I recently had an interesting Twitter interaction. When I made a comment on someone’s Twitter feed I knew I was setting myself up for this sort of reply. I’ve decided that when I interact with someone in a format as this I will speak to them as if they were sitting in front of me. I’ve not always interacting with people this way, and I say that to my shame. It seems civil discourse has mostly become uncivil discourse.
The one thing that struck me about the interaction was this man seemed to operate under some sort of rules of engagement. He didn’t like what I was saying, but he was never nasty about it. He was critical of my worldview, he blasphemed God, but he wasn’t as ugly as some people I’ve encountered in the social network world. Now let me first say I’m not pinning a merit badge on this man, because as I just said he’s a blasphemer of God, and will be held accountable for every idle word he speaks, even though he doesn’t believe that (Matthew 12:36).
Let’s start where it all began.
2 Kings 2:23-25 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up from the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD, and two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. Then he went from there to Mount Caramel, and from there he returned to Samaria.
This is an interesting passage, and one that my friend used to show me that God is unrighteous. It’s a desire that most people have to justify themselves, and say “I won’t worship that God”. What happens is that mankind sets himself up as his own god so he can make his own rules. This man has a sense of right and wrong, there’s no doubt about that, but he decides what’s right and what’s wrong.
If we don’t have an ultimate source of truth, we have complete chaos. Like we see in government, the rules are always changing; the bar is ever shifting to the left or to the right. We all do this don’t we? We all have our view of what is right and wrong and when it doesn’t match up with God’s view we will justify our position, adjust it a little bit to suit our own needs.
So what about these bears mauling these “innocent” youths? What about God destroying all of mankind in a worldwide flood, or God allowing Satan to kill all 10 of Job’s children, what about Ananias and Saphira struck down dead because they lied to God? Is there unrighteousness with God? Some certainly believe that is the case.
Humans are so morally corrupt and our thinking is insidious (Jeremiah 17:9) because we have no concept of the righteousness of God. He is the creator, and He is the maker, and without Him you don’t even have life, but yet in our arrogant pride we shake our fist at Him and curse Him to His name. I was once told by a man that he would fight with God if he stood before Him in judgment. How many people think they will fight with God or explain how “good” they’ve been? I wonder if for a trial run this man would jump into a lion’s cage at the zoo, and fight against the lion first. That might give him some indication how he will stand against God.
Man suppresses the truth in unrighteousness, (Romans 1:18) and because he does this it opens him up even more to all kinds of justifiable depravity. He will do anything and everything he can to say why the Bible is flawed and then they want you to chase them down a rat hole trying to explain why it’s not.
They put God on the judgment seat and say “prove to me why I should worship this God!” God has spoken to Believers through His word, and He sent His Son to live the perfect life we couldn’t live so some would be saved. He died a brutal death, bore the wrath of God so God’s wrath would be satisfied, this wrath that He is perfectly just in pouring out on anyone at anytime of His choosing. This is a hard truth to swallow.
Psalm 4:4-6 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
So what do we do with verses like 2 Kings 2:23-25?
We should fall to our faces and fear the One True Living and Holy God. We should desire to seek out and understand at a much deeper level why God does what He does. If we don’t understand things do we somehow think that makes God unjust? Maybe we are the ones to blame, not God? Maybe it’s our lack of knowledge that causes us to perish (Hosea 4:6).
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The fool here is not someone that wears a goofy hat and dances around, he’s a fool in his heart because he denies God (Psalm 14:1) and makes himself his own god, and the most loving thing I can tell him is that he needs to repent and turn from his sin and live.
When our fear of a God that can take our life and send our soul to hell (Matthew 10:28) turns to a fear of awe and wonder of who He is, then we can be saved. If you don’t understand what it means to fear God then I encourage you to examine your life. See if you are indeed in the faith.
God’s word will slice you open to see the nastiness of yourself before Him. Like a leper dressed in a beautiful outfit, it doesn’t take long for the puss to ooze through the fine silk, and become stained and vile. Without Christ this is how you appear to the perfect God who made you.
My friend seems to have some understanding or at least some reading of God’s word, and I hope he’ll begin reading it with a desire to know the truth, not just his truth, but God’s truth. The gospel is the power to salvation (Romans 1:16) and there is salvation in no other name but Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). We have an empty tomb and a risen Lord that proves it (1 Corinthians 15:1-19).
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the LORD God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his evil way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
Trying to defend the bible is as useless as trying to defend a lion – you turn him loose and let him defend himself – Charles Spurgeon