ODJ: Myth No More

April 26, 2017 

READ: 1 Peter 2:1-12 

You can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (v.9).

“We were sure that we, and our civilisation, had grown out of the nursery myths of God, angels and heaven.” Peter Hitchens said those words in describing his younger years when he and his brother Christopher Hitchens, who would become an outspoken atheist, were moving from nominal faith to atheism. Peter ceremonially burned a Bible at age fifteen to declare his disbelief in God.

Later, in his adult years, Peter felt unrest in his soul. One day, while viewing Rogier van der Weyden’s painting The Last Judgement, deep conviction filled his heart. The wrongs he’d committed and his rebellion against God required justice. That day, Hitchens began a journey into the arms of Jesus— seeing God no more as myth but as his Maker.

Peter Hitchens’ youthful view of God is nothing new. In 1 Peter, the apostle wrote to believers in Jesus who were considered “strange, superstitious and disloyal to Roman society”, as one commentator puts it. Unbelievers stumbled over Jesus because they did “not obey God’s word, and so [faced] the fate that was planned for them” (2:8). What was it that pierced Hitchens’ heart? It was the truth that a just God must judge the world. He must turn to right the wrongs that have been committed against Him and others.

An innate desire for justice burns within our hearts. Why? Because we’re made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). And He has also provided the perfect path for us to move from being condemned because of our unjust ways (Romans 3:23) to being made clean by His mercy (1 Peter 2:10). As we trust in Him and His ways, God removes our disgrace (v.6). “Through the mediation of Jesus” our lives can be made to please our just God (v.5).

The justice we seek reveals He’s no myth.

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: 2 Kings 11:1-21

Read Deuteronomy 32:4 and consider God and His just ways. 
What recent injustice done to you or others filled your heart with the desire for justice? Why must God judge His enemies and make things right?