ramblings from the noisedoctor

June 27, 2007

who are you to talk back to God?

Filed under: Bible study, Christianity — noisedoctor @ 7:27 am

I was reading in Romans this morning. It’s a book I’ve read several times–probably my favorite book in the Bible. This section really jumped out at me. I always cringe when I hear people say things like: “I can’t believe God would do that” or “I can’t believe that God would make us like that” or “I can’t believe God wouldn’t allow everyone free will.” In this passage, Paul emphatically challenges those sorts of statements, implying that anyone speaking in such terms has an inflated sense of his/her importance.

Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad — in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls — she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?‘” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Rom 9:10-21 (NIV) [emphasis mine]

When I hear people say these things (in the first paragraph above), I can’t help but think that they are trying to conform (or make) God into their image of who “God” should be, rather than spending time in the Bible trying to learn who God really is. Saying “That’s not what I want God to be like” or “I couldn’t believe in a God that does that” really doesn’t change God in any way. It’s much like me saying, I can’t believe that my state government would ever (insert action here). My saying that wouldn’t suddenly cause my state government to blink into nothingness or reverse an action they had taken just because I can’t fathom them doing a certain thing. That’s just reality and I can choose to believe it or deceive myself.

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