Friday, March 30, 2007

When I Pondered …, Truth Part 2

Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart! But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped. Ps 73:1-2

“The” truth is that God is good, and “The” lie is that He is not, He is bad. Simple enough, isn’t it? Yet in this passage we see a man of God, Asaph, stating the truth while admitting that he almost stumbled in this truth.

Asaph goes on to state how he sees the wicked and corrupt around him prospering, and this troubled him so much that he was thinking that he had kept himself pure and honest for nothing. Asaph is also speaking to us off to the side in much the same way a character in a Shakespearian play speaks to the audience in an “aside” without the main characters hearing his thoughts. He is sharing his doubts with us about whether or not God is really good.

There is a good reason Asaph is whispering to us and not to everyone else. He knew, and feared greatly, that if he were to share his doubts openly he would betray the next generation, the generation of his children. This was not an option; it was simply unthinkable and drove Asaph back into the presence of God. There his mind cleared, he perceived the haze of deception and understood the truth again.

Let’s pause for a moment and dig a little deeper into the man and not just his surroundings. Like many of us, Asaph knew the word of God and declared that God was good, but circumstances had almost convinced him that God was not good.

Have you ever thought about why a bad doctor’s report or a bad financial statement sends instant chills down our spines, but it takes time and discipline for God’s word and prayer to sink deeper into our souls to the point where we actually feel peace? Why is the negative instinctive and that which is good not? Asaph experienced this paradox, and so do we.

It is clear that something other than just circumstances caused this man to doubt God, to believe that He is not good. To find the reason we must dig deeper into the past to the beginning to find the first time the truth was exchanged for a lie, The Beginning. We will eventually come back to Asaph to seal this journey for us with a truth so deep yet simple that it changes the orientation of our souls.

Some signs we believe God is not good

  • We are negative about the future saying, “Things are going from bad to worse.” This betrays our children’s future when we say this. Rev 11:15
  • We are constantly afraid of failure or abandonment. Deut 31:6; Jer 29:11
  • We take more stock in what people say about us than what God says about us. Prov 29:25
  • We say, “I guess that is my lot in life.” This is fatalism, which means that God is either not in control or He does not care about us. Rom 8:28

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