When God Isn’t What You Expect

Mistaken identity: Setting out from Hamburg, Germany, one day to give a concert in London, violinist Fritz Kreisler had an hour before his boat sailed. He wandered into a music shop, where the proprietor asked if he might look at the violin Kreisler was carrying. He then vanished and returned with two policemen. One officer told the violinist, “You are under arrest.” Incredulous, Kreisler asked, “What for?” The officer answered, “You have Fritz Kreisler’s violin.” “I am Fritz Kreisler,” protested the musician. Said the officer, “You can’t put that on us. Come along to the station.,” As Kreisler’s boat was sailing soon, there was no time for prolonged explanations. Kreisler asked for his violin and played a piece he was well known for. “Now are you satisfied? he asked. The policemen let the musician go because he had done what only Fritz Kreisler could do. Today
in the Word, July 1995

1. God usually doesn’t fit in our box A. The Pharisees thought they knew what God would look like when He arrived. They were wrong – and so they rejected Him! B. When God doesn’t do what we expect, we can get really upset C. This can be quite frustrating! D. Ill> It’s occurred to me that when I suggest how God should do something, He probably won’t do it that way! E. We want God in a box because then He’ll do what we want and in the way we want it. But He doesn’t operate that way! F. Ill> Bruce Almighty – the point is that God doesn’t do things our way because He knows better! (Bruce says yes to everyone’s prayers and causes mayhem.) 2. People don’t reject Christ because of presentation; they do so because of their heart A. Israel didn’t want to hear from the Lord when He was thundering from the mountain, and they didn’t want to hear from Him when He spoke to them in person in humility. B. Basically it didn’t matter how he presented Himself; they rejected Him regardless! C. People do this today – reject Jesus because He’s not what they expect (i.e., they don’t understand Who He is): 1) He’s a harsh and stern tyrant Who wants to ruin their fun instead of the Savior Who died to pay for their sins. 2) He’s a weak and kindly grandfather figure Who would never send anyone to hell instead of that He’s just and holy and must deal with man’s sin. D. Those with a mind to hear the truth will respond (even if we blow the presentation!)

What God looks like: A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork. As she came to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, “I'm drawing God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, “They will in a minute.” God appearing to Israel • • • • • • • Exodus 19:16-20; Exodus 20:18-19; Deuteronomy 18:16 Smoke, voice like thunder, “we will die”

God appearing in the Temple Solomon – 1 Kings 8:10, 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 Isaiah – Isaiah 6:1-5 Glory, smoke, overwhelming, “Woe is me … I’m unclean.”

God appearing in Bethlehem Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 2 Homeless, poor, rejected, unknown; unwelcome, hated, feared, attacked

and they moved further away. D. The shepherds. He went into barn. but couldn't see more than a few feet. then watched and waited. A while later. and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. As the winds and blinding snow died down. Something had hit the window. It's warm and safe.” . People who accept Christ are willing to identify with His humility A. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. and prayed his first prayer: “Thank You. we are weak. She asked him to come. He looked out. then I could save them!” Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. and thirst. Now he was getting frustrated. “Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!” Suddenly it all made sense. Then he heard a loud thump. He went into the house and came with some bread. and have no certain dwellingplace. then I could save them. and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. 11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger. One snowy eve. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles. God. we suffer it: 13 Being defamed. however. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn. his wife was taking their children to a service in the farm community in which they lived. A couple of them had flown into his window. The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. His wife. “Why don't they follow me?!” he exclaimed. we bless. He fell to his knees in the snow. surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. “That story is nonsense!” he said. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. despite his disparaging comments. The man tried to get their attention. and are buffeted. We were like the geese--blind. got one of his own geese. his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. but that just seemed to scare them. he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. broke it up. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. perishing. and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world. 1 Corinthians 4:10-13 We are fools for Christ’s sake. That is what God had done. but ye are wise in Christ. blindly and aimlessly. He then released it. did believe. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come. “If only I were a goose. They were lost and stranded on his farm. he thought. As the man looked out the window. it seemed.” he said out loud. They still didn't catch on. The barn would be a great place for them to stay. the other geese followed it to safety. and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus. He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: “If only I were a goose. and Jesus wasn’t part of the “in crowd” either! Concl: There was once a man who didn't believe in God. ye are honourable. working with our own hands: being reviled. but we are despised. Then he had an idea. They were to talk about Jesus' birth. with no food or shelter.3. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. When the snow let up a little. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn--and one-by-one. but he refused. lost. and are naked. “Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!” So she and the children left. all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. and he stayed home. “Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?” He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. the Magi. being persecuted. but ye are strong. Don’t feel bad about not being in the upper echelon of society. for coming in human form to get me out of the storm. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. That’s the way it’s always been. the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. Those that accepted Christ weren’t put off by His appearance B. 12 And labour. but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Mary and Joseph C. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide.

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