Monday, June 12, 2017
He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf; he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with bolts of lightning. Psalm 29:6-7(NLT)
I think if I owned two horses I would name them “Joy” and “Judgment”.
There is a certain amount of duality or dichotomy that appears in all of us, and it stems from the fact that we are created in the image of the One who can appear that way. One day we seem, like Job, to be enjoying the joy of God; everything is smooth and life is good. The next moment, like Job, we seem to be under the harsh thumb of God’s judgment.
I’ve heard God called two-faced before, and it’s always when the person is experiencing something of a painful judgment kind of day, rather than the joy to which they assume they’re entitled.
Preacher’s sermons always seem to focus on one side of that equation or the other. On this Sunday we are hearing about the joy of skipping calves, or mountains that leap like a young ox – the next Sunday there are bolts of lightning scorching everything in sight.
You can just hear the anguished cry of confusion: When you say ‘God’ do you mean joy or judgment? Will the real God please stand up; is it Joy or Judgment?
And the answer is always Yes!
Uhhhh, Preacher, would you care to run that by me again? What can I really expect from God, is it joy or judgment?
The fact that God created this universe with polar opposites (up/down, cold/hot, positive/negative) should give us a clue that God, being altogether consistent in all things, would relate to that creation with joy in appropriate circumstances, and judgment in the other case.
Let’s take a short course in parenting: you can be joyful with your children, but there are times when training them properly must include judgment. You might be called two-faced (or a lot of other things under their breath), but a parent who loves the child will not let the child grow up a self-serving, obnoxious brat!
Applying that thought to the way God “parents” us, you have to magnify the skill of the parent (compared to us human parents) by a factor of one million to the umpteenth power, and you have a faint picture of how much greater God’s love is applied to all His creation, whether it is in joy or judgment.
God’s love is unquestionably in action right now for you; mostly it’s your choice whether it comes down as judgment; He prefers joy.