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  • Writer's pictureFirst Christian Church of Chicago

Making God Cry

Sometimes sorrow can be confusing. Have you ever had someone who was grieving a decision you have made appear angry? You thought they were mad at you, but they were really sad.

When it comes to the word "woe", I think many of us have been taught it comes from an angry God. We may feel the disappointment in ourselves that we project on God. We think he must be mad at us.


Many see God as this emotionally untouched being. He sits on his throne in heaven above unmoved ... unless we move him to display his wrath. In theological terms it involves immutability, the idea that God is unchanging. He becomes like the emotionally negligent father who only shows emotion only when he needs to discipline.


"Woe" says something else about God. The reality is that he is sad. He is grieving the sin we committed. He mourns the damage to our relationship because of those sins.


Isaiah contains a number of "woe" passages. As I read these passages it is good to put myself into a position of listening to God's heartbreak, to hear what makes God's heart break. I can then look with his eyes to see how I may be guilty of making him cry.


Isaiah 5:8ff is one of those passages. Verses 18-25 contain a rapid cluster. When we walk through those woes we see why God grieves. He created us for relationship, but systematically we discard God, and throw away our relationship. Our greed for possessions or pleasure become our gods. We ridicule God's mercy. We attempt to take his place. We think we can be wiser than his wisdom. We mistreat others who are created in his image.


Sometimes sorrow can be confusing. Have you ever had someone who was grieving a decision you have made appear angry? You thought they were mad at you, but they were really sad.

When it comes to the word "woe", I think many of us have been taught it comes from an angry God. We may feel the disappointment in ourselves that we project on God. We think he must be mad at us.


Many see God as this emotionally untouched being. He sits on his throne in heaven above unmoved ... unless we move him to display his wrath. In theological terms it involves immutability, the idea that God is unchanging. He becomes like the emotionally negligent father who only shows emotion when he needs to discipline.


"Woe" says something else about God. The reality is that he is sad. He is grieving the sin we committed. He mourns the damage to our relationship because of those sins.


Isaiah contains a number of "woe" passages. As I read these passages it is good to put myself into a position of listening to God's heartbreak, to hear what makes God's heart break. I can then look with his eyes to see how I may be guilty of making him cry.


Isaiah 5:8ff is one of those passages. Verses 18-25 contain a rapid cluster. When we walk through those woes we see why God grieves. He created us for relationship, but systematically we discard God, and throw away our relationship. Our greed for possessions or pleasure become our gods. We ridicule God's mercy. We attempt to take his place. We think we can be wiser than his wisdom. We mistreat others who are created in his image.


God cries. He cries because we may treat him as a throw away when he created us for loving relationship. He mourns the relationship that could have been if we trusted in him, rather than trusting in ourselves.


How have you made God shed tears of lament?

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