It doesn’t make sense!
Sometimes God does things that seem crazy to us ... but that doesn't mean you can't trust him.
There are a lot of times when life doesn’t seem to make sense. Like when we put in a good effort, but don’t get the reward we were hoping for. Or when your parents ask you to do something that seems completely insane when you’re in the middle of something really, really important.
In the Bible, God often asked his people to do things that just don’t seem to make sense. Here are a couple of mind-bending examples:
- In the desert, God first asked the Israelites to give him the first and the best of their crops and herds. If you’re a farmer, this DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Farmers want to keep the best genetic specimens to make sure the next herds are just as good!
- God sent the huge numbers of Israelites out of Egypt (river plains, fertile, lots of food) into the desert (not much water, v. little food). This DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Where are you going to find enough food and water out there for hundreds of thousands of people all at once?
- When he was going to conquer the oppressing army, God told Gideon to send home almost all of his own men. This DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Why would you attack an opposing force of tens of thousands of men with only 300 soldiers?
- When King Saul did the dodgy and failed in his kingly role, God sent Samuel to look for a new king. He chose the smallest, youngest, not-even-thought-of-by-his-father-Jesse for the position. This DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. People want to follow the strongest, most physically impressive warrior kings, don’t they?
- When the Israelites were in exile and going to be in trouble, it was up to the young winner of a beauty pageant named Esther to save everyone. This DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Women in the king’s harem were powerless. Almost prisoners. How could a trapped woman do anything to save anyone?
The more you read the Bible, the more you see of these events that don’t seem to make logical sense - from a human perspective, anyway.
But here’s the kicker: that’s the whole point.
God's commands don't always make sense
See, when everything makes sense, we have a habit of trying to take the credit. So over and over, God put his people into situations where there was only one possible thing they could do: they had to trust him.
- Of course it makes no sense to give the best animal genetics to God. But he wanted his people to to put their future in His hands.
- Of course there’s no water or food in the desert. But God wanted his people to depend on him for their daily bread.
- Of course it makes no sense to fight an army with almost no men. But God wanted Gideon to know who really has the power.
- Of course it made no sense to pick David from the outside appearance. But God looks at the heart, not what we see.
- Of course it made no sense to give an imprisoned teenage girl the responsibility of saving a nation. But God can do anything through anyone.
Then you get to the biggest, strangest, most mind-blowing event of all...
The strangest plan
When humans chose to disobey God and go their own way, what response from God would have made sense?
“You break it you fix it?” “You have failed, and now you must pay the ultimate penalty?”
Surely if we, the people, had broken our relationship with God and wrecked this world he gave us, the most sensible thing would be for God to just delete everything and start again. But that’s not how God chose to operate, is it? No. God did the most ultimate thing that DOESN’T MAKE SENSE: God sent Jesus.
- God doesn’t ask us to earn back his love. He loved us even when we were his enemies. He loved us so much Jesus died for us. That DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
- Jesus didn’t come looking like a conquering king, but like a humble carpenter’s son from a backwater town in Galilee. That DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
- Jesus - even though he did nothing wrong - died a criminal’s death. That DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
- Jesus took the penalty we deserved for our disobedience. We don’t pay for our sin. He did. That DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
- Jesus offers us the free gift of grace - if we accept his death for us, we are made one of God’s beloved children, wiped clean of all our sins, forgiven, accepted, whole. Us. The ones who deserve death! That DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
And yet, that’s what God did. Because even when God’s ways don’t make sense to us, they are more wonderful and more powerful than we could ever imagine. All he wants from you is that you trust Him.
That makes the most perfect sense of all.