Hear Him Roar!

It was, to my mind, an unfortunate choice of title. A very popular author has published a 12-day devotional entitled Making Sense of God. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he probably didn't think through the implications of that title: what it suggests about him and what it suggests about God. If he had written six volumes of 2,000 pages each on the subject he still would not have met the mandate suggested in that title. It wouldn't put a dent in our understanding of God. A 12-day devotional doesn't cut it and to suggest that it could is presumptuous even if the author really didn't mean it.

Isaiah sums it up: "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

Paul follows up with this in Romans 11:33, "Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!"

Faith is not having to make sense of God.

Perhaps my opening "complaint" has only a tenuous connection to Amos 3:8.  But, "The lion has roared—who will not fear?" reminds me that it is wise for us not to mess with God. It is wise to pay attention when He roars.

Many of us have become so spiritually deaf that the roar sounds like nothing more than a plaintive meow. And behind that is our tendency to abuse the concept of grace.

Sometimes we use grace as though it were a "get-out-of-jail-free" card. The fact that grace covers all our sins does not give us a license to sin. Paul covers this by saying: "What shall be say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!...You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" (Romans 6:1, 18). While grace frees those who have deposited their trust in Christ as Saviour from the ultimate consequences of sin—eternal death and separation from God, it does not necessarily free us from the consequences we might suffer, here and now, because of those sins we continue to commit.

The Lion is not a toothless circus performer mastered by some lion tamer armed with a whip. He is Almighty God. The Lion continues to roar.

What He has revealed of Himself in His Word is sufficient for our salvation and for carrying out His will in our lives in ways that will bring glory to Him. Peter reminds us: "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

We are hard put to do what we do know perhaps in part because we have lost that sense of awe that comes with the reverential fear of God.

As for the rest, the things we don't understand about God, Deuteronomy 29:29 reminds us: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."

We need to do what we know, discover in His Word what His will is and carry it out, and stop trying to make the Lion into a tame house cat. Believe me, they too have teeth!


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