If you’re not familiar with Aikido, it’s a style of martial arts that uses an opponent’s energy against them to redirect their kinetic force to turn it back upon them.
The man who invented this style of martial arts created for one purpose: “to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury”.
This is exactly what God does.
Consider that God never wanted anyone to rule His people other than Himself. God wanted a people who would look to Him as their King. But, unfortunately, His people wanted “a King like all the other nations have” and even though He was grieved by their choice, He gave them what they asked for.
After giving them a King, God told them that He would send them a Messiah who would rule on David’s throne forever. But notice, it was never God’s desire for King David to have any throne at all. Yet, God used the disobedience and rejection of His people and redirected it to the Messiah to come.
God also never asked anyone to build Him a temple. When King David set out to build one for God, His response was: “Heaven is my throne and Earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me?” and then promises that, instead, God will build a house for David which, again, is a nod to the coming Messiah who would build a Temple not made with human hands but from human hearts that are surrendered to God [the Ekklesia where God lives by His Spirit – the Church].
So, once again, God takes our mistakes and turns them around to bless us anyway.
As Joseph told his brothers who had sold him into slavery out of jealousy: “What you intended for evil, God meant for good.”
This is the Aikido way of God.
Another example of this is animal sacrifice.
Moses knew of no other way to worship a god [any god] other than a blood sacrifice. There simply wasn’t any other form of worship known to mankind in that ancient world. So, Moses assumes that to worship Yahweh, something must be slain on an altar to please God.
But, according to Jeremiah, God never wanted animal sacrifices in the first place:
“For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” [Jeremiah 7:22-24]
But, God allowed this to be practiced in spite of this and, instead, used this misunderstanding to point to Christ who would come and fulfill this picture of the scapegoat and redeem the barbaric practice of sacrifice to liberate us from the bondage of guilt and sin.
This is why Jesus echoes the prophet Hosea and says:
“Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” [Matt 9:13; 12:7]
God is always taking our disobedience, our misunderstandings, our limited vision, even our total rejection of Him, to redirect it back around to bless us and redeem us and draw us nearer to Himself.
God uses everything – all wisdom, all knowledge, all ignorance, all disobedience, all rejection, all striving – to declare His love to us and to set us free from everything that entangles us.
This is who God is. This is who God has always been. This is who God will always be.
His love endures forever.
Keith Giles is the author of several books, including the forthcoming “Jesus Unbound: How the Bible Keeps Us From Hearing the Word of God”, available July 4th, 2018.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”. He is the co-host of the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.
Please, join me at one of these upcoming events:
*The Nonviolent Love of Christ: How Loving Our Enemies Saves The World, with Joshua Lawson and Keith Giles on Saturday, June 16 in Portsmouth Ohio. Register here>
*Crucifying Our Politics with Keith Giles on June 24 in Cleveland, OH. Register here>
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