I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. -- Isaiah 45:5-6
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
If the world were as we would like it rather than as it is, and our beliefs and faith could be placed in our preferences and inclinations instead of being grounded in truth, I think I would like to be a dualist, perhaps something like a Zoroastrian. There’s nobility to the idea of light and darkness battling, of nearly co-equal forces in a conflict where one must conquer and the other fall, so that, in the end, instead of a cosmos where the Creator and the Destroyer clash, the mountains will be leveled, and there will be only light.
It can be hard for us to reconcile the goodness of the Father of Lights with all the darkness we see in and around us. It is easier to believe that the Good God has limits in battling against a being nearly His equal than that He allows pain, suffering, and senseless death to ravage His creation. Yet that path is not open to us. The devil is a creature, more powerful than humans, but still an entity given audience along with the sons of God (Job 1:6) and, doing, whether he knows it or not, the will of God.
God is without equal. There is no standard against which He may be measured for He is the standard. What He says is truth, and what He does is righteous. He is light, and He is love. The vastness and majesty of the universe is a song He sings. Nobody else is running anything.
We have freedom because we were made in His image and likeness. We can rebel, delude ourselves, align ourselves with darkness, and exalt the gods of our vain imaginations. God remains, I fear, less than shaken by our grandiosity. In some cases, He smiles at our stumbling waywardness. Other times, He laughs. Every once in a while, He gets up and says, Enough.
I think there might be some of us, maybe a lot of us, fixing to get shut down. Too many people think that if they simply ignore God, He will go away. They think they are defying Him by denying Him. It doesn’t work that way. He says even to those who don’t know Him, who refuse to know Him, He is still the One enabling and empowering them. Their very breath is His.
The law was not passed in Washington, D.C., nor in Belgium or Beijing. The rules are God’s and the game is God’s. We have the choice to play by the rules or against the rules. In the end, a person does not cheat the Lord, only oneself. Like our would-be friend the devil, whether we would or not, whatever our intentions, whether we choose to do good or evil, our works and our words will serve the will of God, in light or in darkness.