Saturday, September 24, 2016

"holier than God"

The Word for today:
Psalm 109
Note: The imprecatory Psalms (Psalms 35: 52; 55; 58; 59; 79; 109; 137) are cries to God to avenge.  Today, Stand in the Rain will discuss the biblical precept that the moral nature of God will (indeed, must) confront evil. It is helpful in discussions of the nature of God to remember that his name--YHWH (rendered LORD in your Bible)--means I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14). God's actions are consistent with his character. He lives up to no external standard, for his character IS what the moral standard IS.
Today's discussion is for mature audiences only. The enactment of the nature of God--the I AM being what he is--is often a fearsome sight to human eyes.
You've heard of those who think they are "holier-than-thou."
But for many, holier-than-thou is not enough. They think they're holier than God.
People holier-than-thou don't like the way I talk.  People holier-than-God don't like the way God talks.  They insist that some Psalms, like Psalm 109, shouldn't be in the Bible. They call them imprecatory Psalms, insinuating that by the time Jesus comes around, God had grown up to the point where he would never write something like Psalm 109 in his book.
Imprecatory Psalms call for vengeance against evil enemies. The New Testament's teaching on vengeance is that we should not take it into our own hands:
Beloved, never avenge yourselves... (Romans 12:19a)
But wait, there's more to that verse. The reason we shouldn't take vengeance into our own hands is because it is left to the hand of God:
...but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."  (Romans 12:19b)
The reason we are not to take vengeance lies in the fact that we are not to judge.  The reason we are not to judge lies in the fact that we are not always capable of making the right judgment.
The reason we are not always capable of making the right judgment lies in the fact that we don't have all the facts that need to be weighed.
But God has all the facts. Which makes him capable of just judgment.
All-powerful and capable of determining true justice, God is culpable (negligent) if he doesn't enact (enforce) justice.
Vengeance, when it is enacted by God, is a facet--a side--of justice. It is the side of justice that evil is owed:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord ( Romans 6:23).
We must take the time to turn that over in our politically correct, holier-than-God minds. For if we do not, we go further than the denial of a few imprecatory Psalms.
If vengeance is not an expression of justice, then what, pray tell, was going on at the cross of Jesus Christ:
But it was the LORD's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (Isaiah 53:10-11)
If vengeance is not an expression of justice, then we must conclude that what the Father did to the Son at the cross was evil.
Which leaves us holier than God.
So go ahead.  You tell Him first.  I'll wait for you here.

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