Friday, September 16, 2005

How Unsearchable are His Judgements. . . .

I've been offline for some time now, first trying to prepare for the baby and now trying to rebalance after the baby, but my mind and heart have been active as I have been watching the devasting impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Last night our Elders read another great article from World Magazine, written, not surprisingly, by John Piper, entitled Who Answers to Whom? I think it's so worth reading, that I have quoted it in full here for your consideration.

Do you believe that God is ever and always judging and that His judgement is mingled with His mercy? What difference does a God-centered view of the universe make in a natural disaster? Are we prepared to give an answer like this to those around us who are asking for explanations?

Read it. . . . think about it. . .. . respond to it.

Who answers to Whom?
The faulty levee of human virtue vs. the high ground of Calvary | by John Piper

On his 89th birthday (Aug. 31) NPR Senior news analyst Daniel Schorr observed that President George Bush had "staked out a non-position" on the debate between evolution and intelligent design by saying that "both sides ought to be properly taught in the schools of America." Then, with manifest scorn, Mr. Schorr linked the devastation of Hurricane Katrina with the concept of intelligent design: "[Bush] might well have reflected that, if this was the result of intelligent design, then the designer has something to answer for."

No, Mr. Schorr, you have something to answer for, not God. God answers to no man. Come, Daniel Schorr, take your place with Job and answer your Maker: "The Lord answered Job [and Schorr] out of the whirlwind and said: 'Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. . . . Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed'?" (Job 38:1-3, 8-11).

Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Shall the pot say to the Potter, "This is an unintelligent way to show your justice and your power? Come, Maker of heaven and earth, sit at my feet—I have lived 89 years and have gotten much wisdom—and I will teach you—the eternal God—how to govern the universe?"

No. Rather let us put our hands on our mouths and weep both for the perishing and for ourselves who will soon follow. Whatever judgment has fallen, it is we who deserve it—all of us. And whatever mercy is mingled with judgment in New Orleans neither we nor they deserve.

God sent Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. He did not suffer massive shame and pain because Americans are pretty good people. The magnitude of Christ's suffering is owing to how deeply we deserve Katrina—all of us.

Our guilt in the face of Katrina is not that we can't see the intelligence in God's design, but that we can't see arrogance in our own heart. God will always be guilty of high crimes for those who think they've never committed any.

But God commits no crimes when He brings famine, flood, and pestilence on the earth. "Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?" (Amos 3:6). The answer of the prophet is no. God's own testimony is the same: "I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things" (Isaiah 45:7). And if we ask, is there intelligent design in it all, the Bible answers: "You meant evil . . . but God meant it [designed it] for good" (Genesis 50:20).

This will always be ludicrous to those who put the life of man above the glory of God. Until our hearts are broken, not just for the life-destroying misery of human pain, but for the God-insulting rebellion of human sin, we will not see intelligent design in the way God mingles mercy and judgment in this world. But those who bow before God's sovereign grace and say, "From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever," are able to affirm, "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!" (Romans 11:36, 33).

And wisdom is another name for intelligent design.

No, Daniel Schorr, God does not answer to us. We answer to Him. And we have only one answer: "Guilty as charged." Every mouth is stopped and the whole world is accountable before God. There is only one hope to escape the flood of God's wrath. It is not the levee of human virtue but the high ground called Calvary. All brokenhearted looters and news analysts and pastors are welcome there


Anonymous said...

While I agree with Mr. Piper that God answers to no man but man answers to God, and that Daniel Shorr is answerable to God, I could not find the quote attributed to Mr Shorr, "[Bush] might well have reflected that, if this was the result of intelligent design, then the designer has something to answer for."

I found the article by Mr. Shorr here, but could not find the above quote. Am i looking at the wrong article or what? Someone help me out here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on where the quote can be found. I guess something was lost in the transcription.

I think that Mr. Shorr is in for a rude awakening when he stands for judgement before our holy God. At his age I think that he should consider this possibility.

Erika McGuire said...

I love this quote, "Rather let us put our hands on our mouths and weep both for the perishing and for ourselves who will soon follow. Whatever judgement has fallen, it is we who deserve it- all of us. And whatever mercy is mingled with judgment....neither we nor they deserve." I copied it down, and clearly I need to meditate on it, because it really impacted me.
I also think it's so funny how you can "read between the lines" with political statements. I didn't hear the context, but I agree with Bush if he said that "both sides (evolution and intelligent design) should be properly taught in schools." Meaning that, if "properly taught," we could teach God is the creator of the world and that evolution cannot create the world.