In our culture, one of the prominent arguments is that science and religion do not mix. In both the science community and the Church, we can find examples of people who are completely dismissive of the opposite side, like Richard Dawkins or Ken Ham. When we think of science and faith, our culture has trained us to think that you are either a full rationalist who thinks everything can be simply explained or a person of faith who ignores science. Our story picks up in the middle of an entire book that shows the interaction of God followers and everyone else. We have seen people outside of the faith and inside the faith. What is amazing is that the scenario of human knowledge verses faith was in some way present. Most people had theories about divine entities causing this or that thing to happen. In the Hebrew circles, God was supposed to be the only cause of everything.
In the beginning of this story, Jehoahaz takes over and does everything connected to what was wrong with Israel. Long story short, God does not stop foreigners from attacking. After much pleading from Jehoahaz, God intervenes. However, Jehoahaz keeps on doing what he was doing. Nothing really changes. Even after his country barely makes it out of the fog of war, which was a miracle in itself. When he died, Jehoash takes over and does the same thing as Jehoahaz. No word of wisdom about the greatness of God over every other divine entity ever spoken of. Without the details of this story, one would assume that Israel just got lucky. Elsewhere in this book, even mighty warriors of other pagan nations were experiencing God and noticing that the Hebrew people had something pretty special. The Hebrew people, however, were having a tough time recognizing this.
The crazy reality about religion is that complacency is an every present danger. People who do not expect God are expected to see something else when God acts. People who know God should see God when He acts. What usually happens though is that a noticeable amount of non-believers begin to see that they can’t explain things away and find that the most reasonable assumption is that their has to be a higher power at work. Christians on the other hand can have a tendency to assume God is not working when He really is. Christians tend to focus more on blessings that they could receive and can miss who is the center of our faith. God provisions and blessings do not guarantee that we are in track with His plans. God is always prompting us to join Him in his mission and will always be giving us the tools and resources to do the great, heroic acts that he has for us to do. However, our decisions do still need to happen. Walking with God is not just about what he does for us, but how we respond to Him also. And when we respond to Him, we begin to notice His faithfulness. We begin to realize that our science and religion categories really do not match the true reality, which is that God has a story for us. We begin to see faith as a completely new lifestyle. Seeing that we do not have to be defined by the categories handed to us by other people, but that God has created a single category for humanity. It encompasses all of life and leads to hope and love.
If we are going to be heroes, we have to grab onto faith. Faith does not actually include being academically sure or religiously blind. Faith is about trust. So many times in the Bible has told stories of faith that have nothing to do with certainties or blind zeal. They had do with obedience, trust, knowing that on some level God was their and was about to enact something amazing. It took faith for Abraham to become the father of a nation, for Peter to lead the Church. Even Jesus practiced faith that His Father would raise Him from the dead. The irony is that the ones who were considered zealous for God or even intellectually superior killed Him. What God has for us in a journey of faith will bring more good in the end. It will lead us to share in the resurrection of Jesus into the Kingdom which is to come.