The Irony of God

Irony often pertains to a sense of humor, but often it’s deadly serious. So it is with God. Read on.

When the spies returned and gave their cowardly report to Israel about the strength of their enemies, everyone cried out against Moses and God. They said they would all die if they invaded the promised land, and their children would become “plunder” (Num.14:1-3). God was listening!

They forgot God’s constant care over their 40-year desert journey and convinced themselves that all was lost. They let their human hearts deceive them. We’re told in Jeremiah 17:9-10 that “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” God warned in Proverbs 4:23 that each of us needs to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the springs of life.” The human heart can be a wonderful thing, but we can let it become sour and corrupt.

This is where God’s irony comes in. When our hearts lead us away, God may well deal with us in surprising ways. Israel cried out that their children would become plunder in the promised land. God replied, “Your little ones who you said would become a prey…shall enter there, and I will give it to them, and they shall possess it” (Deut.1:39). God always judges righteously, and with surprising effects.

Back in Jeremiah’s passage, God continued, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”

Guard your heart and keep it pure, for God searches what’s inside and deals with us appropriately. Israel didn’t, and suffered His precise and ironic judgment. Let that never happen to you.

– Tim Johnson

Quality Assurance

We live in a society where the quantity of words is more common than the quality of them. “Talk is cheap” and “Actions speak louder than words” are common phrases. And while these have some merit in the right context, it is of great importance we do not undermine the value of speech.

God places eternal authority on value of words, Christ himself is referred to as “the Word” in John 1:14. And he put great emphasis on the quality of our words throughout his ministry. In Matthew 15:18 he warns, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean.” This admonition is continued in the book of James regarding speech, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:26). Christ also confirmed the eternal existence of God’s word in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away.” Continue reading