God is insane. At least, to human eyes and ears and minds. Especially, many say, God as portrayed in the Old Testament is vindictive and hateful.
How abhorrent, if God had even an ounce of evil in Him. How absolutely unlivable.
Why skeptics and even Christians often fail to see the other side of the equation, which is the insanity of God’s unconditional, sacrificial love embodied in Jesus, is a blog post for another time.
I must say, many passages in Scripture leave me perplexed and in some cases, disturbed. Consider, for example, the time when God nearly killed Moses. When I come across accounts like these I automatically try to defend God’s goodness (as if He needs defending) by looking up cultural practices of the time, context, anything and everything that will assuage my fears that maybe there is some evil in God. That maybe I’ve got it wrong all along.
Most of the time, commentaries clear up the fog for me, but even if they didn’t, I must consider this. God has been around 10 to the nth power longer than I have. In fact, He was there in the beginning. He created the beginning of time, for goodness’ sake! My lame attempts at wisdom and understanding pale in light of the mysteries of God. In the timespan of eternity I am still a toddler in God’s nursery. I am a stroke victim being shown how to walk again. I’m a new employee in God’s business. Excuse me for going all frustratingly Job-like, but we cannot put God on the judgment stand. Well, we can, but good luck with that, since God is the Judge.
Let’s go deeper into a metaphor. Two weeks ago, I happily started my first day at a new job. Almost immediately, information came bubbling from all directions. My first day, I effectively learned how to do one thing…do inventory. A bit anticlimactic, considering all the information I had absorbed. Thankfully, my predecessor left me a manual, so that I could refer to it to know how to do some administrative tasks the right way.
It’s like this. While the manual was and is so very helpful, some of the things in the manual didn’t make any sense to me until my predecessor came in and explained it. Even then, some of the details of a process (like manipulating data in a database) still didn’t make sense why it had to be done that way. However, I trust that my predecessor is telling me accurate information because whereas I have not been in a position like this before and have no frame of reference, she had success in the position and wanted to help me have success too. Moreover, I understand the big picture.
So, as a parallel…
1. God has given me a manual for life (the Bible.)
2. Because of this manual, I understand the big picture. God explains very clearly the things that matter most…salvation, justification, sanctification, our mission, etc.
3. God does not always explain why He acts a certain way, but . . .
4. I can trust Him because He is the CEO of Redemption and I’m an employee-in-training
So I will follow Him as best I can, leaving the mysterious details to the Maker of Mystery.
I’d love to get your input in the comments below.
Are there any passages in Scripture that have consistently disturbed or confused you? How do you respond to the mysteries of God?