Wednesday, April 6, 2011
“Great acts of faith flow from our past interactions with the Lord. By neglecting His simple commands, we miss priceless opportunities to witness His faithfulness.” From an ‘In Touch’ devotional forwarded to me, this thought caused me to do some searching in my Bible – what does it say about God’s faithfulness? Here are just a few:
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; [Deuteronomy 7:9 KJV]
Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. [Isaiah 49:7 KJV]
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. [1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 KJV]
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [1 John 1:9 KJV]
Hebrews 11 gives a list of those who proved to be faithful to God: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and the last in that list, the harlot Rahab.
Wow, we can’t display the faith of a harlot? She explains her faith by what she had heard:
And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. [Joshua 2:9-11 KJV]
She read no scriptures, heard no priest, did not see the miracles she heard described in rumors of war – but she recognized the hand of God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. And we cannot do as well?
What would it take for us? A theophany, a physical manifestation? Christ gave Israel just that, and only a few believed. Is His story truly explained away as a death covered up by excellent fiction writers? What a conspiracy theory! A few fishermen, a tax collector, a Greek physcian, add a young Pharisee priest and they create, through letters and preaching, a religion that spreads in spite of persecution to the point of death?
An atheist commented as to how surprised Christians are going to be when they die and find there is no God. To me, that shows he hasn’t thought through his own argument. If death is the end, no eternity beyond, Christians will not be surprised, nor will anyone else. However, if Christians are correct, eternity does exist as explained by them, I would not want to be an atheist. Of course, that’s Pascal’s Wager.
My concept of the “play it safe rather than risk being sorry” is to study what is offered about God. Others have done so and chosen different religious views. I will not demonize theirs, but simply state my own beliefs and their source.