Lofty Thoughts

I was talking to my kids about Adam and Eve listening to Satan and about the first mention of the Gospel–that a man will come and crush Satan’s head.

My one kid asked, “Why didn’t God crush Satan right then?”

Um.

I said, “I don’t know really. It had something to do with God’s plan and desire to show His mercy.” Which, although theologically accurate and acceptable, made no sense to my kid. It doesn’t to me either.

We get so caught up getting answers. Getting answers is fine, “buy truth and wisdom,” Solomon said. But if the answers aren’t in Scripture, don’t try to invent them.

“Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.”

How much of our theology is just plain arrogance and pride?

Even more troubling, how many questions are answered in Scripture but we cover them up with our theoretical surmisings of what God really meant and how He obviously didn’t mean what He actually said, etc.

Sticking with the whole counsel of Scripture and the plain truth set forth is the greatest act of humility a person can undergo. Do so, because God gives grace to the humble. We are accountable for what we have been given. Don’t play games with it.

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

2 thoughts on “Lofty Thoughts”

  1. Speaking of perception or understanding if you will, I have often wondered how modern day church-life has become so centered around us, and our “feelings”, rather than Christ. The main stream church message is more about good advice, rather than the good news. Issues driven instead of Gospel driven.

  2. To even complicate the matter further, you might have pointed out to your child that not only will God crush Satan under Christ’s feet, but under the feet of the saints as well, Rom. 16:20.

    But I don’t think it is foolish to try and understand these issues, since they are at the heart of the whole struggle between good and evil…provided we avoid human speculation.

    Initially Satan challenged two things (which are really the same): God’s law, and God’s character. “Has God said that you shouldn’t eat of this tree? Well He’s just making laws to keep you from achieving your true greatness.” Therefore, not only were God’s laws called into question, but His character as well, for the insinuation is that He is lying to keep Himself on top, and to press you down.

    Now let us suppose that the moment Satan first started spreading these ideas, a bolt of lightning came from God and vaporized him. Would that solve the matter? Not at all…then those who had entertained doubts would think, “Satan must be right…look how God silenced him…God must be trying to hide something,” etc. Fear, and not love, would then become the motivation for service to God.

    Worse than that, such a solution is simply not part of God’s kingdom. His kingdom is built on truth and love, not fear. “Perfect love casts out fear.” (I realize there is another kind of “fear” in the Bible, namely “fear of the Lord” which is respect, or fear of being separated from Him.)

    Love to God and love to man are the two great commandments. Love cannot be won by compelling power. You can win temporary submission by exercising force, but not love.

    Therefore, God must win this battle by showing that truth and love are more powerful “by nature” than lies and deceit. A kingdom built on trust and love must last longer than one built on fear and oppression…and a bit of logical thinking will tell you that it has to be so.

    Nevertheless, humans are not convinced of this. They still believe that force, in the end, settles all the questions…and the one with the greatest force wins.

    But the cross of Christ speaks loudly against this lie. Christ exercised no retributive force, yet made a fatal blow on Satan’s kingdom at the cross. Thousands were undeceived, and millions more to follow through the ages, through this one act. That is the way God wins wars, by unveiling the lies that we hold to be truths; those lies which cause us to hate God and distrust Him.

    Martin Luther had the right idea when he told the Protestant princes that they should not think to support the Reformation by the use of their swords. “Those who live by the sword will perish by the sword.” Why is Christ’s kingdom an everlasting kingdom? Because it is not built on the sword. “The meek inherit the earth”, not the proud blood-thirsty warriors.

    The book of Job is another example where we get a glimpse into what is going on “behind the scenes” in the struggle between Christ and Satan. Christ pointed to Job as a witness that Satan was wrong. Satan said, “no, he’s only serving you because you give him blessings.” ie. Satan accused Job of serving God selfishly. Satan was really saying “men don’t serve You because they love You and Your laws; they either serve You because of reward, or because of fear.”

    But Job showed that his service to God flowed from a pure heart of love and obedience. Job would trust God even if God slew him.

    Song 8:7 – “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” That is the power by which God will win the battle.

    But this takes time. It takes time for God to form an army of Job-like people, not because God is limited but because His people are continually falling for Satan’s traps. And it takes time for Satan to unite the world under his banner because of the inroads that the gospel makes from time to time. But the armies will be prepared and the final battle will be fought, which will settle most of the issues. Revelation speaks about it.

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