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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Not Ashamed of God

I found a conversation on Facebook between a Christian and an atheist. The atheist was quoting scriptures of God-ordained genocide and animal sacrifice. He used these scriptures to prove that the God of the Bible was not a God of love, but a God of depravity and moral evil. The Christian admitted to wrestling with these scriptures, but then reminded the man of the revelation of Jesus. She showed how the Old Testament was a record of how God dealt with Israel through the Mosaic law. Now the New Testament is a revelation of a new covenant. I think her presentation of the Gospel was accurate and delivered in love. I think she approached the subject by the Spirit.
This exchange of words, caused me to ponder the nature of God and our conception of Him. I have never been offended by God's past actions. His firey judgments never caused me to be ashamed. I never detested His wrath. This wasn't out of ignorance. I knew He killed the firstborn of the Egyptian children. I knew lambs were slaughtered in the temple. I knew Sodom and Gomorrah suffered by fire. I knew people groups were slaughtered by the Israeli army by the command of God, women and children. This knowledge never caused me to revile God. It made me fear Him. It made me long to obey Him. It made Him holy. I don't think most humans, even devoted Christians, respond the same. They don't search these actions because they can't accept that God would act in such a violent manner.
I think for me it relies on the issue of faith. I believe the Bible is the word of God. I believe that the testimonies in the word of God are true. I don't have the luxury to revile God's actions because I have no doubt that He is God; therefore, His actions can not be questioned. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

I think I fell in love with the story Twilight for this very reason. Bella loves Edward despite his fatal flaw. Edward wants to kill Bella. He secretly wants to kill everyone around him. However, he practices restraint and shows compassion. This is a parallel to the nature of God. He is showing restraint. He is a jealous, consuming fire! He is raging with zeal for truth, righteousness, and holiness. He hates impurity, falsehood, lies, misconceptions, injustice, idolatry, and everything that exalts itself above the knowledge of God. He kills anything that is tainted by sin. Yet, He chooses to encase himself in human flesh and atone for those sins. He restrains Himself and hide this fire, so that we might live. He knows we can't comprehend the God who plans to wipe out the planet by fire. That is who He is! That is who we serve. That is who we must place our faith in to be saved. I admit I love the fire in His eyes.

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