Friday, December 8, 2017

God's Prerogative

God's Prerogative

In the late 1980's a young singer released a song called "My Prerogative."   Some the lyrics of the song, I believe summarized, the attitude of most in the world when it comes to how they make decisions about how they live their life.  Following are the lyrics I am referring to,

Everybody's talking all this stuff about me 
Now now why don't they just let me live 
Oh oh oh i don't need permission 
Make my own decisions oh 
That's my prerogative

It says, "How I choose to live my life is my decision.  I can do what I want to do, without having to answer to no one.  People should mind their own business."  That is what the word prerogative has come to mean.  The dictionary defines prerogative defined as a right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class; an exclusive or special right, power, or privilege.  Also, one belonging to an office or an official body, one belonging to a person, group, or class of individuals or one possessed by a nation as an attribute of sovereignty.  The word comes from the Latin praerogativa, which in turn comes from the word praerogare which meant to ask for an opinion before another or "to ask before others," (from præ-  "before" + rogare  "to ask").  So the word prerogative, used as a noun, originally referred to the one who was asked first.  It seemed that the ones asked first got used to it, felt important, and thought that this is the way it should always be.   You can see how if everyone is asking you for your opinion first, you can begin to feel as if you do not have to ask others for their opinion.  Therefore, they can do whatever they want without any repercussion.   However, they tend to do so irresponsibly, arbitrary and whimsically. 

In chapter 9 of Romans we see God stating that He acts according to His prerogative.  Let us read certain texts where God speaks of this,

Rom9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
God not only tells us that He acts according to His prerogative but in the following verses asks those who dare to question Him,

Rom9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Rom9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Is it that God does not like questions?  Or, is it that God does not like to be questioned?  Is there a difference?  God wants to be trusted as the true and only "praerogativa."  He wants us to go to Him first.  The issue is not asking questions, but not trusting Him.  The issue is not so much that God does not like to be questioned as much as that when we do not trust Him we harm ourselves and others more than what we think.  As it says in our teacher's comments for this lesson, "When humans try to frustrate God's purposes, God never loses; only disobedient humans lose out. Therefore, when He chose to save our world, the outcome was never in doubt. Those who try to frustrate that pur­pose are the only losers."  Ellen White elaborates on this,

"No finite mind can fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. We cannot by searching find out God. To minds the strongest and most highly cultured, as well as to the weakest and most ignorant, that holy Being must remain clothed in mystery. But though 'clouds and darkness are round about Him: righteousness and judg­ment are the foundation of His throne.' Psalm 97:2, R.V. We can so far comprehend His dealing with us as to discern boundless mercy united to infinite power. We can understand as much of His purposes as we are capable of comprehending; beyond this we may still trust the hand that is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love."—Ellen G. White, Education, p. 169.

Paul echoes Ellen White's sentiments in Romans chapter 8, after telling us that we are in Christ in verse 17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…"  He then proceeds to tell us that, "if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8: 17 – 18).  Paul encourages us to trust God's purpose even if we do not understand it.  Paul reminds us that nothing will separate us from the Love of God.  We read in Romans 8:
Rom8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In Christ God cast the first vote for us.  Let us cast our first vote for Christ.  Let us trust Him to finish His work until the end.

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