God’s “Forsakening”

Aug 26, 10 God’s “Forsakening”

I am still amazed when I read Psalm 22, as it predicted and described what the Messiah was going to go through.  Jesus quotes the opening line from Psalm 22 while he is on the cross: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” and those Jews standing by, so familiar with the Psalms and hearing him, would have recognized that he was claiming to be the Messiah (Savior).  The gospel writers referenced this Psalm and other Old Testament writings/prophecies to prove that he was the long-expected Messiah.


By the description in that Psalm & then Isaiah 53 and Roman’s typical treatment of the victims of crucifixion by beating them nearly to death, using a cat-of-nine-tails to flog them, a process called scourging, we know that Jesus was no longer recognizable:

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53


Bible scholars believe that the ‘stripes’ refer to the scourging process prior to his crucifixion.


Jesus was crucified because he was given up to the Roman authorities for sedition against Rome, a false charge.  The religious leaders of his day didn’t quite like THIS messiah because they expected a new King who would take back control of their land from the Roman empire.  There were in fact many rebellions as Jewish “messiahs” would come forward, get the backing of some of the people and then go to “war” against the Roman occupiers.  God, of course, had/has other plans; he instead sent a new King but not one to rule this world or of this world.


Our culture embraces ‘feel-good’ belief systems.  Even Christians succumb to the fuzzies.  I recently received an email forward, which had great artistic renderings of the ministry of Jesus.  My only problem with forwards like this one is that the ending statement is not really what God seems to want for us: everything hunky dory.  At least I don’t think He does at this time in our history.


The forward ended with:
“GOD  OUR FATHER, WALK THROUGH MY HOUSE AND TAKE  AWAY ALL MY WORRIES AND ILLNESSES; AND  PLEASE WATCH OVER AND HEAL MY FAMILY IN  JESUS ‘ NAME.. AMEN  This  prayer is so powerful. Pass this prayer to 12  people including me. A blessing is coming to  you in form of a new job, a house, marriage or  financially.


It makes God/Jesus sound more like a Genie than a Holy & incomprehensible Creator who knows what is best for us because He loves us and He alone knows what is good.


I read a book about a year ago: The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd (The Swans Are Not Silent) by © John Piper, which was very eye-opening because it basically states that sometimes our lives will just be lousy.  It gave three examples of Christian men: 1) John Bunyan who was jailed in horrible conditions for 12 years because he would not stop preaching; through that experience he wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress” which is the most widely read book, besides the bible, in the world, 2) William Cowper who had a depression disorder and because of that depth of sorrow was able to write beautiful hymns which still inspire us today, and lastly 3) David Brainerd who died by age 29 having been a missionary to Native Americans; his journal is a continuing inspiration to people drawn to the mission field.  From these men, incredible “fruit” has grown because of their suffering and that fruit continues to “feed” Christians 300 years after their deaths.


Our definition for what is best for us will always be wrong because we have such a shallow/narrow concept for what that will be: “happy”. Granted, there is a “god of this world” (apostle Paul’s term for satan in 2 Corinthians 4) so humankind has to deal with his evil and that influence in our lives and in others we are then effected by, but sometimes things will happen because those circumstances make us uncomfortable so not very happy and we will then allow ourselves to be drawn closer to God.  His only purpose for us is to know Him because without Him we stay spiritually dead.  That ‘life-giving’ relationship is not possible without our recognizing that Jesus Christ, bridges us to God.  Without accepting that bridge, we will eventually have an existence without any evidence of His goodness which will result in our getting what we want: God entirely out of our life.  We instead make up a god who fits our definition of what we think is best: a god who only wants our happiness.  Once God draws us into a ‘Jesus as Savior’ relationship, He will do His utmost to form us into the image of His Son, to be more Christ-like, a very uncomfortable but necessary process 😎  It doesn’t “feel” good but it is the best thing for us.


The concept of there being no hell is awfully cozy but it’s a bear-trap wrapped up in pretty paper.  This world reeks with evidence of incredible brokenness but imagine it without any residue of Good?  That’s what we would experience if we remove ourselves totally from God and that is what all bible scholars agree is the best description for what Hell is like: thoroughly removed from God’s presence.  In the meantime, while we live, He’ll do whatever He can to get our attention.  He acts as if our lives are at stake because they are.

Share

2 Comments

  1. Trina

    Hello Elaine,
    I was pleased to find your site, and blessed to read you beliefs on Religion and the word of our Father. I was wondering if you might give me your thoughts on other forms of religion and worship. Do you believe that there is one way to worship? Or that the door to Heaven and our father can only be opened through the doors of the Church? I have recently, been reading the bible as well as, other sources, and was lead to your page through research. After, reading through some of your post I wished to know more about your thoughts; in regards to the questions above.
    Thank you for reading, I look forward to your response.
    Trina

  2. Hi Trina,

    Thanks for your comment. I do believe that Christianity is the only way to God. I do accept Jesus’ claim, recorded in John 14:6, which is, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Most of my life, I did not accept that claim and instead I believed that worshiping God through other belief systems was also right. I’ve got a few other blogs that might explain my worldview now. Please check out these URLs: http://www.bloggingwithelaine.com/why-compare/
    http://www.bloggingwithelaine.com/jesus-progressive-revelation/
    http://www.bloggingwithelaine.com/the-hell-series/

    My previous worldview was Syncretism / New Spirituality / New Age / Christian Gnosticism. I’ve written a testimony of sorts also on this blog site and the URL is:
    http://www.bloggingwithelaine.com/testimony/

    As of this writing, I am 54 years old and have been a Christian for 6-years. I thank God every day for His saving me and to opening my eyes to the Truth. I also ask Him to give me a passion for His truth, because I need His help to sustain it. From my initial crying out to Him to show me the Truth no matter where it would take me, it was a period of 3-years. A perfect analogy is that I was stuck in the dark in a dead-end of a Maze and He therefore had to “walk” me out of that. I had a lot of false thinking that He had to shed His light on.

    For you, Trina, pray to the God of Jesus, asking Him to protect you as He walks you into the Truth. There is a great Bible passage for us in which God says to us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 esv

    He is a mighty God who will answer you, if you seek Him. Again, I recommend that you ask God for His protection during this process because satan would like to keep you blind. In the following passage, he is referred to as the “god of this world”, not because he is a god but because at this time, he has incredible influence over this world. People who don’t yet have their eyes open to the Truth, are referred to in this verse as “unbelievers”. Here is the Bible verse about that: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4

    I’ve been memorizing Bible scripture and currently, part of the one I am memorizing is Bible passage: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” 1 John 4:1-3 esv

    So all that to say, recognize that you have an enemy, satan, so ask God for His protection and His discernment.

    God bless you and protect you, Trina!
    Elaine

Leave a Reply

You may freely reprint anything on this site for your personal use or for sharing with others as long as you include:
"By Elaine - http://www.BloggingWithElaine.com." Please do not make any changes without my permission. If you reprint it to your website or blog, please include a link back to this website. You can also share this page by clicking this share link:
Share