Tuesday, April 15

Relational Cause & Effect

“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”

Deuteronomy 8:2-10


By quoting this, I don’t mean that God is the reason that bad things happen to good people; I know that people make bad choices and that no one acts in a vacuum. Suffering, even when it is not a result of our own disobedience, is not always an evil, either.

I resist the urge to quote at length Paul (Romans 5:3-5) and Peter (what suffering can compare to the glory that awaits us?), and even Tolkien (does anybody remember Éowyn talking about how “it is not always good to be healed in body”) and Lewis (the bit where God “shouts to us in our pain”).

There is simply something real and true about knowing that my dependence upon God transcends my emotional stability or physical stamina and reaches into the core of my self. The whole connection relies on steadfast love that we’ve been promised and shown, and trust and obedience: a scary proposal for our side if anything is done with less than a whole heart.

. . . And NO, I’m not advocating self-flagellation. Calm down.

7 comments:

TREEWRIGHT said...

Is your GOD the same as the Jew's and Moslem's and Hindu's and Buddhist's GOD?
Because I know there is a CREATOR - I see and feel it all around me but I distrust religion and dogma.

TREEWRIGHT said...

P.S. You'd have enjoyed the one last night. It was presented by Stephen Fry who helped to recreate Gutenberg's printing press and print a page from his bible.

miss rika said...

Distrust of religion and dogma, or distrust of their followers?:) It is difficult to believe in one thing when you see people that follow it seem like hypocrites.

The deities of the different faith groups you mention may have things in common, but if you research it a bit more you'll see that they are exclusive of each other and quite different. Not to say I don't agree with you--there IS a Creator. So, no: my God is not the same as those other gods; I'm a Christian, and the quote in my post is from one of the oldest parts of the Bible.

I'm making it a goal to read the whole Bible in one year, and it is really bringing up some interesting points as a personal study (which is probably why I brought it up on my blog).

And yes! I need to find this show on the internet or on DVD when it comes out; I'm a big fan of Stephen Fry . . .

Bob said...

The idea that discipline from the Lord is to be welcomed has probably lost some of its popularity along with thinking that disciplining one's children is a good idea.

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