I’m so glad that we’ve got God completely figured out these days. That we know what words to say to manipulate Him into doing our will. And that we can buy his goodwill. Ancient believers never really had it that good – or easy. The God of the Old Testament was a powerful and Holy figure who’d just soon as destroy as he would save. He also wasn’t all that big on interfering with daily affairs – for most people. He wouldn’t exactly prevent their destruction if it didn’t suit him to do so.
By the time the New Testament rolled around, He was much more mellow. Jesus didn’t have nearly the body count stacked up and seemed to be big on mercy. Only when he overturned the tables in the temple did he show some anger, and even then we’re pretty sure nobody got hurt. In the early Church, the Holy Spirit showed that one ought not trifle with the fledgling believers as Ananias and Sapphira as well as Simon the Magician all experienced an element of wrath. But all in all, He was much more likely to let people live.
Since then, we’ve discovered the secrets of controlling God. By seed-faith donations, we can ‘sow’ our money which God will make fruitful and give us a return on our investment. By praying together, we can guarantee that God will answer our prayers. By building a ‘war room’ we can bend our spiritual energy and bind God to do what we want Him to.
We know that God will never take anything away without giving us something bigger, better, nicer, or newer in return. Like Job – sure, God took away his livelihood, his staff, and his children but God gave him twice as much stuff, twice as much staff, and a whole new batch of children – a new family to replace the one he lost. If only he knew then what we know now then he would have been able to get God to keep Satan at bay and save them all. But he was dealing with the Old Testament God, so it would have been 50-50 anyway.
Yep, we’ve got it pretty good. Which is nice, considering how many people don’t realize how easily they would have upset the Old Testament God every time they do something wrong. Think about it – what if every time there was embezzlement in a church the perpetrators suffered Ananias’ and Sapphira’s fate? Wouldn’t everybody double-check their work to prevent that from happening to them even accidentally? What if every sort of wrong-doing had a similar result – some sort of supernatural sickness that everybody could see and know what had happened? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that. People can steal from churches without fear of earthly consequences.
That’s why it’s so great that we have God all figured out. When people do something they shouldn’t, they an always run into the open arms of the church, say ‘I repent! I’m really sorry and I’ll never do it again.’ Then they can lay low as long as it takes for the whole thing to blow over and get right back at it while nobody’s looking. With forgiveness on tap, why there’s a whole lot of not so good things that anybody can get away with at church. But we don’t really have anything to worry about – because we have God figured out down to a science these days.