Friday, January 13, 2012

Challenging God

 In one of the readings from The Essential Jesus we were reading some history of the Israelites, particularly the time when Moses was leading them after they'd escaped captivity.  Do you know those stories?  Those stories used to always make me think those people sure did complain a lot.  It seemed to me that after God rescued them from slavery, they'd be so grateful they'd never again complain. 

I am finally starting to understand that we are all that way.  I wonder if I ever have a day that I don't complain about something.  I may complain that it is too cold, too warm, I'm too busy, I gain weight too easily, I don't have someone else's talent, and on and on.  I don't think of myself as a big complainer but it turns out that maybe I am.

The author went on to say that the main offense of the Israelites wasn't really that they complained so much, but that in doing so they were challenging God.  I was surprised to ponder the author's statement that the heart of all sin is challenging God.

I'm going to be thinking on that today.  What do you think of that?  Is "challenging God" the heart of all sin?  Do we sin because we think maybe we know better than God?  Is complaining a sin?   

Our society doesn't really even like to talk about sin.  Even the word, sin, is not used much in our world today.  It is not trendy.  It is not cool.  Maybe we should try to bring it back, use it more, think about it more.

Anyway, I was just pondering this today and wondered what you thought.  Are we challenging God when we sin?  Do we have a right to challenge God?  Any deep thoughts?  Any shallow thoughts?


EJN said...

I wonder if challenging and testing God is the same thing. In Malachi, test God, bring the tithe into the store house. (AND no, I do not believe this is the faith mongers exegesis of sowing seed money to get rich). When we know the character of God, I think we can test Him, and trust that He will do what is best in HIs providence and good will. I don't see it in the Bible that we can challenge God on His principles (which would be sin) but I would say we could challenge, or better test, His goodness because He is faithful to Himself and cannot deny His faithfulness. That being said, I have heard it explained as the "right hand of God's blessing" and the "left hand of God's adversity" that brings about His loving providence in all of life.
Anyway, love the post, Susan. Blessings to you, Wyoming Girl,

Susan said...

EJN, I think I agree with you. Testing God might mean showing your trust in him by letting go of the reins more and letting him lead you. I took challenging God to be more like denying the truth of his words. When we've been told (Biblically) that something is sinful but choose to do it anyway, that may be challenging God. Or, if we are told to do something (again Biblically) but choose not to, we are challenging God's wisdom. I think in this way we dishonor God. Does that make sense?

EJN said...

Absolutely! Hear, hear. i agree we can ask God to show Himself faithful to His character - but no is no and yes is yes in regards to His law. He made the world, he makes the rules.
Have a great Lord's Day,

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