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The Word of the Lord

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who Are You Contending With?

Hey Worshippers!

Today I was reading out of Isaiah and it reminded me of some of my early childhood upbringing. There came a day when I began to wonder, Why? Now, you probably didn't ask your parents this, but as I began to have a little more confidence, I would ask why?

No you can't go outside and play, Why? No, you can't ride your bike to your school and back, Why not? No, you can't have that pack of gum, Why? As a parent, I now understand the exasperating look on my parents face as they continually said, "not today".

I have three children and a few years back my youngest asked if she could spend the night at a friends house. My "off-the-cuff" response, We'll See! Promptly, my oldest chimed in, "that means no". My delay-until-they-forget tactics had been uncovered. I was now being pressed to the issue of why. This dialogue would sometimes go on and on and soon would reach that all too familiar climax, "Because I Said So!" This emotionally-driven, argument ending proclamation would always conclude the conversation and hence put the final nail in the coffin of spending the night at a friends house.

In our Christian lives, we also ask, why? We go to the Lord and we plead with Him over various difficulties and challenges in our lives. We pray with discipline, looking for an answer. We, at times, fast in order to hear what God's answer to why?, might be. We even plead with God and use as coercion our loyal following of Him to get an answer, only for Him to stay silent and not answer. I've even been told, by Christian leaders, that I respect, that sometimes a no-answer is an answer, yet I'm left with the question, why?

Isaiah 45:9-13, says, "What sorrow awaits those who argue with their creator. Does a clay pot argue with its' maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?' How terrible it would be if a new born baby said to its father, 'Why was I born?' or if it said to its mother 'Why did you make me this way?'" This is what the Lord says- the Holy One of Israel and your Creator: "do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands? I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command. I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will guide his actions. He will restore my city and free my captive people- without seeking a reward! [he ends with an argument-ending proclamation] I, the Lord of Heaven's Armies, have spoken!"

Now, that is about the loudest "because I said so" that I've ever seen. I the Lord of Heaven's Armies, have spoken! Paul also emphasizes God's sovereignty in Romans 9:20-21 when he says, "On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

Our response to God, as a disciple, should always be, Lord, Your will be done. It's natural for us, just as our own children do, to ask why? At some point, though, the Lord will say, because I said so. It's not out of impatient, exasperating frustration. It is because He is sovereign, He loves us and knows what is best for each of our lives. He is not hampered by time and space, He sees so much further ahead than we do, fact is, He sees the entire picture. We can trust his direction. Let's trust Him today!

May you be at peace today, if God says, because I said so!

Becoming a disciple with you,


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