Tuesday, Dez 17, 2019. The bible contains a lot of encouraging words. It also contains a lot of serious words. If you observe the events in the Old Testament, it is often judgement which is the topic of the day.
Can we understand the cause and point of judgement as it is presented in the Old Testament? Can we understand the judgement which is the topic of the New Testament? Let us take that up for a moment and think about it in more depth! What is the point of judgement, why is God judging individuals or even whole groups of people?
Jesaja: God's Anger …
When you read Jesaja 9, which is so often cited in Christmas services, you will find many words of judgement. The story of Jesus is taking place on the background of “terrible things”. The saviour is not coming for fun, he is coming to save. The reason of this salvation is named and described. To get a sense of the strength of the words used by the prophet, let us read the original texts, for example:
13 The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the Lord of hosts. 14 So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in one day— 15 the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail; 16 for those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up. (Jes 9, 13-16)
We need to understand the main source of distress. The source is that people turned away from the Lord. They did not search the Lord of hosts. It is the first commandment, which was violated first. He IS the creator. He is the Lord. He is the beginning and the end. And he is truth, mercy, dignity, value. He loves each and every human. God can only be God, he can only be who he is and has been ever since.
Our Life …
God is justice and mercy. He demands justice and mercy. He demands honesty. He demands fidelity. He demands us to recognize reality - which means that he is Lord and is acknowledged as Lord.
Let us think, for a moment, about a world without God. Assume he is not there - or alternatively assume that mankind has forgotten him and he stays out. What will happen? Humans will behave as humans without God. They will follow their goals and desires, they have their own ideas and concepts about life. What will we get?
It is difficult to project! We can say that we will get a lot of what we have today - humans have always tried to suppress other humans, to use force to realize their will. But Christian faith had a huge impact on the development of the world. Would it have turned completely evil without Christianity? Would it have discovered the ethics of love and truth? Even the enlightenment and the western world with its democratic movement was strongly influenced by Christian activity, by the reformation and its liberation of thought, its shift towards the individual. The bible sees the individual with its faith, the single human, who can approach God as he or she is. Putting the individual into the centre of its attention is a very Christian approach, since through Jesus God approaches each and every human and offers his love, truth, salvation and company.
It seems we can choose: God gives us the freedom to loose him. Then our horizon is what we can see within creation. Life and death is our framework. We are also given the freedom to find him. HE is searching you and me to find us. When we find him, our horizon changes. Death looses its sting. And the whole concept of life receives an extended framework, it is filled by his spirit. That is what he calles life after all. (Roland Potthast)
This is part of the trilogy project “Faith of a Scientist”.