Isn’t That Just Like God?

Who would have thought?

Israel had been eagerly anticipating the long-awaited Messiah. But who could have imagined that His first bed would be an animal’s feeding trough! Or that He would grow up in a poor home in a small town with little to recommend it.

After Jesus began His ministry, Philip excitedly announced to his friend Nathanael, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth . . . .” Nathanael exclaimed, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” “Come and see,” Philip replied (John 1:45-46).

Respectable folks could not understand why Jesus would spend so much of His time with society’s rejects.

And the very idea that the Messiah, of all people, would be executed as a common criminal on a despised Roman cross! No, that was absolutely too much (1 Corinthians 1:23; Deuteronomy 21:23).

Why would God do it this way?

God was making a statement.

In explaining why God chooses that which is lowly and unimpressive to accomplish His purposes, Paul observed that in the Corinthian church “there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Pride has no place in God’s kingdom.

Only the humble may apply.

humility-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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God’s Prerogatives

Many things only God can do.

Unlike God, we cannot create from nothing, nor manage the universe. We cannot be everywhere at once, nor can we know the future, beyond what God has revealed. We are so limited.

Some things God does we can and should do.

We can do good to our enemies, as He does (Matthew 5:43-48). “Be merciful,” Jesus says, “just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). We are to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).

While we can only dimly reflect His goodness, we are to be “imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1).

Some things we could do, which God forbids.

Revenge is God’s business, not ours (Romans 12:19-20).

We have no authority to alter God’s word or substitute human tradition for Scripture  (2 Peter 3:15-16; Matthew 15:1-14).

Therefore:

Where it is impossible for us to do what God does, let’s humbly acknowledge our human limitations (Job 38:1-42:6).

Where God wants us to do as He does, let’s follow His lead.

Where God alone has the right to act, let’s never trespass on His domain.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Micah Principle Applied

What God expects

“And what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Seven centuries later John the Baptist challenged his listeners.

When tax collectors asked what repentance would mean for them, John answered, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to” (Luke 3:13). Do justice!

To the crowds John said, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none . . .” (3:11). Love kindness!

John also warned that they should not boast, “We have Abraham for our father” when what they truly needed was to repent (3:8). Walk humbly with your God!

How we respond

The Micah Principle governs how we treat others and how we respond to God.

It is so powerful!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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