When men speak, they do so out of their own
understanding and thought process.
Man's way of processing life is far different than God’s way. In Isaiah 55:8- 9, we see that He operates in a completely different realm.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God thinks with a different mind than the mind of humans (see p. 259 of Ideolatry). Man thinks inside the box of his observations, perspectives, and understanding or in other words, according to his ideolatry. God has no such box and is not limited by anything but His own Word. He sees things differently, and He does things differently.
Some situations in the Bible are related from experience by eyewitnesses. Others are presented from the perspective of historical hindsight from a distant observer. Still others are attributed as direct quotes from the mouth of God. The words used in the original writings may also be altered in meaning by the translators in some situations. They used the best words available according to their understanding of the events, but a different perspective can sometimes be more revealing.
The Bible expresses the totality of God’s purpose for man. Ultimately, God is in the business of saving, delivering, rescuing, redeeming, blessing, and guiding humans. Everything that He has done and that He has provided is toward one goal, restoring man back to the status that he had when he was first created.
God wants to separate man from his sins and bring him back into fellowship with Him.
Therefore, if we observe an inconsistency in an account of God’s actions or words... our understanding of the situation must be flawed.
Unfavorable circumstances are viewed as God’s active punishment or correction, but the concept of punishment is very simply stated as a penalty imposed for wrongdoing. The actual reality is this: God’s Word is His correction. He does not punish. It is sin that does the punishing. His Word reveals our sins as we see in Hebrews 4:12-13, and He offers forgiveness through Jesus.
Hebrews 4:12-13 (ERV)
12 God’s word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. 13 Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. He can clearly see all things. Everything is open before him. And to him we must explain the way we have lived.
A penalty is not a proactive act of vengeance that is seen with vindictive human nature. It is a predetermined result activated by disobedience. Lying or cheating on your taxes will bring financial penalties or possibly worse. It is disobedience to the law, and the law carries a punishment for disobedience. Excessive use of alcohol, smoking, or using illegal drugs might lead to injury, sickness, or death. Overeating and gluttony may do the same or lead to poverty. None of these are wise, and God recommends against these kinds of activities in Proverbs 23:15-21.
Proverbs 23:15-21 (ERV)
15 My son, it makes me happy when you make a wise decision. 16 It makes me feel good inside when you say the right things. 17 Never envy evil people, but always respect the Lord. 18 This will give you something to hope for that will not disappoint you. 19 So listen, my son, and be wise. Always be careful to follow the right path. 20 Don’t make friends with people who drink too much wine and eat too much food. 21 Those who eat and drink too much become poor. They sleep too much and end up wearing rags.
God does know what is best for us. However, from our perspective, “no” is a bad thing, and it forms a longing for that which is denied, making it something to be desired.
Fortunately, God provided a way out of the hopelessness of our own sins. He gave the Law to point out to us that we really cannot do it on our own. We need Him, His grace, and His mercy. It is impossible for a sinful man to live up to the Law. Blood (death) was required to satisfy the penalty (punishment) of sin.
The penalty for sin is death and it is fair. This is the reason why God provided substitutionary animal sacrifice within the Law as a way to temporarily pay for sin. There were detailed procedures and yearly ceremonies set up to atone for sins through those sacrifices. Fortunately for us, God is not fair. He had a better plan that would no longer require us to pay the fair penalty for our own sin through periodic animal sacrifices.
Jesus will set you free if you let Him !
I hope my blog posts help you grow in your faith and Biblical understanding. I would like to invite you on a journey of further spiritual growth by purchasing the Ideolatry Book and Study Guide. Together, these tools will give you a strong Biblical foundation when life is difficult to understand.
May the Lord bless you and keep you... Dr. Rich Masek
To learn more about God’s Character and Nature in Ideolatry - God Is Not Your Problem
You can read about more subjects from Ideolatry below.