A couple of weeks ago during a discussion on a Sunday morning, one of the youth boys concluded that God must have a ‘bit of evil’ in him. We were quick to correct him as best we could and had to messily explain why it couldn’t be so, in response to why God seemingly almost enjoyed ‘killing people off’ in the Old Testament.
I was thinking further about it when I was reading about The Painful Joy of Justice in ‘The Pleasures of God’ (John Piper) and came across the following,
“From this I conclude that the death and mystery of the unrepentant is in and of itself no delight to God. God is not a sadist. He is not malicious or bloodthirsty. Instead, when a wicked, unbelieving person is judged, what God delights in is the exaltation of truth and righteousness, and the vindication of his own honor and glory” – (p.73)
Piper has a fair point (and one hard to elaborate on in one post – go read the book). How do you explain this to a 12 year old who hasn’t had the experience of looking at theology and clearly wouldn’t know what a sadist is (speaking only from experience – it’s the kind of thing I have to continually look up)?
We do, as Christians seem to do a lot of trying to understand God. Yet if God could be understood, he would not be as great (?), he would not be as wonderful and incompressible.
I have a question,
We should be striving to know God as best we can, but should we attempt to understand him? Is it the same thing?
Is it enough to simply apprehend who he is in what he is doing and the multitude of other ways that God reveals himself?
We should not and cannot claim to be completely in control of having this life and God in a box.
It’s a wondrous thing to glimpse a little bit more of Him and a frustrating (and false) point to think for a moment that I’ve understood as much as my understanding can allow.
Explaining, showing God and sharing who he is to others is no mean feat. It is difficult, exciting, complicated, terrifying. Who are we afterall, to explain him? And to make others satisfied with a realm of paradox and doubt… what are we getting them in to!