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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

God's eyebrows?

i had an opportunity to engage in some interesting dialogue with a friend of mine the other day. it all began with a link to a fun site called The Brick Testament.on this site we find edited highlights of the bible, all illustrated with tableaux created out of lego blocks.

but why is God frowning?

it's not that i think God always smiles- that wouldn't be a real person. however, neither is a God who is perpetually frowning. i mean, why would God say that everything was good and very good if the divine was actually uniformly displeased?

my friend shared some thoughts:

I do believe that God does not have a lot to smile about when He looks at Canada.

Let's be honest about it - we are a nation of luke-warm believers. I don't think He is smiling much when He thinks about spewing us out of His mouth.

When the Bible tells us to "run the race", how many of us do you feel are actually running to win? I think we are power walking at best some of the time. How many of us praise Him as we should - He created us and protects us . How many of us truly walk in obedience - He sacrificed his only Son for our sins. How many of us search the scriptures daily and spend a significant amount of time in prayer - can any of us say as the Psalmist "As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee" or as Paul wrote "That I may know Him and the power of His resurection and the fellowship of His suffering"

The race that I am in - I certainly am not running. I know that is a choice of mine - I own that 100%.

I am placing no judgement or condemnation on anyone - this is just my perspective and I thought I would share it with you as my friend.

yeah, there is much to frown at in canada and around the world.

however, as he pointed out, the lordship issues are our own. the fact that we are unfaithful, disobedient and spiritually flacid is due to the choices we make- our stewardship of God's greatest gift next to life itself: our free will.

when our kids make decisions that represent some kind of sell out or compromise- the turning from what they know to be true in favour of what they just want to do- i think that we as parents typically have some degree of frustration, sure, but we also love our kids and try to walk them through this stuff, affording them grace and mercy that is only God's to give.

i think that in light of all the willful disobedience and disregard for love and provision, it's more likely that God's eyebrows / \ in sadness, disappointment and teeth gnashing pain, than they go \ / in anger, judgement and retribution. that's how i, with only a small portion of love, grace and mercy, respond to mistakes in the lives of those i love...

Jesus had a bit to say on this one in matthew 7.9-11

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

interesting- this passage directly follows some of Jesus' teaching on judgement.

here's something to think about: God has agreed to withhold judgement from the earth until that final day. see, grace is really a breach of justice... 'unmerited favour' of God. God cannot be both gracious and impartial because they are polar opposites. we don't get what we deserve and will continue to live under the canopy of God's mercy until there's nothing left to say, no cases left to plead, no intercessions left to be made. then, and only then, will God rise up from the mercy seat and separate the sheep from the goats... yet even then, i can't imagine his eyebrows furrowed with the chill of retribution. not when it means losing his beloved forever. i think the expression of God will contain much more pain and sacrifice and utter hopelessness than sanctimonial fury.

speaking from experience, i think we frown at ourselves far more than God frowns at us.