Thursday, March 26, 2009

“We don’t need water” - Assuming God’s Great Grace

I happened to be present when a husband and wife were discussing where to locate their first garden in many years. The wife wanted it closer to the well so it would be easy to water. The husband had other thoughts; “we don’t need water” he proclaimed with a sense of superiority and disdain.

I am a product of these black land prairies of Western Minnesota. The soil runs deep and dark and it’s good soil. We raise sugar beets, edible peas, sweet corn, edible beans, corn wheat, oats, alfalfa and soybeans among other things. God has been good to us. Not only has He given us great land, but has usually given us abundant rain also. God has been good to Southwest and West Central Minnesota but we have a major league chip on our shoulder. It is this, we expect God to give us rain. God has always given us rain and he always will; it is a prevalent attitude on the prairie. As a matter of fact, in some ways we feel “God owes us.” Forgive us, Lord.

Why were the husband and wife planning their first garden in years? It is because they anticipate economic hard times. Recently on the news I heard that vegetable seed sales are up 20-30% across the nation. If we are expecting hard times, we’d better be on our face asking God for forgiveness rather than arrogantly assuming God will “give us rain, as usual.” In times past, God has taught nations a thing or two by not sending rain. It is dangerous when we assume “He wouldn’t dare do it to us.”

In Job 37:5-13 it says: “God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. 6 He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.' 7 So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor. 8 The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. 9 The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. 10 The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. 11 He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. 12 At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them. 13 He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love.”

Notice what God says in verse 11 through 13. God controls the direction of storms “to do whatever He commands them”!! He brings clouds to punish men and to water His earth and show His love.

God has been and IS good to us (He has shown us His love) but when we assume He will always send the rain, we can be in trouble. What arrogance on our part to assume God owes us anything. God help us. May we always be grateful for all things great and small. Amen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Grace, ah sweet Grace. Don't you love the sound of that word? God loves to display His Grace among men. But He doesn't have to.

If sinful mankind received from God what he deserves, it would not be Grace but Justice. For God to be fair, He must be Just. He must judge sin. He can't just "let it go" as if nothing has happened. The God of the Universe had been sinned against. Cosmic Treason has been commited against The Most High God!! As a result, sin must be dealt with. Or in other words, How does God save us from Himself?

How does God, who delights in mercy and grace judge sin. First, all mankind in under His judgement. We are by nature children of wrath. The time has been appointed when He will judge the world. But there is a way out!! There is hope!!! There is Grace and it can be found in God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was Christ and Christ alone who lived a perfect life before God the Father. He offered Himself as a living sacrifice to pay the sins of those whom the Father had given him. (see John 17) He died on the cross to redeem His people. The Father authenticated the perfect sacrifice by raising Jesus from the dead and raised Him to sit next to Him in glory. All those who repent of their sins and believe that Christ has paid their sin-debt, will escape judgement.

Lord have mercy on us! Grace is getting what we don't deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Salvation is by grace through faith.

Believe my friend, believe on Jesus Christ. Flee from the wrath to come! Yes God is love but He is also a consuming fire. (see Hebrews 12:29)