Some quick housekeeping, and then we’ll get into it for today. As you might’ve been able to tell, yesterday’s post alluded to a new post in the “What is Love //” series being posted next Monday. I have an actual schedule now of posts after much deliberation and prayer. The new schedule is as follows: Mondays will be for Apologetics posts, Tuesdays and Thursdays will be for Study or Meditation, Wednesdays and Fridays are reserved for current events/culture analysis, and Saturdays are either resting days or for misguided thinking found in the wild of the internet.
Ok Let’s get into it for today.
There is a very well known passage that is often quoted among Christians that I wanted to take a look at.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.”
When they did this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets[c] began to tear. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’s knees and said, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” 9 For he and all those with him were amazed at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s partners.
“Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told Simon. “From now on you will be catching people.”Luke 5:4-10, CSB
We often look at that as one of Jesus’ first miracles and wonders among the people, but it goes along with how God often deals with Humans. I’ll show more. Let’s look at Abraham, specifically in Genesis.
Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.”
And he replied, “Here I am, my son.”
Isaac said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide[a] the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Then the two of them walked on together.
When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
He replied, “Here I am.”
Then he said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from me.” Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. And Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide, so today it is said, “It will be provided on the Lord’s mountain.”
Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn,”this is the Lord’s declaration: “Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the city gates of their enemies. And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my command.”Genesis 22: 7-18, CSB
This is another showing of the same type of idea as quoted from Luke above. God told someone to do something, and through their obedience, not only did they become blessed, but they also had a new mission in life to fulfill. God tested Abraham in the same way He allowed Adam to be tested. He wanted to see if this man chosen to be a patriarch would rise to the occasion and follow God’s lead.
Finally, ironically, I want to look at Jeremiah, where this blog post started out in my head. I love Jeremiah from a literary standpoint because, besides Exodus and Job, it is really the only other time we get to see God the Father’s personality shine. This final passage is humorous in a way and shows that we really are made in God’s image in the way He communicates with us.
Jeremiah was told during the siege of Jerusalem to go and buy a parcel of Land. This seems a bit ridiculous, even from a divine standpoint. Not only did Jeremiah do it, but he had the same response as above with Abraham and Peter. He trusted God and gave all praise to God for the seemingly ridiculous ask. However, while praying, he acknowledges God’s wisdom but in a way that questions what exactly He is up to.
Oh, Lord God! You yourself made the heavens and earth by your great power and with your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you! Jeremiah 32:17, CSB
Jeremiah was called the “reluctant” prophet, and though He was always respectful and praised God, he often made it known to him that he didn’t quite get what He was doing. Much like Peter above, he would go on to say in that prayer quoted from Jeremiah the following:
Look! Siege ramps have come against the city to capture it, and the city, as a result of the sword, famine, and plague, has been handed over to the Chaldeans who are fighting against it. What you have spoken has happened. Look, you can see it! Yet you, Lord God, have said to me, ‘Purchase the field and call in witnesses’—even though the city has been handed over to the Chaldeans!”Jeremiah 32: 24-25, CSB
Jeremiah is basically saying, “God, I know you’re all-powerful, but really, this doesn’t make any sense!” Kind of like Peter said above when trying to fish. Even though Peter didn’t understand Christ was the Messiah at the time, He still knew He was a very wise teacher and to anyone with intellect, what Christ asked him to do was bonkers.
However, and this is the best part out of the whole discussion with Jeremiah and God. God says in the next verse:
Look, I am the Lord, the God over every creature. Is anything too difficult for me?Jeremiah 32: 27, CSB
He throws Jeremiah’s words right back at him. The answer, of course, is “no.” There is nothing too difficult for God. Later on, we will see because of Jeremiah’s obedience, he is treated extremely well by the Babylonians and is allowed to continue to live in Jerusalem when most people of importance were taken captive (and many times would be slaughtered).
What is the point of all this? That first quoted passage from Luke shows me one thing. That Jesus is God. Yes, Jesus lived a perfect life, died a perfect death, and was raised from the dead three days later. That doesn’t show me He is God. This simple discussion shows me He is God because he retains the personality of God. Even though Abraham, through Jeremiah, through Jesus himself, God shows he will always retain that upper hand and sometimes with a sarcastic smirk. It’s completely ok because that knowing smile is what a good father does. He believes in us and trusts that we will follow Him. He also knows that when we mess up (we will, whether by our own actions or due to mortal failings) that He will ALWAYS be right by us to catch us.
See, Christ wasn’t going to allow Peter to fail there; after all, He had plans for him. God has plans for all of us, and even though whatever we are going through doesn’t make sense or is just insane from a ground-level perspective, God has a way to work it out. And go ahead, ask him about it. He promises to show us “great and incomprehensible things that you do not know.” Just, as we’ve seen with the men listed, have faith and “In all your ways acknowledge Him.”