• William T. Howe Ph.D.

October 25, 2021

Daily Reading: Luke 4-5

Luke 5:5

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Who truly understands why one should love your enemies? Yes, everyone knows that this is a command of God’s Word (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27). But why? Really, why? Loving your enemy is a difficult thing to do. It makes no sense in that your enemy does not love you, desires to hurt you, and hopes to be victorious over you, so why love them?

The fact of the matter is that God’s Word does not expound upon why, only how (bless them, do good to them, pray for them, etc.). But, why? On this the Bible is silent. One can presume to know why: to be more like our Father in Heaven, to show forth His love to those who are His enemies, to be a kind of identifying mark of believers, on and on we could assume. But these are all presumptions.

Consider the story of Peter and his fishing experience. As a commercial fisherman, after fishing all night and catching nothing, after allowing the Lord to use his boat as a pulpit from which to preach, he was told by the Lord to …launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. This made no sense. It was the wrong time of day to fish, it was probably the wrong place, it was just all kinds of wrong. But he, Peter, said, nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. Upon doing so he caught so many fish that his nets broke. So many that upon putting them all in the boat, the boat began to sink. He couldn’t have understood it. Neither the command to let down his nets, nor the magnitude of success that letting down the nets brought. These must have been a mystery to Peter.

To his credit, the only thing Peter did to bring such success in fishing was he obeyed the Word of God on the matter. Jesus told him to let down the nets, he did, and was rewarded for his obedience. You see, the miracle of the draught of fishes was not in Peter’s understanding of why, it was in his willingness to obey even when he didn’t understand. Nevertheless, at thy word…

This is the philosophical response to any and all of God’s commands that we do not understand. “Lord, I don’t understand it, but your Word gives me clear direction in this matter so I will obey your Word.” This is where we live most of the time. Frankly, one word sums up this matter quite concisely, that word is faith.

Faith does not bring understanding, faith brings obedience. Nevertheless, at thy word… is faith in His Word. He said it, we obey it, that is faith. Especially when we do not, cannot, understand the “why” of it.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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