Sunday, July 1, 2018

Answering the President's Blasphemy

JULY 1, 2018

Jesus, I trust in you!

The President blasphemed the Lord by calling God “stupid.” He gave this statement when he tried to show the “absurdity” of the biblical story of creation. According to him, God created a perfect world and placed Adam and Eve in it. Then, he sent a serpent to test Eve and therefore he destroyed the perfect creation that he made. This absurdity made him remark that the God we worship is stupid.

I think it is my obligation to preach about this in order to correct false notions that the president was trying to insinuate. First of all, God did not desire to destroy what he created. The Book of Wisdom today tells us: “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are WHOLESOME…God formed man to be imperishable, the image of his own nature he made him.” Death did not have a place in the original plan of God for creation. Man was meant to be imperishable.

If this were so, then why is there death? Did death come from God? Is it true that God desired to destroy what he created? The Book of Wisdom tells us that death did not come from God. Rather, “by the envy of the devil, death entered the world and they who belong to his company experience it.” God created all the angels but some of them chose to rebel against God. These fallen angels refused to serve God and therefore, they appointed themselves as enemies of God. Because man was made in the image of God, the devil envied him. The devil hated the fact that God created man in his image and likeness and therefore, he sought to destroy man by seducing him to sin. Contrary to the claim of the president, God did not send the serpent to destroy man. But rather, the devil took the form of a serpent and on his own accord, he went to Adam and Eve in order to tempt them. Temptation is a seduction to sin. By successfully seducing them to disobey God, the devil destroyed man by bringing death into the world. The author of sin is the devil. The same devil is the author of death.

In fact, sickness and death are all the effects of sin. Man, whom God intended to be imperishable, became vulnerable to sickness and death because he fell into the devil’s trap. “Death entered the world and they who belong to (the devil’s) company experience it. God did not bring sickness and death to man. It was the devil who authored these.

Look at the Gospel. Jairus went to the Lord to ask him to heal his daughter. The woman who was afflicted with hemorrhage for 12 years sought to touch the cloak of Jesus in order to be healed. Jesus raised up the dead daughter of Jairus. Before Jesus came, both Jairus’ daughter and woman were sick. The Lord did not bring them illness. People went to him to have themselves delivered from sickness and from death. God is not the destroyer but the healer. Death did not come from God. It came from the envy of the devil. God raises us from illness. He rescues us from death. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He did this by dying on the Cross. Indeed, he defeated the devil in his own game. He defeated the devil in his own home court. Death was the devil’s domain. Jesus entered it to defeat the devil in his own domain.

And so, God is not stupid because he does not destroy what he created. Instead, he saves those who call on him. He rescues us from death that came from the envy of the devil. It is the devil who is stupid because he dares to challenge the One whom he cannot defeat. The devil fighting God is like a fool who rams his head against a concrete wall. The devil destroys himself by rejecting the God who gives life. Those who chose to belong to the devil’s company will also experience the devil’s self-destruction. The self-exclusion from the communion of the saints with God is what we call hell. Hell is the ultimate self-destruction.

This is why it is wiser to hold on to this God whom they consider stupid. The seeming foolishness of God is even greater than the wisdom of men. “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed… The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath.” (Psalm 2: 1-5) Have confidence: ‘Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (2 Tim 1: 10)

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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