In this Corner, God
Has God ever been backed into a corner?
This will be the topic in a live discussion session coming soon. Not sure if it will be this week or not – still waiting for new computer.
I invite your feedback – use the form at the bottom to give:
- your opinion
- examples you can think of
God can do anything, right? But does He ever get into a tight spot where neither alternative is desirable? Has the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God ever been in a situation where it was a case of (pardon the idiomatic expression) damned if you do and damned if you don’t? In other words, either choice He made presented possible negative consequences. That is hard to imagine of God but, in fact, it has happened and more often than you might think.
Several examples could be considered. Understanding them can help in our concept of God’s character. It can help to understand why God took the actions He did, even though they may have seemed very questionable.
I will give one example here so you get the idea. I am looking for more examples and your thoughts. You are encouraged to respond using the form below.
God Wanted Moses to Enter the Promised Land
It is apparent that God wanted Moses to enter the Promised Land:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:” (Exo 33:1)
Just before they reached the Promised Land, the people thirsted again and God told Moses;
“Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.” (Num 20:8)
However, Moses didn’t exactly follow directions:
“And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.” (Num 20:11)
Moses rebelliously struck the rock instead of just speaking to it (there is an important object lesson involved).
The people witnessed Moses’ rebellion. They had to know that there were consequences to such an attitude. So here was God’s dilemma:
If He allowed Moses’ act to pass without the people seeing a serious consequence it had the potential to embolden them in rebellion.
If He had just allowed the aged Moses to die without getting to the Promised Land it wouldn’t have fulfilled God’s promise to him.
God’s solution was to, first of all, let Moses see the land from a distance and then allow the aged Moses to die:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. And when thou hast seen [but not entered] it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.” (Num 27:12-14)
Then He did something much better for Moses. After Moses died a natural death of old age, God resurrected him (in spite of the devil’s objections) and took him to The Promised Land – the Heavenly Canaan – to be with his Friend face to face.
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” (Jude 1:9)
While the devil wanted to keep him in the grave, we know that Moses did not remain in the grave as he appeared with Jesus at the mount of transfiguration.
Can you Think of Other Examples?
So there is one example. Can you think of others? Use the form below to leave a reply.
Understanding the circumstances helps to see that God’s actions in difficult situations have always been consistent with His character.