“What? What are you talking about? How can you say that the creator of the Universe, the all-mighty and all-powerful God of our Fathers can’t do something? He can do anything!”
No, he can’t.
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He can’t sin. He can’t abide with sin. He can’t judge unfairly. He can’t allow the unrepentant to go unpunished. He can’t do evil, although he will allow evil to be done.
He is all-powerful, true, but he is also restricted by both his faithfulness and his holiness to do only those things that he allows himself to do.
“But what about what he says in Deuteronomy 28? He promises to curse us if we are disobedient, and his curses are terrible. That’s evil, isn’t it?”
The curses he promises to fall on the disobedient are terrible, but God doesn’t actively curse us. He actively protects us from the curses that are already in the world.
We live in a fallen and cursed place, and those who live in the world without the protection of God will be affected by the curses that already exist. The reason the world is a cursed place is that this is where HaSatan was thrown when he was ejected from heaven (Revelation 12:7) and he is the Prince of the Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2.) Satan rules the world (for the time being) and anyone living in the world is subject to his cursed realm. When we are obedient to God, God will protect us from the world.
That is why when we read the blessings and the curses in Deuteronomy 28, we see that the curses are the exact opposite of the blessings.
For the record: there is a difference between failing to follow God’s instructions and refusing to follow them, so don’t think that you will be punished every time you mess up. Yes, God tells us in Leviticus that anyone who sins, whether they know it or not, is guilty. But God is understanding of our weaknesses and is very compassionate; he isn’t just willing to forgive, he desires to forgive the repentant sinner. Therefore, when you mess up, repent and ask forgiveness (in Yeshua’s name, of course) so you will not have to suffer the curses.
When we have health problems or tsouris in our life, we shouldn’t automatically blame God, and we shouldn’t automatically assume we are under satanic attack, either. Sometimes bad things happen for no other reason than we live in a bad place, and you can’t walk through a sheep pen without getting something on your shoes, no matter how careful you are.
The great comic George Carlin once asked, “If God can do anything, can he make a rock so big he can’t lift it?” I have always thought that to be a wonderfully thoughtful and funny joke. I don’t see it as impertinent or disrespectful, but as something for us to ponder simply because it raises a legitimate point, i.e. is there something that God can’t do?
Today’s drash is all about what God can’t do. But what is even more important is to realize that those things God can’t do should be a comfort for us. Because he can’t sin, we can trust him to always be there for us in a supportive way.
Because he can’t do evil, we can always count on him to keep evil away from us (when we walk in his will.)
Because he can’t judge unfairly, we know that those who sin against others will be punished.
There are so many things that God can be counted on because there are things he can’t do.
Trust God to always be there for you, and even in the midst of your trials and tribulations, God is standing by with a towel and a refreshing drink of cool water for you when you turn to him, and that is because one other thing that God cannot do is to not love you.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!