How Long, O Lord?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Noel has reminded me of another DA Carson's book, How Long, O Lord? in our search of answers in the light of our earthly sufferings.

I often find myself reading too many books at one go and here I am at it again! Therefore, I only scanned it to have a good look through, for a later read. But this one section reminded me of a passage which I have been hanging onto several years ago: Heb 12:5-12.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees.

The book has these chapters:

Part 1 Thinking about Suffering and Evil
1. First Steps
2. False Steps

Part 2 Parts of the Puzzle: Biblical Themes for Suffering People
3. The Price of Sin
4. Social Evils, Poverty, War, Natural Disasters
5. The Suffering People of God
6. Curses and Holy Wars -- and Hell
7. Illness, Death, Bereavement
8. From the Vantage of the End
9. Job: Mystery and Faith
10. The Suffering God

Part 3 Glimpses of the Whole Puzzle: Evil and Suffering in the World of a Good and Sovereign God
11. The Mystery of Providence
12. The Comfort of Providence: Learning to Trust
13. Some Pastoral Reflections

Andrew Murray's Humility isn't too thick (though it is deep and would command a good, long read) and I look forward to read Carson in his How Long, O Lord?

Maeghan

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6 comment(s)

  1. That is a great passage from Hebrews 12.

    I recently read something from Richard Mouw who used to be a philosophy prof. at Calvin College when I was there, and in talking about God's sovereignty, he said it is good to remember we have a "Suffering Sovereign."

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  2. A Suffering Sovereign - who would have thought. On face value, who would want a Suffering God. But to know a God that experienced all the distress of humankind in Gethsemane and ultimately on the cross, who but the Suffering God can truly love us and save us?

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  3. Maeghan,

    who but the Suffering God can truly love us and save us?

    Amen to that.

    It is like God telling us that we are never alone or forsaken... who can say that to God? God's love, and fidelity is downright unnerving.

    God Bless
    Doug

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  4. Doug,
    Unnerving?
    Like it won't let you be mesmerised by it? That you'd feel uneasy unless you yield to it?

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  5. Maeghan,

    Like it won't let you be mesmerised by it?

    Not exactly, it is much more like how can God be so faithful in the face of how unfaithful we are?

    I think to myself that if I were God, this would be a whole lot darker place.

    I shakes me to the core that He suffers because of me, yet He doesn't rub it in, or shame me. He embraces me as a son.

    It is... well... unnerving.

    God Bless
    Doug

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  6. Like it won't let you be mesmerised by it?

    I don't even know what i meant when I wrote that! haha

    but i get what you mean now by unnerving, which is certainly true, but we are thankful too with such an awesome God with such great love and mercy.

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