Monday, July 30, 2007

God: the Smart One

What's in the heart of God? The simplest answer is also a biblical answer, God is love, but that answer is very difficult for mere mortals to believe. Not only because they die, but also the way they die-- disease, violence, predation, disasters-- love in the heart of God would never be posited by them as a reason for such. How could an all-powerful being, who loved us govern that way?

Then, there's the whole hell thing: everlasting torment, fire and brimstone, bulimic worms, and not a tinge of pity from the God who's love. No matter how graphically (even at Mel Gibson levels) we paint a picture of Christ's vicarious sufferings, the notion of the lake that burns with fire is not going to lead anyone to think in terms of love. Is it any wonder that scoffers look at this subject with such incredulity?

God either is or he is not. Even if our experience of life makes it difficult for us to believe he is love, if he is, he surely has to be smart! And yet, we who entertain the notion of God, constantly vie our intelligence against his, as if he, somehow, has to bow to our conceptions. It's nothing new, we've been like that since the beginning of the human race. It's really the foundation of sin.

God is overjoyed to give us the kingdom. He shares his secrets with the humble, but we let our pride get in the way. We argue with God, thinking ourselves capable of understanding what he alone understands. We glory in our own opinion, and that deafens us to God and brings us neither love or knowledge, just darkness. It's in the heart of God to love us and to share all his has and all he knows with us, but to receive it, we're going to have to let God be the smart one.


  1. what we are asked to do seems so simple and yet we are always wanting to know why and ask a bunch of questions...just like my 10 year old daughter. example...i say, we are going to the store, get it the car. she says...which store, why that store, how long is this gonna take, what are we gonna buy, why do you need it, what are you gonnd do with it, i'm tired, i'm hungry, why that kind, why not this kind, can we go home now, can i have some gum?

  2. Nancy,
    Exactly! And even more, we think what God asks of us doesn't make sense, and so we do it our own way. That's how practice diverges from scripture. At the extreme, we don't like what God has told us about origins and pre-history so we make up our own theory and spin our own story.

  3. As Job discovered, we don't even know enough to ask intelligent questions of God, much less demand an accounting from him. Yet we regularly, as C.S. Lewis termed it, put "God in the Docks." (A good book BTW)

  4. Paul,
    The reference to Job is spot on. He was full of arguments and ready to debate, until faced with the majestic reality of God. Overwhelmed, he turned to blubbering (at least that's how I envision it). In light of my next post, I find it interesting that when God put Job in the docks, the third degree revolved around the finer points of speculative cosmology and biology.

  5. ...those things that Job did have some knowledge of he could not even command or fully fathom, much less those things beyond the scope of his perceptions. It's like trying to explain to a toddler why he must suffer the dentist.


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