Sunday, October 26, 2008

Every possible "human self-understanding" of God does indeed deal only with the hidden God. This inward looking attempt to imagine the "nakedness" of God is always speculation, leading to delusions and profound spiritual blindness. As Luther writes, "The theology which is speculative, which, forgetting itself, soars upward into matters divine, is looking for the fall of Satan - and finds it too." The universal and natural knowledge of God always leads men to His wrath (Law) and therefore despair along with the penalty of death. Despite our personal philosophical proclivities we will always find ourselves in direction opposition to God. It is true that our very lives are a contradiction to God. The Gospel however, reestablishes the relationship between God and man. We do not know God in and of himself. The relationship is only reconciled in the atoning sacrifice of Christ. This Gospel graciously invites us and by the gift of faith it is received.
It is not our place to define God or analyze his motives. We should never speculate saying "Is this God’s will?" How can I please God?" We are confronted by the hiddenness of God in senseless catastrophes, unspeakable suffering, cruelty to the innocent, and the intolerable horrors of war and genocide. God both preserves life and destroys it. It is not our job to comprehend the hiddenness of God. The Lord does everything for His pleasure – though he does not delight in suffering, but working all things "for you" – and our eternal benefit. We stand under the Word of the Lord and by His work gladly receive it.

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