We are living in crazy times these days. Everywhere we look it seems another disaster or tragedy is occurring, from riots to killings, it feels as though the bad news is never ending.
When disaster strikes it really pulls us back from the distractions of life to take a look at the bigger picture and ask "what's it all really about, why am here?". It is in these moments we often wonder, is God real? If so, who is He? Does He care?
We often refer to God as a He because of the representation to the "Father" of all things, overlooking and taking care of everyone and everything. But in hard times we wonder, how could God let bad things happen. To answer that question, we must understand who God really is.
The world often depicts a picture of God like this one, an old man with white hair, usually holding a staff in the sky. But this is fiercely inaccurate, at a far stretch it is merely a poor attempt to portray wisdom because after all, God said never to make a graven image of Himself or anything in Heaven.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." - Exodus 20:4
Gods ways are higher than our ways and His thinking is not conformed by the restrictions of a limited human brain. He is outside of time, space and matter.
The triune being that is father God, Holy Spirit and the Son are Elohim, which is a Hebrew meaning for "gods". But that word is plural, in the Hebrew Bible it takes a singular verb and refers to a single deity, particularly the God of Israel. Elohim always means "the one true God, the creator God."
In the Bible, the creator God can often times be referred to as a terrifying entity in the Old Testament and rightly so. God should be feared, but not because of who He is in His nature but rather who we are.
When we look at the hurt and pain in the world today we ask ourselves, why, how, or who would allow such things to take place. How can we have such rich countries and such poor countries, great famine and great wealth co-existing at the same time.
If we see there was another school shooting, we think to ourselves how could a human being do such a terrible thing to other human beings, or behave in a way that to the average person may sound insane. The answer to that is unfortunately a simple one. Because we are all bad. Hopefully we won't all go out and do something as terrible as a school shooting but one thing is for sure: the human heart is wicked. We only have to recount our own thoughts to understand that. The Bible says this:
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
- Jeremiah 17:9-10
1a : something that is good. b(1) : something conforming to the moral order (2) : praiseworthy character
1) “You shall have no other gods before me.” This command is against worshiping any god other than the one true God. All other gods are false gods.
2) “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” This command is against making an idol, a visible representation of God. There is no image we can create that can accurately portray God. To make an idol to represent God is to worship a false god.
3) “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.” This is a command against taking the name of the Lord in vain. "OMG" for example. We are not to treat God’s name lightly. We are to show reverence to God by only mentioning Him in respectful and honoring ways.
4) “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” We, as fragile humans, also need rest.
5) “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” This is a command to always treat your parents with honor and respect.
6) “You shall not murder.” This is a command against the premeditated murder of another human being.
7) “You shall not commit adultery.” This is a command against having sexual relations with anyone other than your spouse.
8) “You shall not steal.” This is a command against taking anything that is not your own, without the permission of the person to whom it belongs.
9) “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” This is a command prohibiting testifying against another person falsely. It is essentially a command against lying.
10) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” This is a command against desiring anything that is not your own. Coveting can lead to breaking one of the commandments listed above: murder, adultery, and theft. If it is wrong to do something, it is wrong to desire to do that same something.
Many people mistakenly look at the Ten Commandments as a set of rules that, if followed, will guarantee entrance into Heaven after death. But actually the Ten Commandments are to force us to realize that we cannot perfectly obey God's Law, and therefore we are in need of God’s Mercy and Grace. So how do we obtain that?
The Savior (Jesus) then appeared to Simon Peter and afterward to the 11 Apostles and others. “Peace be unto you,” He said. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” - Luke 24:36, 39
"So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us."
- Hebrews 6"18
I hope this message touched you in some way, if you're reading this and doubting Gods existence I want to tell you...God loves you and He sees you, He is waiting for you.