Monday, July 1, 2024

God is Right

We are a people who don't like the truth about ourselves. Even if we are, as we claim to be, mostly good persons, mostly nice, mostly kind, mostly gracious, mostly generous - even if we spend most of our lives being at least reasonably close to the kind of person that we want to be and that we think God wants us to be - we don't like it very much when we hear that we've messed up. Fallen short. Failed. 

It's easy for us to come up with all kinds of excuses, stories, spin. All kinds of things to say in our defense. A thousand reasons why we can't possibly be guilty of the thing that someone else said that we were guilty of, why we can't possibly be guilty of that thing that our own spirit is trying to convict us of. 

We can't possibly be wrong or have done wrong. 

Can we?

A lot of the time, all of our talking and posturing gets us out of the moment. We put up such a defense (or throw such a fit) that we can make even the most confident accuser starts to question whether they really heard/saw/experienced what they thought they did.

Couldn't have been us. 

Could it have? 

It's a dance that we are very good at and one at which many of us get a lot of practice. It comes from those first moments of fallenness all the way back in the garden when, after eating the fruit, Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent snickered to himself. 

But if you look at the rest of the biblical story, you actually don't see this a whole lot. And there are plenty of times when it would have been easy; there are plenty of characters who you'd think would have been good at these self-justifications.

Yet, more often than not, what we see when the Lord steps forward to convict a man is not self-justification, but humility. Confession. Acceptance. Every time the Lord comes to hand out a divine punishment for a wrongdoing, we see a man, stripped naked by his sin, who says...yeah, I deserve that.

Rehoboam, Solomon's son, goes a step further and says, "The Lord is right." He's right about who we are. He's right about what we've done. He's right to punish us. His chosen punishment for us is right. Everything about this whole thing that comes from the Lord is right. "The Lord does what is right."

As he should. I mean, Adam and Eve can say whatever they want, but at the end of the conversation, they're the ones still naked and ashamed and picking little pieces of bush out of their hair. Eve's fault, the serpent's fault, it doesn't matter - their shame testifies against them. Like the little kid who has, in fact, stolen a couple of cookies, it's written all over their faces. There's nowhere to hide. 

The Lord is right. And He is also merciful. 

Would that we were more willing to accept this in our lives and let ourselves be truly justified by the only One who can actually make it so. 

For we all have sinned, whether we confess it or not. 

No comments:

Post a Comment