Thursday, February 19, 2015

Deep Thoughts Thursday . . .

By now most of us have heard about a group of radical Muslims who have decapitated 21 Egyptian Christians on the beaches of Syria.  They made a short video of it and posted it with a threat to the west that they are coming for us.

You may not have heard that in the days that followed they burned another 45.

66 people dead within a week.  Pretty savage.  Definitely evil.

The Islamic State sees themselves as a group that is doing the work of Allah - positioning themselves to help usher in an age in which Allah's followers will help the world submit to his rule.

To be honest, it really doesn't matter whether these are misguided zealots when you think of the rawness of hacking through someone's body to sever their head.  How can one human be so cold-blooded in the name of their god?

And this is a deep thought - everyone I have spoken with about this agrees that these people need to be stopped through killing them.  Not one person has talked about rehabilitating them.  The punishment for their acts needs to be swift and decisive.  "Bomb them off the map.  They should burn in hell for what they have done."

I get that - and in some ways I feel that, but here's the thought - God has this same sense of what ought to be done as well.   I mean, God - who is infinitely more righteous than us - has more of a right to be devastated at the 60 plus families that no longer have a son or a husband or a father.  He alone is left with the aftermath of brokenness - the millions of prayers that He has to deny all in the name of free will (and the loving empowerment that He gives us as humans to make our own sinful choices).

Now think of this - we are horrified at beheadings because it is so brutally sinful.  We, who struggle with our own sin, are devastated by the bloody viciousness.

Imagine being God.

Imagine having the holiness of God - who doesn't even consider sin as an option - and yet who daily listens to our prayers that are sometimes oozing them.  Imagine the kind of love that it takes to overcome the distance that our sin creates.  How much God must intervene on our behalf while we are still far from perfect ourselves.  How hard it must have been to take on our human form and move among the cesspool of our selfishness.

Thursday's deep thought is the next time we feel like the God of the Old Testament is cruel or judgmental that we consider the holiness of His perspective.  Is God just as repulsed by sin as we are by the sinful and savage acts of the Islamic State?

If so, it makes we really thankful for Jesus.

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