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“God delights to give us dangerous gifts” is what I heard someone say recently. This has stuck with me and I wanted to riff on that idea here with you!

 

It’s such a good sentiment, but let me explain it a bit. The person I heard talking about it used an example something to the effect that: “At a certain age, you give a boy a pocket knife. We warn him of the danger, but he needs to learn, and it could be a wonderful blessing when used well. We expect there may be a few cuts, but these are a risk we take on the way to receive the blessing of a dangerous gift.”

God gives us many such gifts. These are gifts that are a beautiful blessing when used in his bounds, but very dangerous when misused!

 

Why would God do that? It flies against the protectionist mindset that will not allow any potential harm to befall anyone. Some corners of society will try to legislate all danger out of everything so that the risk to people is minimised to a level that the “leaders” of the day are satisfied with.

Yet here is our gracious God, throwing out dangerous gifts to anyone who wants to have a go. He gives some basic boundaries, but not nearly enough to satisfy your local Work Health & Safety inspector.

 

He gave you a tongue and the set you loose! He says don’t misuse it to slander or blaspheme, then off you go! It could set on fire the whole course of your life, it’s like a spark in dry forest, it’s basically poison if not used well, now go use it to glorify me! (see James 3:5-12)

 

God gave us grapes, he gave us fermentation, “and wine to gladden the heart of man” (Ps 104:15). Now go enjoy it, but don’t get drunk!

 

He made us male and female, pumped us full of hormones, gave us the ability to make more people, and said “Go get married and make lots of babies” (paraphrase Gen 2:24 & 1:28). Yet at the same time, sex can be very destructive when misused or abused. Both in the literal act and in the parentage that comes from this act. God puts within our flesh the ability to raise up empires, and there is a terrible danger that we may raise up generations of rebels to God’s rule.

 

What other dangerous gifts can you think of?

 

Is God reckless? Why didn’t he hand out contraceptives in Eden? Why let foolish humanity grow grape vines? Why on earth did God make it so easy to speak if our mouths can reach such havoc?

You have a great and gracious God, who showers us with blessings. He gives us gifts and benefits that are dangerous to us, and yet wonderful at the same time. He gives the boy a pocket knife and bids him yield it to a greater purpose knowing that there will be cuts along the way.

The Lord is glorified in using the wonderous gifts in his design, in his purpose and for his honour. He gives and gives and gives in a way that seems reckless to us, but is entirely good and wonderful.

Above all the Lord hands out grace in Christ Jesus, abundantly blessing us, showering us with mercy upon mercy upon mercy. And then goes beyond and imputes the very righteousness of Christ right into us! No stings attached!

What now? Oh no! There seems to be no impetus, no law, no fence, to keep us from sin because now we are once-for-all made righteous before God. Does he not know what he risks in such an act? We could misuse and abuse his grace if we wanted to!

The legalist would fence out the potential for problems, yet God breaks open the gates and invites us to revel in the gifts across a glorious creation. Get justified in Christ, enjoy a drink, make love to your spouse, and belt out some praises to God at the top of your lungs!

Receive the gifts and live dangerously!

 

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.”

Ec 9:7 & 9.

 

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”

Ro 3:21–22.