Monday, October 24, 2005

The Heavy Hand of God

In our continuing contemplation of all these "natural disasters," here's another artitcle to throw into the mix, sent to me by Elder Ron Johnston. . . . The Heavy Hand of God

Here are 4 helpful applications at the tail end of the article. . . .

1. Let us not be quick to judge, but, rather, to show mercy. When people are suffering, let us not waste precious time and energy debating the merits of their deserts; let us rather consider how to stimulate one another to love and good works on their behalf (Heb. 10:24).

2. Let us be bold to take every opportunity that God gives us—whether everyday “open doors” or large-scale disasters—to call men to consider His ways and to seek His mercy. God is in the midst of disaster as much as in blessing. If we fail to call people to consider Him, who will do it for us?

3. Let us give thanks and praise to God for the majesty of His might, the mystery of His ways, and the mercy of His steadfast love. God is always revealing something about Himself in the works of creation, and this is always designed to elicit worship from men. Failure to respond in thanks and praise when it is time to do so leads to ingratitude, idolatry, and increasing sin (Romans 1:18-32).

4. Let us not be reluctant to raise the issue of divine judgment, unpopular as that may be. It may be that, by raising the hard questions at such times, we may be able to lead people to their senses, to a path of repentance and faith, that will be the open door to a brighter future, and to eternal hope.

The heavy hand of God still presses down on the children of men. Let us be wise enough to discern it, and to know how to respond when it does.

Any other thoughts?


Joe Pollon said...

If G-d is good, which by definition He is, and He is the creator of all things (disasters included) then there must to be a “good” in these painful creative processes.
Lacking prophecy we may not find it either in the moment or an entire generation.
However, as Dan Krull pointed out a couple Sundays ago, G-d brings us along side in the creative process to teach us how it works.

In childbirth He gives us a daily example of the painful element of creation.
Nine-months of pregnancy and methodical preparation quickly devolve into what looks like chaos and death—blood, agony, danger, screaming, tears (that’s just the father).
And just when it doesn’t seem it can get any worse, life, joy and hope spring forth.
When we’re confident of the outcome, we enter His creative process voluntarily. In doubt and ignorance we recoil with fear.

Brian Wong said...

Joe, I've noticed that you've decisively chosen not to spell out the word "God", instead substituting the "o" with a dash. Is there a particular reason you're doing this? I can't figure out if it's out of respect, or out of disrespect. Can you please clarify?


Joe Pollon said...

It is a Jewish custom of respect to not write the name of the Lord where it is likely to be discarded or erased. Thanks for asking.

Jeannett Gibson said...

Thanks Brian! I've been wondering the same thing!

Andy Gibson said...

Wow, you learn something new everyday!

Brian Wong said...

Cool. So it's like writing YHWH instead of spelling it out. Thanks.