Don’t get it twisted: how people view God

It’s no secret that each of us has our own views on the things we encounter in this life. For example, if a group of people were to hear a popular old school song playing over the radio, that one song could trigger a different feeling in each person hearing it. One person might feel uplifted because of a pleasant memory in their past associated with the song. Another person might feel angry based on a bad memory they associate with the song. Still another individual may feel no affect whatsoever from the song because it was never played in their household and was on the charts before they were born.

This is the same type of situation that occurs when God or Jesus Christ or Christianity is brought to someone’s attention. The way people respond to the Lord is a reflection of what is in their hearts. What is in their hearts brings forth emotions and various words in their minds that they associate with how they view God. Those emotions and thoughts then result in actions they carry out in their lives. And from God’s point of view, he deals with humans based on what he sees going on in their hearts. We are told in the Psalms–

25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; 26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. 27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks. Psalm 18

People who are humble enough to admit that the Lord “hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities,” [Psalm 103:16] will see God as being merciful since he did not give us what we deserved. Those who have allowed God to transform us from sin to sanctification view God as being upright and holy. Individuals who have been washed by the water of God’s word and have been baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire view God as being pure in all his ways.

But the froward have a very different view of God. Who are the froward? What does froward even mean? Using the “law of first mention,” which means we track down the context where the word first appears in the Bible, we find out what it means to be froward in Deuteronomy 32:20. The froward are individuals “in whom is no faith” in God. Psalm 101:4 tells us the froward are wicked persons. Proverbs 2:15 says the froward are crooked.

When we take into account what 1 Kings 8:32 tells us, in that the Lord is “condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness,” then we understand why the froward view God as being froward. God works against what the wicked do and causes them to reap bad things from their bad ways. Since their view of right vs. wrong and good vs. evil is twisted, they view anything or anyone that hinders them or disagrees with them as being froward, or wicked.

So God becomes wicked to them and they try to cast God in an evil light. This is why atheists deny his existence and attack the Bible and people who cling to the Lord. This is why moral relativists claim that no one can know the truth. This is why people clinging to false religions want Christians to back off the claim that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. And this is why fornicators, adulterers, drug dealers, liars, and other sinners push God away by making excuses about why the God of the Bible is not for them.

Paul stated their view of life so eloquently when he told Titus, “unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Therefore, it is no surprise they question the validity of the Bible, of following Jesus Christ, and of repenting of their sin.

But praise be to God that he was longsuffering toward those of us who got saved after he approached us time and time again until we could no longer deny his solid, indisputable truth.

posted by Harry A. Gaylord

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