Turn His Face

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Numbers 6:24-26 – “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”  (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Think about this for a moment.  God.  The Creator. Eternally existent. All powerful. Glory so magnificent and awesome that no one in the flesh can gaze upon Him and live. He needs nothing that we could possibly give Him, yet He longs for us.  A longing so deep that He sent His only Son to dies for us.  He turns His face towards us and shines upon us.  He graciously redeems us, who otherwise are unredeemable. He blesses us, who otherwise deserve a curse.  He will never grow tired of us, but will keep us close to Himself for all eternity to come.

My Advice – Be a peace in these thoughts.

 

No Darkness At All

1 John 1:5This is the message that we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Unlike the “force” there is no dark side to God.

My Advice – Defend the faith. Do not let anyone portray God as unjust without standing up for Him.

When Awesome Is An Understatement

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Exodus 15:11Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Often, we skim through a passage without taking the time to “focus on the Logos.”

  • Who is like you? – This is a rhetorical question: a literary device used when the answer is self-evident, no answer is expected, or to emphasize a point.
  • Majestic – Royal bearing or aspect, grandeur, greatness or splendor of quality or character.
  • Holiness – Morally and spiritually excellent.
  • Awesome – Amazing, astonishing, astounding, eye-opening, fabulous, marvelous, miraculous, staggering, stunning, stupendous, surprising, wonderful, wondrous.
  • Glory – Something (someone) that secures praise, renown, splendor, magnificence, and grandeur.
  • Working – To perform or carry out a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations, according to a plan or design, in  order to produce a desired effect or result.
  • Wonders – A cause of astonishment or admiration far beyond anything previously known or anticipated.

Impressed yet (another rhetorical question)?  If not consider this:

  • Job 25:14And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him! (NIV 1978)

No wonder no one in their flesh, can look upon His face and live.

My Advice – Whenever we find ourselves taking God for granted, doubting Him, being critical of Him, dismissing Him, or anything short of total unreserved worhship of Him, we should fall facedown and ask forgiveness.

And yet, at the same time, because of the sacrifice of His Son, we can nevertheless boldly approach the Throne of Grace.  How “awesome” is that (final rhetorical question)?

 

What Might Have Been Is Possible Again

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Genesis 1:1, 31In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. (NIV 1978)

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

“Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.” –  Robert Kennedy

“But what would have been the good?” Aslan said nothing. “You mean,” said Lucy rather faintly, “that it would have turned out all right – somehow? But how? Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?” “To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No. Nobody is ever told that.” “Oh dear,” said Lucy. “But anyone can find out what will happen,” said Aslan. “If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me – what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.” ― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

My Musings – “And it was very good.”  That is what God saw then.  What does He see now?  Certainly not the goodness of His original design.  We can look at the ways things are now, and wonder what might have been had Adam and Eve not fallen.  This is not a dream of things that never were, but what could have been.  Why not?  Because of man’s sin.  “Of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, “It still would be good if man had not sinned?”

We are not told what would have happened.  But as Aslan is quoted, “anyone can find out what will happen.”  It is written in the rest of the Book.  There is only one way of finding out  – by following Jesus.  He is the only way.

My Advice – Do not question what might have been. Do not despair about how things have become.  Set your hope on what can yet be, by putting your faith is Jesus.

Study 2 – All Christians Believe In The Sovereignty Of God?

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Daniel 4:34-35 – His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing [compared to Him]. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (NIV 1984)

If there is there is anything (as small as one maverick molecule) that happens outside the foreordination of God, it therefore happens outside the sovereignty of God. Nothing can happen apart from the sovereignty of God. This includes the efficacious (having the power to produce a desired effect) and permissive (having the power to prevent an undesirable effect) will of God. Permitting something to happen does not necessarily mean He approves of or sanctions it. If anything were to happen outside that sovereignty of God, then God would not be sovereign and thus would not be God.

The question is: if God is sovereign, and if man is fallen, how can He allow people to perish? Does this mean that God is not sovereign (cannot prevent people from perishing) or He is not good (chooses to allow people to perish)? This “dilemma” ignores that fact that God is also totally righteous and just.

No Opportunity For Anyone – God could decide to not give anyone who has fallen an opportunity for salvation. The only objection would be that God is just. God is not obligated to be merciful, because mercy is not an obligation. Justice can be owed but mercy is not obligatory. But God did not choose this.

Just An Opportunity For Some or All – God could provide an opportunity for some or everyone to be saved. But there would be no guarantee anyone would be saved.

Ensures Some or All – God could exercise His sovereignty and ensure the salvation of some or everybody. God did not choose to ensure the salvation of everyone (universalism). This is not Biblical, because we know many will indeed perish. Some will be lost (particularism).

So, we are left with either God provides the opportunity for some or all the fallen to be saved (Arminianism) or He intervenes to ensure the salvation of some of the fallen (Calvinism).

The question is: Does God provide an opportunity for some or all, or does He ensure the salvation of only some?

The primary objection to Calvinism is that it would not be fair for God to ensure the salvation of some but not all. But this is also a problem for Arminianism, because all God does is provide an opportunity (when it is within His power to ensure). Thus, the argument goes there is more of God’s mercy being demonstrated in Calvinism than there is in Arminianism, because there is no assurance that any will take the opportunity.

Arminianism – The opportunity for salvation is given to all, but not all will take it.

  • Calvinism – The salvation of some (but not all) are ensured.

The questions are: Is it an injustice if God ensures the salvation of some but not all the fallen? Or, is God being more merciful by ensuring the salvation of some rather than just an opportunity?

ll are fallen and in rebellion against God. Some are saved, and some are lost. The saved get mercy, the lost get justice. No one gets injustice. Mercy is not justice and it is not injustice. It is non-justice.

Getting back to the so-called dilemma. If God gave some mercy and some injustice, His goodness could be called into question. But God gives some mercy and He gives others justice. So, His goodness cannot be called into question. No one has been or ever will be the object of injustice at the hands of God.

Notes from: Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul

God’s Foolishness

1 Corinthians 1:25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – This is the age of science and knowledge. But if it contradicts God’s Word, then it is foolishness.

My Advice – Don’t become too impressed with the wisdom of philosopher’s, educators and scientists. Their greatest wisdom is foolishness to God.

A Refuge in Times of Trouble

Nahum 1:7 – The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We should be thankful that we are able to take refuge in God. We can trust in His goodness. We can believe that He will take care of us. No trouble is bigger than His ability to take care of it.

My Advice – When you are in trouble, trust God and take refuge in Him. He is good and will care for you.