Why Doesn’t God Follow His Own Laws?!

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Why Doesn’t God Follow His Own Laws?!

James R. Aist

“But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” (Psalm 115:3)

Many people want to believe that what the Bible says about God is true, but they will do so only insofar as it conforms to their pre-conceived notions and/or they are willing to accept it as being true. Consequently, they believe in a god that is, at least to some extent, created in their own image. One major stumbling block for many such folks is the fact that God doesn’t always follow the laws that He commands us to follow. For example, in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), God has commanded us to not murder or steal, but He killed all the firstborn children in the land of Egypt (Exodus 13:15) and struck dead a Christian married couple (Acts 5:1-10), and, in effect, He stole the land from the inhabitants of the promised land and gave it to His chosen people, the Israelites (Leviticus 20:24)! So, they reckon, God is breaking His own laws and is, therefore, not the perfect moral being He claims to be. This leads them to the conclusion that such a god is a scofflaw, and therefore not worthy of reverence and obedience, much less worship.

But, there is a fatal flaw in that way of thinking about the God of the Bible. God’s laws were given to mankind for mankind to follow, not necessarily for God to follow. The God of the Bible is the supreme judge of what is right and what is wrong. There is no authority above God to whom one can appeal in order to lodge a valid accusation against God. Moreover, there is no need of someone to judge God, because all of His ways and thoughts are perfect. The psalmist stated it succinctly for us: “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3). God is not subject to the laws He has given for mankind to follow. Rather, He does whatever He pleases. God’s perfect ways flow from His perfect, moral nature, whereas our imperfect ways flow from our imperfect, sin nature. Moreover, God forbids us to do some things that He does, even in those instances in which we are capable of doing so. For example, Paul states emphatically,”Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to God’s wrath, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Judgement, in the sense of condemnation of a person, is another thing that God reserves for Himself. And, we can add the definition of right and wrong to this list. So, you see, God does not follow all of the laws that He laid out for mankind to follow, because He has reserved some functions and actions for Himself alone. He can do that, because He is God and we are not. We would do well to remember that.

The God of the Bible created, and therefore owns, all of creation, including us. He created us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7), in order for us to reflect back to him His glory (click HERE). Therefore, He has every right, even a moral obligation, to reward good and punish evil, as well as to be the sole judge of what good and evil are. And, He does with each human life whatever he pleases, without reproach. We can see this clearly in Romans 9:18, where Paul writes, “Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills.”

So, whenever we accuse the God of the Bible of wrongdoing, we are deluding ourselves into thinking that we are morally superior to God and are, therefore, qualified to be His judge. But in reality, its the other way around: we will all be judged by God.  So let’s not judge Him because He doesn’t follow all of the laws He has given for us to follow. Rather, let’s make peace with the fact that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). This is the God of the Bible: morally perfect, beyond reproach and judge of all.

(To read more of my articles with biblical themes, click HERE)

Fakin’ the Tears, Payin’ the Price

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Fakin’ the Tears, Payin’ the Price

 James R. Aist

My brother, Johnny, and I are only 17 months apart in age, and when we were growing up together, we lived way out in the “sticks” of central Arkansas at first, and then, when Daddy became an ordained minister in the Methodist church, we moved from one small, rural community to the next. In the rural areas of Arkansas back then, we often were unable to make many other friends, and, when we did, there were days at a time when we were not able to get together with them. So, out of necessity, we did a lot of things together. Things like playing, arguing, disobeying Mamma and suffering the consequences.

Well, Johnny and I were about as close to being cute little angels most of the time as you could imagine, but every now and then we would mess up, get caught and find ourselves cross-wise of the family disciplinarian, who was, you guessed it, Mamma. Now, these were the days before “political correctness”, and so Mamma was hesitant to “spare the rod”, if you get my drift. When our transgressions were relatively minor, we would get off with just a short lecture and a stern warning. But, now and then, we foolishly crossed an invisible line and had to face the dreaded consequences: a meaningful whipping applied to our backsides with whatever was the latest, or most convenient, hand-wielded, wooden flogging device; usually a stick of some sort. But hey, at least this gave us yet another thing to do together!

After undergoing several of these painful and embarrassing disciplinary sessions over a period of time, we began comparing notes about a pattern we had noticed. Mamma would strike us, in turn, over and over – whap, whap, whap, etc. – until we could no longer hold back the tears, and then we would begin to cry. Well, now, we reasoned, if crying was what convinced her to stop the whipping, why don’t we just start crying with the first blow, even if we don’t really have to, and, cleverly, spare ourselves the remainder of the whipping? So, we coveted with each other to do just that the next time we were “in for it”, thinking we would surely get off easy. Keep in mind, now, that the timing of this little scheme was everything. We had to absorb the first blow; then, and only then, would we burst suddenly into tears and, magically, “make” her stop.

Well, sure enough, it wasn’t long before we were “in for it” again. As Mamma was herding us into the torture chamber to administer the inevitable punishment, Johnny and I gave each other a “knowing” look to make sure we were both on the same page with our plan to fake the tears. Now, you know as well as I do that a plan is only as good as the execution of it, and that’s where we got caught in the act…literally. Don’t ask me why, but we both, in turn, burst into tears just before the first blow, instead of just after it! Now our Mamma was no fool, and she sensed immediately that we were trying to put one over on her, much to our surprise and chagrin. We knew, right then and there, that this was not to going to end well for us. And so it didn’t; Mamma proceeded to give us the worst whipping we had ever deserved, and, trust me, the tears were real! “Ow, ow, ow…no, I’m not alright, thanks for asking!”

Now, the moral of this story is two-fold: 1) execute, execute, execute; and 2) don’t ever think you can put one over on a seasoned veteran like Mamma! The price of getting caught – and you will get caught — isn’t worth it.

(For more articles on TRUE TALES, click HERE)