God, You’re too Harsh!

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300px Parable of talents God, Youre too Harsh!

The parable of the talents, as depicted in a 1712 woodcut. The lazy servant searches for his buried talent, while the two other servants present their earnings to their master.

Jesus told this parable where He was the master and we the servants: Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.’ Matthew 25:24 NLT

It wasn’t easy deciding whether this was a topic to cover on a blog “for kids”, but the more I run into arguments against worshipping and loving God, the more I realize our kids need to have answers, and soon.

What is it unbelieving people are telling us about God? “Atheists” like Richard Dawkins spend an awfully lot of time talking about how horrible the God of the Bible, the only real God, is. If they really believed God was invented by people, why work so hard to smear His character?

Eagerly they seek out the goriest accounts in the Bible seeking to prove God is too disgusting to deserve our worship. It seems the only kind of God they would consider worthy is a spineless softy who let everyone get away with murder (literally).

Interestingly, these people never touch the worst case of “genocide” in the history of the universe, Noah’s Flood. They don’t dare take that one seriously, or it would give us the opportunity to point to the mountains of evidence for the Flood having really happened.

So how can a God-fearing believer in Jesus respond to such a low blow? Let’s see how Jesus, the Master, responded to the fearful servant in the story:

300px Parable of the Talents God, Youre too Harsh!

Parable of the Talents

But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ Matthew 25:26,27 NLT

Did he claim to be a kind and gentle master? Not at all. He accepted the accusation and turned it back on the servant. “You knew I was like this, so why didn’t you meet my expectations?” That’s not what we would have said! But it’s what Jesus claimed.

What’s more, here are the consequences for the servant’s bad attitude and fearful actions:

“Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:30 NLT

Our God, the God who is, makes a terrifying enemy indeed! But there’s something else going on. Remember who the guy is? He is one of the master’s “servants”, but doesn’t have the master’s protection. He isn’t part of the family.

This tells us every person on earth, no matter what their attitude about God is, still is one of Jesus’ servants. He gives them “talents”- skills, opportunities, and character traits to help them accomplish God’s work on earth. They are expected to return a profit for Jesus’ kingdom no matter what.

Here’s the bottom line. God made everything, including all people. He gets to decide when a person is to die or live. If we ignore Him, thumbing our noses at His rules and mistreat His creation, God will eventually say, “enough is enough.”

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tombstone shadows (Photo credit: Rick Payette)

That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Psalm 104:28,29

God isn’t “pro-life” the way we are called to be. He does love all of us, but there comes a point of no return:

 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.” Luke 19:42-44 NLT

God was, is, and will be terrifyingly mean to those who hate Him. But, He offers each and every one of us a way to find protection-  by hiding ourselves in Him through Jesus’ life and cleansing.

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