Thursday, July 31, 2003
More on SHREWD:
- Saul on the road to Damascus?
My thoughts on God showing himself a "wrestler" to the perverse...the first thing I thought of was the pain of conviction. I'm certain "the perverse" experience the agony of the Holy Spirit convicting them (us, as well). And in this sense, the Lord "wrestles" with our spirits. There is no peace.
I have a friend who has been blessed with great, great joy, and her witness is that God is a Joyful God. This keeps with this verse, too.
I don't think of Jesus being "sneaky" to reveal one truth by showing another. In my mind, it's almost the way we parents speak to our children when we're trying to explain why it's rude to point, or things like that. In my mind, it seems as if Jesus was speaking to us in "layman's terms," if you will. "Coming down to our level," as it were. Not necessarily "getting past" us, but putting it in a way we would hear. Just a matter of word choice, though. I believe the basic idea is the same.
But yes, I do believe it's within God's character to "outwit" the wicked. The story of the Pharisees and the adultress (John 8).... They were attempting to outwit Him, but he--for lack of a better word--"outwitted them," in the end. So in this context, I agree.
- Loved your reference to Paul on the road to Damascus - great example; that one hadn't come to mind yet, but with the RASSLIN' motif, Jesus knocked him off his horse, right? You're right - I think it's semantics and the way we're each looking at the topic. My thoughts on parables being "sneaky" come from Dallas Willard: "... seen in His well-known use of the parable - which, from its origin in the Greek word *paraballein, literally means to throw one thing down alongside another. Parables are not just pretty stories that are easy to remember; rather, they help us understand something difficult by comparing it to, placing it beside, something with which we are very familiar, and always something concrete and specific" (DIVINE CONSPIRACY, p. 107). Like I wrote earlier, I think this was done well by Nathan in His rebuke of David, too (2 Sam. 12).
He'd turn them around and aim the "test" back at the questioners - He's my hero :). Who'd want to "outwit" the One who has ALL the wits? Hmmmm?
One more thing on conviction: Are we convicted when we discover a certain activity/heart-sentiment is WRONG? Or is it when we realize that while we've known it was wrong all along, we now know that we're not fooling God or anyone else? Probably a both/and situation, but I thought this was probably the kind of conviction David felt when God wrestled with Him through Nathan.