Monday, July 06, 2009

The King Who Goes Arg

About two weeks ago I had a phone conversation with the relative of a five-year-old girl who had been killed the day before.

One thing this woman said was that she, as a follower of Yeshua who had a Jewish mindset, was handling the situation better than her Protestant relatives. She tried to find the words to explain this, but could not.

I still need to call her for a follow-up phone call. But I have been praying for her, and the family, and also thinking about what she said.

To me, the advantage Jewish followers of Yeshua have is they are more used to picturing God as a frustrated King. Throughout the Tenach he is definitely reigning, but never lounging on his throne with the attitude of "It's good to be King!" Instead, he is frustrated and grieved at humanity's disobedience and their resultant problems. He has all authority but is not content. Although it would not be accurate to say God is in pain, he certainly suffers.

Thus when grieving, when in mourning, or when upset at the world the Jewish follower of Yeshua has a two-fold internalized comfort: God is equally upset at the brokenness of This World, and soon there will be no suffering in the World to Come.

In contrast, most Protestants picture God on his throne primarily as majestic, holy, and splendid. Despite the way the Cross is central to most of their theology, when considering God reigning they avoid seeing him as discontent or suffering. So deep in their heart they easily hear God's assurance that the future will be better but have some trouble receiving God's current empathy.

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