Drama can either contribute to or detract from God’s glory.
Author’s Note: This post contains commentaries from readers. Edited by Jack.
Length: 600 words
Reading Time: 3 minutes
A purview of this week’s posts, The Glorious Warlord (2023/3/20), Order Out of Chaos (2023/3/22), and God is Not Gentle (2023/3/24), reveals that God is glorified in battle, in competition, conflict, opposition, and at times, the spectacular. I’ll summarize this idea in one word — drama.
However, not any kind of drama can glorify the Lord. Drama can either add or detract from God’s glory. This post will examine the differences.
Drama can Enhance God’s Glory
Anonabaptist shared this story under Oscar’s post.
“In 1569, the Roman Catholic Church arrested and imprisoned Dutchman Anabaptist Dirk Willems for rejecting infant baptism and baptizing other believers. He escaped his confinement, but a guard noticed and gave chase.
Willems crossed the ice of a frozen pond, but the guard chasing him fell in. The guard struggled in the icy water, crying out for help. Willems could not leave the man to die, so he returned and saved him.”
“Willems was recaptured. Shortly thereafter he was condemned and burned at the stake. During his execution, the wind was blowing so hard that Willems was not quickly consumed, prolonging his suffering. So great was his suffering that the bailiff instructed the executioner to dispatch him immediately.
Willems would not trade another’s life or liberty to save his own. Not even persecution, torture, and death could change this.”
This is definitely a dramatic story. Furthermore, it has many of the elements we’ve identified of that which glorifies God: conflict, justice, mercy, righteousness, taking a stand, self-sacrifice, and suffering. Many stories of martyrs and saints have similar elements, and this is how they glorified God. We also glorify God whenever we hear these stories recounted.
Drama can Detract from God’s Glory
Disrespecting the Lord (2023/3/3) brought up the idea that Moses was not (only) disobedient by striking the rock, but because he presumptuously used the word “we”, implying that the water was produced by his own authority and not God’s. (See Numbers 20:2-13.)
After this post was published, the person who submitted that essay wrote to me privately to say that it was not just that Moses said “we” — trying to make it appear that it was because of Moses and Aaron that water would come — there was the additional insult that he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as per God’s instruction — thereby implying that the Word of God was not sufficient and so God needed Moses’ “help”. By striking the rock Moses added his own drama to the instruction… (God does not need works to be added to his Word.) So in addition to the self-glorification of saying “we”, the added drama of striking the rock also took away from the Glory of God and showed HIS POWER in a poor light. (That is, speaking is not enough. He had to strike the rock for it to yield water.)
In Moses’ defense, God had told him in an earlier miracle to strike the rock (Exodus 17:1-7). So the incident in Numbers 20 was the second time he was doing this.
But given the fact that he was the leader AND that God had given him a special revelation of HIS GLORY, Moses should not have been presumptuous in his taking credit for the miracle or adding to God’s instruction by striking the rock instead of just speaking to it.
Moses was punished for this disobedience, but it was not as simple as him not following instructions. The article below at Ready 4 Eternity goes into Moses disobedience in more detail.
- Ready 4 Eternity: The Sin That Really Kept Moses Out Of The Promised Land (2020/2/8)
- Σ Frame: The Glory of Submission and Humility in Helping (2022/10/6)
- Σ Frame: Glorifying God through Obedience (2023/3/8)
Moses in that instance demonstrated sinful anger. By the loss of control of his faculties. Such that he lost his head, disobeyed God and did all that presumptively. The Israelites pushed him to the limit of his patience but even then there that wasn’t an excuse for losing his head.
Without ensuring possibly through deep breaths to restore his clarity of mind.
Moses demonstrates the dictim. “To whom much is given, much will be required.”
Because he lost faith in God and in addition he didn’t treat God as Holy as he should.
That a deeply sinful people is irreformable. But since God promised that they will be Righteous people. Moses is supposed to have faith that after all this time. They will be redeemed.
If God says that a people will be made Righteous. It’s a prediction since that means there will be enough people whose hearts aren’t hardened beyond redemption to make that possible.
This is also the reason God is so much more short-tempered when he led the people in a Glory-Cloud.
God’s presence was obvious to all. Hence their lack of faith is all the more egregious.
This is also why Satan with the full revelation of God himself. Didn’t have any chance once he rebelled. Since on one hand such rebellion would require such hardened rebellion that there is no possibility of repentance.
And on the other there is absolutely no excuse. Strong Atheists can more comfortably exist because God hasn’t made himself as blindingly obvious as he did in Exodus.
Otherwise even they are forced to acknowledge his existence. But hate him with every fiber of their being.
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