For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So that they (all people) are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20
It would seem from these big verses that there could be two possible scenarios of putting someone on the witness stand.
⇒ The first scenario would be God putting all people on the witness stand. God is sitting as a judge in these verses, and if He were to come down ask you how you would plead when it comes to the case of whether or not you knew He existed, and that He created the world–you would have say, if you were honest, “Guilty, your Honor.”
That tells me that deep down everyone really knows that evolution or the Big Bang Theory isn’t true. Verse 18 says that we know it, but we have surpressed the truth through our unrighteousness. In other words, we have pushed it down, drowned it out, or kept it from being known. It’s like that tiny voice of our conscience that calls out inside of us tells us something we’re doing is a bad idea, or wrong. But we don’t want to hear it. So what do we do? We turn the music up, or we get busier, or we stay away from the people that might tell us we’re wrong.
In talking with people who have alternative theories of creation, in my experience, it seems that it they end up with more emotional rejections in the end, rather than intellectual ones. Now this isn’t thousands of conversations, but dozens. Let me say that there are some that just want to do their own thing and don’t want to anyone tell them what to do. It comes down to an issue of ‘what right does God have to tell me what to do?’ They deny God’s existence and creation because they don’t want Him to mess with their lives.
But the next category of people are those who end up with an emotional catch. Here it seems that most of the discussions have led to hard personal topics where the statements begin with the question: “Well then, how could a good God let —- happen?”
⇒ That’s where I get to the second scenario witness stand. It’s like they’re putting God on the stand. This is what Job did. In fact, God called him on this in Job 40:2, Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it. Job’s question was about why he would lose his children and all of his riches, plus why he would be afflicted with boils. Yes, that would cause me to wonder why my Friend would turn on me too. And I would want some answers.
The whole book is filled with Job and his friends spinning their wheels, especially his friends. But I think Job had a more genuine heart. He was really wrestling with God, and God answered him. God didn’t tell Job about His wager with Satan about how Job wouldn’t deny his faith in God if he took away everything. God was proving to Satan that Job was following God because God was worth it, not because of all of his riches and blessings. He didn’t tell Job that part, but He did show Job how big He was and how little Job was in comparison.
I love some of God’s questions to Job like Where were you when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 38:7 and Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know its place? 38:12 and Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or have you seen the storehouses of the hail? 38:22.
In 40:8 God said, Will you condemn Me that you be in the right? Isn’t that what people do when they question God’s goodness or His justice? Aren’t they putting themselves in the right and condemning God?
For those who have had hard things happen that cause you to wonder about why such hard and even horrible things could come from the hand of a good God–go ahead and wrestle with God as Job did. But do it with a genuine heart that wants to know Him and trust in Him. God will meet you just as He met Job. But get ready for Him to answer you in ways that you might not expect and show Himself in ways that go deeper than you can imagine.
Just don’t put God on the witness stand with a condemning heart and expect to win. And don’t use the line, “If God is good, then why is there suffering?” as a red herring to point a finger away from your own call to submit to God’s right to set the rules in your life.
Job ended up with a repentant heart. In Job 42:6 he said, I repent. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes. In Acts 3:19 Paul said, Repent and turn back, that your sins may be wiped out, so that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
That just could be the answer for all of us when we turn from trusting God and when we suppress the truth because we want to do things our own way. When we stop trusting God because we think He has wronged us, we come up with alternative ways of living our lives that doesn’t include trusting Him and putting Him first. We find other idols to fill our lives with that make our heart kind of crowded.
Some might hide it better than others, but if we’re not trusting in God, we’re still guilty. And the answer is still the same: Repent. In Job’s case, the outcome was a good one. His fortunes were restored doubly. God is that kind of a God.
Isaiah 30:18 says, Yet the Lords longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.