Thursday, March 25, 2010

God in a box

As I was reading this morning I came across this passage:

 22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him." 23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don't do such a disgraceful thing."

I had to check and make sure I did not begin reading on the wrong page. Many of you as did I probably thought this came out of Genesis 19 and is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah but it is not. This is the story of a Levite and his concubine going to the city of Gibeah in Judges 19. As I read this a saying that I have heard numerous times came to mind. "If God doesn't deal with America on the issue of homosexuality then He is going to have to apologize for Sodom and Gomorrah." Really! God will have to apologize! I am not sure I have seen that anywhere in scripture. It seems as though we have put God in a box. We tend to think that if A happens then B must be the consequence. If C happens then D is the consequence. Not just this time but every time. Guess what, God doesn't work that way. God does whatever He chooses to do and is just in doing so.

Psalm 115:3 - 3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

Psalm 135:6- 6 The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.

However, if we use the logic that God has to do the same thing every time why don't those same people take a look at the story of Ananias and Sapphira. 

Acts 5: 1-10 -  1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. 3Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." 5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 

A few verses later his wife comes in and lies to Peter as well and she dies. My question is why doesn't anyone say "If God doesn't deal with the liars in church, He is going to have to apologize to Ananias and Sapphira." I am glad God does not deal with liars in church the same way. How many times have you said "I'm praying for you." and you never do. How many times have you been invited to a Sunday school class or a fellowship supper and said "Yeah, I will see you there.", knowing full well you have no intentions of going. If God did deal with us the way He dealt with Ananias and Sapphira we might all be dead and churches would be empty!

I think the best thing we can do is to heed the advice of Christ. In John 21 Jesus is telling Peter he will one day be killed for his faith. Peter takes a look at John and says "What about him?" Jesus responds "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." In other words, don't worry about my plans for John, focus on what I have planned for you. If I want John to live for another 100 or 1000 years and die at an old age in his sleep and you will be crucified upside down in a horrible death then that is what will happen and I am just in allowing that to happen. As Christians, if we focused on ourselves and made sure our lives were focused on doing the will of God, and we spent less time worrying about how God should handle all that is going on in the world I think we would turn the world upside down in a good way. I think non-believers would have a hard time criticizing the church and what a wonderful thing that would be.

1 comment: