I had an interesting and worshipful thought visit me today due to the facebook post of a dear friend.
Here is the post as it appeared on my facebook home page…
It is a thought provoking post to be sure. The heart of it is meant to move us to action. We can help the poor and the hungry; we can walk justly. That was the heart of the message and it is true. Still, despite the good message to do good I couldn’t help but see something in the post, something that troubled me. In asking God this question the post (or the original creator of the post) was telling me two things about what they believed to be true of God.
1) That somehow God was wrong in allowing these things and
2) That God is altogether like us.
Charging God with wrong:
You remember Job don’t you? Chapters 40, 41 and 42 of that book is my all time favorite passage in all of Scripture. If you haven’t read it in awhile I encourage you to do so right now. It’s thrilling and very worshipful. That chapter is God speaking of His power and creative genius… lest Job forget to whom it is that he is complaining. As great an ending to that book as that passage is, it is from Job chapter one that I want to quote.
“In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”-Job 1:22
If ever there were a guy who could be justified in the eyes and hearts of mankind to ask “WHY ME?!” It would certainly be Job. He could have asked (in our minds) “Why did you allow this poverty, this pain, this injustice to befall me? ” This verse tells us that to assume that God is wrong for not stopping these things is sin.
It’s hard not to complain or to sigh “why me” when things around us hurt. We are human after all and we don’t always discern things with spiritual sight. We don’t know, we don’t understand, we wonder about the purpose. We are helpless, scared, confused, and a dependent creation. We want to understand but our minds are finite and cannot comprehend the infinite. Because of that we are tempted through clenched teeth and fists to ask “Why does God allow it”. We must be very careful and tread with wonder and fearful awe because God is not capable of injustice. He is not capable of wrong doing. Everything He thinks, breathes,determines, or speaks is all good all the time because He is all good all the time.
Please don’t think for a moment that I myself am innocent of charging God with wrong. I am not. I have asked Him the “why” question before. I hope that I will never again but given my track record for letting Him down (especially on the heels of determining that I will never do so again) I am likely to repeat the offense. I suppose that this is the true purpose of this blog post today… to serve as a reminder.
Speaking of reminder… I am reminded of a little poem that I have long adored. I don’t know the origin of the poem but I do know where I first learned of it. It was from Corrie Ten Boom. I love Corrie! If you don’t know who she is… well… don’t get me started that is another post unto itself. Please learn who she is and read her books “The Hiding Place” and “Tramp for the Lord”. She has written others but start with these two. It will be the biggest devotional favor you ever do for yourself. God’s hand in this little Dutch woman’s life is miraculous and worshipful. Anyhow, back to the poem I learned of from Corrie..
My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.
Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.
The Weaver’s Perspective
The underside of the loom
(photo credit: Craig of “Deep into Love“)
Corrie lost most of her family to the horrors of Nazi concentration camps. Herself a prisoner for hiding Jews, she never asked “why”. She knew He must have a purpose. Later that purpose was revealed. Oh it’s good… read the book!
The point of this is, we don’t see things from the same perspective as our eternal God does.
Before we charge God with any wrongdoing we had better understand that we are not the sovereign, almighty God of the universe; we are His creations. He gets to do as He wishes when He wishes and whether or not we understand it is irrelevant. He is Holy and Just and will always do what is the exact right thing to do. He is incapable of wrong.
We, on the other hand, are sinful from birth. We are self involved, capable of every unspeakable evil and by nature are driven to do wrong and ungodly things. Comparing God to ourselves, as the little post has done, is not only wrong but it has at the heart of it a low opinion of God.
He is not like us.
That brings me to the real point of this post. I think the question “Why does God allow bad” is the wrong question to ask. We are in of ourselves incapable of good, we in our nature are at enmity with God. The question should be “Why God, do you allow good” or “Why God do You not destroy us with Your holy and just wrath”. One possible answer is “Because, He is not like us.”
Voddie Baucham is one of my favorite Pastor/Teachers. This is an excerpt from a “Desiring God” conference wherein Dr. Baucham discusses the Sovereignty of God. It is so good please take some time to view it.
“I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man.”—Hosea 11:9
Spurgeon handles this passage better than ever I could so I will quote him in closing.
THE LORD, speaking of himself as “God, and not man,” mentions as the special point in which he is above and beyond man, that he has greater grace, greater long-suffering, and greater willingness to forgive: “I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man.” In a thousand respects, God is greater than man; for us to enter into that theme, would require a very considerable length of time; but the Lord here puts this truth most prominently forward, that he is “God, and not man,” in that he is infinitely more forbearing, infinitely more tender, infinitely more ready to pass by offenses than any man ever can be. What men cannot do by reason of the narrowness and shallowness of their goodness, God can and will do by reason of the height and depth and length and breadth of his immeasurable love.”
He is an awesome God and His ways are infinitely better than ours.
Powered by Facebook Comments