Summary: If we let the Bible speak for itself, we find a God Who is often different than the God many Christians present, a God with a complicated emotional matrix.
God’s Emotional Matrix
1. The sermons over the last few weeks have really stretched us.
2. We mentioned the purpose for all creation, to glorify God. Creation does this by SHOWCASING what is special about God.
3. We cannot develop God’s special qualities, because they are already perfect. All events and situations do is to display those qualities which already exist and have existed from all eternity.
4. God, as revealed in the Bible, is under attack not only by unbelievers but also by people who claim to believe the Bible.
5. Here, for example, is an attack upon God’s immutability…His unchageableness… from an evangelical scholar:
6. How do we answer his suggestion that God was somehow deepened by the cross?
7. The answer: God knew of the cross, including the feelings the cross would elicit. God knows all that will happen and all that could happen.
8. Steve Inman pointed out this verse: I Samuel 23:10-13:
David said, "O LORD, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, God of Israel, tell your servant." And the LORD said, "He will." Again David asked, "Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?" And the LORD said, "They will." So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
9. God’s experiences do NOT change His emotional makeup, they merely highlight His emotions.
10. Since all creation exists to highlight what is special about God, one thing creation will do is to highlight the many emotions of God.
MAIN IDEA: If we let the Bible speak for itself, we find a God Who is often different than the God many Christians present, a God with a complicated emotional matrix.
Today, I would like for us to (1) Consider the Immensity of God’s Emotional Matrix, (2) Discover Some Surprising Realities About the Range of God’s Emotions, (3) Contemplate How God’s Range of Emotions is to Be Reflected in the Believer.
I. Consider the Immensity of God’s Emotions
1. Have you ever felt emotionally depleted? After a funeral/tragedy, divorce, prodigal child, severe depression….
2. God’s emotions are never depleted, nor do they wear on Him
3. Our emotions are often tainted by sin: How often do we experience a holy hatred, for example.
4. God hears of the prayers of millions of Christians at the same time; of course, God is not subject to time, but you get the point…
(1) Every believer can claim and effectively practice Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
(2) God feels our pain when we share it with Him; He celebrates our joys when we share them with Him; He glories in our prayers of thanksgiving and He inhabits the praise of His people…millions of them, all at once; He understands and feels with us….
(3) On the one hand, He burns with wrath: Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
(4) On the other, sympathy and compassion: Psalms 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
II. The Surprising Reality About the Range of God’s Emotions
1. He loves the world (John 3:16)
2. He demonstrate His love for us (Romans 5:8)
3. In one sense, God clearly loves sinners, yet in another, He hates them
(1) Psalm 5:4-5 “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.
NIV Jeremiah 12:7-8, “I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her.”
NIV Leviticus 26:30, “I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you.”