Today’s question is this:
What do you think goes through God’s mind as He looks down on a singular man or woman that He has created and watches them progress through life from birth to death?
I would give two proof texts from scripture to consider while pondering an answer to this question. Both texts come from the book of Psalms.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Psalms 8:3-4
You have searched me and known me.You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. Psalms 139:1-8
David was a thinker. In the first quote he seems to contemplate the absurdity of an immense, perfect God taking notice of what could seem insignificant in comparison. But then when we read his thoughts from the second quote, we see that he has reasoned that God has taken very close attention to the details of his life.
And so I reason 3ooo years removed from David’s musings, that this question is significantly answered or sought by each individual who contemplates their position in a world not their choosing under the watchful gaze of a God not fully realized. The sufferings, the blessings, the acts of life that we must entertain as we move from birth to the eventuality of death – what do these mean to the God who created us for those moments?
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I thought it might be fun to share some of my insanity with you happy people, so here are my top 3 thoughts from today’s trip home:
- American religiosity runs the danger of raising the banner of, “Look what we did FOR God”, instead of allowing God to work through His people in His way, manner, and timing. I find this to be a troubling indictment in light of scripture where those who thought they were saved for doing works in Christ’s name are turned away for Christ never having known them.
- Do we sometimes want to hold in higher esteem those that came before us as being more holy and righteous because we believe the world is more broken now that it was then? In my thoughts, I explored the idea that the world is no more broken now than it was just moments following Adam and Eve’s rejection of God’s sovereignty in their lives. There may be more ugliness(evil) than other periods in history but the brokenness was complete and total once sin entered into creation. Much like plucking a petal from a flower breaks it completely from what it once was a part of. If the petal is wadded up and torn, it may be less recognizable for what it once was but it is still equally broken in that no matter its condition, from pristine to total destruction, it can never be part of the flower again. So, in my thoughts, brokenness can be separated from the perception of utility which can be correlated to our present condition within the church body. We are no more or less broken than those who came before us but we may be a little worse for wear in the perception of utility. While Christ is the answer for the brokenness, how we respond to that ‘good news’ has much to do with how the Christian church is perceived. In other words, if we appear to be less holy or righteous than those who came before, it is not the fault of the state of the world (brokenness) but the state of our response to the redeemer (utility or obedience). This can cause an inappropriate response to want to mimic those that came before (tradition) in order to preserve what we perceive to be their righteousness/piety/holiness instead of listening to the Spirit’s leading in this present reality.
- Finally, I thought about how our messed up perceptions can blind us to some simple truths from scripture because we make interpretations from preconceived beliefs. Our motivations for what we practice as faith are more about how we desire to respond to God than they are His. This thought was birthed from my study of Matthew 25 and I will elaborate further once we have completed the upcoming Guest Blogger series.
OK. Now that I have completely bored you with my thoughts while driving, what do you think on while commuting to work, school, or play?