The Character of God as Father Pt 6 — The Proverbs 11:1 Parent

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight

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I learned that verse from 3-2-1 Penguins, which my now 13 year olds used to love.  But I am going to apply it differently than most people do.  It’s a verse about integrity in business, certainly, a verse about not cheating people and hearkens back to Torah law, but when the scriptures says that something is an abomination to the LORD, or that He hates something, we have to go a lot deeper because it is revealing something important about God’s character.  And if something is true about God’s character, then we are supposed to be conformed to that over time as we grow in maturity.

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In my last few blogposts, I have been showing how patient and consistent God is in His dealings with His children, and how, when it looks like He has double standards it boils down to mainly two realities — the heart and maturity level of the person in question.  A rebellious “spit in his face with a smile” type of person is going to be treated differently than someone who wants to please Him but just screwed up.  On top of that, the types of people who spit in His face will also be dealt with differently — have they rejected Him when they do it, or are these people whose thinking has been so warped that through circumstance that they see God the Father through the lens of repeated beatings and rejection?  You see, we can hold Him at arms length because of anger and hatred towards our own earthly fathers, or we can simply hate Him without any such provocation whatsoever. As God knows our innermost thoughts, our mindset and hangups play a big part in how He treats us, if it did not, then let me assure you that many of us would be quite dead.  Many people who think that they hate Him actually love Him but are too frightened to let their guard down, and my entire focus over this blog has been combating that and restoring His reputation among the children.  Simply put, to paraphrase Malachi, I want to return the heart of the children to their Heavenly Father by cutting through all the false perceptions of Him.  It took me over a decade, but I’d like for everyone else to fast track it — why?  Because He deserves it and you deserve it.  He deserves to be loved as He is and you deserve to experience the kind of Father He really is.

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Let’s go back to Proverbs 11:1 and the false balance. Other versions call it “inaccurate scales” and I like that better.  Say on one hand we have someone who has been walking with God for 50 years, knows the commandments, preaches righteousness, and yet violates Lev 19:18 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Say there is another person who has been walking with God 1 year, who doesn’t really know the commandments very well and doesn’t preach, and yet breaks the same commandment?  Does God hold them to the same standard?

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Now let me add to that scenario.  The guy who has been walking with God 50 years was brutally abused and even molested by his earthly father and still carries around in him those misconceptions about the Father.  To him, the commandments are the dictates of a brutal tyrant and not the house rules of a loving Father who simply wants harmony and cooperation among His children.  And the guy who has been walking with God only 1 year had an idyllic childhood, wonderful loving parents who although they were not believers, raised him in kindness and compassion and never taught him to be cruel.  Now what does God do?  Only He can dispense perfect justice in such a case, and so we must trust Him to do so and not simply look at it with frustration from the outside.

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Aren’t you glad we don’t make those kinds of calls?  Whereas we rush to judgment, God has a set of absolutely fair balances and only He can see what is on them.  He judges based on maturity, intent, ignorance, and a whole bunch of other things — and indeed we see the evidence of this in our lives.  There are things He does not allow me to get away with now that He let slide for years, and I am sure you can relate to that.  Heck, there are things He doesn’t allow me to get away with now that He was letting slide a few weeks ago!  That is what it is to have a fair balance, because now on the scale that measures my sin, revelation was added to counterbalance it, and when I do now what I did then, no longer  in ignorance, my Father is going to treat me differently — and frankly He needs to.  That is exactly how we parent our own children.  We don’t treat teens like toddlers.

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And that is why we can feel safe with Him.  I know that many of you had earthly Fathers (and mothers) who were chaotic and inconsistent, and oftentimes demanded accountability in areas completely out of the blue, without even instructing you beforehand.  In fact, with many children, being backhanded was the way they learned something was wrong in the first place.  And I know that when we see things like Uzzah touching the ark to steady it when David was moving it, and being immediately killed, our indignation rises up and just like King David we are offended that it wasn’t fair — but of all the laws on the books, every Israelite should have known that the ark was immeasurably holy, and even the High Priest was only allowed to go before it once a year and sprinkle blood on it on Yom Kippur.  Touching this holy thing meant death, and Uzzah knew it, not only shouldn’t have he been near enough to touch it, but he shouldn’t even have been anywhere near the cart carrying it.  The consequences were absolutely spelled out and absolutely clear and from his childhood he had heard the Torah read once every seven years on the Feast of Sukkot.  Everyone knew to stay away from the ark, with the exception of the priests, and even they were only allowed to approach it when given permission, and specific Levites, who were only allowed to touch the poles supporting it when the camp was moving.   If Uzzah had not died, all Israel would have flocked to touch the ark — I mean, if you saw that people could touch the earthly throne of God, wouldn’t you touch it if you saw that nothing happened?  Just ask Adam when he saw that Eve didn’t physically die from eating the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil.  And I am not comparing the two, just stating the human predilection for pressing their luck in order to have “an experience.”

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On the flip side, lets look at Ninevah.  Ninevah was the great capital of Assyria, hated by the Israelites.  They were pagans dedicated to the worship of Dagon (the god who was half man and half fish), they were bloodthirsty and unjust, and their crimes were legendary.  But when God sent Jonah to preach that they would be destroyed in 40 days because of their sins, they repented and destruction was diverted.  Jonah preached God’s laws to them, and they humbled themselves in sackcloth and ashes and with fasting.  And God relented and did not destroy them — but why? Why after centuries of wickedness did God not destroy them anyway? Because of accurate weights.  We know this because of how God responded to Jonah’s displeasure.

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Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

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God took their ignorance into account and they were saved from physical destruction, for the time being.  It doesn’t mean that they all had salvation and we will see them when Messiah returns, but it means that their ignorance PLUS their repentance tipped God’s impeccably accurate scales in favor of mercy.  I pray that after that, many of them covenanted with the LORD, but we just don’t know.

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If Ninevah, with as wicked as they were, if their genuine repentance was met with such mercy, how much more so is your genuine repentance?  Their ignorance was not enough to save them from the day of destruction, but their repentance was.  That is Fatherhood, that is long-suffering righteousness and mercy.  That is the character of our Father.

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True repentance, which is by definition humble in nature, always tips the scales.

balance

 

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