Of All the gods, You Alone Are God!

“Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.” (Psalm 86:8-10 NIV)

Up in the hills, deep into the trees,

On the altars of ignorance were burned,

Wood, animals, children, as stomachs turned,

Making idol sacrifices instead of bending knees,

Praying to the One True God, who does marvelous deeds.

From the beginning and still now, people exercise the inherent desire to worship something and when they find something they think works, that thing they will worship, forgetting that there is One God who created all things and without Him, nothing was created.

Before we had the means to explore and examine our environment, we attributed events to certain other “circumstances” giving credit to the sun god, the rain god, the fertility god, the garden god, the angry god, the happy god, the moon god, the good luck god, the bad luck god, the pretty god, the ugly god, the god of hair, the god of baldness, the god of the fat people, the god of the skinny people, the water gods, the fire gods–and I’m sure there are many more like “the lottery god” (dream books), but all of these gods are manifested into carved, shaped, molded things that are made by the hands of man. Every symbol and image that people use to worship and give some magical attribute– (by way of explaining events) was made by man or machines in our times. Now, if we made the things, what makes us think the things we made are greater than we who made them?

The Psalmist understood that with all the carved statues of trees or monuments of stones and worshipped as gods that among all those gods, there was but One, who was the greatest–the One who did marvelous deeds–the One all nations would worship. And then–as now–they had a name for all the gods. When Paul was speaking before “the learned men” he referenced all the gods who were represented and the “unknown god.” He explained to them who the unknown God was and why He was unknown to them.

Now, if the statues and monuments could have created themselves without the benefit of man’s involvement–I’d say worship them. If they could create themselves there is a great likelihood they could actually help somebody. But there’s the rub–they were made by people and then the people decided–what they made, had power.

Think about the things children make out of paper, Popsicle sticks and other materials and then allow their imaginations to soar–giving the things they made power. The things empowered their imagination, but they had no power of themselves.

Our God–our awesome God–who no one created since He has no beginning and definitely no end. He created the universe without any help from man–the sun shines during the day without man’s help, the moon makes it’s way to shine at night without man’s help, the earth turns on its axis, without man’s help, so why would we continue to believe that any “thing” made by the hands of man has any power?

Among the gods that people worship–their jobs, their spouses, their money, and some even their children, there is only one God who does great things and even though we are ridiculed about our belief in the “invisible God” it makes more sense to worship Him, than anything we make or manufacture to worship. Our God is the only self-existing God who needs no thing to prove His existence; He is the only wise God–the One who was wise enough to do all He has done without consulting any of us. He alone is worthy of our praise.

You alone are worthy, O God, of all our praise and adoration!

Why Faith in God? Part 4

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17 NIV) “…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (I Corinthians 2:5 NIV) 

We have all been given a “measure” of faith by God with the admonition that we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3 paraphrased). And because we have been given a measure of faith, we develop means and ways to exercise what we have faith in. Some only have faith in themselves and what they are capable of doing. Some put their faith in other people when they are too insecure to have faith in themselves. There are more who put their faith in things–astrology charts, Tarot cards, beads, crystals, statues, etc.–all man-made. Still more, believe and have faith in luck–which is happenstance and has nothing to do with God and they with this luck, they have faith in their ability to gamble.

Faith in God, as Paul tells us, comes from hearing the message–the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the redemptive work on the cross, and the love of God towards us all. This is the message that increases our faith in God when we are continually hearing The Word as an exercise of practicing what we believe. The more we “hear” The Word (aloud), the more our faith should increase because we are increasing knowledge and learning to operate more in faith in Him than us.

To make sure we don’t understand why we should hear The Word, Paul tells us through his letter to the church at Corinth that we should not have faith in the limited wisdom of man, but in the power of God. Human wisdom, whether we want to admit it or not, is limited by our experiences and exposures. Since most of us will not experience exposure to all there is to know in the universe, we can never claim (truthfully) to know more than God. It is because of God’s love for us that He inspires men to discover things through their efforts to understand the whys and hows things, He created, work.

This is not a put-down of science–I’m totally grateful to science, but what some people don’t recognize is that scientists have not “created” anything from “absolutely nothing” but have discovered how to use elements in the earth already created to arrange and rearrange their usefulness. Scientists are not God and those who truly understand their limited ability, acknowledge their success in discoveries is because of God. Thank God those scientists are listening and if they continue to listen and seek His wisdom, life should be better for us all.

The measure of faith we have been given is the foundation of faith on which we build by hearing the word. We take the little and increase it to much, giving God the glory for all we have and know, not attempting to take credit for doing anything ourselves, apart from Him.

Part 5 tomorrow