Friday, January 16, 2015
the violent take it by force
today's readings are Genesis 32:13 - 34:31, Matthew 11:7-30, Psalm 14:1-7, and Proverbs 3:19-20
it's nice when there is an obvious theme from the OT to the NT. and boy do we have one today. the violent take it by force, Jesus says, referring to the Kingdom of God. what in the world does that mean?
I read several commentaries, and they were actually helpful. but they weren't sure what it meant either. they all call it one of the most difficult sayings that Jesus ever said.
but they agree it probably means one of two things... either that it is so radically different for a person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven that it is a violent thing to do to their lives (sounds pretty lame to me) or that violent people will be attacking the Kingdom of Heaven (seems more likely).
so then we look at the OT (or previously we looked at it, if you're going chronologically) and we see Jacob WRESTLING with GOD. and this almost kinda makes the violent entry into the Kingdom of God make sense...
but we see, pretty clearly, that God not only doesn't MIND us "wrestling with Him", He actually likes it. He renamed Jacob "Israel" (you've probably heard that name before somewhere) which means "struggles with God". the entire nation of Israel is named "struggles with God". that explains a lot, doesn't it?
but it also means that God is entirely comfortable with our "struggles", even when they're with HIM. he understands that we get mad at Him sometimes. He knows that we sometimes have trouble trusting. He knows we can be hard headed and stubborn. and He would rather we struggle WITH Him than run away from Him.
so next time you're hurt, or confused, or scared... remember to run TO Him... even if it's to beat on His chest with your fists. He's a big God. He can take it.