Growing up, I loved to hear the stories of heroes. Moses freeing the Israelites from slavery, David slaying Goliath and Joshua marching around the wall of Jericho all thrilled me. The consistency of the good guys winning and the bad guys losing appealed to me. I loved the fairness of it. Then I started reading these stories for myself, and I realized this idea of fairness and righteous victory I had was the product of the sanitized stories we are all told as children. Moses may have freed the Israelites, but God also hardened the heart of Pharaoh. David slayed Goliath and became a king who could be greedy and adulterous and who killed a man so he could take his wife. God may have knocked down the walls of Jericho, but he also permitted the slaughter of the people living inside it. This wasn’t the “fairness” that I had loved so much. How do we as Christians reconcile the idea of a good and fair God who rewards the just with a God who brings curses? How often do we skip the problem passages that don’t fit how we think God should look?
We are blessed with a God who is loving and just but who is also incomprehensible. If we choose to worship a God that we fully understand, then he ceases to be a God. Instead, he becomes a human-sized "lower-g" god who is not worthy of our worship and adoration. We need to be okay with worshipping a God who is sovereign and all-powerful. Paul says it beautifully in Romans 11:33-36:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[a] knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”[b]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”[c]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
How can we, starting today, be Christians who strive to learn as much as we can about a full and complex God? We serve a God who doesn’t keep us comfortable, but pushes us to learn more about his character when we read the forgotten and unread parts of our bibles.
Youth leader, bread eater, and loud laugh-er