Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 – June 12 – Being Honest About God

Study from God’s Word 2Kgs 11: 1 – 3 [2Chron 22: 10 – 12]; 2Kgs 10: 18 – 31; 2Kgs 11: 4-16 [2Chron 23: 1-15]; 2Kgs 11: 21, 12: 1 [2Chron 24: 1]; 2Kgs 11: 17-20 [2Chron 23: 16-21]; 2Kgs 12: 2 [2Chron 24: 2]; 2Kgs 12: 3 … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Kings 10: 30… NIV 30 The LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation."

My Journal for Today: I totally agree with Dr. Smith in his devotional entry for today that there are segments of the Bible, especially in the OT, which cause me great pause. Today’s readings are some of those; and if you were to read through the passages I have today from Smith’s editing of The Daily Bible in Chronological Order, I think you’d have to be set into a quandary about how/why God would allow such carnage. Oh, I can rationalize a lot of it, saying to myself that God was trying to purge the evil and idol worship from His promised people/land; but then I come across the incident in 2nd Kings 10 where Jehu, who is later given honor by God, traps all the Baal worshippers in the Baal temple with a sting – an outright lie – and he has all of these people massacred. Then God, knowing that Jehu was not totally sold out to The LORD, tells Jehu that the throne of Israel would be protected in his family for at least four generations [see today’s verse].

So, how do we bring our concept of God into line with all of that? As Smith puts it, “…we can always fall back on God’s unassailable sovereignty or perhaps soothe our qualms by acknowledging the obvious – that God is beyond human understanding.” But Smith goes on by stating what is in my mind right at this moment, when he writes, “… being brutally honest about God continues to leave us uncomfortable.” Right now, God’s Spirit in my consciousness has bubble up the life of Habakkuk … in the Book by his name. Dr. Smith didn’t bring this out; but I believe God’s Spirit is helping me understand my own questions about the nature of my God.

Habakkuk, … this poor Prophet of God – and yes, he was a Prophet – got totally confused by what he saw the sovereign God allowing in his days, with evil running rampant. And we read in Chapter One of Habakkuk’s book of his confusion and his going to God, railing at His Lord, by asking all the “WHY” questions he had in his mind and heart. And the entire book of Habakkuk is about God giving His prophet a lesson in faith and trust; and as you probably remember, by Chapter Three of the Book of Habakkuk, the last chapter of that lesson in trustworthiness, we read, in verses 17-18, Habakkuk says, Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

My, dear one, if you’re following along with me, I can only pray – and I will this morning – that I (we) come to the realization of God’s sovereignty, no matter what seemingly incongruent truth we read in His Holy Word and what we observe going on in our world. I say it often; but I need to keep saying it. God is God; and I am not! Once we get that settled, we can live with such truths as Romans 8: 28 (I hope you have that one down by now!); and we can do all we can to follow Christ’s command of discipleship in Luke 9: 23. [If you don’t have those two memorized or at least paraphrased in your memory, I really hope you’re looking them up as I write this.]

With that settled, even when we read seemingly inexplicable history in the Old Testament, we can move on, knowing that God is God and we are not!

My Prayer for Today:
Lord, please be merciful as we learn to recognize that You are God and ALL things do - in truth - work for Good to those of us who love You! Amen

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