In the previous installments of this series on God’s ways, I discussed why He does things the way He does and whether we could do any better if we had supreme control of the universe. Now I want to focus on something a little more personal. Putting yourself in God’s place for a moment, think about what you would do if your creatures turned away from you to the point where your relationship with them seemed irreparable.
You had designed humans so that their most primal need was to have a deep personal relationship with you, but they had chosen to abandon and deny their need for that intimate relationship. In human terms, this seems like an impossible situation. One party (the human being) has gone against the wishes and desires of the other party (God) by disobeying His instructions, speaking against His perfect character, and hurting Him deeply. The first party will not admit their wrongs and refuses to apologize (repent) for their sins against the second party.
If both of these parties were human, it would be difficult if not impossible to reconcile and restore their close relationship. The first (wronged) party would have to unilaterally forgive the other one, which requires Godlike humility and unconditional love. Considering the extreme nature of the sins of people against God, this forgiveness would be on the level of Corrie TenBoom’s forgiveness of the concentration camp guard who brutally and mercilessly beat her sister. However, as we know, with God “all things are possible”. From the Romans 11:33 Scripture above, we also know that it is “impossible for us to understand God’s decisions and ways”.
So how did God choose to reconcile us back to Himself from the depths of our sin and disobedience? Did He shout down to us in His Earth-shattering voice, speaking anger and judgment on us and our sins? Did He accuse us of turning against Him, shaming us into such a state of humiliation and disgrace that we felt compelled to seek His forgiveness? Did He come down to Earth, seeking retribution and justice for every sin we had committed against Him and His children?
Or did Abba draw us back to Himself (and to Yeshua) by loving us unconditionally? It is sometimes hard to even fathom the depth of Abba’s love for us. Think of a particularly painful time in your life, when someone has hurt you so deeply you cannot even imagine forgiving them. Then imagine sacrificing your own child for people who despised and cruelly hurt you. Multiply this a million or billion times and you can start to feel what our Father in heaven feels when we turn away from Him and pierce His heart to the core with our sins.
Yeshua told us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us and do good to those who hate us. He also told us that “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for your friends”. (John 15:13) But what if God told you to lay down your life (or your child’s life) for your enemies? Would you be angry and resentful that He would ask you to do something so unfair? Well that is exactly what Yeshua did for us – His Father asked Him to lay down His life for those who hated, mocked and abused Him, and He willingly consented to His Father’s will. If Yehovah could do this for us, can we not forgive those who hurt and abuse us?
Instead of criticizing Abba for the ways He deals with people’s disobedience, try praising Him for his love and forgiveness which are more infinite than all the universe!