Wednesday thoughts on God

Ben and I read the Bible together off and on, maybe every few days. Right now we’re in Isaiah.

I love Isaiah. Well, parts of it. It’s essentially a book of prophecies; some of them are really uplifting, and some of them are…well, not. Because they’re about what was going to happen to the countries that were beating Israel up.

Which is understandable. If you’re a parent, you’d probably want to go trounce any kid who messed with your kid.

So we came to one of these sections of prophecy, this one against Babylon. And boy, it was graphic.

Initially, we talked about skipping it. But Ben said, “Well, it’s in the Bible.” He was right. I’m in the process of reading the whole thing on my own, and I can’t just skip the parts I don’t like. So we read it.

I did not like it.

At all.

It made me mad.

It seemed so harsh, so angry, so not in tune with the God I know. And yet, I know they are one and the same. He’s spoken to me, he’s in my heart, I just know. And I also know that he is love.

So how does that work?

To tell the truth, I don’t exactly know. But it made me think.

Scripture repeats several times that the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

Scripture also says that God was prepared to spare Sodom if only a handful of good people were left in it.

Which means two things:

1. Babylon was hideously corrupt.

2. God will show compassion for the sake of a few.

God also spared Nineveh because they repented. If the Babylonians had repented in response to this prophecy…I believe God would’ve shown mercy:

Jonah 3:10

 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

There’s definitely precedent for that.

Do I still struggle with the content of those prophecies? Yes. But as I said before, the struggle is part of  my relationship with God. And as we struggle, our bond grows stronger.

And the more I know of him, the more I am convinced that he is good.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Wednesday thoughts on God

  1. jmkelvin

    God’s confusing. But he’s God, so he can do what he wants. I don’t know why people expect God to be some purely logical, mathematical equation. God is a “person” too, in the way that he’s a real being with real thoughts and stuff. Not some formula that we can invoke with the right sequence of demands. He’s always good, it’s just not always easy to see it.

  2. Yes. Amy and I argued our way through lots of these types of passages in the Bible; she was very much on the God is love so how can He do these types of things? I was much more on the “but if God is just He has to punish wickedness and those that hurt/destroy/exploit people made in His image or those who disobey Him.” Eventually we read enough of our Bible and learned more so that it became clear that both are true, God IS love, but love ALWAYS protects, and protecting is not necessarily a passive action. Nor is justice…but one day we will see how it was all perfectly just, as it say in Revelation, EVERYONE will acknowledge that His judgements are righteous and true.

    And totally agree Ben, God is a person – somehow I think we often approach Him as a cosmic genie, rather than recognizing that He is a person, perfect yes, but individual and distinct. It would be terrifying in many ways, were He not perfectly loving, since then He’d be like the Greek gods. But we can rest because He’s perfectly just and perfectly loving – God = Awesome!

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