Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Last night I couldn't sleep.
You see I'm teaching a Bible Study on Friday morning, and I have to figure out how to bring the lesson to my students in a way that it matters. That's the question we should all be asking every time we look at the word.
For instance, I'm reading in Exodus. And I read these kinds of stories, one after another. God leads his people from Egypt through the wilderness to the promise land, not the easy way, not the direct route, but the long way. Then, when Egyptian enemies come chasing after them, God miraculously drowns the bad guys. But just two chapters later, when the Amalakites come after them, these poor guys find themselves on a battle field for the first time in their collective memory. They have to beat them the old fashioned way. The hard way. (though yes, God helps them)
So I find myself trying to make sense of God's work with his people. Is He a long-way God? Is he occasionally miraculous? Does he want us to work for our own victories -- sometimes? Confusing isn't it?
And here is my breathtakingly brilliant conclusion:
God is incomprehensible.
We don't understand what He is doing. His ways are beyond us. His thoughts are deeper, truer, wiser than ours.
But in the midst of our confusion, we do know one thing. God is NOT random. While WE may not always know WHY he does what he does, we know that HE DOES KNOW.
In the crazy examples above, each one comes with an explanation. They went the long way because God thought the direct way would bring them to a battle they weren't prepared to win (the Philistines). He led them through the Red Sea, because God wanted the people to fear the LORD and to put their faith in Him and his servant Moses (verse 14:31) and they fought the Amalakites because God wanted to demonstrate his opposition to those who "raise their fist against the LORD's throne."
He had his reasons.
So what? Well, it pertains to the Sunday School word we use all the time when we describe God. We call him incomprehensible. Beyond our understanding. Yes. But God understands. He has reasons. Plans. Purposes. They are beyond us, yes. But not beyond Him.
He reasons. He plans. He works. He acts. He responds. We don't always understand it. But we don't have to.
When we know God's character, we can rest in his HEART for us and trust that his reasons, plans and purposes are good. Like He is.
That's faith, isn't it?