The Jumbled Puzzle Box of God
For those who believe the Bible is inerrant, showing us the true nature of a Living God, there are some things that simply defy common sense.
When I read about Elijah’s ax head floating on the water, I can’t help but hear myself thinking, “That’s ridiculous! You have got to be kidding.”
The story of Moses’ staff turning into a snake gives me a long pause.
Could Mrs. Lot, or whatever her name was, actually turn into a pillar of salt? Even my five year old laughed out loud when she heard that one.
Are we really supposed to believe this? If we accept the story as true, what was the LORD thinking? How in the world did He come up with salt?
When John tells us Moses and Elijah spoke with Jesus, I have to ask why the Bible didn’t make such an outrageous story just a little bit more blurry. Really? John could have said he inexplicably sensed the presence of two ancient dead men. Instead, John actually saw them, clear as day, chatting with Jesus.
Why is the LORD constantly asking us to believe the ridiculous – the impossible, implausible tales He is driven to tell about Himself? He is like the guy who has to tell the most outrageous story in the room.
Why is Yahweh so preposterous?
Is it because He understands how neat and tidy we like our lives to be? Does He realize how readily we close our minds to the inexplicable realities of life, how we wall off our hearts and shut our eyes to the unpleasant and the ugly?
Is it because he wants us to believe something uncomfortable about ourselves? Is he asking us to accept the complexities and counter intuitive elements of our own nature? Are we made the way we are for a purpose known only to God?
If so, must we then accept the fickleness and inconvenience of our own heart, the preposterous judgments we come to, the mind boggling decisions we make, and the irrational passion that explodes from our mouth, in just the same way we must accept all these things from the Living God? Why would God portray himself like this?
For one thing, Yahweh’s peculiar personality undermines the soft, dull consistent rationality of modern Christianity. Are we really supposed to embrace and reflect the linear predictability of the modern Church? Did God actually devise a Christianity that is both alien to our heart and utterly foreign to our experience as humans?
Perhaps, because He is jagged and jumbled, we can see Yahweh in ourselves, and honestly believe we are made in His image. We can certainly understand His jealousy and His intense preference for one human over another. We can relate to His long suffering and forgiveness towards His children when they thoughtlessly hurt Him. God’s terrible fury for those who are cruel to the ones He loves is also familiar to us.
Are we really supposed to accept ourselves as jumbled, jagged humans, made in the image of our Creator? As we rummage through the scriptures, sorting out the messiness of an inexplicable God, perhaps a picture will emerge of a Living God who looks ever more like the children He fathered forth. Perhaps, the picture He is painting, as we read His Word, is an inconvenient, yet perfect, picture of ourselves, as we were always meant to be.