Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘paradox’

Tools or Weapons?

Within a half hour of reading in the minor prophets (those short books at the end of the Old Testament) I came across these two verses that seem to contradict each other:

Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears..” (Joel 3:10 NIV)

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks..” (Micah 4:3, also Isaiah 2:4)

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I am told that in that day, people could and actually did convert these tools into weapons and vice versa, depending on whether it was a time of peace or war. 

With that insight and looking at the context of these two verses, we see that Joel is warning Israel’s enemies to get ready for the war that God will wage against them.

On the other hand, Micah is describing the state of eternal peace that will be inaugurated when God finally rules all nations and hearts without rival.

God’s arrival can mean disaster or peace, depending on whether we’re on His side or not.  Which side are you on?  Are you looking forward to His direct intervention in world history or dreading it? 

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
     Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.  (2 Peter 3:9-13 NLT)

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My Friend, Brother, King

A line of a favorite song says, “You’re my Friend and You are my Brother, even though You are a King.”

Paradoxes fascinate me, especially when when I struggle to get a glimpse into the mysterious nature of God. 

I imagine falling to my knees before Him in awe, and then climbing into His lap and snuggle with His arms wrapped around me!  This is my God, my King, my Father, my Friend!  The One I can both worship and confide in, the One who is infinite and yet lives with me and in me. 

Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.  (Psalm 73:23-26 NLT)

Standin’ on My Knees

 

A mixed metaphor can be humorous or awesome, ridiculous or thought-provoking.  I found the latter in a wonderful song from Steve Camp that resurfaced the other day in my CD collection.  Here are some of the words:

Carry me
Through this world
Lift me up when I fall
I am weak
And You are strong
And I’ll be standin’ on my knees
For only You can carry me.

Lord, I feel weak today. Help me to “stand on my knees” and let You carry me.

First Things First

Here are excerpts from the lyrics to a song I ran across.  Pretty poignant.

We say, “Show me, and I’ll trust You”
God says, “Trust me and I’ll show You.”

We say, “Heal me, and I’ll praise You,”
God says, “Praise me and I’ll heal you.”

We say, “Bless me and I’ll follow,”
God says, “Follow and I’ll bless you.”

We say, “Change me and I’ll love You,”
God says, “Love me and I’ll change you”….

You’ve got to put first things first, get your heart out of reverse,
for the highest will be servants, and the lowest will be kings…

(Words by Claire Clonginger, copyright 1987 Paragon Music and Word Music.)

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