Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Advent Archive: Romans 9:14-24

What kind of paint brush did Leonardo DaVinci use? Was it made with horse hair? Or, was it human hair? Hog’s hair, perhaps? Or, did he create synthetic polymers that could be combed out into even strands for a brush-tip? What did he wear when he painted his pictures? Do you think he wore a smock? Or do you think he wore an apron with flowers on it? How about a funny little hat? What color do you think his hat would have been? Brown? Black? Blue? Purple? And, now you say, “Who cares?!!??”
The most vital information about DaVinci is not what brush he used or what he wore, but what he did. Did he use a brush? Of course. Did he wear something? I hope. But what really matters is what did he paint? Try “The Last Supper,” and a painting of some lady named “Lisa” something or another. The point I am making is that the focus should not be on what it took to do the magnificent work, it should be a wonder that the magnificent work even occurred.
When we get to Rom. 9:14-24, many Christians take a theological tangent and turn their attention from what a gracious God has done to why or how He does it. God says “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” This group of frustrated Bible surgeons then take this passage and explain that no matter what you do, God has either already chosen you or not chosen you, and there’s a good chance that you might be chosen, but there’s also a good chance that you might not be chosen. Eventually, their theological obsession sidelines them and they retreat into a counter-productive attack mode, certain God has chosen them to attack any who disagree with their position. Just like knowing the type of brush doesn’t affect the awesomeness of the “Mona Lisa,” knowing who He has picked or not picked doesn’t affect the awesomeness that He actually redeems fallen man. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith,” what an awesome work, that a holy God would save wicked sinful men. Don’t get side-tracked into a pit of inactivity by focusing on the background of the painting so much that you miss the beauty of the Masterpiece.

Food for Thought: Read Romans 9:14-24. What illustration does Paul use to describe the relationship of Man to God in verse 21? Describe it in your own words.