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"Surely we know it all now."     From My Utmost for His Highest
Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place . . . —Revelation 4

“God has to hide from us what He does, until, due to the growth of our personal character, we get to the level where He is then able to reveal it.” Yea, but how can God hold men accountable for sins of a city and justify such incredible ruthlessness?

EXCERPTED FROM A Rooster Once Crowed: A Commentary on the Greatest Story Ever Told
  Chapter 5-The Prophets (pgs. 75-77):

It was rumored that, on his deathbed, Pancho Villa said, “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”

That desperation of wanting our lives to mean something is . . .

. . . familiar to us. So as we read these experiences—not fiction, but real experiences that some lived and bled and cried through—find some way in your life to let the legacy end better. We will never be able to achieve this fully but, when we can take another’s tragedy, loss or holocaust and enter into that pain to learn from it or resolve never to allow it to happen again or see a path that we’re on and turn from that path, then we—I, you—become part of the redemption and happy ending.

The prophets knew something about God. They didn’t see all that Jesus brought us, but they knew, like the child found in the discipline from his parents, that God would withhold nothing in the pursuit of a right relationship with His children. God was unwilling to favor or spoil His children at the cost of ruin or to set aside the pain of a vaccine. The risk of the alternative is too high.

When I look at the arc of humanity over this time and the tenor of the prophets, I don’t see a wrathful God, full of vengeance, throwing a tantrum because mankind can’t figure out the step or the beat.

I see a parent at His wit’s end, who knows how great a life can be, in spite of all these mistakes. I see a parent willing to leave perfection—the Great Dance—to travel the lonely road into prison, only to be told that the inmate won’t see Him today.

I see a parent who knows the alternative and will do anything to keep that child, conceived in love, away from impending flames.

I see a parent, fully knowing, willing to move heaven and earth if that child will only turn back and choose Him.

I see a parent way past hoping for a child that can’t not be in our family, and now, desperately fighting, at all costs, to pull a child up from a nosedive.

Today, we look at those throughout the Old Testament who were punished, killed or dropped into wells. Good and bad men throughout the Bible met ends that seem unfair. But we overlook that God never gave up on us. Even when He had the chance, like a mother’s prayer, God never stopped pleading and working out an excellence in each of us. 

C.S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, said it well:

We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the ‘intolerable compliment.’ Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.

God cannot give less. Heaven cannot accept less. And we cannot function, without voiding our warranty, with any less. [TWEET]

I love you.


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