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Bittersweet Refinements: Chapter VI

Posted by Jerry E Beuterbaugh Labels: ,

Chapter VI
Hide…
Truly you are a God who hides himself,
O God and Savior of Israel. [Isaiah 45:15 NIV]

It is also in accordance to religious traditions that our Heavenly Father had to remove Himself from this world after sin entered into it.  The premise for this is that He is too holy and righteous to be in the presence of sin.
Yes, that naturally makes a whole lot of sense.  For who from among us does not really mind being around someone who almost always does what is absolutely disgusting to them if they do not have to be around them for some reason or another?

There is even Scripture that appears support this [2 Timothy 3:16-17].  For it is written: The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous. [Proverbs 15:29 NIV]

Along with: Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. [Isaiah 59:1-2 NIV]

As well as: Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. [Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV]

On the other hand, in order for it to be true that our Heavenly Father had to remove Himself from this world after sin entered into it, it could not be true that He is always-present.  So, could it not be that He has been merely partially hiding Himself from our sight [Romans 1:18-20]?  For it is written: Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. [Psalms 139:7-12 NIV]

Besides, if it was possible for Satan to enter into our Heavenly Father’s very presence, even while He sat upon His throne in His Kingdom of Heaven, how could it be impossible for Him to be in the presence of sin?  For who could be more of an abomination in His sight than the devil himself [Ezekiel 28:11-19]?

If you are not familiar with the account, check this out: One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them.  The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”  Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”  Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.  “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?  You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”  Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. [Job 1:6-12 NIV]
As if that was not enough [Romans 15:4], it happened again: On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.  And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”  Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”  Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.  And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”  “Skin for skin!” Satan replied.  “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”  So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. [Job 2:1-7 NIV]

Yes, it is argued that the Old Testament Book of Job is actually nothing more than merely a parable instead of a true account of something that really happened [2 Peter 1:20-2:3], but what about when Satan tempted Christ Jesus in the wilderness?  For it is written: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.  “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”  Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. [Matthew 4:1-11 NIV]

Of course, it could also be argued that when Satan tempted Him, Christ Jesus was merely a man—not so unlike we naturally are, but who in their right-mind would want to believe that this is indeed true [Matthew 8:23-27]?  For it is written: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” [John 14:15-20 NIV]


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