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The God I Don't Understand
Reflections on chapter 3

Categories Theology

In the beginning of chapter 3 of THE GOD I DON’T UNDERSTAND, Christopher Wright makes what first struck me as a bold statement—“theologians try to explain evil, while God’s plan is to destroy it.” God the destroyer. How unpopular. Yet how greatly needed.

Then Wright states, “the Bible calls us to rejoice at the prospect of the defeat and final destruction of evil.” And in his discussion of the final destruction of evil the Book of Revelation takes center stage. I’m reminded of the many victorious songs that fill John’s vision. Each psalm, hymn, and spiritual song sung by the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders, myriads of angels, and every living creature, clearly and powerfully declares God's holiness. It's awe-filled worship of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb who was slain—now victorious over evil through his own shed blood.

Song One - Sung by the four living creatures in Revelation 4:8

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God the Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.”

Song Two - Sung by the twenty-four elders worshiping the one who lives forever in Revelation 4:11

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

Song Three - Sung by the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders falling in worship of the Lamb who was slain in Revelation 5:9-10

“You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God members of every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, And they will reign on the earth.”

Song Four - Sung by myriads of angels, four living creatures, and twenty-four elders surrounding the throne in Revelation 5:12

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

Song Five - Sung by every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and the sea and all that is in them in Revelation 5:13

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever!”

Wright focuses on the Book of Revelation in chapter 3 and Jesus is revealed as he truly is—the Lamb who was slain. ”Evil,” he writes, “is never ‘just the way things are.’ Nor is it the best we can hope for in ‘the best of all possible worlds.’ “ However, Jesus the Lamb that was slain is the best. He is the Worthy One because through the cross he redeemed humanity, he fulfilled God’s purpose to bless people from every tribe, language, people, and nation, and he achieved victory for his people who will reign on earth as a kingdom and priests of God.

Jesus is the One who enables us to rejoice in the final destruction of evil because he is the Lamb who was slain. Let us sing a new song with full voice—“To him be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever! Amen!”

- John Topliff, DMin, VP of Marketing - Church, Academic, and Reference Resources

Every Wednesday, Zondervan editorial and marketing staff discuss chapters from The God I Don't Understand. Please make plans to join us in the conversation. If you would like to use The God I Don't Understand in a book discussion or small group, there is a free Study Guide available, as well as videos of the author discussing each chapter at ToughQuestionsOfFaith.com.

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