The pendulum is swinging
If we can clearly define 'exactly who God is' -– we have
no doubt missed the boat! He is a little beyond our
comprehension, and it seems the more we follow Him, the more we must acknowledge
His infinite greatness. This leads to inevitable surprises as we journey
on - towards eternity in His Presence. Lots of Bible characters have been surprised
After a quick browse through the first section of the book of
Genesis one quickly grasps the idea that things could have been quite different,
had it not been for a couple of bad decisions made on the part of our earliest
predecessors. Alas, gaining access to the forbidden knowledge of good and evil
has brought with it some very harsh realities we could have gladly done without...
Our tears -– a result of our pain and suffering, physical and mental illnesses
contributing to shorter than necessary life spans. What a shame - we are here
for such a short time, and then we fade away...
What about this tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
A creation of God? Surely not! And yet in Genesis 1:31 we read "And God saw
everything that He had made and, behold it was very good". But how did
perfection bring forth imperfection? Why would a good God allow 'bad'
to bud and sprout from within His creation? An all knowing God, who
allows less than flawless excellence to exist...within those created in His
Still another twist, God chooses to remain 'in touch'
with the imperfect! I know this for a fact. He allows me to
maintain regular contact - which is very humbling in the light of what I know
about myself. Some years ago I was attending Bible College in Sydney. Late one
Friday night after witnessing to the heathen of Kings Cross (I was a
commissioned 'Christian Commando') I found myself in the awkward position of
being stranded an hour away from home, with only enough money for my train fare.
The problem was that the train system stopped at 2am before resuming it's
morning service a couple of hours later. Fatigued and feeling a little 'put
out' as I trudged my way out from Sydney towards Bankstown, I asked the Lord
for a sign, even a miracle -– and it came in the form of a taxi. The taxi
stopped without me even attempting to wave it down. In my spiritually
enlightened state, I saw this as a Divine intervention and climbing aboard I
immediately commenced my witnessing 'system'. Forty five minutes later,
within a block of my home I said "Stop here driver". I slipped my hand into
my pocket in anticipation of the miracle. I served the God who caused
money to be found in a fishes mouth -– so this should have been fairly
straightforward. After all, I was out labouring in the fields, ripe and ready
for harvest. To my dismay -– Nothing! Nothing? It was a split second decision
-– albeit a wrong one! I felt like Jacob (the sneaky Bible character God
put up with, and even used) as I found myself running along a narrow lane -–
too narrow for the pursuing cab with it's irate driver. Pre-meditated? I don't
remember...I shudder to think. To this day, whenever I visit Sydney I keep an
eye out for that taxi driver (I have a feeling he's doing the same, keeping an
eye open for me). Maybe something I said got through to him and we'll meet in
Mistakes -– character flaws and downright sin...God is aware
(Psalm 139) and has somehow made provision for those of us who are less than
perfect -– that we may find forgiveness. Andre Crouch wrote a song which says
it for me "I don't know why Jesus loved me -– Oh but I'm glad he did".
Gnostic teachers sought to accommodate the problem of the 'existence
of evil' by completely separating God from His creation -– anything which was
'matter' was evil, God -– the Deity, alone was good. The two problems I see
with this argument is that:
- Jesus is God manifest in the 'flesh' -– meaning He
(God) would've become tainted by evil matter! I believe it is for this
reason that in today's New Age world, many can accept God as the Source, or
Creator, or Originator -– but can't handle this Jesus character! He is an
- And of course the fact that God persists in maintaining
relationship with imperfect humans raises issues. It has taken me years to
begin to understand that God loves 'people' not just 'good people'.
This gnostic rationale colours certain church thinking today
-– where the humanity of Christ is down-played, and the spirit of man is
elevated above the soul and body. This is a very convenient doctrine for those
who wish to find licence to pursue certain lusts of the flesh, arguing that "provided
we keep our spirit right with God..." we remain righteous. Within this
persuasion we find gluttons, wine bibbers and lusters of all descriptions
who excuse their lack of discipline and moderation with this argument of
convenience! I find traces of this belief popping through from time to time in
my own experience. Isn't it wonderful to be given opportunities by God to
re-align our thoughts with His own as we journey on. "If we say we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness" 1 John 1:8-9.
So we are forced to acknowledge that Perfection has indeed
brought forth imperfection. And that life in all of it's fullness will
include the principles of: sowing and reaping, sin and forgiveness of sin, grace
-– unmerited and without the possibility of repayment...and even times where
God rewards us when we do not deserve anything whatsoever! We learn that as a
father pities His children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.
As I sit reading Hebrews 8:7, I scratch my head in wonderment
"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been
sought for the second". What? How could a law designed by God be found to be
erroneous or faulty??
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new
landscapes but in having new eyes" Marcel Proust. Ah! The tip of the
iceberg...that's our understanding of the Word of God!