Have you ever imagined Isaac as a father? I’m sure he loved both his sons, although apparently Esau was his favorite. Yet we are told that God loved Jacob and hated Esau. Furthermore, this state of affairs happened before either had done any good or bad. God just chose.
Now, imagine God making such a declaration over your children. Furthermore, imagine him being completely just in doing so. How do you feel about it?
And here is our stone of stumbling. If you can’t accept that God could, and even may, make a similar declaration over your family, and that he will still remain loving, just and holy, then you have come as far as you will ever get in your God journey.
We are told that God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. This doesn’t mean those things that are simplistic or overlooked. When the scripture speaks of foolishness, it is speaking of those things that deny God.
Consider for a moment the things that cause people to question the existence of God. I am sure that you’ve probably heard a variation of, “If God is (loving, just, etc.), then why (did he allow, didn’t he do, etc.).” I think we can take the majority of these questions and slot them into three problem categories:
Some of the questions spring from a, “Given desiccation, how can I believe in water?” logic, but many are cries from the heart. The situations seem so unjust. How can they be balanced with the idea of a loving and omnipotent God?
Well, I have bad news for you – from a human point of view. It is these foolish things, these things that cause people to deny God, that are inseparable from the journey to become like God.
Through death Christ destroyed the one who has the power of death.
If we have died with Christ, we will also reign with him.
It is fitting that God should make the author of our salvation (Jesus) perfect through suffering.
Let us boast in our suffering, for suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
God made Jesus into sin, though Jesus had committed no sin, in order that we might be the righteousness of God.
Paul covers these three points in his declaration in Philippians 3:10:
And this is why his accusers will be struck dumb, for all these foolish things, these things which seemingly deny the existence of God, are the very ingredients that are required to make you like God.
Note: The association of resurrection with sin may, at first blush, seem incorrect; however, remember that sin came into the world, and death through sin. Death can be done away with if you conform to death, but death can still re-enter if sin remains, therefore resurrection deals with sin and closes the door on death. Death precedes resurrection because it is the prerequisite of resurrection.