God lets people choose

I’d like to propose a theory. In his incredible love and mercy, God opts to work within the constraints mankind allows him in order to reach his people.  For example, God desired to speak to all the Israelites directly at Mount Sinai when he gave them the law,(Exodus 19:9) but they were so afraid, they asked him to speak only through Moses. (Exodus 20:19) God honored that decision. We know it was not God’s will for Israel to be governed by a king, ( 1 Samuel 8:5-20) but once the nation had chosen to go that route, God worked within that context. The argument could be made that God didn’t want a temple built for him; it was David’s desire to build him one. (2 Samuel 7: 5-7; Acts 7:49-50) Yet God chose to bless the temple that Solomon built.

God’s original plan was for men and women to rule over his creation together. But God lets people choose. And the Fall corrupted mankind.

However, the New Covenant that Jesus ushered in through his death and resurrection changes everything.  Under the New Covenant, God’s laws are written on our hearts and we can all know him, from the least to the greatest. (Hebrews 8:8-12) Jesus, himself, is our Lord and King. We have become the temple of the living God. (1 Peter 2: 4-5)  And under the New Covenant, there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for we are all one in Christ. (Galatians 3:28)


 

11 thoughts on “God lets people choose”

  1. Felicity, when it is said, “God opts to work within the constraints mankind allows him in order to reach his people”, would it also be acknowledged that God does not compromise His intention? Further, would it also be acknowledged that to seek what is contrary to God’s implied and announced intention is to insist on a reduction or postponement of His full blessing? I’m wondering whether He actually “opts to work within constraints mankind allows Him” or whether we should say He lets mankind opt for smaller participation in His life, smaller knowing of Him, smaller measure of contribution to His purposes. In other words, He is not opting down and under, but He allows us to opt down or out.

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    1. Jim, this may easily be a better way of putting it. What always amazes me, though, is when we choose less than his best, he has a way of still blessing us. What incredible love and mercy/

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  2. Yay! Felicity, excellent stuff.

    I have been saying this for many years against all opposition, so it is great to read this article.

    Here is another example.
    Ask any Christian, “who are supposed to be the OT priesthood”, and they will all parrot LEVI!

    Yet if we read Exodus19 we see something different.
    V5. ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6and you shall be to Me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS and a holy nation.’ V6…………
    ……………..V8. All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!”

    God clearly intended the whole of of Israel to be a kingdom of priests. So what happened?

    Observe Israel a short time later, after promising to do everything the Lord had spoken.
    Ex20v18. All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.
    v19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”…

    Suddenly, they don’t want to be priests any more. They don’t want to talk to God, or hear his voice. (Sounds familiar?)
    They want Moses to stand in for them.

    Move forward a little to Ex24v9-. Seventy elders are taken up to the heavens and even dine with God. Moses and Joshua are then taken away by the Lord to receive the details of the Law and tabernacle etc.
    Moses and Joshua are away 40 days and 40 nights.
    Whilst they are away, the tribe of Israel, including the 70 elders, make the golden calf and debauch themselves in sex and idolatry.

    Ex32v11Moses pleads for the nation against God destroying them.
    When Moses arrives back at the camp and hears their pathetic excuses, he then commands judgment.
    Ex32v26. Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come over to me.
    AND ALL THE SONS OF LEVI GATHERED THEMSELVES TO HIM.
    Did you read that? When faced with the choice of for or against God, out of all the tribes, only Levi came over to the Lord’s side.

    Thus we have Levi, the priestly tribe, despite God declaring that they should be a kingdom of priests

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    1. Yes, a Kingdom of priests after the priesthood of (the mysterious) Melchizedek who came before the Law.
      This is the problem with the model of leadership that certain denominations follow (even unbeknown to them sometimes).. it’s modeled on the hierarchical Levitical priesthood with ‘sacrifices’ that cannot save.

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  3. I also might add one more word, Gibeonites.
    This was a nation theoretically marked for destruction, but God obviously knew in advance they would deceive Israel into sparing them. Once the agreement was made, God insisted on them abiding by it.
    God is honourable to all, despite it seeming to thwart his plans.

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  4. You may appreciate these quotes by St. Augustine:

    He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent. ~Saint
    Augustine

    God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails. –St. Augustine

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  5. amen – His grace is much bigger than I think we realise – in that He lets us choose, and, like my earthly dad did, sometimes learn the hard way by those choices.
    What pain the Parent/parent has though, watching on, looking on, as I do watching my now adult children. 😦
    Love/obedience through force, fear is not real love, but robotic action.

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