Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Loving Father

Ever notice how much time humanity spends arguing over whose version of "right" is right? Talking heads on TV? Politicians, anyone? It seems lost upon our world today that there could be such a thing as an absolute standard, but that's exactly how the Bible describes God and His standards in Deuteronomy 32. (ESV)
4 “The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.
Perhaps at first we can find comfort in a God who is perfect. We can take solace in knowing everything He does is complete. He judges rightly, because he is the very definition of just...from which judgment flows. But let's be honest; in any other context, the thought of judgment makes us quite edgy unless we think we're going to receive something out of it that we want to receive. We like the sound of God being faithful, especially in our sorrows and troubles. We are glad that He is without sin, and has no tolerance for it...until we find we ourselves are guilty of sin...and we are.
5 They have dealt corruptly with him;
    they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
    they are a crooked and twisted generation.
6 Do you thus repay the Lord,
    you foolish and senseless people?
This exactly describes the human condition. We claim one moral standard while continuously breaking it. Our relationship with God, as a Holy Father, has been broken by sin - both the sin you were born into, and the sin that you choose to commit. We claim we want justice when someone wrongs us, but what about when we have wrong a holy God? Fortunately the story doesn't end here. The chapter continues.
Is not he your father, who created you,
    who made you and established you?
7 Remember the days of old;
    consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
    your elders, and they will tell you.
God is a Father who certainly will avenge sin, but He's not looking for an opportunity to smack you upside the head. Instead, He is a loving Father, who made us, and is infinitely aware of our broken condition. Though He will punish the sin of the unrepentant, He is calling us to repentance patiently. 2 Peter 3 (ESV) says:
9. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
If you're reading this today, I urge you to consider that there is coming a day when all will answer to God. It's not worth it to try to manage your sin and foolishly try to argue Him into accepting you as you are. Instead, repent and come as you are. Let Him work on those parts of your being that you want to hide. It's time to come to your Father who loves you.
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