Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The God who grieves

This is my final thought, for now, on God's Sovereignty over all things, even our suffering. To say that God is Sovereign and plans all things to happen does not mean that he doesn't also grieve for things He has ordained. Take Jesus, for instance. He doesn't cry at his own death, but he cries over the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11). Now typically we use this verse to show the human nature of Jesus. But if we also get our Christology from Colossians (1:15-17), we understand that Jesus was involved in creating and is involved in sustaining the world. So the same person who created the world also cried at the experience of losing a loved one. The God who ordains all that comes to pass also grieved at what he ordained with Lazarus.

I was reading Psalm 116 today and heard the "voice of Jesus" in verse 15, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." He cares when people die even though He numbers their days (Psalm 139:16). He also doesn't delight in the death of the wicked (Ezek 33:11). He cares. Even in martyrdom, we can't say that God isn't grieved. He hates sin and hates the affects of sin. That's why He came to redeem not only people, but all things (Col 1). One day there will be no tears. And in that day, God will rejoice with us, just as in some way, he mourns with us even now.

If you want another example of how God can ordain something and yet grieve over that something, check out the cross. I know God ordained that cosmic display of justice, wrath, and infinite love; and I'm pretty sure God the Father was saddened by forsaking God the Son. 

The Christian can boast of a God who both ordains and grieves. I'm thankful for both.

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