This picture is of U. S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Billy Davis, Strategic Air Command (SAC) and I mean neither him nor SAC any disrespect. I simply have found no finer example of how words can seem to be contradictory until you look a little deeper. Of course in this case ‘apparently contradictory’ moves quickly into ‘mass insanity’ when you explore MAD. However that is another story for another time.
Patience is a virtue. Strike while the iron is hot. An eye for an eye. If someone strikes you on the right cheek turn the other also. Pick your Faith, pick your Sacred Scripture and you can and will find many an apparent contradiction. You will also find many an apologist who tries to find a way to eliminate the contradictions. As for myself, I love the contradictions.
I love them because they show me that Sacred Scriptures are not about giving answers so much as they are about teachings that guide you to wisdom. Wisdom is itself a very contradictory concept. Simple, complex, real, unreal, needed and rarely pursued.
And yet if you will listen to this silly old man you will pursue Wisdom. Pursue her with all your heart, mind, soul, spirit and intellect. Perhaps the greatest call to follow Lady Wisdom is found in Proverbs 8;
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was constantly[e] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death.”