I Wondered

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In Bible it is written, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” (Is 63:3-6)

These are terrible words … words that are awe-some. We converse with the Captain, the King, returning from a war. He is traveling alone, and moving in the greatness of His strength. Where is His army? He is the army. Where are His defenders? He had need of none. Where are His enemies? They are naught but bloody slop now. He describes His victory for us.

As He looks back on it, He remembers being in the presence of His enemies as they threatened and mocked and defied Him. In echelon they compassed Him … as though they would devour Him. He thought it odd, that such brass arrogance be in those so weak.

For one brief moment God paused. He remembers, as it were, pondering curiously and looking about for their defense, these brazen enemies of His. What was it that they were depending on to help them? These empty foolish carcasses … one would think, for all their haughtiness that they were invincible! For one brief moment, the God of heaven looked about … and wondered.

Then He smote them, and crushed them.

For their arrogance, nothing was spared. By Himself, God crushed His enemies mercilessly … furiously. The fullness of His omnipotence was unleashed in undiluted terror upon them.

What fools they had been to pit themselves against the eternal Godhead!

And what is it that gives any of us such confidence to sin presumptuously in the face of the Almighty? As God looks about, wondering what we pose in our defense … what does He see?

Will the World come to defend us when God begins to move against our presumption and arrogance? The nations … counted before Him as the small dust of the balance … will they come to our defense? Will our companions in sin comfort us in that day? Our empty religions? Will all of our deceits and lies sustain us? Will any of them? Will the fact that others have wronged us so … justify our own sin against God?

Do any of us, indeed, continue an enemy of GOD? What a pity!

What does God owe us, my friend? What crime is He guilty of, for all of the rage and contempt I see against Him?

Has He allowed others to sin against Himself, and so also to sin against us in the process? And how is this His crime? Is God at fault for allowing us to sin against Himself and others? Is God to be implicated in giving us free will? No, our sin is not God’s fault. Neither is anyone else’s. God has a purpose in allowing sin, but God is not the cause of sin. Just because we cannot understand how He can have a good purpose in allowing sin does not mean God is at fault. We are not the judge. He is.

Has He taken a loved one in death? Has some natural calamity, sickness or disease caused immense suffering in us or in others we know and love? And do we think God is obligated to protect everyone from the forces of nature, to ensure that everyone enjoys a life of ease and pleasure?

What, exactly, is God’s crime in allowing suffering? He suffers in all unjust and innocent suffering, in and with us, feeling our pain and knowing our grief. All souls are His … and everyone suffers and dies in His time and for His purposes. And how, exactly, is this a crime?

And just how long do we expect God to go on suffering like this?

Life is not about us: we are not the center of the universe; never have been, never will be. Neither are any of our friends, loved ones, or countrymen. He is the center of all things: for His pleasure they are and were created, not ours. Though it be a mystery, even innocent suffering serves His purposes; in His time, He will make everything right that should be made right.

No soul has a just complaint against God … no, not a single one … neither in this life, nor in the next.

There is no sane reason to continue in enmity against God. This grieves and angers Him, not because He hates us, but because He cares for us. We are the ones with the problem in this relationship, not God, and we have no excuse. As Bob Newheart says so elegantly in his pointed, dry humor … we should all just …

Stop it!

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 2:12)

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