Tuesday, April 18, 2006

God's Greatness

I have made it my goal to read through the entire Bible over the course of the next year. Having just finished Genesis, a few things have really jumped out at me. For instance, the greatenss and glory of God when compared with human finitude in this first book of Moses. In reading about the patriarchs, we often focus on the immoral lives of the characters in the narrative and question God's blessings upon them. Truthfully, however, I believe that in doing so, we tend to limit God. We attempt to confine God's purposes to the actions of men and women. We ask why God would bless Abraham after so many moral failures. However, we do not speak of God's majest and sovereingty in being able to accomplish his purposes in spite of the disobedience of the patriarchs. God is sovereign regardless of the actions of his people. God is greater than everything, even sin.

God's blessing does not fall on people because of their disobedience. Scritpure speaks of God's blessing remaining with people in spite of their disobedience (It should be noted here that my definition of blessing in this sense is more in line with the understanding of "giving" a blessing in the Old Testament. By "blessing" I am not referring necessarily to material possessions, but rather to the purpose and task to which one is called. For example, God blessed Abraham by choosing him as the vehicle through which the Jewish people would be formed.) Why would God do that? Because his blessing is a responsibility. God blesses people so that his will can be accomplished. God's will was accomplished in Genesis in spite of the disobedience of the people chronicled in this narrative. In fact, God has been accomplishing his purposes since the beginning of creation in spite of the frailty and failures of human beings.

We limit God too often to our own abilities. Our prayers are not even as they should be. We elevate sin and remove God's glory. Jesus' model prayer begins with praise and glory given to God, but often we begin our prayers with repentence. We must realize that the sin in our lives does not now and will not ever take precidence over the glory of God. God is greater than sin and works in spite of our failures; we must honor him for that. Sin is an offence to God only because of God's majesty, thus even the sin of our lives speaks of God's glory. THerefore, any mention of sin--through prayer, repentance, personal testimony, etc...--must inevitably focus on God's greatness. To do otherwise is to limit God's majesty and elevate the importance of the sin in our lives.

Many people are credited with great testimonies because of the horribly sinful lifestyle they once lived. The testimony of the Christian, however, is never a word of what they have done. The testimony of the Christian must always be a word of what God has done in spite of everything that a lost sinner did to mess up God's plans.

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