Where is God? Has He gone?

Where is God in what is happening in the world

Where is God many wonder, others don’t believe in the God of the Bible.

Just to be clear, I do. In my opinion God is where He always has been. In heaven.

Where is God in all that is going on now?

Same answer, where he always has been.

It goes back to the beginning. When God created humankind, He gave free choice to humans. And men and women have been exercising that choice since Eve took the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That decision affected human nature, she chose to be her own ‘god’ and Adam decided to choose the way of human nature also. They chose to determine their own lives, and we inherited that propensity.

Where is God in the Garden of Eden
Public domain via Wikipedia

However, we all retain our God-given gift of choice. We are not robots.

The Old Testament, (now commonly called the Hebrew Bible) documents the choices and consequences of major ‘players’ in the history of Israel and Judah.

Where was God in the lives of the patriarchs?

Abraham, formerly Abram, was a practising pagan, who although called by God didn’t always respond as quickly, or as truthfully as we would expect. However, God gave him time to change. And change he did, so that he is now venerated by Jewish people, Christians, and Moslems.

Moses – well, he decided to give God a helping hand. In other words to tell God how (and when) to free the Hebrew slaves. It didn’t work, and God did it His way, and freed them around forty years later, after Moses had learned to look after sheep on ‘the back side of the mountain.’

David – ‘a man after God’s own heart’ was humble before God, but made a great many mistakes. When he realized what he had done… or was confronted with the error, he repented.

They chose to do as God called them to do.

Jumping forward many centuries…

In the New Testament…

The disciples Jesus called had to make choices. They had been brought up in Judaism, something Jesus taught against because the traditions were replacing God’s law.

The gospels are full of the stories of the often difficult choices they and the early believers made. It cost them dearly… homes, families, and positions. Have you heard of the ‘rich young ruler?’ The cost was too great for him,  and he chose his possessions.

And Jesus Himself had to make choices to walk through all the challenges and tests without sinning. And then submit to being whipped and crucified for our sakes.
(The description of what he looked like after the whipping is in Psalm 22:17, and also in Isaiah 52: 4)

Where is God now?

Does He know what is going on? Is He indifferent to the Covid-19 virus and pandemic? And what about the fires, the hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, has He noticed.

I believe He is closely watching.

Why watching?

Could it be that He is progressively removing the protection around His people and the nations? Is he looking for something? Perhaps… probably.

Where is the repentance for all the wrong choices we have made? Are we inheriting, and amplifying the errors our choices have led us to make.

I am not young, and can see the world is a vastly different place to the one I grew up in. Nevertheless, I still have the choice in how to respond to all that is going on around me.

I can be part of the problem, and rage, and choose to disobey rules. Rules, by the way, that God gave to nations to rule their citizens and make life fair for them. Well, many of those rulers have not done a good job, but rarely was their a good king or ruler over our predecessors.

As King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes – ‘there is nothing new under the sun…’ 

However, what rules we have is better than the chaos that currently seems to be dominating so many of our countries. Or… I can choose to be different, and although that makes me an oddity, I choose to be different.

We all have the choice in how we react… it is a God-given privilege, one we need to think about and appreciate.

Musing again,

Susan

Choices have a far-reaching effect

Image of desert sands

We all make choices. Some we ponder over, weigh up the pros and cons, others require less time. Some choices are good, others – well, we wish we had made different ones.

There are many examples of people making good, and not so good choices in the Bible.

Remember, the people we read of in those Bible stories… and sometimes read over barely paying attention to, were people. We have the benefit of hindsight. We know what came as a result of their choices.

They did not. They had decisions to make. Unless the person was a king… or a queen, none of them would think their choices were recorded for the rest of us to learn from.

What a scary thought that is, that all are choices could be written in a book and read all over the world, all through the centuries.

In the Bible there are many examples – however,  because of a short message I listened to recently, I choose to focus on the choice of a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. (Genesis chapter twenty four.)

Abraham's choice of a wife for Isaac

Abraham wanted a wife for his son, Isaac – the ‘son of promise.’ For this son no Canaanite woman would pass Abraham’s standard. No, Abraham wanted a wife from his own kindred (family) for this God-given son.

Since Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born, he was not planning to go back himself to choose a wife for his son. Instead, he entrusted this task to the senior servant of his house. A man who had no doubt proved his loyalty over the years.

(Side note:  The servant was a man whom at one time Abram thought would be his heir since he had no sons ‘of my own body.’)

Gen 15: 3 and lo, one born in my house is mine heir; meaning either Eliezer or his son, whom he had made his heir, or intended to make him, since he had no child;
John Gill Commentary.

Cartoon of worried

Well, the servant did not refuse, but he did worry about the task.

How would he know the woman?

Abraham said God would send His angel before the servant.

The servant’s next concern… What if she refused?

Then he would be released from his vow.

Well, the servant made a choice to do what his master asked him and he took ten camels (and as we discover later in the chapter, some expensive gold jewelry.)

Did he worry about his task all the way? He might have done. When he arrived in Mesopotamia he made his ten camels kneel down – and he prayed.

 Part of his prayer, addressed to the God of his master, Abraham was…

“Now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also ‘– may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.”
Gen 24: 14 NASB

Whether he knew it or not, the servant entrusted with this responsibility was asking for someone who was kind, and who willingly served. Not only was the woman to fill her own water jar… but this man, a stranger was going to ask for a drink from her jar. More, he had asked that the woman would offer to draw water for his camels also.

Observation. Ten thirsty camels would have needed a lot of water

(When researching for Hold the Faith there was a point when camels were the chosen method of transport. They traveled without drink from when they set out, until they arrived.) I therefore conclude the servant’s camels would have been thirsty.

Rebecca came to the well.
Did the servant wonder if she was the correct one, the one the angel had led him to?

Checking if she is the choice of a bride for his master's son

Abraham’s servant asked her who she was, then if he could lodge with her family. (This was not as ‘cheeky’ as it might sound, in those days people would give accommodation to a traveler.)

Since she had fulfilled all the requests the servant had made in his prayer, first – he remained silent. ‘so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.’ Gen 24: 21

Matters moved fairly quickly after this. She ran to those of her mother’s house. (Was her father dead? Probably, because the negotiations were done with her brother Laban.)

More choices - family discussion

Although it takes thirty more verses to reach the point, Rebecca had less than twenty-four hours to make up her mind. Abraham’s servant wanted to settle the matter and leave the next day.

She accepted. Good choice. She became the grandmother of the twelve tribes of Israel. From one of these, Judah, came Jesus Christ.

Interesting how choices have effects down through the years. Yes, choices have a far-reaching effect.

Perhaps we should be like the servant and stay silent after it seems something we have prayed for seems to have happened. Just to wait and know whether it is the Lord who has done this. Thus increasing our chances of making a successful choice.

Just thinking,

Susan