Quote of the Day– Richard Bauckham

Quote of the Day– Richard Bauckham February 27, 2020

“Before telling Moses his Name, God prepares for doing so by saying, ‘I will be who I will be’ (Exod. 3.14). God is the one who freely determines who he will be. He is not the God of Israel because he, as it were, finds himself that. Rather he freely chooses to be Israel’s God and commits himself to Israel. That was then [at the burning bush]. Now God says ‘I will be gracious to whom I am gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy’ (Exod. 33.19). The grammatical construction (a quite unusual one) is the same in each case, and the point being made is similar. Merciful and gracious as he is, God remains self-determining. His mercy cannot be controlled or manipulated…If God opts to show mercy, it is because he freely chooses to do so.” (Who Is God? [Baker, 2020 forthcoming, pp. 65-66.])

Among other things, this means that we cannot twist God’s arm to do something through trying to manipulate him through prayer or a certain kind of praying. We can ask, we can seek, but we cannot manipulate. God is not a cosmic bellhop who jumps to our commands whenever we properly ring his bell!!

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