Not Understanding God

I periodically get comments or notes from readers that point out how God, particularly in the Old Testament ordered the death and destruction of people. Everyone on Earth not on Noah’s ark. Lot’s wife. The Egyptians. Anyone in the way of the Israelites when they entered the Promised Land. To them, this seems to be a most unfeeling and unloving God. I can understand their frustration. I can’t explain God. None of us can.

So what are the things that distract us, besides the Old Testament?

bible

 

We humans condemned, tortured and killed God’s only Son.

Early Christians were persecuted and martyred.

The human frailties of the Christian Church from its earliest days to the present.

Wars.

Sandy Hook Elementary.

It’s tough to understand from the human perspective why god permits these things to happen. If we had our way, we’d all be healthy, wealthy and wise – and live forever.

That is not the way that it is – at least not in this life.

So we toil and try in this life. We screw up. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try again.

I wish I had a good explanation that would be compelling for others, but unfortunately I do not.

The best I can do is to try to live an example that at least piques others’ curiosity.

6 responses to “Not Understanding God

  1. I’ve always thought that its due to free will – WE are supposed to draw together and resolve these problems.

  2. Interesting post. I can’t help feel it is in my question posed in your earlier blogpost. It is fascinating how we as humans can claim the Bible to be in its entirety, the comprehensive word of God. I am not against your ideas or faith and respect your right to it, yet I am also entrigued by your beliefs and wish to ask questions so as to understand more.

    It strikes me that many believers are unaware or just gloss over some glaringly dubious works of God and cherry pick what is needed to support the idea. This is dogma, unquestioned belief. Then we are told that it is not for us to understand or ‘He works in mysterious ways’. Very mysterious.

    So, beyond the vengeful war mongering spite of the Old Testament God you pose other ideas that ‘disract’ us from accepting the party line. Things that we cant underdtand.

    We are told that despite him being the same now as forever, unchanging and timeless, at some point around 2000 years ago he had a rethink and decided to manifest himself in a human son and purposefully have him crucified horrifically so as to put an end to all the sacrifice in the OT and give everyone a chance at eternal life not just the Israelites. Hmmm?

    So if you can’t understand why ‘We humans condemned, tortured and killed God’s only Son’ try – John 3:16. It was Gods will/plan that it happened not mans choice.

    As for Christian persecution, this has happened and still does to any secular group. The Romans were particularly fond of using anyone outside their circle for ‘sport’.

    Wars – well God didn’t set a good example for the previous 2000 years so its not surprising that the men created in his own image kill each other en masse.

    Sandy Hook – my own personal feelings is that we shouldn’t be invading other people’s countries for oil and glorify it as honourable peacemaking, then making computer games such as Call of Duty for our children to get addicted to and not expect some backlash. Nothing to do with god other than USA fights in his name, God created everything including that terrible moment…. Questions questions

    I hope my genuine interest piques your interest also. I too try to live a good honourable life.

  3. Actually we can understand it in the following manner:

    God is Perfect: Matthew 5:48 “Be you therefore *perfect*, as also your heavenly Father is perfect”

    Because God IS “perfect” and goodness is a key part of Gods perfection; we can know absolutely that God cannot [a moral impossibility] cause evil. … He can and does PERMIT evil for His own reasons; BUT cannot be the cause of it.

    1 Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in *my* *ways*, and keep my precepts, and my commandments, as thy father walked, I will lengthen thy days”

    Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are *my* *ways* exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts”.

    Here’s a challage for anyone wishing to take it.

    Go through the OT and find a passage where God’s response was not a Just responce for failure to Obey Him.

    It’s easy for us to identify WHAT God did; but only a vaild question of fairness when we ask also WHY DID GOD DO THIS?

    *Isa.29* *: 16 * You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay; that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

    Continued Blessings, working4christ2

  4. The age-old saying is “If we understood God, we would be God.” Yet, we all “know” God to some extent or another. And at one time or another, we all complain that God put thorns on roses…and ultimately praise Him for putting roses among thorns.

    Some of us need to see police and stop lights, much like some of us need to be reminded of God’s commandments, even though God’s commandments are not to punish us, rather to protect us. Ultimately, it is up to our free will—which God will not stop or force or take from us. Thus, it is not what He permits or not, rather what “we” do or fail to do.

    Perhaps God departs from our sight just long enough so we can turn to our hearts and find Him there.

    Then, we ask introspective questions like those of old: Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents—that he was born blind? Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” —John 9:3

    Christianity does not think of man finally submitting to the power of God: It thinks of man as finally surrendering to the love of God. It is not that man’s will is crushed, rather that man’s heart is broken.

    Doing good is another name for happiness– for all that is dear and delightful is this phrase “doing good.” Whoever would live well–let them be generous, be peaceful, and cultivate the “doing of good.” By practicing and bringing “good,” that person is wise, infused with happiness, and lives without regret.

    The purpose of studying Jesus is not only to know God, but to know ourselves. The purpose of studying our fathers is not to study history, but to know ourselves. Jesus wasn’t on trial… Pontius Pilate was. Jesus on the Cross wasn’t on trial…WE were…and still are!

    If we think of all the things that happen to us, contemplate this: Perhaps the Messiah comes only when he is no longer necessary; He will come only on the day “after his arrival.”

  5. Hi Kristin,
    This is always a volatile topic, isn’t it. Being raised Catholic – Baltimore catechism, etc…, I have my own questions relating to God, tragedy, war, sickness, and the death of innocents. Have never found any answers that satisfied my questions. Maybe there are none.
    Aside from that, Just popped in to wish you/yours a Happy New Year.
    Paul

  6. Ah, but God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. When you diligently study the old testament, you find that God was extremely merciful, patient, and loving in the old testament. He gave people chance, after chance, after chance, after chance to accept his blessings and walk according to his will. Just look at the lives of David, Solomon, Moses, Noah, the Egyptian slaves that were set free by Moses’ obedience to God’s will (and still, time after time, turned away and claimed themselves to know better than God). And STILL he loved them, waited for them, and gave them more opportunities to embrace his love, patience, and all-knowing will. It was the people who ultimately chose death rather than life. It’s like the following exchange of dialogue:

    God: “do this, and I will grant you everlasting life.”
    People: “no, thanks.”
    God: “I still love you, anyways. Do this, and I will grant you everlasting life.”
    People: “no, thanks.”
    God: “This pains my heart, but I still love you. Do this, and I will grant you everlasting life.”
    People: “Would you please leave me alone!?”
    God: “You know not what you ask for. Do this and I will grant you everlasting life.”
    People: [deny His existence with all their being]
    God: “Very well. I still love you.”

    Why do the people do this? Comfort. It’s quite uncomfortable surrendering your will to God’s. It’s much easier to allow pride to fuel your thoughts, actions, reactions (and, ultimately, character).

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