Scheduled Download

Scrooge

On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai. (Haggai 2:1)

Why God chooses one day over the next is often beyond me. For example, why did God invent birds on the fifth day and land animals on the next? Why not the other way around? And what difference would it have made to start the Flood a couple of days later? Why forty years in the wilderness. Would it have been such a big deal to shorten it to thirty-five and save some shoe leather? And why not have Christmas in the summer? If Jesus had to be born in a barn for dramatic effect, at least he wouldn’t have had to freeze his little buns off. Or who would really care if Armageddon started on the 13th rather than the 9th? And while were at it, why a seven-day week in the first place? Couldn’t God have made everything in, say, five days so the weekend would come sooner? Go figure.

I suppose there are a few exceptions. It’d be awkward to have Good Friday on a Tuesday, for instance. Of if Jesus had stayed dead for only half a day it wouldn’t be quite as impressive. Still, overall, the times God chooses to do his stuff seems a bit arbitrary to me.

Anyway, for whatever reason, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month (which translates to October 17, 520 BC for you who care) God downloads a few flops of data into the sublunar system. Haggai is what you might call the human pipeline for the transaction. This is kind of strange if you think about it. You’d think God would avoid using the narrow bandwidth and notoriously unreliable human connection. Considering the sensitive nature of the information and the extreme limitations of funneling such a huge data-pack into a lowly human being (even as a zip file), you’d think God would opt for a more direct approach. There must be an incredible loss of fidelity by the time the divine input becomes human output. But Haggai’s the guy (another arbitrary appointment) and does his thing.

It’s interesting to note that the word of the Lord came through Haggai, not to him. Our man is just the delivery guy, a Hebrew GodEx driver whose job is to dump cargo at the right places until the truck is empty. Whether or not Haggai is hip to the jive is a moot point. God has a word to send and Haggai is supposed to deliver it. You don’t even want to know what happens to delivery guys who screw up. (Anybody smell fish?) Haggai’s got no real choice in the matter. At a time of his inexplicable choosing, the Divinity loads the buckshot, takes aim, and pulls the trigger. The best thing for Haggai is to comply.

The whole affair is wacko from the get-go. An infinitely powerful being picks human spawn to speak to human spawn? Sounds like trouble to me.

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