Tuesday, July 09, 2013

God of the "Unloveable"

I have been thinking, what are we supposed to do when someone (an authority or peer, etc.) treats us poorly? Whether it is as the target of ugly words spewing forth or harsh actions...does God save us or are we to rescue ourselves from such a situation?

A leader once taught me, I am to treat ALL those God has placed in my life, biblically. I may not end the relationship, be impatient, or intolerant of them. I must cover with love, "love the unloveable", turn the other cheek, etc. until God removes those parties from my life. So, that makes me wonder, why are there some "unloveable" (bullies, haters, manipulators) that just seem to linger for years on end and are never "removed"? May one then say, "Enough is enough," and walk away? What would Jesus do?

First of all, what DID Christ Jesus do? He died for our sins. With that said, when it came to the Pharisees and Sadducees, Jesus did not tolerate their hypocrisy and (at least once (in the book of John)) flat out avoided them when exiting the temple. He did not put up with tax collectors and such doing business in His Father's house. Infact, He overturned their tables. But, God did save Saul of Tarsus. He did not, however, remove Cain from Abel's life, and Abel was murdered by his brother. David fled and hid (twice) when King Saul sought him out to kill him. Abigail's husband (who is described in scripture as a "badly behaved man") was no longer in her life after he died from a heart attack. Those who taunted, teased, and harassed Noah were killed by the flood. Delilah betrayed Sampson causing his death. King Herod ordered the murder (and beheading) of John the Baptist (among many other things). And, satan, has been left to cause all kinds of havoc on the earth. (Further, those are only biblical examples, there are plenty throughout all of history as well, of course.)

So, what determines if God is going to intervene and expel a threat from somebody's life or not. The only scripture (I have found thus far) to give me any sort of answer to this states,
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:21-24 ESV)

I guess tyrants like Hitler, terrorists, slave traders, murderers, child abusers/molesters, felons, bullies, etc. are "vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory"?

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (John 5:39-44 ESV)
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