The Minor Prophets Speak to Today
A Thoroughly Current
"O Lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal —
surely you do not plan to wipe us out?"
surely you do not plan to wipe us out?"
TODAY, this question is often presented by the 'politically correct crowd.' Usually it is made as a statement of put down: This has nothing to do with God, this disaster is just an act of nature, or this is just the actions of wicked men, God has nothing to do with this.
Among the religious crowd it is put, "God doesn't do that any more."
The secularist crowd (often atheistic or agnostic in their belief systems) is really saying either God does not exist or God is irrelevant. The religious crowd is in reality say, "God is not the same yesterday, today, and forever."
But neither crowd squares with the Bible or even with the nature of God. Both are in effect giving the same complaint that Habakkuk was hearing in his day—perhaps even speaking himself, but, if so, without a predetermined answer.
ANOTHER way this question is phrased is "Surely a God of love cannot send anybody to Hell" or simply "I don't believe in hell." But truth is not determined by what we choose to believe or not believe. If there is a God—and there is—then the only truth is that which he knows and declares. His wisdom and reasoning are above and beyond are own and accessible to us only by His revelation through, and our transformation by, the Holy Spirit.
IN THE BEGINNING the devil used this same tactic to introduce evil into the world. First he questioned whether God had really said what he had said. Sound familiar? Then he suggested whether what God said would happen really would. He suggested God knew that this thing was not true. So the woman, as so many humans today, thought about it and it seemed reasonable that it was not really true and then led her husband to the same conclusion. And ever since Satan uses that same mechanism, get one human to lead other humans, sometimes through logical thinking, to believe that what God says is not true, or that God does not exist.
IN THE EARLIER VERSES we read that God himself sends the wicked to punish us, his children. Old and New Testament are clear—God punishes his children. I know we like the word "discipline" better because it speaks to motive, but in the biblical languages the two ideas are not separated. We have separated their meaning making punishment more mean and devastating, without clear or proper motive. We long to know that God's punishments are motivated by his love or do not exist at all. The first is true. God's punishments, even when in the form of death and destruction, are motivated by his love for us, his creation. The second statement is not true. God's punishment exists. And, yes, if we fail to repent, and change our lives, he will wipe us out. If for no other reason than to prevent our disobedience and false teachings from harming his other children, or the other humans he created.
OTHER POINTS MADE:
1. You are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil.
This argument was made to question how God could use evil to punish his children even to the point of wiping them out. But in reality it is the very reason he does punish his children in hope that it will not become necessary to wipe them out due to their disobedience and false teaching. May we pray God will show us the errors of our teachings!
2. Will you wink at their treachery?
Please God, the reasoning goes, do not wink at how treacherous the wicked act.
Of course we leave unspoken, "But please wink at our wickedness."
3. Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous that they themselves?
Here our pride, hard hearts, and deaf ears show plain for all to see --"We are better than them."
So God, please shut up about our wickedness, disobedience, and the things we refuse to believe. They are worse that us so go deal with them before you bother us. And by the way, since they are worse than us, you should not use them to punish your own children, should you?
Your silence at our wickedness is okay -- desired!
4. The wicked will worship their methods of exercising power and make them their gods!
Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they succeed forever in their heartless conquests?
We could easily apply these questions to the financial world today which is yet again in history showing the heartlessness of the worship of "making money." But that would only be one place within our world that these questions apply. Try Al-Qaeda, sexual immorality, the political parties, the political packs, closed door congregations, and more.
All of these questions beg the question. God has answered them long ago and often since. But those answers are not to our liking, are not believed. These questions try to shift the blame, ignore what God says he is doing and why, and ultimately duck responsibility in the name of blaming God.
TOO FEW OF US will stand and follow the example of the prophet.
"I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer."
Rather we will let others answer for him or simply choose to believe our own answers. And then we will find ourselves asking the same questions over and over, again and again.
Wipe Out 3 by Dezign Horizon @ flickr.com
Wipe-out by gordeau @ flicker.com all rights reserved