Using the finite capabilities of my mom mind, I endeavor to find word pictures and illustrations to help me to explain truths that I learn about God and His character. Many illustrations I find are written in the examples of my children and my relationship with them, so if you would excuse the simplicity of these illustrations I want to tackle a weighty subject.
I have heard it said of God that He is an “immoral” character. By this the person means that God sets up rules for us to follow that He Himself does not abide by. Rules such as “Thou Shalt Not Kill, God spoke to the Children of Israel through Moses and subsequently to us who follow His teaching, yet appears to be disregarded by God Himself when you see atrocities in life and horrendous accidents that wipe away the lives of innocent people that only He could prevent. People read portions of the Old Testament and are horrified at the way God wiped out nations and kingdoms.
A question that has to be asked when attempting this subject is this: “Is the Moral Law something that exists outside of God, like a force surrounding all that exists, or is the Moral Law within God?” “Is morality a code, or pattern of laws, or is morality a ‘person’?” If morality is a set of laws, or a code of living, then who or what governs it? And if it is a force above and beyond God, who gives it authority and ensures its existence? Ponder this a moment.
If however, morality is a person or an entity, then it would reason that this entity is the beginning and end of morals and ethics. This Moral Code would be self-governed because it self-exists. It would be understood and explained in the character of the Entity whom possesses it.
The conclusion? Morality is God. It is who He is, not something He “does”. It exists because God exists and it is never contrary to who He is. God cannot deny Himself and God does not lie. There is no shadow in God, no gray areas or shady dealings. He is perfect, righteous, just, merciful, faithful, and compassionate. He is the beginning and end of the Moral Code/Law.
I have a rule in my house, like many of you, that none of my children (under the licensing age) are allowed to drive our car. I have stated the rule, and am prepared to enforce that law. No matter how much my kids may beg to drive it, or try to prove to me they are knowledgeable enough, capable enough, or tall enough to reach the pedals and simultaneously see over the steering wheel, I will not relent. Their knowledge and experience is not adequate to drive a ¾ ton vehicle through town. The part that is most frustrating to my children is that I, on the other hand, do drive the car. I drive it whenever I want to. They don’t fully understand my reasons, or my skill sets, but that does not impede or deter me from carrying out my plans to drive the car and accomplish my ends. I am qualified. I have the power to operate the vehicle and the ability to pay for any damages.
When I come to God, I have to come with the understanding that He is self-existing, all-wise, all- powerful, and has the ability to create and give life. I am not, and cannot. God alone has the ability to see the end from the beginning. He is able to remove a person from this life and place them in His plan in the life I cannot see. He is able to bring life back from the grave and resurrect not just souls, but bodies from the ground and recreate them. I cannot.
God has the ability to show mercy and compassion while still upholding justice. He judgment is not clouded by sin or weakness. He knows what He is doing, and He has the power to bring beauty out of ashes and order out of chaos.
I don’t know how He does it. My deficient understanding is reason enough for me to realize that I cannot judge God as “immoral” since I would then have to embody the moral code within me and know its breadth and depth. I would have to have eyes that see beyond God and know His plan and his courses of action. Nope, I only fully know the code of sin. I know how to mess up and mess up good. I don’t understand all that God does. I don’t know why innocent people die and evil people seem to live on. I can’t wrap my head around tragedy and loss.
So what do I do? I have to trust. I have to trust that the God who brought this world into existence out of nothing and breathed life into dust to make man, knows exactly what He is doing and it does not violate His character which is completely moral. He has the power to give life; I do not. He has the power to take life; I do not. He knows how to make something beautiful out of ashes. Again, I do not. He never wastes life, time, or purpose. I do. He never leaves things incomplete. I do. He never gives up on the people He made. I do. For this reason and many many more I’m grateful God does not allow me to “drive the car”.