Yesterday during our Sunday School lesson, we talked about Benjamin’s claim that the natural man is an enemy to God. It was an interesting discussion an I want to record a few parts of it:
- Creation puts us in debt
- Blessings after serving God put us in debt
- Could be that we see this as making an enemy. We can never get out of debt. We are permanently owing something and permanently servants.
- Perhaps the language of enemy and yield is describing a confrontation.
- That is, we think the only way to get out of debt is to run away from or attack our creditor. If we destroy the person we are in debt to, we are free from the debt!
- But as we come to God in face to face combat, sword in hand, we have the chance to yield to our enemy. That is, to surrender.
- If we yield, and we think we are enemies, then we probably think he is going to kill us.
- But the beautiful thing is that as we put down our swords and wait for our enemy to strike, he instead embraces us, as if we were his child.
- We realize he doesn’t ever care to have the debt filled. He isn’t holding this over our heads, this isn’t a threat, he doesn’t have us as a servant to make a profit. He knows we are “unprofitable” servants, and he’s fine with that!
- He is not waiting for us to repay him. He is not waiting for us to make him a profit (that is, we will produce more than he put into us). He is not wanting us to leave so he can pick up someone more profitable. He did this all on purpose, knowing that none of us could be profitable and none can repay the debt. This isn’t for his glory or some sort of spiritual economic investment. It is for us.
- Instead of paying him back, he wants us to “pay it forward” (take care of poor and needy, take care of your children, etc.)
- Perhaps this is one difference between God and Satan. Satan did want payment – he wanted all the glory – he wanted God to pay him for saving us. Wasn’t setting up a way to save us because he loved us.
- By being in God’s service we grow and have joy. By being under Satan, we think we can progress without work…and Satan isn’t looking for work or repayment from us he thinks he would have gotten payment from God himself.
I hadn’t noticed this language of payment and enemy was so consistent in King Benjamin’s speech! It’s quite helpful.