In his book, "The Sacred Romance", John Eldredge presents an image of God as "The Wild Man of the Universe".. untameable and unpredictable. I love that picture. Do you?
I suspect that you may not like this picture if you have bought into an absolutist image of the Almighty. If you find yourself saying things like "God always" or "God would never" then you may have bought into a fundamentalist, absolutist, black and white view of God.
Consider this scripture that I think paints God as a wild man:
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " (Romans 9:14-20)I love this picture of God because it puts man in his place. To those who would say that "God always" or "God would never" He says I will do whatever I want to do even if you don't understand what I am doing or why I am doing it.
This may make you mad.. I find God to be like that.. He often makes us mad when He acts in a way that is contrary to what we want.
Many of us don't like the idea that the scripture says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart (and other hearts for that matter) because it goes against our idea of what God looks like. We want God on our own terms.. we want to define Him as a tame God that always acts in loving ways.. of course we reserve the right to determine what love looks like :)
Does it challenge you to think of God this way?