Keep The Sabbath Holy (Fourth Commandment)

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. (Deut 5:12-15)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The divine origin of the Sabbath is well-attested in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, it is the only commandment that appears also in the creation account and it is also the longest commandment—an indicator of emphasis. In the New Testament, Jesus refers to himself as the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt 12:8; Luke 6:5) and performs several miracles specifically on the Sabbath. Why all this attention to the Sabbath?

A key to understanding Sabbath is found in Hebrews 4, which list four aspects of Sabbath rest: physical rest, weekly Sabbath rest, rest in the Promised Land, and heavenly rest—our return to the Garden of Eden.

Physical rest is underrated by many Christians. Jesus says: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) How are we to love God and love our neighbors when we are physically exhausted all the time? Sabbath rest allows us to build the physical, emotional, and spiritual capacity to experience God and to have compassion for our neighbors.

We see a clue to this interpretation of Sabbath when we compare the Exodus and Deuteronomy renderings of the Fourth Commandment. Deuteronomy adds the sentence: “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” (Deut 5:15) Free people rest; slaves work. Are we, Americans, truly free? Sabbath rest is a symbol of our Christian freedom.

The Promised Land, promised rest (Ps 95:11), heaven, and the new Eden (Rev 22:2) all display and reinforce Sabbath imagery. The image of our Divine Shepherd is one who gives heavenly rest: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” (Ps 23:2) Sadly, this poetic image of rest only seems to come up at funerals. Why not start now?

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Honor The Name (Third Commandment)

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” (Exod 20:7; Deut 5:11)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Years ago when I studied in Germany, I had a friend from Belgium who was known only by his last name. When I asked around, not even the department secretary knew his first name. His first name was reserved for family and no one else.

God is also sensitive about his name and how it is used (Ezek 36:20-23).

In Old Testament Hebrew, numerous names for God are given. God’s covenantal name, YHWH, which God gave to Moses from the burning bush (Exod 3:14), is sacred for Jews. When Jews encounter YHWH in scripture, they normally substitute Adonai, which means Lord. Most translators honor this tradition. By contrast, the generic name for God in Hebrew is Elohim which is, for example, the word for God used in Genesis 1:1.

The treatment of God’s name is an extension of the holiness of God. Holy means both being set apart and the idea of sacredness. The Tabernacle, and later the Temple in Jerusalem, was constructed to observe three levels of increasing holiness: the courtyard for Jews, the Holy Place for priests, and the Holy of Holies for the high priest—but only on the Day of Atonement (Exod 30:10). The Ark of the Covenant resided in the Holy of Holies.

Although the Jewish sacrifice system ended with the destruction of the temple in AD 70, God’s name is still holy. The Apostle Paul, for example, wrote:

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:8-11)

Therefore, the commandment not to profane the name of God is one to be taken seriously. The author of Proverbs writes: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” (Prov 1:7) We honor God by refraining from vulgar language and refusing to make empty promises leveraged on God’s name.

But honoring God’s name is more than merely not using bad language. Our conduct should bring honor to God—our actions must be consistent with the faith we profess (Jas 2:17).

One of the greatest rewards in heaven is simply to bear the name (Rev 22:4). Why not start now?

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Make No Images (Second Commandment)

Artwork by Narsis Hiemstra
Artwork by Narsis Hiemstra

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exod 20:4-6; Deut 5:8-10)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Did you ever wait until the second time your mother called (as if her intent were unclear) before responding? Why? Repetition implies emphasis. In Hebrew poetry we see a special kind of repetition where the first and second sentences say the same thing just in different words. A good example of a Hebrew doublet is found in Psalm 115, where we read:

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.” (Ps 115:3-5)

The comparison is between God, who is alive (lives in heaven; does what he pleases), and idols, which are not alive (made of metal by humans; have silent mouths and useless eyes).

The problem of idol worship runs deep in the human psyche. An idol is anything that we treat as more important than God. And we have many such things—family members, friends, work, school, political leaders, pop stars, sports heroes, philosophies, bank accounts, insurance policies, health plans—the list is endless.

Louie Giglio (2003, 113), a Christian musician, says that if you want a list of the idols in your life, ask where you spend your money, your time, your energy, and your loyalty. Check out your priorities and you will find the idols that threaten your faith, your mental health, and, perhaps, your life.

The second commandment is not about God’s vanity. When we put our faith in idols, we set ourselves up for a hard fall. All idols eventually break and, when they do, we break with them. The outcome of our brokenness often results in depression, addiction, or suicide; collectively, it results in oppression, injustice, and war.

The obsession in our society with work and “having it all”, for example, leads us to abuse our own health and to undervalue anyone who does not work. Instead of valuing time with our family, we refuse to use our vacation leave and we return to work even before we have to. Instead of relaxing or exercising when we are off from work, we bring work home and make poor food choices. Instead of seeing our young people and senior citizens as created in the image of God, we see them as “dependents” who do not work. It is not surprising, therefore, that they develop self-image problems and depression, or worse.

Substitutes for the living God’s role in our life are cheap imitations.

REFERENCES

Giglio, Louie. 2003. The Air I Breathe. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Press.

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No Other Gods (First Commandment)

Hagia Sophia (iStockPhoto.com)
Hagia Sophia (iStockPhoto.com)

“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exod 20:3; Deut 5:7)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Why does God claim exclusive right to our allegiance and forbid worship of other gods?

God’s sovereignty over our lives arises from his role as creator. Did we do anything to earn our creation? No. Our first independent act after God created us was in fact to sin and rebel against God’s only law—do not eat of the tree (Gen 2:17). Did we do anything to earn God’s restoration and salvation? No—God himself paid the penalty of our sin in sending his son to die on a cross on our behalf.

God’s permits only one path to salvation—through Jesus Christ. We cannot approach God on our own. Two reasons suggest why.

The first reason arises because of God’s eternal nature—God stands outside of time. God’s infinite nature implies that he can approach us, but we cannot approach him. Think of the problem of setting a meeting date with an eternal God—maybe God’s convenient date is 30 AD or maybe 3000 AD. How exactly are we to show up or even arrange the date? The apostle Paul writes: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom 5:6)

The second reason arises because of God’s Holy nature. Holy implies sacred or set apart. God is holy; we are not. God’s holiness precludes us from approaching him on our own.

Because we cannot approach God on our own, either physically or morally, a hidden path to God outside of Christ logically does not exist. In fact, the idea that a hidden path to God exists ignores both of the above problems and focuses on three misconceptions about God’s holiness.

The first misconception argues that we are basically good and can approach God without divine intervention. If we were basically good, then God’s holiness would pose no problem. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross would be unnecessary and keeping the Law of Moses would be theoretically possible. Unfortunately, after Adam and Eve bad seed (original sin) ran in the family.

The second misconception argues that God himself is not good, which is obviously not true. As the ultimate sovereign, God is the ultimate lawmaker and defines what is good and what is not. It is not an accident that God declares creation to be good seven times in the creation account [1]. God declares creation good because he created and sustains it. Because our lives depend on both God’s creation of and provision for our universe, God must be good!

The third misconception presumes ignorance of God’s holiness. As the apostle Paul told the Athenians:

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30–31)

In view of modern communication systems, the Gospel message is close to reaching the entire human race—even people groups unknown to Paul’s generation. The ignorance argument is accordingly less credible today than in Paul’s time.

God deserves our worship. The first commandment in the law requires it.

[1] Genesis 1 verses 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, and 31.

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The Ten Commandments

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exod 20:1-2).

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Why, as Christians, do we need to know about the Ten Commandments? The short answer is because Jesus tells us to “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matt 5:18).. Reformer John Calvin reinforced this point and said that the law had three chief purposes: to teach us about God’s will, to aid civil authorities, and to guide our daily lives (Haas 2006, 100).

Still, as postmodern people, we have contempt for law. We live undisciplined lives, ignore posted speed limits, and cheat on our taxes. We want to be independent and in control of our own lives. We do not want anyone, not even God, telling us what to do. The Ten Commandments remind us that we remain rebellious sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.

Our rebellion against God is called sin. Sin takes at least three forms: falling short of expectations (sin), breaking a law (transgression), and not doing something we should do (iniquity). I sin when I try to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, but fail to do so consistently. I transgress the law when I murder someone. I commit iniquity when I ignore (dishonor) my parents in their old age, leaving their care to my siblings when I am able to help but refuse to. Although these three words are used interchangeably, these distinctions remain helpful.

In our rebellion, the law comes as an act of grace pointing us the way back to God. The Ten Commandments can be thought of as God’s healthy boundaries for life in the Christian community and as an example to the world.

So what is helpful to know about the Ten Commandments?

The Bible tells us that God is the Lord of lords and uses covenants to define His relationship with us. A covenant is a treaty or agreement outlining the duties and obligations of the ruler to the ruled. The Bible outlines covenants with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David and the New Covenant with Christ. The Ten Commandments are part of the covenant with Moses.

Jeremiah prophesied the coming of a new covenant that would be written on our hearts (Jer 31:30-31). Matthew’s Gospel describes this new covenant with five explicit commandments given by Jesus: Matt 5:17-20, Matt 17:9, Matt 19:16-21, Matt 22:36-40, Matt 28:18-20. Two of these have already been mentioned: obey the law (Matt 5:17-20) and the double love command (love God; love neighbor in Matt 22:36-40).

Why do Christians need to understand the Ten Commandments? The Ten Commandments help us to understand what it means to be God’s people and to follow Christ’s commandment to obey the law.

REFERENCES

Haas, Guenther H. 2004. “Calvin’s Ethics.” In The Cambridge Companion to John Calvin, 93–105. Edited by Donald K. McKim. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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God’s Will Be Done

Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Who is in charge of your life?

If God is in charge of your life, then you want to participate in the advancement of God’s kingdom and to do his will. Jesus treats them as the same thing. Remember, Hebrew poetry does not rhyme; it doubles. The second phrase repeats the first, but in different words. The more subtle the doubling; the more beautiful the poetry.

To see this doubling, ask yourself a question: how do you know that you have entered a kingdom? A kingdom exists where the king’s edicts are obeyed. Jesus prays: “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” (Matt 6:10)

The third phase in the prayer reinforces the first two. Where does Jesus pray that God’s kingdom will be? Let it be a kingdom on earth as in heaven. Where does Jesus pray that God’s will be done? Let it be done on earth as in heaven. We aspire that earth be like heaven.

James, the brother of Jesus, echoes this distinction in his contrast between faith and action. He writes simply: “faith apart from works is dead” (Jas 2:26). Our faith may model heaven, but on earth our actions must reflect it.

Did you notice the subtle reminder of God’s creative power in Jesus’ prayer? Hint: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1) Earth is modeled after heaven in the creation order. It still would be but for the corruption of sin. In praying the Lord’s Prayer, we are petitioning God to restore creation and are, in effect, participating in its re-creation.

A Hebrew doublet sometimes takes the form of a negative contrast. In Psalm 1, for example, we read: “for the LORD knows the way of the righteous [will prosper], but the way of the wicked will perish [not prosper].” (Ps 1:6) One is a blessing of the law followed; the other is a curse of the law broken. The logic of the pattern invites us to fill in any missing pieces.

In Jesus’ prayer, two negative contrasts are implicit. It is your kingdom come; not my kingdom come. It is your will be done; not my will be done. Submission implies choosing God over self.

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On Earth as in Heaven

Dead_flowers_102302013“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The next two phrases in Jesus’ prayer—“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”—are one sentence in the Greek text. These phases repeat the same thought in different ways. Together they express, in a highly emphatic way, the idea that we want God’s desires to prevail in our lives, not ours. With this prayer, the disciple radically commits heart and mind to the attainment of God’s holy kingdom on earth.

The synoptic Gospels begin citing John the Baptist’s famous phrase: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt 3:2) In the gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist introduces the phrase, kingdom of heaven, while Jesus introduces the phrase, kingdom of God, in the gospels of Mark and Luke. Thus, while the Baptist focused on judgment, Jesus’ stressed salvation (Matt 3:10; Matt 4:23).

Where does this kingdom language come from? [1]

This kingdom language hints at a restoration of the Garden of Eden. In Eden we see a picture of a world uncorrupted by sin. Adam and Eve rest with God and have access to the Tree of Life. Before the fall, there is no death, no strife, and no corruption. After the fall, there is death, strife, and sin. The kingdom of heaven restores the uncorrupted world of Eden.

One clue of this creation theme echoing Eden is the appearance of strange animal behaviors and spiritual beings. In Isaiah, for example, we read:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isa 11:6)

In Jesus’ birth and resurrection accounts, angels appear (e.g. Luke 2:10, Luke 24:4). Not surprisingly, the tree of life returns in the Apostle John’s vision of heaven (Rev 22:2).

What are we to conclude? The restoration of Eden in God’s new kingdom presents an image of hope. The resurrection of Christ has inaugurated a new kingdom that has not yet been fully realized. In praying for this new kingdom to arrive, we look beyond the present death, strife, and sin to hope for the joy that is to come.

[1] Strassen and Gushee (2003, 22–23, 35) draw a parallel between the beatitudes in Matt 5:3-10 and Isa 61:1-11. Their focus on Isaiah is attractive because Jesus himself cites Isa 61:1 already in his “call sermon” in Nazareth (Luke 4:18-19).

REFERENCES

Stasssen, Glen H. and David P. Gushee. 2003. Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

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Our Heavenly Father

Photograph of Clouds by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Our Heavenly Father

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven . . . (Matt 6:7-9)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The first phrase in the Lord’s Prayer is: “Our Father”.

We come before God as a community under a sovereign God. Addressing God as father focuses primarily on God’s sovereignty, not God’s gender [1]. God is a benevolent sovereign who desires relational intimacy with his children. He is not a buddy god or a needy god that can be manipulated. Rather, we depend on God for everyday bread—not the other way around.

Our Human Fathers

For human fathers who are not good role models, scripture reminds us that God is a father to the fatherless (Ps 68:5). Scripture is not just “turning a phrase” here. One consequence of slavery in Egypt and later in Babylon was illegitimacy, which kept many Jewish children from ever meeting their fathers. The word, orphan, is used in over fifty verses in scripture—eleven times in the book of Deuteronomy alone. Jesus himself assures us: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) Our Heavenly Father’s love for us, His children, inspires our human fathers, not the other way around.

Christian Spirituality

Christian spirituality has a communal character—it is not my spirituality; it is our spirituality. In baptism, for example, we are presented to God and to the church. In communion, we remember our baptism and celebrate our covenantal relationship with God and with one another. We can enjoy solitude with God while recognizing the vital role our community of faith has in shaping our relationship with God. In turn, we know God better as we love one another.

The communal aspect of God’s intimacy implies that our spirituality is not focused just on warm, fuzzy feelings. Ours is not a consumer spirituality. Great panoramas, great music, great poetry, great architecture, and great intellectual achievements all point to God, but our spirituality is inherently relational. We are most likely to see God’s face in the faces of those around us.

Cain and Abel

Jesus’ stories and parables drive this point home:

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matt 5:23-24)

Our spiritual identity is in a sovereign God and in right relationships with His people. The two are inexplicably bound together.

Doctrine of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity reinforces this point. Every conversation is three-way. It is always you, me, and God. God is above us, between us, and within us. In God’s transcendence, God is all powerful and in control. Through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God shares our pain and provides us a role model. In the Holy Spirit’s presence, God comforts and guides us. We are in relationship with God in three persons. Our identity is defined uniquely and independently in relation to each person in the Trinity (Miner 2007, 112).

But why is the Lord’s Prayer addressed to heaven? The obvious answer is that heaven is God’s home address. Another obvious answer is that heaven clarifies which father we are talking about!

Notice that almost all the petitions in the Lord’s Prayer center on God, not us. Do we listen for God’s voice? Are we approaching our sovereign God in appropriate humility?

[1] The image of God as our father makes a statement about His character. God is spirit; being neither male or female.

REFERENCES

Miner, Maureen. 2007. “Back to the basics in attachment to God: Revisiting theory in light of theology.” Journal of Psychology and Theology, 35(2), 112–22.

 

Also see:

Christian Spirituality

Looking Back 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

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Praise the Name

Art by Narsis Hiemstra
Art by Narsis Hiemstra

“Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matt 6:9)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The Lord’s Prayer reminds us to honor God’s name in keeping with the Third Commandment—do not take the Lord’s name in vain—because all the other commandments are leveraged on it (Exod 20:7).

Why keep the other commandments, if we dishonor God’s name?

The practical implications of honoring God arise because we are created in God’s image. Because we are created in the image of God, human life has intrinsic value—value in itself that does not change with life events. Because life has intrinsic value, we cannot accept discrimination, injustice, abuse, mistreatment of prisoners, weapons of mass destruction, euthanasia, abortion, designer babies, and a host of other detestable practices. Our human rights—a measure reflecting intrinsic value—exist because we are created in the image of a Holy God.

Our capitalist society focuses, not on intrinsic values, but on market values. Market values change with circumstances—they are volatile. Your value as a person implicitly depends on your productivity. If you are young, old, or unable to work, then you are a dependent—a burden on working people. The focus on market values inherently disrespects God’s image. When God is not honored; neither are we.

The strong influence of market values on our self-image explains, in part, is why depression rates tend to be highest among population groups—like the young adults and the senior citizens—who are unable to work. The rate of depression, suicide, anxiety disorders, addictions, and divorce appear to be correlated, in part, with changing job prospects.

When God’s name is dishonored, we also become more prone to idolatry (Rom 1:21-23). Why worship the God of the Bible, when my income and status in society depends more on my family legacy, education, and hard work? So I naturally run to all sorts of substitutes for God that work, like insurance, to manage the ups and downs of life. Alternatively, I can obsess about the security of my home, my spouse, and my children.

The implications of honoring the name of God come together in the debate over euthanasia—the right to die. If my self-image and my dignity in society are both increasingly subjected to the same market values, then I will surrender myself to assisted suicide precisely when I need support from my family. And, of course, they will agree because I have become a burden both financially and emotionally. Consequently, euthanasia is evil masquerading as compassion. We are created in the image of a holy God who declares that life is good and sacred (Gen 1:31).

Give glory to God. Honor the Name above all names. You are created in God’s image.

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Judgment

Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.” [1]

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Are you ready for your final exam?

When I taught in the university, my final exam was never a surprise. The week before the final I would pass out ten questions as homework and announce that five of these questions would be on the final exam. Now these were not easy questions—my questions were designed to encourage my students to master the subject. My good students invariably typed up answers to all ten questions and simply turn all of them in on the day of the examination; my lazy students showed up empty handed and unprepared to answer the questions.

God’s judgment works a bit like a take-home exam. We know the questions from scripture and from our ongoing relationship with God and His people, the church. Jesus’ commands and teaching are not a surprise.

So why does judgment create such drama?

One answer comes from a surprising source. Immanuel Kant observed that an evil person was not one who wills evil, but one who secretly exempts themselves from judgment, perhaps hoping that God does not exist (Arendt 1992, 17) [2].

Another answer is that many people avoid making decisions, hoping that they can escape accountability. Hannah Arendt was a German Jew who, having escaped Nazi death camps before coming to America, was asked to report on the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem (1961) for the New Yorker magazine. Eichmann was the German officer during the Second World War who organized Adolf Hitler’s program of extermination of the Jews known as the “Final Solution”. Arendt attended the trial expecting to see a hateful, anti-Semite only to discover that Eichmann was more of a petty bureaucrat, someone unable to think for himself. In the case of Eichmann, the face of evil was that of someone unable or unwilling to think for themselves (Arendt 1992, 97–101).

Why do we care about the Hannah Arendt story? Because we worship a righteous judge in heaven who expects that we will exercise sound judgment here on earth. We must be good stewards of the wisdom and knowledge of truth entrusted us. Not judging is not an option—robotic thinkers walk the path of Adolf Eichmann, not the path of Jesus Christ. We are accountable both for judgments we make and those we refuse to make.

So what does God’s judgment look like?

The picture of God as a divine judge brings to mind the story of King Solomon and the two prostitutes. Both women had babies but when one baby died the women fought over the living child. Solomon tested the hearts of the women by threatening the child with death. In doing so, the women revealed their true feelings for the child and he was able to return the child to its rightful mother (1 Kgs 3:16–28).

Just like Solomon, God is a passionate judge who pursues truth and refuses to accept lies at face value [3]. Woe to the person who invites such testing! This is perhaps why the Lord’s Prayer includes the petition: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt 6:13)

[1] The references in this chapter to the Apostle’s Creed are all taken from FACR (2013, Q/A 23). Another translation is found in (PCUSA 1999, 2.1—2.3).

[2] Kant further speculated that true justice requires that our lives be examined in their entirety which is only possible if resurrection and eternal, impartial judge exist. Therefore, justice and accountability require both eternal life and God!

[3] If you do not like Solomon test, think about the testing of Job who innocently lost everything (Job 1). Or, how about testing of Jesus in the desert? (Luke 4:1–13).

REFERENCES

Arendt, Hannah. 1992. Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Faith Alive Christian Resources (FACR). 2013. The Heidelberg Catechism. Cited: 30 August, 2013. Online: https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=372.

Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PC USA). 1999. The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)—Part I: Book of Confession. Louisville, KY: Office of the General Assembly.

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