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The Case of the Open and Shut Mouth

Okay, I admit it – I really enjoy the Perry Mason novels by Erle Stanley Gardner. Hence the title of this post. (Some of Gardner’s Mason novels were The Case of the Lucky Loser, The Case of the Terrified Typist, The Case of the Waylaid Wolf … you get the point!)

I always thought it sounded so leveling when Mason would object in court that his opponent was presenting evidence that was “Incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial!” And then I wondered – does God ever deliver that divine objection to us? For instance …

… when Abraham protested that he was 100 years old?

… when Moses complained that he couldn’t speak eloquently?

… when Isaiah confessed his sinfulness?

… when Jeremiah claimed that he was too young to be a prophet?

… when Mary pointed out her virginity?

… when Peter denied Jesus?

… when Paul persecuted the church?

In every case, we as humans would say, “Yes, that is a good argument as to why you can’t succeed/God can’t work/it can’t happen!”

But God stands up in the court of human affairs and thunders, “Incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial!”

He is the God of the Universe:

  • No excuse is acceptable to him,

  • No problem is insurmountable to him,

  • No sin is unforgivable by him, and

  • No person is unusable by him!

So if you find yourself opening your mouth to say, “But, God …!” shut it immediately. All “buts” are “incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial” when God is at work!

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