The question has been asked as a result of our last two blogs, “How can I, a man, sympathize with God?” This was coupled with the following statement, “The Bible says that if God were hungry He would not tell us… He is not wimpy. He is the all-powerful Creator God. If anyone could endure He can.” We will take the opportunity to address this question before we move on in our studies.
First, let me be quick to agree that God is not wimpy. He is the omnipowerful Creator of the entire universe and beyond. Yet, He has made us in His image, and we can thereby know something of what He’s like. Further, He has given us very tender and touching illustrations to enable us to understand and identify with Himself.
I think that the easiest way to address this is to look at the humanity of Christ. Knowing that the Word, Jesus, was in the beginning, and all things were made by Him (John 1:1-3), we know that He is the all-powerful Creator. Yet, the reality that He was God in human flesh is mind-boggling! But, it is true: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same…” and “He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God….” Hebrews 2:14a, 16-17. Indeed, Christ was in OUR human flesh. And we know that in this flesh, we long for sympathy; we long for comfort.
Let’s look now at a Psalm about Christ; chapter 69. In verse 20, He says, “Reproach has broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.” Though He longed for comfort, for sympathy, He says, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with Me…” Isaiah 63:3
In Christ’s experience in Gethsemane, He longed for the sympathy and support of His disciples, but did not get it. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: you tarry here, and watch with Me.” Matthew 26:38. In His hour of great need, He longed for human sympathy. This passage brings out that, in His greatest hour of need for comfort and sympathy, His closest friends went to sleep! How must Jesus have felt, since what He was doing was for them, for us…?
We can also hear the cry of God in Isaiah 66:1-2, “Thus says the LORD, The heaven [is] My throne, and the earth [is] My footstool: where [is] the house that you build unto Me? and where [is] the place of My rest? For all those [things] has My hand made, and all those [things] have been, said the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My Word.” Certainly God does not need rest!! Oh, but He does. He says so Himself right here, in Isaiah 66:2. It is the rest He finds in a contrite and humble heart in which He can live!
While it is true that God says to us, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world [is] Mine, and the fullness thereof.” (Psalm 50:12) The context of this statement is clearly God explaining His position as Creator and Redeemer, and that we cannot merit His favor by our works. It is a gift of His grace, and our obedience is simply a thank offering to Him for His goodness!
In Zechariah 12:10 we find this interesting promise from God in regards to Christ. “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. “ Surely we can see that God Himself is longing to enable us to sympathize with Him Whom we have pierced; none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As thinking, feeling human beings, we have sympathy for gorillas, for dolphins, for whales, monkeys, fish, birds, trees, and the list goes on. We have sympathy for other human beings and for the planet, in concerns for such things as global warming. We become acquainted with a need or an issue, and we take action! This is a very good thing! We were “wired” that way by our Creator from day one. Here at Closure for Jesus, we are striving to make men and women the world over aware of the reality of the predicament of our Creator and Redeemer. We believe that “it is acquaintance that awakens sympathy, and sympathy is the spring of effective ministry.” Education, page 269, E.G. White
We cannot understand the work and position of our Redeemer if we will not listen and take pains to understand His needs. We do have a DVD available for a donation of $5, US funds, post paid, which explains the need at this time for us to listen, and to sympathize with Jesus.
Finally, consider this powerful passage: “Those who think of the result of hastening or hindering the gospel think of it in relation to themselves and to the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him.” ibid, 263
In our next blog the plan is to return to the explanation of Jesus’ need for closure in the delay, grief, disappointment, and exile He is suffering. We will address next the issue of His grief. Until then, God bless you all!