The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Ever done youth ministry? The monkeys are Too Tame in the Video - but hey, it's an instructional idea.
We all get angry at God, it's just - it's not righteous. And God isn't going to say - "Oh man, blew that situation. Look at Frank over there - what Was I Thinking."
God just doesn't have to be - Politically Correct. This is His Story and He knows the Days Written.
Consider a Very non-politically correct story of God. Actually two. Elijah had some interest in FIRE!!!
2 Kings 1:10
Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty."
Elisha had a similar Not PC moment.
2 Kings 2:23-
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. "Get out of here, baldy!" they said. "Get out of here, baldy!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.
(Mauled means an animal wound to a person or animal by scratching and tearing. How much damage occurs to 42 boys when two bears arrive. And do you claim mauled if you scrap yourself on a tree climbing? Remember with me, this is reported as fire and death to all the boys.)
Elijah stood up boldly for God in a very difficult time of life - God was cast aside for human sacrifice. Something He has always abhorred. Elijah means "My God is Yah(weh)."
Why didn't God honor Life above the actual human beings with hearts, two arms and two legs.
He was in the process of affirming life.
God sees events Very differently that we do.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
God, Genesis and the Psalms inform us, the fullness of the Earth - Belong to Him.
The people who died are not - LOST - to God.
They have Gone Home. His Kingdom - His Valley of Decision.
We All have an invitation to leave this planet.
Personally. Significantly. For Long Term. I Pray. Let me be taken like a Camellia. Whole.
Intact. With My Boots On.
God tells us in the First Chapter of His Story - HE finds what HE gives us in this life - Good. He continues to find Life - Good - because HE is affirming life and creates more.
Is God angry? God is Not known in all the aspects of His Story of His Nature - Given to Us - as a God of Anger. How can we judge God for HIS anger?
No doubt, our seven to eight decades indicate - No doubt but we are the people, And wisdom shall die with us.
God says Fear is the beginning of judgement. He also says Real Love casts out fear. And in this extrapolation, Elijah would not get far with all the monkeys jumping up and down Screaming Baal is good as the idol claimed infant sacrifice is needed for crops to come in and financial blessing.
We love to scream about this passage and have it screamed to us - but - who reasons this out?
Look in the Hospitals - Life and Death are daily events to God. Life is not created by mankind - we have no idea how to create life - we merely use what He gives us. Life is, after all, a voyage Home.
We have these endless and silly debates about Salvation. WHO is Saved. Salvation is a Work of God. He never in the 3,000 pages of the Scriptures, once, remotely, asks if we could please Help Him Judge Salvation.
Instead - God says work. God gives mankind the work to believe God.
Work. Work out our "own" Salvation with fear and trembling. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. Real Love Casts out Fear. Worth repeating.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now,
not only as in my presence but much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16
holding fast to the word of life,
so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
So God allowed Elijah and Elisha to do something rude.
Jesus was confronted with a real and profound doubt - a rudeness if you will - to His Authority. John the Baptist is compared to Elijah by Jesus, after seeing Elijah in the transfiguration. (Witnessed by men - John trying not to overwhelm the listener.)
John sent a message to Jesus in his hour of death - asking Jesus - publicly- is He the correct person, as the Messiah.
God does not zap John the Baptist, yet He tells us of lack of faith takes us down. He is saying, in effect, if we can - "Let not our hearts be troubled" - to seize that.
Jesus does not set bears on the messengers. We don't have to say that twice. John the Baptist creates questioning in his own disciples instead of leadership. Proving once again, be it - TV evangelist, Christian Singer, Elijah, Elisha - any person - will let you down. But If we put our Hope in Jesus Christ - He will not disappoint us. We are not to expect a waiter or Santa or the Grim Judge. Only God is Good.
God said you can ridicule the name of Jesus and bother Him, but not to complain about the Holy Spirit. (Yes, of course, we are not supposed to take His name in vain.) The Holy Spirit brings God to us. Dwelling in us. God doesn't get fussy, but He wants us to understand how He strives for us and not to break the connection of us to Him. We seem to take God up on this, God is cussed, Jesus' name is blasphemed, yet rarely do you hear someone cuss the Holy Spirit.
We are assured, Jesus will not break a bruised reed. Jesus said if we "Let our hearts not be troubled," He creates a place for us in Heaven. Too far off you say - Heaven - what about:
And we know that in all things God works (interweaves) for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
A huge statement - that is under the category of - Unseen Faith. The eyes of faith have to see somethings unfold in thirty or more years.
The Scripture exists to explain the nature of God. There is always a need to dig down deep to find the reasoning.
Remembering Elijah did more than just one event.
~ Elijah knew who he was God’s representative
~ “Elijah called “the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead.” six times and was well known by this title - a rocky area - indicating a hard life - a journey to survive the area
~ Tishbe” means “to take captive” - Bringing God back into Israel.
~ Was direct and laid it on the line. He said there would be neither dew nor rain for years except by his word.
~ King Ahab's response - is not recorded. Scripture is silent. This demonstrates the promises and warnings of God’s Word always take precedence over man’s response or opinions.
~ God’s Word is true regardless of how people respond or react.
~ God sent Elijah to live with a widow in Zarephath and prevented starvation.
~ The widow's son died. Elijah stretched himself on the boy's body three times, and God restored the child's life.
~ Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the false god Asherah to a showdown on Mount Carmel.
~ Elijah called on the Lord, and God's fire fell from heaven, consuming the offering, the wood, the altar, the water, and even the dust around it.
~ Elijah over came fear and depression.
~ Elijah prayed, and rain fell on Israel.
~ An angel brought him food.
~ Elijah to anoint his successor, Elisha (God and his workmen feel the work goes on).
~ God sent chariots and horses of fire and took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, while Elisha stood watching.
The righteousness of God does not need mankind. We are blessed to be Heard. God does more than that, and allows prayer to move His Hands.
Thank you for creating us to be who You want us to be. Today we choose to see ourselves as You see us, to believe in our life in You as You believe in us and to love each other as You love us. Thank you for the resurrection power of Your presence - living in us as individuals and in your Church.
We receive everything You desire for us this day. And the days to come.
In Jesus. Amen.