God is Good

S M Chen
6 min readMar 19

I lived in an Islamic country two years in the late 1960s.

I have a prayer carpet in the front hallway of my house which contains deliberate flaws in its geometric pattern.

Some take awhile to detect. One might want to sit awhile.

Or, as some of the denizens of some Middle Eastern countries might be inclined to do, hunker.

There is a Muslim saying: “Only Allah is perfect.”

The carpet, whose red hues come from pomegranates, bears witness.

There are several examples in Holy Writ wherein the Almighty acted in ways that might run counter to what most humans might think appropriate.

Rather than demonstrate His imperfection, however, it reveals ours.

This compendium is not meant to be exclusive. Readers may have their own examples.

The children of Israel and their vast throng (600,000 men were recorded to have participated in the Exodus) had been enslaved by Egypt for 430 years.

A long time for wrongs to have been perpetrated, for cruelty to be manifest, for masters to mistreat slaves.

Indeed, Moses himself, author of the Pentateuch, fled Egypt when it was discovered he had killed an Egyptian taskmaster and hidden his body.

It was not from the Egyptians Moses heard about it. It was from ostensibly sympathetic Hebrew slaves. And, fearing for his life, Moses left the country.

The way it is recorded, the Egyptians were clearly in the wrong. It seems no moral ambiguity here. The Egyptians enslaved the Hebrews in a manner people, often but not invariably indigenous, have been enslaved and mistreated by others for a long time.

The lack of moral ambiguity of reminiscent of the invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, 2022.

In addition to being cruel, the Egyptians were hard headed.

It was not until the last plague, that of the firstborn being slain by the Angel of Death, that the Egyptians implored the Hebrews to leave. “For we be all dead men” was the reason.

So the Hebrews departed.

Some probably thought they were free of Egyptians at long last.

But it wasn’t long before recriminations started. What have we done? Thought the Egyptians. Did we not know when we had a good thing? Have we not just…