Karma?

Karma is a concept in the eastern religions that suggests a person’s fate is based on their actions in this life.  It is also related to the concept that the things that happen in this life are a just repayment of things that have happened previously in a person’s present life or previous lives.  The Bible does not support the idea of multiple lives.  We have one life to live.  However, the Bible does agree that the universe is a place of judgement on a cosmic scale.  Not allowing for an impersonal force in the universe, the Bible sees ‘karmic’ justice as being a reflection of God’s character.  God has set up the universe so that if you live in accordance with its design things go well withyou, if you try to live against the God-given designs of nature things will go badly.  On a simple level we see this if a person chooses to sleep very little and dine constantly on fish-and-chips and cake.  Because this acts against design the body grows weak and ill.  In a more abstracted way, we also see this when people do not follow God’s design for politics, the environment, or a functioning household.

Saul did not follow the design of God for kingship.  His God-ordained ‘karma’ is an ignoble death.

1 Samuel 31

 1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.

 4Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.”

   But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. 6So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.

 7When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

 8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. 10They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

 11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

Questions

  1. What has happened to the deliverer God ordained?
  2. In your own words, explain why the Bible teaches us that Saul must die this way?
  3. What is a right attitude toward God because of this passage?
  4. How does the universe repay evil and good?
  5. Why are views, like ‘karma’, that attribute ethical and moral judgement to the universe at best incomplete?
Advertisements

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
This entry was posted in Daily Devotions. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Karma?

  1. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. The deliverer did not follow God, and therefore people do not like him and wanted to kill him. As a result of this, he killed himself.
    2. The Bible teaches us that Saul must die this way because it would have been bad for anyone to kill the anointed king of God.
    3. God is just, and there will be consequences for not following Him.
    4. The universe repays bad for evil and good for good.
    5. They are incomplete because they leave God out, who is the real judge.

  2. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He did not follow God and when he attacked the Philistines he was wounded and then killed himself.
    2. God does not tolerate disobedience. Saul disobeyed God and had to endure the punishment or that. He had to kill himself because it would have been a sin for anyone else to kill God’s anointed one.
    3. We need to view God as one who is just. He does not tolerate sin and does punish it.
    4. Evil is often repayed with evil and good is often repayed with good.
    5. They are incomplete because God is not a part of them. He is the one who repays and judges.

  3. Kendalle says:

    1. They did not follow God and then killed themelves.
    2.No one could kill God’s anointed one.
    3. God will always get his way.
    4. Evil will in the End will lose and Good will WIN
    5. They don’t have God at the Center of the ideal.

  4. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What has happened to the deliverer God ordained?
    – Saul led many of his people to death in battle field and finally killed himself as well.
    2.In your own words, explain why the Bible teaches us that Saul must die this way?
    – In the case that God’s anointed ones sin, the punishment is brought only by God just like Eli’s death.
    3.What is a right attitude toward God because of this passage?
    – Knowing that He is just.
    4.How does the universe repay evil and good?
    -The universe repays evil for evil, and good for good.
    5.Why are views, like ‘karma’, that attribute ethical and moral judgement to the universe at best incomplete?
    – the concept ‘karma’ brings the conclusion that one’s salvation is made only based upon our deeds, which is against the truth in the Bible.

  5. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. Saul committed suicide.
    2. Saul must die a suicidal death because he was God’s anointed. No one was to harm him.
    3. God is God and He can do whatever He pleases. He is also just. Because He is just, wickedness will never go unpunished.
    4. good will triumph over evil.
    5. Because such views exclude God and His dealings in the world.

  6. 1. Saul has killed himself.
    2. Saul had to die this way because it was like the death of Eli– in God’s control.
    3. Knowing that God is in control.
    4. Ummmm.?
    5. Because karma suggests that I control my own destiny, instead of saying that God is in control.

  7. Amy Kringle says:

    1. He disobeyed God and killed himslef.
    2. bc no one could kill God’s anointed; he HAD to bc he was the anointed one.
    3. God’s in control and his ruling is just.
    4. good (generally) comes from doing good and bad (generally) comes from doing evil. But sometimes the world skews what is good and evil.
    5. Because they take God out of the picture and determine good and evil froma human standpoint

  8. Cassie Clark says:

    1.He is injured in battle and kills himself.
    2.No one could take his life and not be held accountable for killing the Lord’s chosen.
    3.God brought about justice and consequences for Saul’s actions.
    4.Actions have consequences. Evil actions have bad consequences and vice versa (at least in the future).
    5.They say that there is nothing and no one orchestrating these consequences, whether good or bad. Man directs his own fate.

  9. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. The deliverer God ordained, being Saul, fell away from God’s favor and once he found himself in despair he killed himself on the battle field.
    2. Saul must die this way because “we reap what we sow” and therefore as Saul disobeyed God and turned from Him, he reaped a devestating end to his existence.
    3. The right attitude towards God in this passage is fear and reverence of how He is so Holy and Just, and therefore wrathful.
    4. The universe repays evil for evil, and often good for good most often.
    5. The reason the idea of karma is at best incomplete, is that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and the world doesn’t repay good for good, but good for evil, and as Christians we are even to repay evil for good.

  10. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. What has happened to the deliverer God ordained?
    He ends up committing suicide.
    2. In your own words, explain why the Bible teaches us that Saul must die this way?
    He was annointed by God so he was safe from others but he wasn’t safe from himself.
    3. What is a right attitude toward God because of this passage?
    God will pay you back for your good or evil.
    4. How does the universe repay evil and good?
    Generally speaking, bad habits lead to bad results, where good habits lead to a long life.
    5. Why are views, like ‘karma’, that attribute ethical and moral judgment to the universe at best incomplete?
    They are incomplete because they fail to show the grace that God bestows on us. Some people he blesses who do bad, and some people in his mercy he afflicts them in their life to show or teach them something. Karma does not show this.

  11. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) The Philistines were trying to kill him, but he ended up killing himself before they did.
    2) Saul had to die in this way because he did not follow the Lord’s commands.
    3) We need to recoginze that God is just and he will bring the judgement that he decrees on people.
    4) They repay evil for evil and good for good.
    5) Because, on our own, no one can be perfect, deserving of Heaven.

  12. Moon Jung Kim says:

    1.What has happened to the deliverer God ordained? the Philistines wounded him critically and finally he killed himself
    2.In your own words, explain why the Bible teaches us that Saul must die this way? Because Saul has turned from God after he has gained the authority from the Israelites. Also many times he pursued God’s person, David, to kill. All of these were Saul’s dishonoring and disobeying God. therefore he were supposed to have judgement from God.
    3.What is a right attitude toward God because of this passage? while living in a short life, we should obey God and follow His word.
    4.How does the universe repay evil and good?the universe repay evil for evil and good for good
    5.Why are views, like ‘karma’, that attribute ethical and moral judgement to the universe at best incomplete? in the universe no one is perfect because of sin

  13. aaron wright says:

    1 he killed himself before the philistines got to him
    2 would have been sinful for anyone else to kill him
    3 God is just and there will be consequences

  14. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What has happened to the deliverer God ordained?
    He took his life.
    2.In your own words, explain why the Bible teaches us that Saul must die this way?
    God wouldn’t have had other people kill Saul because he was anointed by Himself.
    3.What is a right attitude toward God because of this passage?
    We have to follow justice.
    4.How does the universe repay evil and good?
    The evil get paid by evilness, and the good get paid by goodness
    5.Why are views, like ‘karma’, that attribute ethical and moral judgement to the universe at best incomplete?
    Even though it is partially complete, it cannot be complete because no humanity can be perfect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s