On the Plains of Moab Blog
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May 12, 2012, 12:22 PM

The Justice of God

In preparation for tomorrow, I give you a quote from theologian Miroslav Volf.  He addresses our natural repulsion to the idea that there is a God in heaven who might actually judge evil in the world.  Volf is no hell fire and brimstone preacher by any means.  How could he be?  He teaches at Yale!  Yet, he has a perspective on evil that many of us will never, thankfully, know in our lifetime.  He was raised in eastern Europe under the heavy, oppressive thumb of communism.  He saw quite a bit of what can go wrong with the world.  Yes, he witnessed evil firsthand, up close and personal.

Please consider his penetrating insight as we prepare to look at a troubling passage in the book of Revelation.  I wanted to use this quote in the sermon tomorrow, but, alas, there is just not enough time in a sermon to do everything I want to do!

"One could object that it is not worthy of God to wield the sword.  Is God not love, long-suffering and all-powerful love?.... that in a world of violence it would not be worthy of God not to wield the sword; if God were not angry at injustice and deception and did not make the final end to violence God would not be worthy of our worship.... [I]magine that you are delivering a lecture in a war zone....among your listeners are people whose cities and villages have been first plundered, then burned and leveled to the ground, whose daughters and sisters have been raped, whose fathers and brothers have had their throats slit.... [I]t takes the quiet of a suburban home for the birth of the thesis that human nonviolence corresponds to God’s refusal to judge. In a scorched land, soaked in the blood of the innocent, it will invariably die.  And as one watches it die, one will do well to reflect about many other pleasant captivities of the liberal mind."  (Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf pgs. 303-304).

I hope that I can do justice to this part of Revelation tomorrow (no pun intended!)  I guess what I want to say is this:  God will judge the world of its evil and wipe it away.  We must learn to love the world -- and I mean really love it -- and pray for its transformation; pray for its good; and have a passion for being in the same boat-like-prayer in the meantime.

Easy task, huh?

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