This post is a continuation of our look at our deeply held, but conflicted, assumptions about God. You can find the last four parts of this series here.
And I’m really not trying to be provocative here. I’m doing this because it’s these very things we believe about God that makes us keep our distance from Him, even though we may love Him with all our heart.
And this particular assumption is insidious in that it locks us out in shame and condemnation, believing one of the devil’s favorite lies–that God will have nothing to do with us until we “get our act together.” After all, His eyes are too pure, right?
Of course, we have our doctrinal band-aid solutions to the theological dichotomies we’ve created–in this case, as long as our scary Father has His “Jesus glasses” on, He can then stand to look at us…but barely. Okay, I’m being facetious, I will try to tone it down a little…. 🙂
Sadly, it’s not too far from the truth of many people’s perception of Him…
…and we do need to resolve our “Daddy” issues and stop projecting them onto God…
…and I’m only trying to wake us all up to a very terrible lie. Besides, how horrible do we really think our heavenly Father is that we must have Him be this blood-thirsty beast who must kill His own Child in order to like us?
Oops, there I go again…sorry for the digression….
Okay, think through this with me…the question is, can God really not look at our sin?
I mean, doesn’t the Bible say exactly that…that He couldn’t even look at evil? Of course, this idea comes from our response to a verse in Habakkuk (bold-text added)…
“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and cannot look on wickedness…” (Hab.1:13 NKJV)
I’ve heard this line quoted at least a hundred times, usually in some canned salvation appeal, but did we ever bother to read the rest of the verse and find out the context?
…why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours…”
Do you see Habakkuk’s problem? He’s asking why God is actually looking on when people are doing evil things, when He’s supposed to be acting like a god who can’t even look at such things.
Back in verse 3, we see Habakkuk lamenting over the same issue. I will use other translations to bring this out more clearly (bold-type added)…
“Why do you make me see wrongdoing?
And why do you watch wickedness?” (Hab.1:3 GWT)
“Why do you make me see such trouble?
How can you stand to look on such wrongdoing?” (Hab.1:3 GNT)
So who’s the one with the perception issues here? Yeah, Habakkuk! Much like Jonah…and us…he was having a “grace-hating” moment with God.
And aren’t you glad God isn’t like us? Hey, if I were God, the world would be starting over and over like the latest software re-boot.
But no, God is not like us…He actually loves His enemies and even sends them the same rain and sunshine He sends our way (Matt.5:44-45).
Isn’t it time we left the superstitious bad karma theology of Job and his friends and embrace the theology of Jesus? But I digress again…
As I said in my other posts, this faulty understanding has created a very conflicted Trinity. We have God the Father who can’t even look at sin, yet Jesus–who we believe to be God the Son–accused of being a drunkard and a friend of sinners! (Luke 7:34)
And why did they accuse Jesus of these things? Because He actually hung out with drunks, prostitutes and the low-life’s of His society…all the time!
So, again, I put this question to you…if Jesus is God as we say He is (and I affirm), then why was He constantly exposing Himself to wickedness if God cannot countenance such things?
And, if He was truly in the Father, which I believe He was, wasn’t He dragging His Father into all this evilness too?
In fact, you could make the theological case that He only hung out with the wicked. After all, weren’t we all “going astray?”
Jesus said this about Himself (bold-text added).
“Then Jesus answered and said to them,
Most assuredly, I say to you,
the Son can do nothing of Himself,
but what He sees the Father do;
for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
For the Father loves the Son,
and shows Him all things that He Himself does….” (John 5:19-20 NKJV)
So, my question is this. Whose lead was Jesus following here? Was it not the Father showing Him how He should countenance wicked people?
How then does this statement of Jesus inform us about what our heavenly Father can or cannot look at? Let me make it perfectly clear to you.
It was the FATHER’S idea to look demon possessed people straight in the eye, touch lepers, heal a heathen Roman soldier’s servant, forgive the adulterous woman, talk to and not condemn the Samaritan divorcé (married five times, shacking up now), embrace greedy Zacchaeus, hang out with the worst of His culture, pick low-life tax collectors to be His closest friends; not to mention, embracing those who would kill Him…
Beloved, He’s the Prodigal’s Father who throws a party when religious people demand retribution, doing good to evil people through His Son wherever He goes…
THIS IS YOUR FATHER!!!
“If you had known Me,
you would have known My Father also;
and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (Jn.14:7 NKJV)