Contend for Himself (Judges 6:31)

But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal, or will you deliver him? Whoever will plead for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has torn down his altar.”

Judges 6:31

Joash’s question was as valid for a false god as it is for the real God: Will you deliver him? We believers get this mindset that we need to defend God. Passages of The Bible disagree with current, cultural morality and we feel the need to explain why God said what He said. For example, God condemns homosexuality (the practice, not the people) and some believers feel the need to explain it away or make light of it or try to say that it doesn’t mean what we think it means so that non-believers aren’t offended by God. We want to deliver Him; to contend for Him when He needs no such help from us.

As Joash told the people then, so we need to be reminded now: Let him contend for himself. If someone has a problem with what God has said in The Bible, I need to let God contend for His Word. Will His Word sometimes be unpopular? Absolutely. The truth can hurt and being hurt (the kind of hurt that comes from injury, not from, say, working out) is not generally popular. But God is the One Who said it. I need to point to what God has said and then let God defend Himself.

This is not to say that I shouldn’t be ready to explain what I have some understanding of, like why pork was a no go in The Law but is okay when Peter has his vision in Acts (Safer food handling techniques, most likely. Still not the best, but way safer than when The Law was handed down). But God’s Law is God’s and He is the only One with a complete understanding of why He said what He said. Why is all sex outside of monogamous, heterosexual marriage verboten? Again, people have made excellent cases for that prohibition, but God is the One Who completely understands the reasoning behind that Law and is therefore the only One Who can defend it completely.

How do I apply this? Well, I need to do two things. One, I need to take God’s Word as it is and ask God to clarify or explain passages that I don’t understand. He’s not above explaining things so my little pea brain can get it. He’s happy to do it. I speak from experience on that count. Two, I need to let God defend Himself. If I am living as I should and speaking God’s Word without trying to defend Him then God will defend Himself. He doesn’t need me. And He especially doesn’t need me to defend Him.

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