Tuesday, October 23, 2007

God's grief

God was grieved that He had made man because of man’s pervasive wickedness. (Gen. 6:5-11). A couple of questions arise: did God make a mistake when He made man? That He is grieved by his own creation seems to suggest a flaw in the Creator: unless God intended to be grieved. And this should be intuitively understandable to all of us who like stories that make us sad. And many of us particularly like sad stories that turn out happy. Similarly, we like to see our sports teams in danger of losing, only to win. God also likes this kind of contrast, as Paul writes that God made some people for wrath so that he could off-set them against those people He showed mercy (Rom. 9:20-23).

This is a hard teaching, but not one beyond our intuitive understanding.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Not beyond our intuitive understanding, yes; but the well-spring of (again) interminable mental boxing matches with oneself ("I'm not dueling with mental itches") or with the devil. For the speculative, it provides plenty of material to chew on.

For me, just to know it is God that we're talking about, His choices and His will, is what makes it not only tolerable, but (in the best sense) comforting. We can trust God's will and His choices because we believe He loves us, and that's faith. And faith is all it takes. "To the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:23-24 NKJV)

jose said...

I'm latching on to your last statement. Something about it has been troubling me. Maybe it's because some of my intuitive understanding leads me down some dark roads when it comes to God.

Why would I start writing a story knowing it will be sad? Because I know it will end gloriously. But in my story the characters are just words on a page, in God's they are flesh and blood. And while I have no little problem saying God can do what he wishes with his creation, I strain a bit on behalf of those who do.

Kenny said...

Jose, another way to look at it that may be closer to home for you is bringing children into the world. People bring children into the world knowing that their child will experience pain in life, yet it's deemed that life is so good that it's worth it anyway.

Kenny said...

I think there's always that struggle with "dark thoughts about God." It's always reassuring to me to see that this struggle isn't foreign to the Bible. Job and Psalms are full of it. Even Jesus crying out "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Also, I remember C.S. Lewis comparing God to a sadist in 'A Grief Observed.'

So, I didn't mean, by my post, to minimize the struggle to understand why God's done certain things the way He has.