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Posts Tagged ‘justice’

MYSTIC MUSINGS

This week in the Genesis study we explored the very difficult 34th chapter. It’s hard to understand why stories like the rape if Dinah are in the Bible. We seem to think that all the characters in the Bible are saints. They are not. The Bible shows use raw humanity. The are stories that could be put on the nightly news and be right at home. So why are they there? To show that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was a God of LOVE.

“For God so loved the world. . . ,” a world of raw humanity capable of horrors and atrocities. “That He gave. . . ” God’s love is always about giving, of Himself, first and then in a million intimate gifts that come to rest in the heart of Jesus. “His only Son. . .? Divine LOVE give all, gives what is most precious and dear to His own divine heart, withholding nothing. That is why I capitalize all the letters when referring to divine LOVE. No human being can LOVE like that. Why would He do that? Why would He give His dearly beloved Son to people capable of the horror we see in Genesis 34.

So, how do we get this great love? See there’s the wrench in the works. Justice demands that sin must pay the penalty. Logic tells us that we must measure up to the righteousness demanded by the law. Except that there was no law at this time, just strict cultural norms and standards enforced by tribal kings in city-states. But this call for justice is a natural one in every human heart of every culture found on earth. So when the Bible says that we obtain this incredible LOVE by faith alone, we rebel. “. . . That whoever believes in Him (Jesus) would not perish but have everlasting life.” Noooooo! It can’t be true. Shechem can’t get off scott free. Jesus didn’t die for Hitler. The boys were perfectly justified in killing all the men in the village. That’s justice. Yes, perhaps. But it us not LOVE, or grace, or making peace.

It is a mistake to demand New Testament values from Old Testament people. As the old saying says, “The Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written.” But God does not change. His righteousness demands perfect LOVE which is part of His great character. The greatest commandment for both Jews and Christians is summed up in Deuteronomy 6:6 “You shall love The Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.”

That’s the standard. Who can measure up to it? Every moment of every day to be totally consumed with a burning love fit God, is the demand. And although these words had not been written yet, God still sets this as the standard. Do I measure up. Certainly not!

Jesus does LOVE like this He loved Shechem when he came riding across the plains to snatch up Dinah and rape her. He loved Jacob when he failed in leadership. He loved Simeon and Levi, when they committed the crime of killing all the men and not stopping with Shechem. The corollary to the Great Commandment is Leviticus 19:18 “. . . You shall love your as yourself.” It takes divine LOVE to love our enemies, those toxic people who destroy our lives our peace and our sanity.

How can we get this divine LOVE? Be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is given through the life of God to us because He is living in us. Galatians 5:23,24. I receive the Holy Spirit when I became a believer. Romans 8:9. But being controlled by God, The Holy Spirit is a matter of choice. God is a gentleman, if I want to do things my way, He will let me. I have a will. When I sin it is then a matter of confessing my willful sins to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through me.

Loving toxic people is hard. Sometimes it’s hard to love the people we cherish. But loving my enemies is completely out of the question. I cannot love a “Hitler.” Only divine LOVE can do something that amazing.

Let’s ask Jesus for mercy. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for the help He is ready to give so that. We can LOVE as He does.

In the heart if Jesus,
Kathy Seidlitz

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