The Ways of God

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“And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.”” 1Samuel 16:2

There are times when God appears to act contrary to His own nature. For example, God tells Abraham to kill Isaac, which would be a violation of one of God’s own laws. In Egypt God blessed the midwives because they deceived Pharaoh. In the above scripture, God told His prophet Samuel to deceive King Saul when anointing David as king in replacement of Saul, by saying he was going up to offer a sacrifice.

What is it that we are to learn about God and about ourselves as we survey these Biblical truths? God tells us at least two things about Himself: 1) He is Truth and 2) He cannot deny Himself. Because He is Truth He is secure in who He is and what He does. We search for truth, and when we find it, we see it as though, “in a mirror dimly.” Thus we have a higher degree of need to be right than God does. All God does is by definition right, just, and good, while we who love the Lord seek righteousness, justice, and goodness. Our most mature and biblically derived understanding of God and His ways will be partial and prone to error. This is because it is literally impossible for that which is finite to truly comprehend that which is infinite. His ways are not our ways.

We must absorb this into the very fabric of our being as we read Scripture, resisting the temptation to manipulate God’s Word so that it conforms to our understanding of truth. The Bible does not call on us to be accurate and consistent, but honest. Do not become preoccupied with truth at the expense of integrity. When we manage the text, making it say something different than what the words suggest is in order to make it conform to our understanding of truth, we reveal a heart of unbelief.

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