Monday, August 27, 2007

He knows how we are formed...

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is the LORD's love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
(Psalm 103:11-14, NIV)

"He knows how we are formed..."

I have a milk-carton in my room - I use it as a step-stool (among other things). It's heavy-duty enough that it will hold me.

I would never use it, however, to support my brother-in-law AND me - because we are two equally hefty guys. They'd collapse in seconds. And I'd never, ever even consider using that poor milk-crate to jack-up a car (even a light-weight one like mine). Why?

Because it's not built for that.
Never was, for that matter.
I know how it was made; I know what it will support.

How is it that people can understand this image clearly, and yet not give the God of the heavens credit for the same understanding?

Isn't it funny how on one hand, we acknowledge God as the creator of everything, and yet so many of us believe that God is somehow ignorant of our imperfect natures? How many people have felt that a holy God could not stand our presence - believing that our very nature is horrific to God, because we are stained and unholy, while God is perfect and holy?

Read that passage from Psalm 103 (Sunday's psalm reading) again. God MADE us. God KNOWS us. God "knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust." God knows who we are, how we are, and what we are capable (and incapable) of enduring. How can God be ashamed of the very imperfect nature that he created?

When people (including some prominent theologians) try to push this idea that God cannot stand to be in my presence because of "my hateful sin," I have to remember Max Lucado's famous words: that God's only Son died because he'd rather go to Hell FOR me than to go to Heaven WITHOUT me.

Thank you, God, for knowing who and what I am - and loving me anyway. Amen.



Michael Dodd said...

St. Therese of Lisieux, living in nineteenth century Jansenist French (sub) culture, said that she was as confident in God because of God's justice as because of God's mercy. Since God knows exactly how weak we are, she thought God would show justice by being merciful.

A friend of mine who died of AIDS used to say that his God was all-merciful, but not necessarily all-knowing. Rather, God is all-merciful because God is all-knowing. Humans, on the other hand are seldom all-merciful because they think they are all-knowing and righteous. Whereas, in fact, they haven't a clue.

Rick Brentlinger said...


I always enjoy reading your thought-provoking blog!

Do you allow people to use your work on other websites?

Let me know if I can post some of your writing on my website.

Your brother in Christ,

Rick Brentlinger

Peter said...

FWIW, Steve man, there is also a Christian theological stream that casts doubt on the Creator God (i.e: God is more of a "johnny come lately" to the created universe; it's a Gnostic notion, in fact)--it's part of the attempt at explaining the existence of evil, and creates as many problems as it solves.

Scott M. Frey said...

awesome post man... reminds me a bit of the Neale Donald Walsch outlook... I am glad I was reminded of this today!