We understand that God is Creator. The Reformers pound pulpits and shout about His Glory and our part in that ultimate end of everything. From the hurting hearts, who hear this, they ask, “I believe you but does He care about me?” Reformers have always defended the high and transcendent perspective of God. Keeping man in his place and reminding man of God’s place.
Yet I feel there is a calm in the rumbling of the storm. In the storm of our lives we think of God as some theologians have describe Him. He is “passive”. That while the storms of life swirl around us, He is off in the distance. He is far away and ultimately not concerned. Is this the way we should see Him? He gives us a clue in Christ.
It was Thomas Aquinas who reminded us of the different ways we can communicate. He said there were 3 ways fundamentally that we used langauge.
We use language univocally. We use language equivocally, and we use language analogically. Big words? Don’t loose me just yet, hold on and you’ll be glad you did. Here is a brief explanation of the terms.
Univocally – we are meaning the same thing when we use the term in two different sentences.
Example: When I say that I love you to my son and his grandma says “I love you”. He understands the word to basically mean the same thing. He doesn’t start questioning it. This is a univocal usage (1 on 1).
Equivocal – a funny story is my cousin thought he was really good at a particular video game in our house. And he was. He was hands down the best player…in the house. A friend came over and my cousin asked how good the friend was. Our friend communicated he was “pretty good” and instantly my cousin challenged him. Quickly my cousin discovered, that what he thought was good and what he now saw was “good” were two different things.
Analogically – when I tell me son “God loves you”. but when I say “I love you”. It’s the same word, different implication.
When I love him and he refuses to love me, I hurt because I have lost something.
When God loves you and you refuse to love Him, God hurts, but He hurts because you have lost something.
That’s the analogical use.
Yes. He is concerned. The short answer is, that’s why He sent His son to die on the cross.
The Bible tells us of how Jesus went to the top of a mountain and looked at a city and wept over it. Another famous scene is when Christ saw that His friend Lazarus was dead he wept over that.
The God who created us is the same God who is able to restore us. When I see someone who has lost their life, I would weep for a completely different reason, because I cannot restore that life. I can feel the loss.
Yet, when Christ wept, He wept, I suspect for a different reason. He restored the life of Lazarus but I think He weeps for two reasons. One being because He would have to bring Lazarus back to this sin filled world and out of the presence of God. Lazarus would have to die again, that we would believe Jesus and see the works to glorify God. That’s what it would it take. I also think He wept because you and I having to observe the pains and separations in this world. As we weep for our children having to deal with the cruelty of others. He wept for us.
The concern is there. The power is there. There is power to restore. There is power to heal that which was lost.
We’ve all had some issues to wrestle with in life. As I have had trials in life I have found that His grace is sufficient.
It was Annie Flint who wrote some of the most beautiful poems and hymns. She was orphaned, blind, cancerous, and arthritic, yet managed to write these words:
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase,
To added inflictions He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving has only begun
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure
His power has no boundaries known unto men
For our of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
He cares, He gives
The world knows He cares when we (those who love and know Him) touch our hurting brother and sisters with compassion in words and deeds.
from studies of Annie Flint, and Aquinas use of univocal and analogical use of language, and lectures from Mike Horton, Ravi Zacharias, and John Piper.