Yahweh, the Wild

I have had numerous conversations lately with people who talk as if they have an inside scoop as to who God is and what he would do in every given situation. It’s remarkable to me how many times we all seem to take that position. Inadvertently, I say things sometimes that confirm that I feel the same way, things that put God in a box. I have heard, and sometimes made, statements like: “He doesn’t do that anymore,” “My God would never…,” and “He’s different than he was in the Old Testament.” All of these statements assume a great deal of the God we serve. In fact, it seems that many times the predominant view of God is he has had a personality change over time: a strict military father swift with punishment in the Old Testament, who, after much angst, has changed to be a loving grandfather quick to forgive in the New Testament. The Old Testament God is standing on the front porch with a shotgun while the New Testament God is the one we picture in a rocking chair petting a baby lamb.

But that’s not our God. He didn’t undergo therapy and change halfway through the Bible. He is the same God from Genesis to Revelation. One need only look at both Old and New Testament stories to realize this. For example, the Old Testament angry father image of God is shattered when one reads the story of Jonah and the forgiveness shown to Nineveh (of all people!), or the account of Hosea where God describes his enduring love for us despite the adulterous nature we have. Likewise, the image of an elderly grandfather petting a lamb doesn’t hold up under the weight of the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. Trying to reconcile these stories with these images of God can be very difficult.

But the difficulty doesn’t lie with Scripture. The difficulty lies with us. Nowhere in Scripture does God say, “And now________ (insert extremely cool Bible character’s name here) you have me completely figured out. Live long and prosper.” God even reminds us in 1 Cor. 3 that our wisdom is his foolishness, and yet we act as if he have him pegged!? Now that’s bold! I wish we were as bold in our evangelism as we are in our approach to God! Is God a loving figure? Yes. Is he a righteous figure? Of course. Is he more than we give him credit for or assume about him? Undoubtedly!

The problem is that we are trying to tame a lion, and lions don’t like to be tamed. C.S. Lewis showed great insight in the Chronicles of Narnia when he addressed this exact issue. It even made it into the movie! At the end the whole of Narnia celebrates. Lucy and Mr. Tumnus retire to the veranda to talk, and Lucy sees the lion walking down the beach by himself. When she asks why this is, Mr. Tumnus replies “Well, he’s not a tame lion” and Lucy, suddenly knowingly replies, “Yes but he is good…” What a beautiful image of our God. He is definitely not tame, but he is good. That’s where the excitement of following God is found…in the mystery, in the unknowing. We don’t exactly know what he’s going to do next or how he plans on doing it! We only know that He is good and is taking us in a good direction! I can’t wait to see what he does next! I am mostly excited that it will take a lifetime to come to know Him better and better understand his ways!


Other Posts You Might Like:

I Have No Time - Andres Badillo

Kingdom of Heaven - Ross Thomson

VBS 2015 – LOVE>fear - Walter Moody

Watch and Wait, Sunday is Coming - Laurie Templeton

Money! - Beau Davis

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