Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Musings on Faith and Life -- 4

So far in my musings about the meaning and purpose of life, I have tried to show that there is a God who exists and that he is greater than all that we can imagine and he created and owns everything and doesn't need our advice and counsel to figure out how to run the world. The second thing we looked at is the Bible's teaching that God's purpose for all he does is his glory. We were created by him in his image in order to reflect his glory and majesty and when we get side-tracked from that we lose our focus and then find ourselves without meaning and purpose. Finally I tried to explain the Bible's point of view that all of us have sinned against God by not acknowledging him and by not being thankful for his provisions for us and finally disobeying his just commands.

Most people view God as being a kind old man who doesn't really expect much of us. He wants us to be happy and helps us now and then but pretty much stays out of our way. When it comes to some sort of final judgment, God realizes that we all pretty much do our best and nodding his approval, welcomes us into his home. The problem with this is that it is not at all the way the Bible describes God. The Bible describes God as being a just God. Being just means that he cannot just ignore sins against him. He loves people, but in that loving, his character of justice cannot simply overlook sin. Think about it this way. How would you feel about a judge who let the same criminal go over and over because he really liked the guy. Suppose the criminal was in court for his 50th murder in the act of committing a robbery. Would you be pretty content with that judge if he just keep letting this man go because he was a nice guy and was really likeable? We all know that such a judge is not just and should be removed from the bench. And yet we are hoping that God is like that judge.

The God presented to us in the Bible is completely just and will not overlook sin. He has already demonstrated that to us in this world by putting all creation under a curse. We know something is wrong. We have a sense about how people should ideally get along, and yet we see so much abuse, fighting and killing in the world that we know something is wrong. We picture what an idyllic garden should be like and yet there are constant attacks on that garden by weeds and pests of one kind or another. We are trying to grow a few beautiful roses right up next to our sunroom and suddenly one morning every bud was gone. A deer had come up to the house and had eaten every bud that was available. That same deer has to be careful to avoid being attacked by a predator or killed by a hunter or run over by a car.

We know things are not like we think they should be and it's not because we're just lazy and want an easy life. We know things are out of whack somehow. The Bible explains that God cursed the ground because of us – because of our sin. Paul writes in the book of Romans, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

So my thoughts today are aimed at understanding that God is a just God and he will and has responded to our sin and disobedience with appropriate punishment.

Numbers 14:18 “He will by no means clear the guilty.”

Ezekiel 18:4 “The soul that sins shall die.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.”

Next time we'll look at God's solution to our problem.

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