Friday, May 12, 2006

God isn't just like us...

"Do not be afraid," Samuel replied. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart."
- 1 Samuel 12.20

What is this passage saying to us? Having done "all this evil," why might the people of Israel turn away from the Lord?

Here's my take on it: They thought of the Lord as being just like them. If a servant had betrayed his master, what master would want him back?

But the Lord is not like that. A few hundred years later, Isaiah will urge the people of Israel to return to the Lord to receive mercy "and to our God, for he will freely pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, says the Lord, neither are your ways my ways."

Sometimes we think God is just like us, hoping that he has the same faults and will wink at evil. Other times we fear he is just like us, and will reject us when he finds us out.

But both views are wrong. And that's actually good news.

(mostly written 5/12; actually posted 5/13)

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