Reasoning with God again

Reasoning with the Lord

I previously cited the passage in Isaiah that set me thinking about the possibility that the Lord”‘s invitation, “Come, let us reason together,” could be tied not only logically but also causally to forgiveness. That is to say, I wondered if God was not only calling us to reason about His ability to completely forgive sin, but also suggesting the possibility that our very reasoning with Him could bring about forgiveness.

Jesus Himself demonstrated that His ability to forgive sin ““ an intangible ““ is something people doubted. In Matthew 9:1 He told a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven, and people accused Him of blasphemy, thinking (quite rightly) that He was taking on an attribute of God Himself. Jesus knew their questions about His intangible abilities wouldn”‘t be settled until He showed them something tangible. “Which is easier, to say, “˜Your sins are forgiven,”‘” He asked them, “or to say, “˜Get up and walk?”‘ But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . ” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”

So ““ on His grand scale of things, He was saying that healing a useless body is no greater ““ nor less ““ challenge for Him than completely wiping our sin-records clean.

So I ask again: Is reasoning with Him an effective way to move Him to answer some of our prayers? To answer that question, I have made a list of scriptural precedents, examples of responses God made to the reasoning powers of people. These are in no particular order. If you think of some, please speak up.

The first example that came to my mind was the sly logic used by the SyroPhonecian woman who begged Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus told her that He intended to limit His ministry to those He termed “the lost sheep of Israel,” and told her, “It”‘s not right to take the children”‘s bread and give it to dogs.”

The woman could have taken offense, but her desperate need stifled her pride. She reasoned with Him that even dogs eat crumbs. And all she wanted ““ needed ““ were the crumbs of His power. And those crumbs earned her not only the healing she wanted, but a compliment from the King of the Universe.

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