(Minghui.org) Some people worship the divine to be blessed, but the outcome may vary case by case. Here are two examples.

The Kingdom of Guo

Guo was an ancient kingdom during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. According to Zuo Zhuan (The Zuo Tradition), a divine being appeared at a place called Xin in Guo in the 15th year of the reign of King Hui of Zhou (662 BC). King Hui asked a senior official about the appearance. The official replied that if a king was virtuous, a divine being would appear to bestow blessings; but if a king was immoral, a divine being would appear to levy the consequences.

When the king of Guo heard about the appearance, he sent offerings with some of his officials to worship the divine being and to ask for more land. One senior official who heard about this told King Hui of Zhou that Guo would be doomed, because the king of Guo, who mistreated his people, was worshiping the divine out of greed (asking for land) instead of sincerity.

Four years later, an army from the Kingdom of Jin conquered northern Guo.

The Importance of Virtue

The king of Jin planned to attack southern Guo in 655 B.C. Once again he asked the king of Yu if his army could pass through his kingdom, just like they did three years before on their way to conquer the northern part of the Kingdom of Guo. Of course the king of Yu would be compensated.

Gong Zhiqi, one of Yu’s senior officials, opposed the idea. “The kingdoms of Yu and Guo share the same fate—like lips and teeth: If the lips are hurt, the teeth lack protection and can also be damaged,” he said. But the king of Yu was shortsighted. Greedy for the gifts the king of Jin would give him, he dismissed the idea, saying Jin and Yu had shared ancestors. “Plus, I always use the best food to honor the gods, so the divine will bless me,” he said.

Gong Zhiqi said the divine had no preference for mankind and only blessed those with virtue. He implied that if the king of Yu were greedy for the gifts and forgot about protecting the kingdom, it would be catastrophic. When the king of Yu agreed to allow Jin’s troops to pass through, Gong fled with his clan, saying that there would be no Kingdom of Yu by end of the year.

That winter, the Jin army conquered the southern Guo kingdom. On the way back, they conquered the Kingdom of Yu, captured its king, and retrieved its compensatory gifts.