HEART OF GOD

June 19, 2018

 

DEUTERONOMY 28:58-68

 

“And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”

 

A helpful tip to reading the Bible is to ask yourself, “what does this tell me about God?” The primary purpose of the Bible is to not reveal laws but to reveal who God is and to understanding His heart. Today’s passage is one of those passages you wish to ignore but it is in passages like these that when we wrestle with it that we can gain a better appreciation of who God is.

 

I am not going to lie, I had a difficult time with this passage and I was tempted to move on but there was this pull in my heart to sit upon the apparent “contradiction” that was presented. After thinking it through, I have a greater appreciation of the HEART of God and I pray that you too may understand God’s heart a little more today than yesterday.

 

NOTES ON THE TEXT

 

We are going to focus on the two passages that seem to be contradictions.

 

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord”

-Ezekiel 18:32

 

“And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”

-Deuteronomy 28:63

 

Which one is true? They are both true. What is being presented before you is a paradox. A paradox is the presentation of two truths that seem to contradict each other. I want to emphasize that the definition of a paradox is the fact that the two statements are true! So if we believe the Bible to be true and the very word of God, than both passages are true despite their apparent contradiction of each other and therefore we have before us another mind-bending paradox.

 

Some things that I want to explain is that we are trying to understand an infinite being through our finite brains and intellect. Since God is a being on a whole different level than us, there will be moments of trying to understand him that we will encounter situations like this where our minds cannot wrap around these truths. Our temptation is to either ignore what is presented and believe blindly without giving an ounce of thought unto the subject or downright not believe as we dismiss God as a myth for peasants. Both responses are not adequate and we are exercising the tactic of trying to box God to our understanding and level. If God is truly infinite than we must be willing to wrestle and embrace paradoxes and mysteries that cannot be solved but at the sametime know that what God has made understandable is truly understandable!

 

Tired? I know, that there was a lot of things expressed but let's keep moving forward.

 

In regards to the passages of above, our temptation is to give a reaction to the craziness of the paradox but the response we can take is to ask ourselves, “what can we know about the heart of God?”

 

  1. God doesn’t rejoice in death of His creation

  2. God who is just rejoices in carrying out justice in the punishment of evil and wickedness.

 

When we take these two principles, it will take us to the cross and sacrifice of Jesus where God delighted in crushing sin through His Son but it was a difficult task to do because of His love for the Son (Romans 8:32). Knowing this we must therefore respond by:

 

  1. Turning away from sin knowing its power to corrupt, bring disaster, and ultimately break our relationship with God.

  2. Seek justice when sin is prevailing but not seek pleasure in the suffering of those who are the causes of it. There is one thing to seek justice, but it is another thing to seek the pleasure of seeing the guilty suffer for that is not justice but revenge.

 

I encourage you to wrestle with these truths. It’s hard, I know. I spent the better part of my morning at Starbucks trying to wrap my feeble mind upon this but in the end I knew a little bit more the heart of God and that is what will bring us joy and peace in the end.

 

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