"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge its rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant treasures." Proverbs 24:3

Is God Too Weak To Defend Himself?

For all you Bible readers out there:  Do you remember Ish-Bosheth?  He was Saul's son who was crowned king after Saul died.  You may be thinking, "Didn't David become king after Saul died?"  Well, yes he did, but only over Judah.  All the other tribes made Ish-Bosheth their king.  Only, God had promised that David would be king over all of Israel so Ish-Bosheth didn't stand a chance.  

After Abner (the man with the real power) turned against Ish-Bosheth and got himself murdered, Israel realized that it was inevitable that David would rule and that he was surely coming after them for not following him in the first place.  (I think that's what they thought.)   Anyhow, it was chaos, people were running, hiding, killing, and stuff.  

But two brothers, Rechab and Baanah, decided that they would gain David's favor by killing his rival.  So when Ish-Bosheth was taking a little midday snooze, the two brothers came into his house on the pretense of just getting some wheat (why wheat?  weren't they afraid of wheat belly?) they snuck up to the sleeping king and skewered him in the belly.  Then, for proof, they cut off his head and hurried to give David the "good news."  

Well, if you know anything about David, you know that he wasn't impressed.  These two brothers should have paid attention to their history lessons, because then they would have known that David did not appreciate the news about Saul's death, and he had the messenger and supposed murderer put to death.  

So these two brothers come running up to David swinging Ish-Bosheth's head by the hair (I imagine) hoping for a reward or at least a pat on the back.  What was David's response?  How dare you kill an innocent man? (more or less).  He had these two over zealous brothers killed, had their hands and feet cut off (gross), then hung them by a pool in Hebron (even grosser).  

Here's the deal:  These two brothers assumed that David was as wicked as they were and that he was about the business of securing the kingdom for himself by any means possible.  They failed to understand that David looked to God alone for redemption.  He did not need a couple of lackeys to prove their loyalty to him by killing his enemy.  David perceived that God alone was the one establishing his throne and God didn't need any help in the matter

So it got me thinking...  I wonder, do we sometimes make the same assumption about God that Rechab and Baanah did about David?  Do we as Christians think it is our job to "slay" God's enemies in order to help establish and further His kingdom?  Do we assume that God is like us and that He might rejoice over the destruction of those who do not follow Him?   Do we think He is weak and somehow incapable of defending Himself or His Word?

More Questions...

Do you think God is pleased when we slander the ministry of others and make it our work to expose their fallacies and "execute" them with our sharp words and accusations?  How many people have been won to Christ by these malicious charges?  And how do we appear to unbelievers when they see us:  Christians accusing Christians; wrangling over words instead of trying to see someone's heart.  

Or do we know, like David did, that the battle belongs to the Lord.  Can we concede to the fact that God has not called us to be judges, prosecutors, or executioners.  "Vengeance is mine," He says, "I will repay." (Hebrews 10:30)

Don't get me wrong, I am zealous for upholding the truth of God's Word.  We must be good stewards of this great treasure that has been passed down to us.  We must do our best to present ourselves to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).  Furthermore, we should always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks us to give an account for the hope that is in us, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15).  Can I emphasize "everyone who asks?" and "with gentleness and reverence?"

Our nation has experienced so much tragedy lately:  bombing, explosions, senseless loss, pain.  How much more should we as Christians be presenting our God as a God of hope, grace, and compassion.  

I believe we can do this without neglecting the truth of His whole character.  

How much more shall we strive to make Christ "attractive" to a world that is desperate for genuine beauty?  

I believe we can do this without watering down the gospel.

What are we gaining by this seek-and-destroy method of exposing false teachers and heretics of the faith?  Can we be a voice of truth without being a voice of judgement?

I have more to say on this subject, but I would like to know what your response is...  What does the Bible say?  Is it our job to call people out and expose them publicly as heretics and false teachers?  Or is it enough to teach the Bible, share the truth in love, and let God defend Himself against His opponents in His own righteous and just way?

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