JOB REVISITED: THE ADVERSARY’S REVENGE

(Sometime in the late 1950’s… before the Throne of God…)

“So, where have you been?”

“Oh, you know, just hanging around on the Earth, going about here and there, just checking out the scene, Daddy-O…”

“Indeed. Have you ‘checked out’ my people Israel lately? Despite your best efforts to eradicate them, they’re doing quite well – many have found new homes across the oceans, and many are moving back into the land of Palestine.”

“Yes, I noticed that. And I bet you’re right proud of them, aren’t you?”

“I am, in truth. Their faith has survived the sorest of possible tests. The most brutal of crimes have been brought against them, and they have not wavered. Indeed, their faith is stronger now for having survived, and once more they rejoice to be walking in the lands of their forefathers. What, do you think to sway them away from me again? I tell you, it cannot be done.”

“Oh, I agree. Such is not my intention. No, quite the opposite… I mean to turn you away from them.”

“How can you say that? They are my people, and I am their God…”

“…And you have kicked their haughty asses before, when they deserved it. Behold them now – humble and thankful, working the land, delighting in its bounties, taking such good care of one another. The world watches, and generally approves of these scrappy little socialist sabras, hoeing away on their kibbutzim. They are underdogs, and you have indeed set their table in the midst of their enemies.”

“And they shall be victorious if anyone tries to conquer them again.”

“Oh, of course. I’m counting on that.”

“What?”

“Hey, I can see ahead too, you know. You shall grant them victories, oh yes, victories that will seem miraculous. They will see this, and they will feel the joy of triumph, the rush of victory, and I will make it a point to tell them how very much they deserve it. I will remind them repeatedly of their special status, and of the favor they enjoy in your sight… and as has happened before, they will let it all go straight to their heads.”

“But how should that make me…”

“You might have noticed, I did more than just try to wipe them out. That would have been too easy, just to kill them all outright. And what would have been the point? To release all their souls, back into your hands? No, I subjected them to the vilest tortures, the most humiliating treatments… and in the process, I made sure I taught them how to do it themselves.  And they do not know it yet, but they have internalized their oppression wonderfully well.

“Heed my words: not a hundred years will pass, no, not even three generations, before your precious people, your Israel, shall be treating another nation as they were themselves treated, and in some ways even worse. They shall become a pariah among nations before I am through with them. I will feed their pride, encourage their arrogance, and praise their cruelty. I shall set such provocations upon them, like horseflies tormenting a horse, and they shall respond with such inhumanity that it will bring great shame upon them – and hence upon you. In fact, I believe I can make them commit genocide themselves, create a Holocaust, a Shoah, all their own… and they will be convinced that it is you that wants them to do it. And it will be you that turns your face from them, not the other way around. And then they shall be mine for the picking.”

“No. They are better than that. They will not forget -”

Oh yeah? Try me.”

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