Jesus has just laid out that wonderful acrostic success formula for life – Ask Seek Knock – and now He brings a bit of application to it.
Before we go into the good gifts the Father actually gives to those who ask, I want to address an undercurrent I often sense when I hear people talk about God.
First – let’s make it official and get the word flowing here:
Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! ~ Matthew 7:9-11 NASB
In my mind, this scripture clearly states that God would not – could not – give bad gifts to His children. It is pretty clear to me. Am I missing something?
Really – it is clear – if your child asked you for fish (healthy safe food) you would not give him a snake (something that will poison him, make him sick or perhaps even kill him.) If he asked for bread (the staple of life) would you have give him a stone (that which at the time was used to take life away.)
But many point the finger of blame directly at our wonderful Father when they “receive” one of these bad gifts.
Let’s not accuse God.
When we do that, blame God for the bad stuff in life we, undermine the Truth of who God is. In this particular case, we undermine the idea of God as a Good Father. Instead we're accusing Him of giving us disease, and death, poverty, and lack, and we build a picture of an evil father who loves to see his children suffer because it is good for their character.
You say – well God allowed it! We need to change that phrase. That is like saying that God allowed you to sin. Well – He did not supernaturally intervene and stop you from sinning – though He certainly could have done so, but He did tell you not to do it.
When I was growing up – if my dad told me not to do something like play with fire or lie, or not watch the Three Stooges on TV (apparently there was a lot of slapping after ½ an hour of Three Stooges with the 3 of us Nelson boys) or whatever – I would say – I am not allowed. If I did it, my Father had not allowed it, he had forbidden it, but had not controlled it by force, and therefore it was still possible
Our heavenly Father is like that – He does not allow sin, but He does not control us by force either. So it is with sickness – God does not ‘allow’ He just does not always supernaturally intervene.
Do you see the way we twisted this around? We have turned something that God hates, into something that is His will because He allowed it. This is a lie, because it undermines what is true.
If sickness is sometimes a gift from God, we would have seen Jesus (the express image of God) leave at least one person sick who asked Him for healing.
I can’t explain why everyone we pray for does not get healed, delivered, or saved, and I won’t try. That particular explorations always ends with finger wagging – and this is a ‘no finger wagging’ blog.
What do you think? You are allowed to disagree (well – I will not supernaturally intervene if you do anyway.) I'd love to hear your thoughts.
See you then.