Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Is Like God?

Who is like God? Interesting question, isn’t it?

The writer of Psalm 113 asks the question. The name Michael is the Hebrew form of the question. So what do we do with this question?

At one level, the obvious answer is no one. No one is like God. Scripture seems to emphasize that over and over again. God says to Job, “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?” The psalms praise the God who stretches out the heavens, wraps himself in light, and redeems his people, all  things we cannot do. And God says to Isaiah, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”

And yet, at another level, every human person is like God in some way. Genesis 1 tells us that human persons are made in the image of God. Part of the irony of the snake’s temptation in Genesis 3 is that he tells the woman that if she eats of the fruit she will be like God. The first couple doesn’t seem to realize that they, unlike any other creature, are already like God, made a little lower than the heavenly beings.

A substantial part of the human predicament since the original rebellion against God has been remembering our place – remembering who we are and who God is. Humans have a tendency to either think too little of themselves, or too much of themselves.

We are not, as some would have us believe, mere creatures, on par with every other creature on earth. But nor are we little gods, knowing what is best for us and those around us. We are not the sculptors of our own destiny nor can we begin to fathom the mind of God.

When circumstances are not going the way we had hoped or we are faced with huge disappointments, we might be tempted to say, I can’t believe God would do _______ (you fill in the blank). That thought, however, should always be tempered with the question, “who is like God?” As high as the heavens are above the earth, so are God’s ways higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than ours.

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