Two sides to God? That’s a bit of simplification, but Paul seems to go for it as well in Rm 11.22. Psa 62.11-12 is also a favorite passage of his twosomeness. Besides the examples, good and bad, of OT characters, taught in children’s Bible classes around the world, perhaps the greatest lesson of the Jewish covenant is such knowledge of God. God is good, oh, so good. Gracious, kind, loving, forgiving, blessing, and all the warm and fuzzy words you could ever think of. But at the same time he is just and righteous and holy and severe.
Know the Lord, thunder the prophets! He can, he must, be known. And this is how he acts with man, loving and judging. Forgiving and punishing. Ignore it to your peril, acknowledge it for your life.
In the end, the story of the Bible isn’t about Abraham, Moses, David, or Jeremiah, but about God’s ways with man. This is one lesson we’d better learn, and quickly. Calvary didn’t wipe out the two-sided nature of God. The Cross of Christ didn’t suddenly make God a softy who poo-pooed the sinfulness of sin. Grace still doesn’t cancel out righteousness. Paul certainly didn’t think so in Rm 2.1-16.
• After a lull longer than I wish to admit, I’ve finished another magazine, in Portuguese. Front and back covers turned out spiffy. Our general Christian magazine, called “Edification,” is now at the printer. The interruption was caused by a lack of someone to take over the subscriber database. Still no solution for that.
• Some days ago, many of our sites, hosted on a paid Internet provider, were down for hours. In Internet time, an hour is an eon. We were not happy campers.
• From Aug. 4-10 two visitors from a supporting congregation in Alabama will visit us. So we’ll not be around as much as usual. We may do some travel together as we explore some new avenues of work. A number of brethren will be coming by to talk.
Then Aug. 14 we’re off to the US for two months, part of that time to replace lost funds and extend an invitation to churches and individuals to participate with us in the GoSpeak/Forthright effort. If you happen to know of someone …
• If (a very big if) anything could dislodge me from the field of God’s mission, it would be my growing distaste for travel. Probably a sign of growing old and crotchety. I seem to have traveled more and longer in recent times with the loss of support. This year is the second time, the first, 2009, thereabouts. But I wind up getting on the plane or bus, much like my doing the 24-hour blood pressure test despite the grumbling.
In heaven I’m going to request a room where no travel is required, except for a quick flap of the wings over the river to the throne of God. But there, even travel will be a pleasure, will it not?
Reckon Paul ever grumbled about those grain boats he hopped across the Mediterranean? Or complained about a stubborn mule or a dusty road? (I doubt it!) You think he might have been grateful for a plane ride like the ones we take, rather than being discontent with it? (Likely.) Time for me to hush, then, on that score.
• Here on TFR, Eugene joked about cluttered email inboxes and messy desks. My desk is organized. It has ten piles of books. Ten is the perfect number. One pile is Bible versions, another commentaries, another Greek tools, etc. So there, Eugene!
• Although he didn’t believe it much, Wm. Barclay was spot on in his comment on Cl 1.18, Christ as the church’s “beginning”: “Christ is the source of the church’s life and being and the director of her continued activity.” That last phrase is the difference between progressives and the faithful, between denominationalists like Barclay, who fail to see how Christ directs his people’s activity still, and those who hear and obey his word.
But we must be sure that we, his faithful people, also believe it. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” To guide, guard, and direct. Don’t we pray for that?