"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
I often get messages telling me that if my God would condemn someone to hell just for not believing in Him then that person would not want to ever even know God. I also get a lot of messages that tell me if God is real and is really all powerful, then He must be a God of hate, because He allows so many bad things to take place. These types of statements sadden me, because it shows that the person is trying to make God into just another one of us.
God is not human, we are His creation and we will never (at least in this life) understand Him or His thoughts. He reveals Himself in many ways, including nature, but our feeble human minds cannot fathom Him in all His glory.
As humans we can't understand how God could create us, knowing that we would rebel against Him. Yet He allowed us to have a free will. Then when we use that free will to do evil we wonder how a loving God could allow such things to happen.
God even shows in His Word how faulty our thinking is when it comes to our relationship with Him: You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"? Isaiah 29:16
We see everything from our life's perspective, to us all that is important is here and now. Our life and what happens to us is all important. Well get a clue, God does not look at our lives in that way. He has a plan which we do not know, nor could we understand its complexity even if He chose to tell us. God is not bound by the laws of nature, or time, or anything. He never scratches His head wondering what is going to happen next. He loves us and wants what is best for us. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 But don't confuse that with your own understanding of what good is in God's eyes.
To be absent from the body is to be present with Christ, that is good, but remember that being absent from the body is to be dead. A persons death could well help someone else to accept Christ as their Savior, and in God's perfect plan, that would be good. So you see we can't trust our own emotions to tell us what is good and what is not.
There are people who try to demand that God explain Himself to them. They want to question everything, and in the process question God's motives. Maybe before asking questions they should answer a couple from God Himself: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?" Job 38:4-5 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Job 38: 23-24
We are so arrogant, we think that God should conform to what we think is right and just. Who are we to think that we know what is best? How often a child thinks they know what is best for themselves yet the parents know that what the child wants will be bad for them. We accept that because we know that the parents are wiser than the child, yet we think we know better than God who created us what is best for ourselves.
We are arrogant and cavalier about sin too. I often hear things like: "Well I can't believe in a God who would send me to hell to suffer for eternity. There is nothing so bad that a person should be punished forever." We make ourselves the judges. We forget that God is holy and every time we sin we are sinning against Him and His holy nature. We tend to grade on a curve, this sin is not as bad as that sin. Well at least I never killed anyone! God only sees sin, period and His holy nature demands death as a payment for all sin.
If that was all than people would have a point that God is cruel and a hateful being, but that is not the end of the story. Jesus Christ came to this earth as a human (while remaining God) and paid that price for our sins. He died so that we don't have to. How much more loving can God be than to serve our death sentence for us.
Think of a person sitting on death row. He is to die the next morning in the electric chair. He gets a visitor that evening, it is the judge who sentenced him to death for his crime. The judge tells the condemned man that if he will only ask, he (the judge) will change places with him and die for him. How many men do you think would refuse to ask? How many men would stand there and look the judge in the face and say: "No thanks if that is the kind of person you are that you would condemn me to death, then I don't want anything else from you. Go on get out of here I will gladly die, I don't need you!"
If that scenario sounds too stupid to believe then you haven't been listening to the lost. I get that kind of mail all the time. People who reject the free gift of life because any God who would condemn them in the first place they would not want to have any dealings with. It must grieve God to know man's heart is so hard and full of hate.
God could have kept Adam and Eve from sinning. So why did God place the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden in the first place? Because He did not want robots or slaves. He wanted us to obey Him and love Him because we wanted to not because we have to. He still wants that. Don't for a moment think that He could not make every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In fact He will do just that at a future time.
Have you ever thought that if Satan was out of the way, man could live in harmony with God? Well the problem is that man has an evil nature and God will prove that during the millennium. Christ and His saints will rule the earth and Satan will be bound. Justice and peace will prevail during this time. Now wouldn't you think that after a thousand years humans would learn to love peace and justice? But look what happens when the millennium is over and Satan is let loose for a short time, the people living at that time will follow him and rebel against Christ. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. Revelation 20:7-8
Jesus taught us to pray: "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10 Think about it when you pray this to Him. When His kingdom comes and His will is done on this earth as it is in heaven, we won't have to struggle anymore with sin, sickness, hate, or other evils caused by sin. We should all be praying this from the bottom of our hearts. What can we do until that time comes? Well, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Matthew 22:37 If all mankind would just follow this commandment the world would be as it should be. If a person loves God with all their heart and soul and mind, they would not even think of killing, stealing, lying, committing adultery or committing any other sin because they would know it hurts our Father who is in heaven.
These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.
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