and the eternal fate you are experiencing was your own free choice.
There are a lot of adjectives that can be used to describe that fate, “unfair” is not one of them.
I submit and suggest that given God’s nature if any of the people within range of the Ark repented before it was closed up, they would have been in on board.
Oh and if you are an unbeliever who object to me making that conclusion without physical evidence, may I point out you have absolutely no physical evidence or example of a fin turning into a paw or a hand yet you believe macro evolution without question.