He’s Not Like Us
Although there seems to be a growing and vocal number of atheists in our society, the population as a whole still overwhelmingly professes belief in God. You would think that this would be good news for believers, but such is not necessarily the case.
Beyond a mere profession of faith in God, there are questions that must be considered. What is this “god” that people profess like? And, is the God that truly exists pleased with those who profess to know Him?
In Psalm 50 God takes to task those who take up His name in vain. They speak of Him in familiar terms. They tell of His commandments and talk of His covenant. But there is a problem. For all their talk, they do not live according to God’s ways, and this makes Him mad.
So, He comes down on them, and challenges them to consider what right they have of taking up His words with such inconsistent living. And He reproves them for hating discipline, casting His words behind them, taking pleasure in thieves and associating with adulterers. Further, he convicts them for tongues that are loose with evil, as they speak deceit and spread slander.
Then, He relates how He has remained silent during this time, and how the people took false comfort in this. The reason for the false comfort is that the people made a grievously false assumption. They assumed that God was just like them, and that violating His ethical standards was of no consequence. But this was a deadly assumption to make, and God warns them that they will suffer for it.
When I read this passage a few days ago, I couldn’t help but see the parallel with our own time. So many who take up God’s words in their mouths, but so many who cast those same words behind them when it comes to their own lives.
Thievery? Just part of doing business. Adultery? A mainstay of our entertainment. Deceit and slander? All a part of everyday conversation. But all things God hates.
The point we must take from this? God is not like us. Let’s get that straight. God is not like us.
Yes, we are made in His image. Surely, He sent Jesus to become a man to live and die for us. Yes, He is merciful, kind and forgiving. But we cannot allow His patience toward us to make us presumptuous. He is also holy, righteous, and just, and these qualities demand that He deals with those who are hardened hypocrites.
The Bible warns all who forget what God is like to consider this in order to escape their own destruction.
It is not enough to merely profess belief in God. That belief must be in the God that truly exists as revealed in the whole Bible, and must be backed by a life that follows after His words.
It is those who not only honor Him with thanksgiving, but also order their way aright that He will show the salvation of God (Ps.50:23).
Our problem is not so much that we don’t believe in God, but that we believe God is just like us.