What a weird thing to say after my last post. But you know, not only did I have some great friends with wonderful insight weigh in, but I also spent some time with some other friends today who also gave me some insight.
We were talking about some other topics that are huge hot buttons for me, and of course, I went off on my rant, and elaborated a little. Because here's another thing I don't understand. This world is so wicked. Why isn't God getting mad enough to do something about it? To be honest, I'm a little peeved at God for not raining down His anger at how awful we've become.
And then my friend brought up a really good point. She said, "well, what makes you think He's not? There's a lot of punishment-type stuff happening in the world, things resulting from our sin, and just as in other times of great sin, the righteous are being punished along with the wicked." Huh. I hadn't thought of that. Well, I sorta had. But of course, my little vindictive self had to say, "Yeah, but why isn't God out there making it known it's God? Why isn't He making it obvious that it's Him and that He's mad?"
Her answer blew me away. "Because it takes away free will."
If we're forced to believe in God by Him coming down out of the Heavens and spanking our little bottoms for being such brats, how exactly are we given a choice to believe in Him.
But of course, I couldn't let it stop there. Or maybe God couldn't. So He and I talked about it for a long time this afternoon. I guess I'm not so into grace as I'd like to think, because I have to admit, I'm sorta hoping for a Sodom and Gomorrah sort of thing where God steps in and cleanses us of some of the wickedness. But then I had a sobering thought. All it would have taken in Sodom and Gomorrah to be saved was ten righteous people. Just ten. In two pretty big cities. And they couldn't be found. As much as I'd like to think we've got some righteous people here, are we really? More to the point, am I really? If I lived in one of those cities, and God chose to rain down judgment, would I have been counted among the righteous?
Don't misunderstand me here... I'm not questioning my salvation. The blood of Christ has forgiven my sins. But here I am, furious at all the injustice around me. Furious that evil is so rampant and so prosperous. Furious that really good people are hurting, being hurt, and being taken advantage of by the wicked. And I want the bad guys to be punished. Desperately.
And I wonder, am I really so different from them? Blood is tasting really good on my lips right now. Am I any better than those I would wish to be condemned?
I'm thinking I pretty well deserve the spanking I've been praying all the bad guys should get. And I'm thinking that I'm awfully grateful that God has chosen to overlook my arrogance and love me anyway. I know what's in my heart. It's not real pretty. And I am so thankful that God loves me anyway. I am so blessed. So undeserving of grace, and yet I have absolutely no clue what it means.