If I Were God
David Lewis and Philip Kitcher wrote an article in Harper’s Magazine titled, “And Lead Us Not,” which contained the following question. “Are Christians Evil?” The authors wondered if “Christians [who] accept a God who inflicts infinite torment on those who do not accept Him……are those who worship the perpetrator of divine evil [God] themselves evil?”
It seems rather obvious that unregenerate humanity wrestles with allowing God to be Who He has revealed himself to be, namely God. In the previous quote I am not so much concerned in this blog entry with a perception that Christians are evil. Rather, I am more concerned with the overt implication that God is evil. The implication is that God is evil if He eternally punishes those who refuse or fail to accept Him.
A very real tendency humanity has had, since Adam and Eve’s sin, is to reduce God down by means of human analysis. Mankind tends to look at life and reason that “if I were God I would act this way or that or prevent this or that.” The next step is to make a god after man’s own perceptions and liking. Thus, a real danger is seek to press God into our [man’s] mold of thinking, rather than accepting God for Who He has revealed himself to be.
If we witnessed a dear friend or relative suffer incredible tragedies in his or her life we might think, “If I were God I would.” Job had this experience. He wrestled with what God was doing as he experienced levels of suffering, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually that few, if any of us, have ever experienced.
Job had three friends who believed they had a very good grasp on who God was and how He operated. They were increasingly convinced, as they talked with Job, that Job’s sufferings were due to his own sin. Job did not embrace their analysis but he wrestled with why and for what purpose God was allowing the incredible suffering into his life.
Job believed that if he could approach God that he would plead his case and question God and verify his, [Job’s] righteousness. (Job 23:1 – 7)While none of these men accused God of evil, they readily conceded that God had allowed much evil into Job’s life.
God’s response to Job and ultimately to all four of these men was to come to Job and begin to ask Job a series of questions.(Job 38:1 – 41:34) These questions all dealt with the works and ways of God. God told Job to answer them if he could. When God finished asking Job a long list of questions all Job could do was to repent and humble himself before God. God never did tell Job why all the tragedies had come into his life. By the time God finished with His questions that concern was immaterial. Job discovered more fully what it meant that God is God. Job’s three friends were sharply rebuked by the Lord for they had grossly misrepresented the character and ways of God. Finite, limited, weak and frail human beings are unable to appreciate what it means for God to be God.
Let us not be intimidated when men foolishly seek to reduce God down to their frail, weak and limited ways. Rather, let us trust in the Lord who “laid the foundations of the earth” (Job 38:4) and thus the foundations for all of life, including our own. His ways and thoughts are indeed far greater than our own. Our only reasonable and legitimate response is to humble ourselves before the Lord, our God, our Maker.