Why is God So Unpredictable?
AUGUST 3, 2021
Some people do believe that in fact God is unpredictable!
That makes them feel:
- Out of control
- Hateful of Him
- Determined to assert themselves and stay in control.
- All of the above
- More than the above
Why do people feel that God is unpredictable?
Counselors tell us that people sometimes take their earthly father issues and project them on God: their earthly dads were unpredictable and so God, the ultimate father, must be unpredictable too.
Carl Trueman in Luther on the Christian Life takes a different slant: “…because God is omnipotent, he appears from a human perspective to be unpredictable….”
That is a logical conclusion for Trueman to make. God is all powerful and scary, and thus unpredictable, some people feel.
The operative word for me in Trueman’s sentence is: appears.
Point of Clarification: Not all people think god in a general sense is unpredictable but many people think the God of the Bible is unpredictable.
This is because, Trueman again: “…human beings are dead in sin and ever inclined to invent a God who conforms to their expectations.” True. People like a god they can control and they tend to hate one they can’t and who asserts greater power than they do. We are all aspiring gods and goddesses.
So for many people the God of the Bible is unpredictable because He doesn’t do what they would do and/or what they want Him to do and they don’t understand why God doesn’t go their way all the time.
Is God really unpredictable?
Not at all. Not in the least.
“…if one wishes to know how God acts, one must look at how God has revealed to us that he will act” (Trueman).
Ah…God has revealed Himself in Creation (read Romans 1) and in Jesus (read the Gospels), and through the prophets and apostles in the Old Testament and New. And so God has told us all about Himself, well, not exhaustively because we couldn’t grasp it all, but enough to last several lifetimes and then into eternity.
God is The Great Communicator and wants us to really know Him.
The main reason we practicing Christians may think God is unpredictable is that we have not really read the Bible deep enough and long enough to see what He says about Himself: His love, generosity, power, mercy, plans, knowledge, and oh, it goes on and on.
While world events are unpredictable from our standpoint, God is not and need not be unpredictable to us. He never changes His being nor in the way He acts and He has told us what to expect of Him. Just read one of the prophets to see that God liberally uses words to make Himself very clear.
So, in point of fact, God is predictable! He always acts in accord with who He is.
Ah…finally…some predictability in an unpredictable world!
- Draws me to study Him where He reveals Himself
- Inclines me to turn to Him and lean on Him and build my life on Him
- Incites me to bow and worship Him
Jesus said: “He who has seen me, has seen the Father.”
Jesus also said in Matthew 7:24-27:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
We become rock solid when we build our lives on the Savior of the Cross who connects us with the Father who never changes and is never unpredictable, except in how gracious He can be.
Such a confidence generator!