God is, well, so opinionated.
JANUARY 11, 2024
God is, well, so opinionated. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown, and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. I’m going to give you a verse, and it’s an introduction to a subject that is much longer. It’s in Proverbs 6, and we’re studying Proverbs, and it’s the 16th verse, and it’s kind of an introduction to something that is far more extensive than this. But this is how this starts in that 16th verse.
These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him.
Now, that means if God hates it, it’s bad. If God likes it, it’s good. And God is so opinionated. And we don’t get a vote. You know, if you start that, you start understanding that, it takes a great burden off your back trying to pretend that you’re God. You know how that started with me? His name was Sam Rowan, and Sam Rowan in those days, and this is when I was younger, was one of the premier cross cultural teachers in America. He taught at a university and he probably understood cross cultural things better than anybody I know. He also was a theologian, a historian, and we traveled the world together, literally. And I remember one time saying to him, Sam I know you believe that God is a God who makes choices, and the doctrine is called election. And that doesn’t seem fair to me. It simply doesn’t. And would you explain it to me? He said, he said to me, and I’ll never forget this. He said, Steve, I want you to read the book of Acts twice. And after you finish the book of Acts twice, we’ll sit down and we’ll talk about it. So I did. I mean, we were on a lot of airplanes and a lot of boats and going places where there was a lot of time and travel. So, I would get my Bible out and I would read the Book of Acts. And over and over and over again, the Book of Acts teaches that God is a God who is opinionated and he’s opinionated about people and he makes choices. It’s called the doctrine of election. I remember saying to Sam, we don’t have to talk. The Bible clearly teaches it, but it’s still not fair. Well, over the years, I’ve come to understand that in a different way. First, that it is a family secret. It’s not something we preach on the street corners. And secondly, any doctrine of election that violates the doctrine of God’s love is wrong. So, I’ve gotten to the point where God, at the beginning of Creation, knew exactly what would happen as a result of his Creation. He knew that if he created this way, Steve Brown would be a Christian. And if he created a different way, Steve Brown wouldn’t be. And at the moment of Creation, he made a choice, and I was a part of that choice. But let me tell you something else that I’ve found. I’ve found that God, when he made that choice, made it with tears in his eyes. I have looked at the Scripture and know it’s true that it is not his will that any should perish. And so, there are tears in the eyes of God. But you’ve got to start with God’s sovereignty or you never get anywhere. If you are like Job, and that’s what he does when you get in the 38th chapter of Job. Job says, I’m going to question you, I’m tired of this, this is awful, you’ve done bad things to me, I’m going to question you, and you’re going to answer me. And then God said, no, you’ve got it wrong. I will question you, and you will answer me. Have you come to that point in your life where you’re saying, God, I don’t understand you, but I trust you. God, if it was up to me, I’d do it different, but I don’t get a vote. God, you are the sovereign Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of everything that I touch and see and understand. And that, according to Proverbs, is the first step of wisdom. It’s God. God, who Pete says, is large and in charge. And once you get that, once you give up, once you say, I don’t get a vote, I can’t manipulate God the way I manipulate my wife or my husband or my friends. Once you get to the point of saying, God, it’s yours. I’m going to sleep, I’m tired of trying to play God. Once you do that, you begin to move and grow in sanctification. You become far more wise than you were before, and you find out that you’re able to live life with fullness that you didn’t have before. You know, that statement that comes from the social gospel. The book was In His Steps, and it was by Sheldon. And this guy comes into a church, and he’s homeless and poor, and that starts out a whole movement in that church, and in that town, where people ask the question, what would Jesus do? And that’s a good question. I’ve thought about that a lot. I look at situations where I find myself, and I think, What would Jesus do? But I have a friend, his name is Lee Clower, and he says he’s going to make bracelets that have a different saying on them, WIJIT. And I said, WIJIT? What does that mean? He says, Where is Jesus in This? There’s a whole lot of difference between those two. And when you come to the point when you recognize God’s sovereignty.
These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him.
If he says it’s bad, it’s bad. And if he says it’s good, it’s good. When you recognize you don’t have a vote, you begin to see Jesus in every place you go. In everything you touch, in every thought that you think. But you’ve got to start in the hard place, where I did. On that trip around the world with Sam Rowan, I came to the place to say to God, I don’t like it. I think you’re unfair. This doesn’t make sense to me. But you’re God, and I’m not. And because you’re God, you get to decide. And that, I might not like it, but that is okay with me. Have you gotten to the point where you can do that in your life? Well, nobody does it perfectly. I have a friend who says, I never say, why me? And he’s going through a hard time, and I said, you’re crazy. If I, if I were going through what you’re going through, every prayer of mine would begin with Why me? But I’m getting better, and I recognize why not me. Because God, who is sovereign, who’s in charge of all of it. He’s good, and he’s good all the time. Once you get that, life gets better. Okay, since that was an introduction in Proverbs to a larger subject, let me give you the rest of the subject. Proverbs 6:16 through 19.
These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, teeth that are swift to running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren.
Now, I don’t have time to get into each one of those subjects. And, as a matter of fact, they kind of stay alone, don’t they? Stand alone, a proud look? What does that mean? That’s an attitude. I’m better than you. I’m smarter than you. I’m better looking than you. A lying tongue? Everybody knows what that is. It’s speaking things that are simply not true, for your benefit. Hands that shed innocent blood, that’s called murder. A heart that devises wicked plans. Are your plans for good or bad? Feet that are swift to running to evil. I haven’t been a Christian so long that I’ve forgotten how much fun it was to be a pagan, and sometimes my feet want to run to evil. A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren. Those things are bad, and they’re bad all the time. And they’re bad all the time because God says they are bad all the time. And he’s the only one who gets a vote. So, if you’re causing, the final one, division in the church, if they’re people you haven’t forgiven, stop it, and repent, and see what God does. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That wraps up a solid week of teaching from the Book of Proverbs. And tomorrow, join us for the nearly world famous Friday Q& A. On deck for tomorrow, what’s going to happen to me at the judgment? Good question. Be sure to join us tomorrow for that answer. Have you seen that internet meme about we’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s warranty? You know, the premise is that wherever you go, that silly sales pitch somehow finds you. And sometimes it feels that way with guilt, wherever you go, when you least expect it, pow. Hey, remember that thing you did? Of course I do. But here’s the deal. Jesus’ death paid the debt for all our sin. And that means guilt can actually lead us back to Christ to find true and lasting forgiveness. Steve wrote about this in a mini-book called Feeling Guilty: Grace for Your Mistakes. Can we mail you that for free? If so, call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that mini-book. If you’d like to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the mini-book called Feeling Guilty: Grace for Your Mistakes. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.