JUNE 8, 2012
IS GOD ON OUR SIDE?
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against
itself will fall.” (Luke 11:17, NIV)
Are you still reeling from yesterday? When we are presented with a daunting challenge—like a hole that
doesn’t fit our eye and features severe penalties for a wayward shot—our defenses kick in. Maybe that’s how you felt when we spoke yesterday of the wrath of God. How, you may have asked yourself, am
I ever to grow comfortable with a God who exhibits great anger?
To begin, we might question whether we are ever meant to be comfortable with God. You may be reminded of C.S.
Lewis’ Narnian exchange, where Lucy asks of the Christ-type, Aslan the lion: “Is he safe?” Like the little girl, we want to know if we can walk about in God’s kingdom without
being trampled by God himself.
Biblically, the answer may best lie in Jesus’ conversation with those who doubted him, as laid out in Luke 11.
When Jesus had driven out a demon locking its victim in muteness, the crowd was amazed. But this did not make them
comfortable. Could this be God? some surely wanted to know. But others proffered a supposed answer: “It is by Beelzebub (Satan), the prince of demons, that he drives out demons.” Notice the understanding of the people: there are demons, and there is a God opposed to them. These observers were fully accepting of the spiritual battle being waged behind earth’s scenes.
But Jesus explained that the critics had gone overboard in their thinking. It makes no kind of sense to suggest that
there is any lasting strength in a kingdom warring against itself. Neither Satan nor God opposes the things in which he delights. Each protects his own turf. And therein lies the answer to how we survive
God’s wrath, for if we are in Christ that wrath is not pointed in our direction. It has no interest in casting out the one whose heart is truly his.
Mr. Beaver answered tender Lucy’s question this way: “ ’Course he isn’t safe; but he’s
good.” Our own security lies in that truth. The goodness of God governs even his wrath. He will not harm his own.
June 8, 2012
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