Like Darth Vader, the King of Tyre turned his gifts into his curse. His looks, his wisdom and his wealth all turned against him. All because he began to misuse them. But he’s not the only one to do that, is he? You’ve done it. I know I’ve done it. We all use our talents and gifts to abuse our power. To manipulate people. And to make ourselves feel better when we should be helping others.
Scientists have a term for this, it’s called “human nature.”
But God always calls us to something greater. That’s what makes our sins so tragic – the very gifts God has given us to change the world, we use to destroy ourselves and other people. When I screw up, and I realize it, I find it hard to turn back to God. I know I should, but he feels so distant, and unreachable. I tell myself, “I don’t deserve to talk to God right now. I haven’t earned my way back.” I feel like I need to make amends, to set things “right” before I can start talking with God again.
But that’s not what God wants. He doesn’t want us to be punished, he wants us to be saved.
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11)
That doesn’t sound like a God who wants us to suffer. It sounds like a God who loves us a great deal and is heart broken when we fight against him. It sounds like a God who just wants us to turn from our mistakes and embrace him.
I am constantly amazed at God’s patience. No matter how many times we openly, and aggressively reject him, God is always willing to forgive us. “If I say to the wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right….None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him.” (Ezekiel 33: 14-16)
It’s hard in our culture to accept things we don’t earn. We want to earn things so we can prove our worth. We want to show that we deserve to be here. But neither our salvation nor our worth is something we earn. They are both things that God gives to us. Freely. Simply because he loves us.
All the King of Tyre had to do was tell God he was sorry, and turn away from his pride and arrogance. But he couldn’t do that. He had lost control of his greatest strengths and they had become his greatest liabilities. He began to worship himself instead of God. And that’s not how we’re designed to operate. No matter how many times he was warned, he didn’t want to hear it.
At least Darth Vader recognized his mistake, and repented. And just like God often does, his weaknesses once again became his strengths, and he was able to save not only his son, but the galaxy.
God wants to forgive us, we just have to be willing to ask.