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Thursday: The Redemption of the Exile — 14 Comments

  1. Did God preserve the freedom of those who wanted to defy God through "making a name for themselves"? Oe did God over-ride their freedom to do so? What do you see when you consider this question?

    • Just a comment in regard to God and freedom:
      The way I see it, humanity's freedom of choice is of supreme value to God because His character is love, and there is no love without such freedom. In fact, if He did not value freedom so highly, Christ need not have come to live, suffer and die on this planet. There were/are other ways to deal with the problem of sin - but none but the divinely devised way preserves total freedom of choice for humanity.

    • Phil - God is longsuffering and patient and kind; He will do His good pleasure in His time and so achieve the purpose which man was created for.

      • Thanks Brigitte

        What do we mean when we say God will do "His good pleasure"?

        If God does things in "His time", how does that preserve freedom?

        • Phil - I am not sure who "we say" refers to, though I try my best to answer your questions:
          I do not claim to ‘know God’s mind’, though Scripture and the Holy Spirit reveal to us that His desire is for us to know Him, to love Him, and to trust Him.
          It is revealed that this cannot be done any other way than by Faith - the Way our Creator has established for all who have breath and a free will to express what they believe and act on accordingly.
          Ultimately, the acts done by 'free will' derive their existence 'in time' only in/by/through His Will when dealt with according to His spirit.

          It was based on 'His good pleasure' to make man in His/Their Image and according to His Will. At the time of His choosing, He sent His Son to show humanity their Father. Since the time of the Fall, man conceived images of false gods to worship. The time had come to reveal the true Creator, God, Father - Rev.4:11; Isaiah 43:1-21 – v.21: ”This people (Israel) have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”

          The desire to ‘make a name for themselves’ is just one of the many errors man’s heart and mind experiences due to the separation from their Maker.
          God does not ‘override the freedom’ to defy Him. He invested Himself when He created man and is his only source of Truth. He knows and experiences mankind’s foe, understanding the struggles associated with the spiritual warfare which man of flesh, by himself, cannot stand up against; His spirit continuously, faithfully, invests himself on man's behalf.
          His Spirit woos man to stay in fellowship with Him and does so as long as man can hear his voice and choses to follow His Creator.

          God is longsuffering and kind – He uses the medium of time for oportunity of flesh and spirit to interact. He chose the right time to send His Son to again reveal Himself as mankind's true Father; sending Him in the form of man to reveal to all humanity their Maker and the right Way to be in fellowship with Him.
          The time had come for peoples and nations of all the world to have access to their Creator directly and to understand how to worship Him - loving Him with all their heart, and loving their fellow man as He loved them when He found them.

          Man, suffering from the entrappment of falsehoods promoted by His adversary, is again called to have Faith in the revealed Word of God, finally overcoming life's lures and deceptions as they live life according to His Son's revealed Way of Life.
          Our Creator Father never left humanity, He invested Himself in man, He will never forsake us. To help each individual person to stay the course, His Truth is now revealed to and written on the heart of man. The Holy Spirit is wooing us to come closer to the Father, to learn to live life by faith according to His Will.

          • Thanks Brigitte

            The good thing about "God's good pleasure" is that His pleasure is what benefits His creation - as opposed our human idea of God doing what He feels like because He has the power to so. Related to this is His timing is the timing that works best for His creation - not the time that He has set just because He can.

            • Thanks Phil - yes, it is always a pleasure to read your comments about the topics you highlight as so very important to understand when moving along the path of deeper and deeper appreciation of the immensity and majesty of His creative, loving spirit.
              God is the essence of good - His pleasure and His timing are good. Mark10:18 - "Why do you call me good?" asked Jesus in reply; "there is no one truly good exept One - that is God." Weymouth New Testament.

            • Phil, is it that the creation directs or informs God with respect to His “timing”?

  2. Choice:
    The LORD is the creator and thus owner of this world and all its inhabitants. Accordingly all humans owe their life to Him, He is the Supreme Ruler of this world and has the right to intervene in the course of history, see Dan 2:20-22, Jer 27:5, Col 1:16, Acts 17:23-28

    However for this probationary time He has given humans the choice to worship and serve Him or Satan until His Second Coming when they will reap the consequences of their choices.

  3. I see God's action as an act of grace and mercy once again in the form of his judgement against them. If we are looking at it in the context of the great controversy, we can see the gene of of Satan exhibited in their rebellion to make a name for themselves. In separating them God will begin to make an opportunity for the "seed" of the woman to be nurtured (Genesis 3:15).

  4. God knows everything! I am much better off trusting Him! He knows the future! When I get closer to God I see how weak I am, and sometimes this is not such a balanced feeling. But I also have to recognize how much He loves me... perhaps the secret in this relationship is to learn how to cope this lowliness perception with the sweetness of His love!

    May all that I am and have be a total worship for Him!

  5. "Unfortunately, they sought to use their united power for evil, not good. They wanted to “make a name for ourselves,” a powerful reflection of their own arrogance and pride. Indeed, whenever humans, in open defiance of God, want to “make a name” for themselves, we can be sure it won’t turn out well. It never has."

    How many marriages are self-centered unions? Without putting God first, 2 people can choose each other because they see how the other person might help to feed their own Egoic interests. A "let's help each other 'get ahead'" attitude is their foundation. At the extremes, this could range from "evil" plans together like Bonnie and Clyde, to outwardly "good" well-publicized humanitarian work together where the primary goal is to build a "saintly" image.

  6. "The Redemption of the Exile"....I've been thinking about that riddle this morning. What does that mean?

    Some Bible stories came to me. Adam and Eve - they disobeyed and so God exiled them out of the perfect Garden and away from the Tree of Immortality. Cain - he disobeyed and so God exiled him away from family and glimpses into Eden's paradise. Moses - he struck the rock in disobedience and God exiled him out of the earthly Promised Land. Our example this week is the people of Babel - they disobeyed and so God exiled them down out of their lofty heavenly vistas and back across the face of the Earth.

    Next, I looked closer at a common thread between all of their disobediences. Eve wanted to become as wise as God through her action of eating fruit. Cain wanted to exalt his own fruit as holy rather than God's provision, and would kill in order to make his point of "my way or the highway". Moses was a Godly leader who in a moment of weakness and exhaustion forgot who was actually leading the Israelites and said, “Must we bring you water from this rock?” (Num. 20:10). And the Babel builders worked to build a tower to climb up to God in heaven, to a place of safety and immortality reached through their own efforts.

    Do you see what I see? Humans worshiping their own work over God's grace. In each of these stories, people thought that what they were doing was more important than what God was doing and what God told them to do. And so God draws His line of sovereign control and says, "Nope. I'm not going to let you live forever (eat from the Tree of Life, climb a tower to heaven and My kingdom of peace) this way." The symbolism is so strong here. "A hard NO, you may NOT climb up to Me," says God.

    Which then led me to Phil's great question about where human freedom plays out. Amen to Inge's and Shirley's answers. An "aha moment" to me is how important symbolism seems to be to God. I love this about God because I love metaphors and symbolism, too. The symbolism of Moses's slip-up, for example, was so important to God that even though Moses had a close relationship with God, He wouldn't let Moses experience the satisfaction of crossing the border into Canaan. 40 faithful years slowly crossing the dessert leading an annoying group of complainers. And then 40 more years stalled out, peeking in at Canaan. Just one small mistake. All Moses did was hit the rock: couldn't he just confess to God and the people the error of what he did and its faulty symbolism and God could wipe that clean? Eve ate an apple. The first Babylonians used new technology to build a skyscraper. What's so dramatically horrible about all of this? The disobedience, yes, but there are other Bible stories of disobedience that don't result in God's powerful interception.

    I think God wants it to be abundantly clear to us - consistently, every time, immediately - how abhorrent all our works are that boldly claim "I can do it myself. I am God". ALL OUR WORKS Is. 64:6; Matthew 7:22-23.(Oh, I just thought of another Bible example, Nebuchadnezzar exiled out of his palace and turned into a wild beast.) God exiles us away from the fruitlessness and pride of our own works towards the fruitfulness of His own redemptive work. Every time.
    God says to Moses, "Moses, your goal wasn't Canaan. Your goal is Me. I am heaven. I am safety. I am rest. I am community. I am your Alpha and Omega." Ex. 3:14; Ps. 46:10


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