Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Who Are We To Judge?

To judge God, I mean. Outstanding column by Michael Novak.

My second thought is as follows. The Bible warns us often of the confrontation with the absurd that each of us who believes in the goodness of the Lord must face, and more than once in our lives. We see all the time in the Bible that the just are made to suffer, while the unjust live and laugh in plenty, heaping ridicule on the just. We read of the horrid, unfathomable afflictions that God piles up on his faithful servant, Job. Job refuses to say that in doing these things to him God is acting justly or kindly; Job knows his own pain, and he refuses to lie. He refuses to "prettify" God, or to cut God down to human standards. He knows that God is no sentimental liberal.

And if Job is the type of "the suffering servant," whose sufferings cannot be explained by his own deeds, and whose sufferings are on the face of it horribly and inexcusably unjust, so also is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the sinless One, who in forewarning his apostles of the sufferings he will endure on the cross alludes to Job more than once.

Stand before the cross. Look at the body of this suffering servant of God. Look, perhaps, with eyes opened by Mel Gibson's all but unendurable The Passion. If this is what God did to His own Son — His own being, with Whom He is one — then what hope is there that we will be treated "nicely"? The God who does this is not "the God of niceness." His scale of grandeur is far different from ours. One has no sense of Him whatever if one does not feel inner trembling and vast distance.

He is not a God made in our image. We are made as (very poor) images of Him — images chiefly in the sense that we experience insight and judgment, decision and love, and that we too have responsibilities.

This is the God who made the vastness of the Alps and the Rockies and the Andes; who knows the silence of jungles no human has yet penetrated; who made all the galaxies beyond our ken; who gave to Mozart and Beethoven and Shakespeare and Milton and Dante and legions of others great talents; who infused life into the eyes of every newborn, and love into the hearts of all lovers; and imagined, created, and expressed love for all the things that He made. He made all the powers of storms, and all the immense force of earthquakes, and the roiling and tumultuous churning of the oceans. He imagined all the beautiful melodies we have ever heard, and more that we have not.

God is God.

God is our Judge.

We are not His judge.

1 comment:

The Anchoress said...

Thanks for posting this, Matt, I'd missed it. Excellent.