1 Peter 1:1-12
God is a very serious matter.
Here I am on a plane to Portland, to visit my family for Thanksgiving and I am so excited. But my reading material is not light.
Ezekiel is such a wild card. I had never read Ezekiel before this and it is not what I expected at all. It’s got his depression, his quirky Revelation-style visions, lots of “come on Israel, what are you doing,” measurements of gates, and now really strict guidelines for priests. Seems a little all over the place. If I was Zeke I might want to say to God, “I know I’m a prophet and all but what exactly is my job description here?”
But I guess if I was given the task of writing that job description though it would be: to take God seriously and talk about it. Because I'm reading this and I'm thinking about how intense this is and wondering how would I react if this was my God concept without 1 Peter's God concept? It's the same God, the same holy God who needs to be taken seriously, so I hope I would still take Him seriously. But man, that would be hard to swallow.
As I am traveling today, I wrote this post in pieces so it's not as lengthy and maybe not as cohesive as it could have been. But essentially as I read today I was in awe, I was grateful, and moved by how difficult it would be to preach Ezekiel's message vs. Peter's message.
1 Peter 1:3-9
"In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in Heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
It's a difficult tension to sit in: the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. Because it's the same God but our relationship with Him is so drastically different: but only because of Jesus, not because the God of the New Testament is any less of a serious matter.
He is a very serious matter, a type of serious we can't enter into, that's why we need Jesus. The type of serious that makes you afraid to think about it but the type of serious that you have to think about it. A.W. Tozer said "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." It's not an optional thing.
God is defined and He has defined us. And we can choose to accept His mercy, but we can't choose whether or not to acknowledge Him. He will be acknowledged, on His own terms, no matter what. Because He is God, He is a very serious matter.
And He seriously is good.