Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The LORD shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.” (Psalm 2:1-6)

Those strings that you think are marionette strings—those strings that are making you do stuff that you think you don’t want to do—how do you know they aren’t really the strings of a parachute? It might not be so wise to cut them.

People wanted to break free from what they perceived to be God’s unreasonable demands. God’s response was derisive laughter. How come? Because God’s demands were not unreasonable, unless they found a parachute strapped to their back, or a seat belt across their lap and shoulders too restraining. The so called constraints were hardly that: they existed for their benefit. They made life better, not worse. They maximized pleasure, rather than restricting it.

Some people decided to reject God because they thought he stood in the way of human pleasure. Only after they burned themselves out, like the prodigal son, would they come to realize that perhaps the “old man” wasn’t so stupid after all and may have been telling them stuff for their own good, that could have saved them a lot of pain along the way.

God loves us and wants what is best for us. God is also very smart and knows a lot. But too often we’d rather listen to ourselves, or other people, who know next to nothing. We find it hard to believe that God really loves us and knows what is best—knows even better than we know ourselves.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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