Thursday, May 8, 2014
We spend a lot of time projecting our own vision of what a proper relationship with God should look like onto various incidents in the Bible. Then we use that projection as Biblical justification for condemning how others approach God. Yet the truth of the matter is that a relationship with God looks far more malleable in the Bible than it does in real life.
We condemn people for testing God. Yet God is put to the test all the time in the Bible, and without complain (Gideon and Habakkuk are just two examples of men who do this). We tell people not to question God, yet Job was declared right for questioning God and his friends were declared false for refusing to question God. We tell people that we should not let anything hurt their relationship with God yet Jesus on the Cross accuses God of forsaking him. We tell people not to make deals with God yet this happens left and right in the Bible.
Many of these practices are ones we rightly avoid. Expecting to gain some material benefit as payment for loyalty to God is not a faith deserving of moral respect. Yet it must be remembered that God seems much more accommodating than we might like. The men who were ferrying Job cast lots to determine God's will. Who among us would say this is a good idea? Yet indeed, God allowed this process to work. All I'm saying is that God seems far more willing to take what he can get. He seems to crave human contact, however it comes about. And how many of us, in reality, are just like the woman who bled for years, who came up and sought to grasp but the hem of Jesus' garment, just hoping against hope that there might be salvation? How many of us are drawn to God by necessity, and need, and weakness? Is this a bad thing?