Teaching, TravelsJuly 02, 2023

“Why did you make me like this?” (Rm. 9:20)

“I’m so sorry father. How could I think to tell you that you did not understand? How could I? Running off into my own ways because I thought you did not know what I needed was my own rebellion. I have been such a failure and I just saw how wicked I am by seeing what I am apart from you….I’m not worthy to be called your son….I just thought there had to be something for me out there but all it did was make me question why I was the way I am” (Luke 15).

Is this not a question we have all asked ourselves? Come on, really? The sad thing is we have done so many times and never realized God has actually long ago answered it. So much of our stress arises out various reasons for asking “Why?” We sit alone in our vast empire of speculations, sadness and fear pondering the deepest issues of our life. God in His vast empire of love and wealth of understanding has explained the deepest questions of our heart.

I just think its absolutely amazing how Paul tackles the issues most people think are a slam dunk against the existence of God. In Romans 9 Paul confronts the question of why and how we can exist when God clearly states “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (v.15). Then Paul goes to the next reasonable thought process. He says if God already decided on certain people whom He will love and certain people He will reject what’s the use of existence. If God is against us why should we even make any effort to improve our lives or for that matter have any hope in life at all?

The backdrop of all such thinking starts with the creation and fall of mankind. Paul says “On the contrary”, as any brilliant lawyer, he refuses to accept the premise that any man can presume to make a conclusion upon the Character or reasoning of God. Period. He refuses to go with any initiation of any thought. The groundwork for reasonable thought starts with God, not with man’s conclusions. Man is completely untrustworthy in any self-made propositions.

Before any man can conclude any statement about God he is faced with the fact that he is MAN and  “who are you O MAN who answers back to God. The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this, will IT?” Clay can not talk. It is NOTHING.

The  anointed prophet Jeremiah says he learned how to face extreme difficulty of living a life of constant hardship. He says of himself “Let him sit alone and be silent… LET HIM PUT HIS MOUTH IN THE DUST perhaps there is still hope” (Lam.3:28029). Over the fifty years I have served Jesus I often say to myself  “Shut the hell up!”. I am the greatest enemy to myself. And I am not a passive enemy. Ego is an all out hostile evil.

I call it “pre-launch” of thoughts.  Jesus says to “calculate”. The origin of this word is calculus  which is an ancient mathematics to break large things into little things. It is to breakdown the big issues into the actual motives, reasons, emotions, etc. It is the time when I am pondering my response. I am separating between “soul and spirit” because God corresponds at the realm of “spirit and truth” (Heb. 4:12/Jn.4:24).

I must find the place within me where I “launch” my actions from pure motives.  It  will determine my own course. Before I can even ask God anything I must examine my deepest motives.  It is here where I see the undertow of unbelief and must enforce the law of “Shut the hell up”. I put my finger over my mouth and realize as an enemy of God my flesh is a direct channel of Satan.

Imagine what it is like to literally “put your mouth in the dust”. It is the only response that proves you GET IT. God is God. You “O Man” are wicked dust and to dust you shall return. This is the only fitting strike against the core ego of pride. After all, he thinks he’s got something to say to God. In this case the farmer named Job might have some counsel. He says man is the food for maggots (Job 25:6).

“Why do you take Him to court for not answering anything a person asks? For God speaks time and again, but a person y not notice it. In a dream a vision in the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber on their beds, He uncovers their ears at that tie and terrifies the with warnings, in order to turn a person fro his actions and suppresses pride” (Job 33:13-17).

So I use this expression only to convey the dire resolute nature we must use to deal with our SELF. To die to self is no light matter. If we can get to this point of “putting our mouth in the dust”  S.T.H.U. we can begin to find the real depth of resolution and answer to “Why did you make me like this?” or “Why has my life been of such nature?”. Because God goes on to put forth a profound reasoning. Basically He says “Look, you defiled yourself with sin. You absolutely corrupted your entire humanity.

The composition which I intended for you to have was in my divine image. But you said you would rather live without me. And this was so foul and vile that IT, not me, obliterated your design. You began to perform all manner of evil. It got so bad I had to wipe you off the earth by the flood in the days of Noah. But then I figure I’m not going to waste my creation of mankind. So I will provide a way for them to escape their foul human nature. I will choose a people to reveal Myself to  and make a covenant as I originally wanted of fellowship and love.”

So the birthplace of the answer to this question is that God “endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (v.22). In other words God was putting up with man from the outset of sin of Adam and Eve.  The offspring of our wicked ancestors became so vile they were like the beasts (Isaiah 59). Paul quotes from this passage in Romans 3:10ff. There was no Israel. No David. No Abraham. Just filthy wicked people doing terrible things.

God wanted to wipe them out again generations ofter Noah  but Moses interceded. So God said that He would keep the promise to Abraham and fulfill it with something mind blowing. God had originally designed 12 tribes of Israel to be the people whom He would redeem. But as He saw how they corrupted themselves He said “Look. I’m going to enact a plan that cannot fail. I will call those who were not my people, “MY PEOPLE” and her who was not beloved “Beloved”.

In other words God would go to the most wicked of humanity and treat the as His people. The word is Gentile. It simply means nation or people: “the world”. He would now look on the world as “His people” if anyone so wanted. They would not need to be jewish or maintain sacrifices and visit the Temple. All they would have to do is believe His revelation.

Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to  save.”Is. 63:1

Paul concludes Romans 9 by saying “Behold  I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And He who believes in Him will not be disappointed”. What an understatement. Faith. Sounds so simple, and indeed it is. But, like the Jews, today people insist upon “making myself a better person”. Trying to improve yourself by your own efforts of betterment is a formula for disaster. It is always ends in the subtle and ever so silent question “Why did you make me like this?”. You fall into the darkness of a life rooted in yourself. The “talking back to God” never stops. It becomes the norm. Ever so hidden but ever so loud in the ears of an omnipresent King.

Consequently, like with Israel, it is not the majority who recognized God’s plan. It is “the remnant” (v. 27). It is the very few who are more than willing to “Shut the hell up”. To recognize they are “O Man”; the wicked of the wicked; deserve nothing, but hell fire. If you can come down off your tower of presumption and pride and, in the depths of your being, S.T.H.U. when it comes to all your complaining then my friend you can become the people of God. Because indeed you are “not My people”.

If you can identify with Esau and know “Esau I hated” then you can become “Jacob” whom God says “I loved” (12-13). Instead of saying “there is no justice with God” because no matter how hard I try I can not win His favor, I cannot improve my life, you will say “God has given me the divine privilege to be called His son or daughter””.  You will realize that having nothing but His willingness to save you is everything. Because what we deserve “O Man” is hell fire.