Yesterday, at our Bible study at Oostburg Pizza Ranch, one of the ladies said that she had been talking to someone who sincerely believed that God is a God of love only…not a God of judgment. Nothing that my friend could tell this person seemed to sway her belief in who she thinks God is.
Many people today seem to be like this women, fashioning their concept of God upon what they “think He should be like”, a “Do It Yourself” God, rather than on what He says He is in His own words. They look to experience or emotions or, perhaps, just wishful thinking, and they see a god of indifference, a god of wrath and anger, or a soft and fuzzy god of love. But they do not see the God of the Bible because they do not listen to what He has said there about Himself.
Various accounts in the Bible reveal different facets of God’s character—some of which seem paradoxical—but God is really a sum of those seeming contradictions. Because He is holy and perfect, there is no tolerance for man’s impurity. Because He is righteous and just, He demands man’s absolute obedience to His commands. Because He is merciful and compassionate, He chose to serve man’s death sentence for disobedience (sin) Himself, so that His perfect justice could be satisfied, and man could live under the covering of His perfection.
All through the ages, men have attempted to fashion gods to their own standards. The Greeks and Romans and those who followed in their cultural footsteps pictured a pantheon of deities as sort of superheroes, larger than life, but with the same inherent failings of character that they experienced themselves. The Egyptians and those who worshiped the natural world assigned magical qualities to their gods of the heavens, the rivers, the animals. Some venerated wise men, teachers, and political and spiritual leaders, in spite of their human failings, and lifted them up as gods, worshiping them in both life and death.
Today, we live in an age of widespread religious tolerance and intolerance.
People seem ready to tolerate the elevation of both man and nature to objects of worship, yet they refuse to recognize God, their Creator, as He has represented Himself in His Word, the Bible. They are not willing to tolerate all of the attributes of God…only those that agree with their philosophy of who God should be.
But wishful thinking does not change the facts. DIY--Do it Yourself--is fine for home improvements, but it is a dangerous thing when we tinker with God.
God is not what I wish Him to be. He just Is what He Is.