What Does God have in Common with the Incredible Hulk?


In Scripture we are directed to look at a shepherd, a rock, and a lamb, all for the purpose of understanding the many attributes of God. There are also things that God is contrasted to so that we can know what God is NOT.
God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19), God is not blind (Hebrews 4:13), and God is not quick-tempered (Nahum 1:3). We can contrast God to the Incredible Hulk because God is nothing like him. The Incredible Hulk has a quick fuse, but the God of the Scriptures is patient.
This is one reason why the book of Nahum is such an important book. In the book of Nahum, the prophet highlights three attributes of God – He is Jealous (v. 2); He is Patient (v3), and He is Good (v.7). Though these attributes appear to be opposites, they all exist, at the same time, in our Majestic God.
God’s people in the book of Nahum were skeptical about judgment coming to the Ninevites. Just 150 earlier, Jonah said judgment was coming the Ninevites repented. They had been slaves for so long they just couldn’t imagine a life of freedom. Nahum reminded them that though God was going to deliver them from their oppressors, it was going to be in His sovereign time and it may be longer than they expected because God is slow to anger. To those of us who are carrying heavy burdens and it seems like forever, let’s take courage in Nahum’s words: “The Lord is slow to anger and He is good.” The God of the Bible will never lose His temper after warning people, “Don’t make me angry, you won’t like me when I’m angry.” He is so different than the Incredible Hulk. They have nothing in common. When His judgment is finally executed against His enemies, and His deliverance finally comes for His people, it will be for our good and His glory.

Brian Spivey – D.O.C.

Six Things God Cannot Do

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I know. You didn’t think there was anything God couldn’t do. Well, as John Frame explains in his excellent book The Doctrine of God (pp.518-521), there are several things He can’t do, namely:

1.) Logically contradictory actions, such as ultimately saving and condemning the same individual, making a round square, or making a rope with only one end. God’s illogicality is prevented by His righteousness, faithfulness, truth, rational speech, knowledge, and wisdom. In other words, because of His strengths, not weaknesses.

2.) Immoral actions, like lying, stealing, coveting, and breaking His promises.

3.) Actions appropriate only to finite creatures, like buying shoes, celebrating one’s birthday, or taking medicine for a cough. God’s inability to do these things is not due to any lack of power. He is quite capable of taking on human form and doing all these things. His “inability” exists only in His nonincarnate state, and in that state, the reasons He “cannot” do these things pertains to His strengths, not His weaknesses.

4.) Actions denying His own nature as God, such as making another god equal to Himself, abandoning His divine attributes, or absorbing the universe into His own being. God necessarily exists as the one true God. If He were to perform any of these actions, He would no longer exist as the one true God. The world would then no longer be a theistic universe, but rather a chaos. But in fact there could be no such world. So these actions are impossible. Even God cannot perform them.

5.) Changing His eternal plan. God’s eternal plan is unchangeable.

6.) Making a stone so large that He cannot lift it. This is the famous “paradox of the stone,” loved by philosophers. What keeps God from making such a stone is His infinity–again, not a weakness, but a strength.

So, even God’s “weaknesses” and “inability” are due to His strengths. How awesome then is our God?

C.M. Granger

Truth Revealed in Questions

It’s easy to pass over rhetorical questions in Scripture.  I do it frequently, but have been trying to take note of such questions when they come up.     BibleAlthough a rhetorical question is not asked to illicit a reply, it is helpful to reflect on the question and its intended effect.  For instance, Isaiah 40:14 asks, “Whom did he [God] consult, and who made him understand?  Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?”  The implied answer?  Absolutely no one.  No one teaches God anything, for he has all knowledge and wisdom.  The question reveals a significant truth about the Lord.

1 Corinthians, in particular, contains a lot of rhetorical questions.  Don’t pass over them.  When one is asked, pause and meditate upon the implied answer. In chapter 4 Paul admonishes the Corinthians for causing division in the church by favoring and following one teacher over another.  He advises them that they should consider the apostles simply as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  In verses 6 and following he says, “I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.  {Rhetorical Question Alert} For who sees anything different in you? {No one}   What do you have that you did not receive? {Nothing}  If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” {Hmm.  Great question.  I shouldn’t, I have no reason to}.  What do these questions tell us about ourselves?  That there is nothing inherent in us which makes us different from any other sinner, we have received everything from God, and we cannot take credit for any aspect of our salvation.

Here we have questions that give us answers with regard to the doctrine of God (Is. 40:14) and the doctrine of man  (1 Cor. 4:6-7).  In Scripture, there is truth to be discovered even in the questions!  Give them due consideration…

C.M. Granger