God’s Response to Humanity
An inquiry arose at the last bible study, regarding God’s response to humanity. Does God give and or punish based upon our behavior? It was made clear that we cannot “earn our way into heaven,” by our good behavior. The flip side is that we cannot earn our way into hell by our bad behavior. The question then becomes, how does God respond to human behavior?
My thought is this, God’s response to humanity and our behavior is consistent. God loves us whether we are good or bad, obedient or disobedient. The difference in effect is not God changing His way of relating to humanity, which is consistent grace, but human’s ability to perceive and understand God’s grace. In other words, “revelation,” which opening up our ability to perceive and understand what God is doing in our midst and in our lives.
Disobedience to or outright rejection of God puts self-imposed blinders upon our ability to see what God is doing. Thus, our “bad behavior or disobedience” takes away our own God-given ability (revelation) to see the good God is consistently doing in our lives. I would go out deeper on a limb and suggest that heaven and hell are different places, not separate spatially, but separated “revelatory.” Why the saints and the sinners can sit together in the same geographic space but are not together in the same divine place.
God is the same God, despite what we do. Our behavior will not diminish God’s love of us, or God’s grace towards us. It is we, who hold the power to exercise or refuse to exercise God’s gift, of revelation. Two people can receive the exact same gift on Christmas. One opens the gift, sees it (revelation), and plays with it (obedience to God and good human behavior) fully experiencing the joy flowing from the gift. In other words, HEAVEN. The other leaves it unopened, for whatever reason, never coming to see (spiritual blindness) or play with it (disobedience to God and bad human behavior) or the joy which flows from God’s gift. In other words, HELL.
I hope this offers some clarity to our study of 1st Kings and the behavior and outcomes exhibited by the Israelites (Those Who Wrestle With God) in the test. Understand that our wrestle with God is the simple act of human behavior, which can result in a blessing (Jacob) or a curse (Jezebel), all made clear by our own powers of behavior and revelation.
Special blessings to you.
March 19, 2017
October 30, 2016