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In-Depth Biblical Content by Pastor Andy Davis
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A Father who Reasons with His Children

Why does God reason with his people?

by Andrew Davis on July 26, 2022

The God of truth persuades his people.
"‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.” - Isaiah 1:18 

 

Perhaps all of us, while we were growing up, had the experience of our parents pulling rank on us, saying “Because I’m the mommy, that’s why!” or “Because I said so.” Actually, I believe there’s nothing ultimately wrong with parents doing that kind of thing to a point. Children need to learn how to obey whether or not they fully understand the reasons for the command. God doesn’t always fully explain everything to us either. After putting Job through the most horrendous trials imaginable, when all of Job’s soul was aching for an answer to one question, “Why??!!”, God never gave Job any explanation at all. He merely gave Job a clearer revelation of Himself—of His power and knowledge—and that was amply sufficient for Job.

However, it is clear that God does spend much of His effort as He communicates with sinful humanity in reasoning with us. In the passage above, He is reasoning with rebellious Israel after he has brought much suffering on them for their sins. He begins in Isaiah explaining His heartache over the rebellion of His people: “Hear O heavens, listen O earth, for the Lord has spoken. I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me” (Isaiah 1:3). Because of their rebellion, God has been forced to bring severe disciplines and judgments against them: Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness -- only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil (Isaiah 1:5-6). Specifically, he mentions the burning and destruction of many of Judah’s cities by an invading force (the Assyrians). But as He speaks, there is clearly a tone of sadness, of yearning for Israel to stop sinning and to come back to God. So, in the passage cited above, God reasons with His rebellious children seeking to woo them back to Himself. The whole passage reads like this:

“Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. - (Isaiah 1:18-20)  

Isn’t it amazing that the God of the universe would reason with sinners like us? His thoughts are as high above ours as the stars are above the earth. And yet, God knows that we are created in His image, and that involves the ability to reason things out. Sin itself is inherently unreasonable, especially in light of the threats and warnings of judgment that God has attached to sin. But yet God works through the rational process to help us to see how delightful it is to follow His ways, and how destructive it is to rebel.

Jesus spent a great deal of His teaching time reasoning with us. For example, He uses reason when He teaches us to expect great things from God in prayer based on how we treat our own children’s requests:  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him (Matt. 7:11)! He also uses reason when He persuades us not to be anxious. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus is amazingly seeking to reason us out of anxiety: God cares for the birds of the air, and they don’t even have all the resources for food production and storage that you do! Worrying doesn’t add anything to your life, so why do it? God clothes the grass of the field even though it will die tomorrow, why wouldn’t he also clothe you? Unbelievers worry about these things, shouldn’t you be better than they? Jesus is directing a stream of reasons at our quavering and faithless hearts to cure us of anxiety.


 "Isn’t it amazing that the God of the universe would reason with sinners like us?"

So also the Apostle Paul uses a great deal of reasoning in his epistles. Check out Romans 5 in which he reasons from justification to assurance: Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life (Rom. 5:9-10)! The “how much more” language is logic, it is reasoning.

So, allow yourself to be persuaded by the words of God! Allow your minds to be transformed by His strong logic. Allow your hearts to delight in His arguments! And joyfully and confidently walk in the ways of His love as a result.

Tags: wisdom, conversion

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