Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 14, 2013

a God who

I met with a group of men this past Wednesday morning.  These men are from all walks of life. Their stories are wildly divergent, yet, at the same time, they are as common and resonant as can be.  I’ve known most of them for less than a month, yet they have instantly accepted me and, even at times, celebrated me.  I pray your life’s journey includes many scenic overlooks that display the kingdom of God like this group has for me.  And I pray that when you see the sign announcing them, you take the time to pull off the road and sit awhile.

Sometime during our discussion that morning, we got on the topic of God being both a God of love and a God of justice.  It was initially suggested that people desire and are most comfortable with the God of love.  This God is far easier to digest, and the picture of Him is far more attractive to both the believer and non-believer alike.  Something struck me as the discussion continued on in the general consensus of that belief.  The following was my offering when the moment presented itself.

While I believe that to be true, I also believe there are many who strongly desire the God of justice.  Especially in these times when so much of our world seems to be upside-down and so obviously contrary to God’s ways, we want the God of justice.  We want the God who David refers to in Psalms 11:5b-7 (NIV)

but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.  On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.  For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.

I believe that at the same time we desire that God, we are also so often “disappointed” by that God.  I could recount many examples from the national news headlines, but I’d suggest that we wouldn’t have to go any further than the pages of our own individual lives to adequately prove that point.  Where is the justice, God?!

In the end, I believe our disappointment is derived from our distinctions.  We name him as a God of, and we apply him to our lives as such.  We bring Him to situations and need Him to meet them with an a la carte selection of His characteristics.  He cannot be that for us, He can only be who He is (which is not a God who is simply the sum of His parts).  When we bring Him to something that demands justice, I think we are really looking for judgement and punishment.  When He comes, He brings all of Himself, which encompasses judgement and punishment but also love, grace, mercy, patience, gentleness, and a great many other things that don’t line up with our distinction of Him as a God of “justice.”

Our distinctions shrink God to fit our situations.  When we leave our hearts wide open to the words of Scripture and the people who God brings into our lives, God becomes infinitely and increasingly bigger.  He is not a God of, He is a God who.  Who loves us, who corrects us, who never leaves us, who hates our sin, who takes us in His arms, who made a way when there wasn’t one.  If you know this God, know Him more.  If you don’t know this God, seek Him and you will find Him.


Responses

  1. Thank You for being the God Who……..


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