Christmas is right around the corner, a time of festivities and joy. And although there is much joy in my heart for this time of year, I’ve been probing the theme of God’s Glory and Lordship over all things.
The reality and implications of this study has been nothing short of frightful and humbling. Embracing the severity of God, that is His strict judgment as documented through out Scripture, is perhaps the most frightful thought I’ve ever had. Much more frightful than a Hollywood film, much more frightful than any evil in this world, is the understanding that God is free to do whatever He wants! Paul exposits this reality of God in Romans 9.
For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy…So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
Romans 9:15 & 18-21
In my recent reading of Francis Chan’s book Erasing Hell, Chan comments on Romans 9 with
It’s a passage that isn’t preached often, so when believers come across it, many find themselves confused. We find ourselves asking, “Is this saying what I think it’s saying? If this is true about God, why hasn’t anyone told me this before? Is it because we are embarrassed? Maybe we don’t want to admit that we believe in a God who is so free to do whatever He wants.
Chan’s book helped me beg the question, how high is my view of God? And maybe this is exactly what we as believers need to probe more often, just how lofty is our view of God? Do I believe who God claims to be? Do I believe that God is free to do whatever He wants? To save or condemn whom He wills? Or as it says in Romans 9:21, “Has the potter no right over the clay?”