Thursday, June 01, 2006

16. Drawing

.... Jesus said,

.... "and I, if I be lifted up, (crucified) will draw all men to Myself."

(John 12:32)

.... God works through Jesus to draw everyone to Himself by a goodness and lovingkindness that effectively counters our reluctance -- by which we never would have taken the initiative to seek God on our own (Is 64:7; Rom 2:4; 3:11). This is such a necessary initiative that Jesus said in John 6:44, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him."
In our previous section we saw that God ordains circumstances to stir up our thoughts, and that sometimes these circumstances can be formed from tragedies. But Drawing seems to be a more edifying counterpart that speaks of His personal care for us, possibly in the midst of those very same situations:

.... Thus says the LORD: "The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness-- Israel, when I went to give him rest." The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you."

(Jer 31:2-3)

.... But this drawing, however loving and kind it may be, can also be resisted, with results that we will describe in the following section:

.... "Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, to the oppressing city! She has not obeyed His voice, she has not received correction; she has not trusted in the LORD, she has not drawn near to her God."

(Zeph 3:1-2)


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