Thursday, March 28, 2013

Satan and the unseen God

Ruminations and Speculations
Why is God invisible? John tells us that no man hath seen God at any time. We are told that we must walk by faith and not by sight. In looking at Biblical foundations, I discern a pattern which may partially explain the why and where of God’s invisibility.
In the Garden of Eden, we are told the serpent successfully tempted Eve and then through Eve, Adam. Sin entered into man, irreparably marring him and all of his descendants. Some scholars have postulated that the “ownership” of man was transferred from God to the serpent. In any case, man was separated from God by sin. Such is pretty scriptural, and thought to be what actually happened.
I was ruminating on these things lately, and began to add up some other things presented in the Bible. I do not know if this will stand scrutiny at all, and probably deserves to be put in the realm of ruminations and speculations. I note that Satan is referred to as Lucifer, or the shining one. Evidently it was his job to show forth the glory of God. Instead, Lucifer, a created being who had been given the power of choice, chose to be enamored of himself, and thus fell into sin.
We see this fall into sin when we encounter Lucifer, with his new same Satan, in the book of Job. We see Lucifer replying to God’s question about where he has come from. Satan replies that he has been to and fro, roaming through the earth. Does this mean that Satan, having marred the earth through sin, is now the owner of the earth? Scripture does not specifically go this far, but it does cause me to wonder. We do know, at least, that Satan is roaming the earth, most probably up to no good. His fall, I know from Genesis, is a fall where his head will eventually be irredeemably bruised.
Thinking about the job description of Lucifer caused me to wonder about the vacancy he left. Isaiah 14:12 states: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” His job was to show the glory of God to all around him. Who is doing his job now? Perhaps asking that question is a key to understanding an answer to the question, why is God invisible? What if the job has not yet been filled, and the vacancy still exists. Who will show the Shekinah Glory of God?
Free beings, both angels and men, have been given the choice to sin. Satan, and a third of heaven with him, evidently into the darkness of sin. Man, in Adam, has become enslaved forever to sin. God, in creating beings with choice, had to foreknow and plan for the fact that some might choose sin. But with that foreknowledge and plan, it still remains a true statement that God created the potential for great wrong.
Fortunately, He did not stop there. In His great wisdom and foreknowledge and plan, He sent His own Son to be the propitiation for our sin, and not for our sins only, but we are told, for the sins of the whole world. So, yes, in a sense, God is the creator and responsible for the evil in creation, but He is also the Redeemer, and has freely offered redemption to all who will receive His Son.
I am thinking that perhaps Lucifer’s job will not be filled until the Second Coming, when the King returns, and begins to be the shining one showing us renewed fellowship with God. So, back to the first question: why is God invisible? Perhaps it pleased God to prove to the heavenly host that He could redeem man without the shining. Somehow he reaches us through faith, which Hebrews defines as, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It pleased God to use the unseen to present Himself to man, and it pleased God to find His redeemed in those who would place their faith in the Unseen.

Tolerance and the Christian

Tolerance, for the Christian, is indeed recognizing that all lifestyles apart from Christ are condemned. It is the opposite of acceptance, for every lifestyle cries out for the redemptive model. Apart from Christ there is no good thing. Jude reminds us to love others, even while hating the very clothing stained by their corruption. Tolerance for all others, but condemnation of lifestyle choices. Quite a contrast to today’s definition of tolerance!