Monday, January 20, 2014

Why is He so hard to see?

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 name Satan, in the book of Job. We see Satan 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 chose to go 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.

The intention of God in creation is most hard for the created, of which I am one, to talk about. But I do wonder if God is not confounding all of the heavenly host with men, the smallest of pieces on the chessboard of life, mere pawns, who had been marred forever with the sin of Lucifer. I find it interesting that the same sort of sin which Lucifer commits, he successfully entraps men to commit. Did Lucifer not say, “I will make myself like the Most High?” In the garden, does not Lucifer peddle the same lie to Eve, “You will become like God?” It is the business of God to be God, and it is the business of the created to worship and love the Creator. Both man and Lucifer became enamored of themselves, taking their eyes off of the Glorious God, and thinking themselves to be as God, they sinned.

I do not think I go too far here. God has meant for insignificant man to be lifted up, and before all witnesses in heaven, take on a significance that shows God’s steadfast and redemptive purpose, even while thwarting the very design of Lucifer. With God, who knew all of the history of creation with but a single glance, there was never any doubt that his purposes would unwind exactly as he had purposed and foreseen. For it pleased God, to use further my chessboard analogy, to become a pawn, and in becoming a pawn, to offer redemption to the very ones Satan had usurped. Now he has placed his redeemed pawns on the seventh rank, and before all of heaven, is about to crown them while confounding the plots of Lucifer, and teaching men to ignore the bright shining light and instead choosing the as yet unseen God, whose glory has not yet been made manifest. We are redeemed through faith, most miserable, as Paul says, if these things be not true, but by the power and sovereignty of his plan, we have come to him who is yet unseen.

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.

Who could ever have foreseen such a result? Christ himself will take the place of showing the glory of God, the job abdicated by Lucifer. Redemption for all? Never, for there is no revealed plan to redeem any of the angels. Redemption is offered to the pawns, to all of the pawns, that “whosoever” may believe and be redeemed. Hell is reserved, the Bible says, for the devil and his angels. It was never meant to be for you. It was never meant to be for me. There is a way of escape from what the Bible says is the second death. It is found by believing God, and stepping into his plan of redemption. There is no other way. Charlie Daniels has these words to ponder in his song, “Jesus Died for You”:
Makes no difference how wrong you've been
How heavy is your load of sin
The door's still open come on in
'Cause Jesus died for you
Now you may think you're too far gone
You've sinned so bad you can't atone
But bow your head and come on home
'Cause Jesus died for you

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