Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Fickleness of the god-Makers

I'm not exactly sure how to pen this one, but I'm going to give it my best shot. There's a rich nugget of wisdom in here somewhere; no doubt many of them. If nothing else, one such nugget for me will be to remember to keep my eyes off people!
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It's amazing to me how ready are so many to name and claim their gods - - among them people who don't even believe in God. It's nothing new or radical, but it still baffles me when this or that person - or thing - is enthroned. I've done it myself, and I'm as baffled by my own buffoonery as theirs.
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So I'm reading along in the Book of Acts. I arrive at Chapter 14 and, Batman style, whammo!, I'm struck anew by the saga of how Paul and Barnabas were deified one day, vilified the next. And this by a crowd of both believers and non-believers! Why? Because they demonstrated supernatural power, and the people simply had to exalt them above the garden variety mortal.

When the crowd saw what Paul had done (healed a man that had been crippled since birth), they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

Now this didn't settle well with the aforementioned apostles. They certainly didn't see themselves as worthy of such acclaim. In fact, they were shocked (and hurt) to be singled out in this way, not to mention swift in setting the record straight!

But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.

Men ... mere mortals, like us! Really? Who knew? Who knows? And doesn't it have a familiar ring to it? Yes!
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In the Book of Revelation we hear an angel tellng the apostle John the very same thing during the exchange we read about in Chapter 22 (8-9): ... I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel ... but he said to me,"Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers ... and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"
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Seems angels want to set the record straight as well.
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The god-makers are thriving still. Today they continue to install the latest edition of super-mortal (or super-thing) to exalted status. Not much has changed, and it appears no amount of reasoning is going to disuade the practice. Seems people need their gods.
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Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
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Oh dear. When the masses tire of their self-proclaimed gods, danger is afoot. Watch out!

Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.
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From the pinnacles of acclaim to the open maw of death, how the gods do come and go. I suppose it's due largely to the fickleness of the god-makers themselves. Afterall, if their god doesn't behave in the prescribed manner (in this case, accepting worship), then they deserve dethroning, even death.
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The line between deification and vilification is paper thin, and oh-so dangerous.
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No matter how suave, or powerful - or even miraculous - are the evidences, may I never be inclined to bow at their/it's feet. Every man is but a mortal, like Paul and Barnabus; like me.
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As the mortal decreases, may He increase. To God alone be the glory!
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12 comments:

Runner Mom said...

Amen! To God be the glory! This was a fresh way for me to look at this scripture--Batman style! Love your creativeness!! I just recently read this in my yearly Bible.

I have to share with you that your post with Addison Road's You Tube was a part of our Worship at our Planning Retreat on Saturday. No one else had heard the song yet or seen it! The girls loved it!! So do I. I told them about your wonderful blog!! Thanks again for sharing your heart!
Hugs!
Susan

christy rose said...

OOOH Wow! So Good Sassy! "As the mortal decreases, may He increase." And increase He will shining His glory all the more! Praise God!

Terri Tiffany said...

This was great! I've never looked at it all that way--and you did a great job presenting it that way you did. I think that paper-thin line extends to many things in our lives as well--love and hate, and other emotions.

Beth E. said...

Wow...your posts are always awesome, Sassy. I can't add anymore, other than to say, AMEN!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I have spent the last 20 minutes catching up on your blog posts. I must tell you, that God used you to encourage me today and many days in my past. You have a definite grasp on God and His Grace. I learn from what you share,(ex.the threefold aka trio triune triplicate). That was so good!! I never stopped and thought about all of that before. Thank you for being avaiable to be used to bless so many of us.

Your new blog decor is beautiful!

KelliGirl said...

This is so good. It is such a flaw of human nature to create our own gods or elevate others to that position. Paul and Barnabas showed great wisdom when they threw off the title with disdain, instead of basking in the glory of their own "greatness."

I pray I have the wisdom to celebrate and honor the one true God. And to give Him the credit for any holiness that might come through me.

"To God alone be the glory!" Amen!

LisaShaw said...

And all I can say is preach on Sister Sassy Granny! You are all over the areas my husband and I speak about often and pray about even more than that for all of us in the body of Christ.

Simply put: idolatry. Elevating people to status' of gods when there is ONLY ONE GOD. He is the LORD!

I love you and I've missed visiting but had a wonderful time and still am with the LORD.

~*Michelle*~ said...

WOW.....that was awesome.

*picking jaw off keyboard*

Andrea said...

Amen! Amen! I am with you 110%!

There is only one God! And He alone is worthy!

I, too, become so frustrated when I see others glorifying man! It should not be, and I don't understand it, and I don't even like to be around those who do it.

May God help me. May God help them.

Awesome post, dear friend!

I pray the Lord Jesus Christ will fill you to overflowing with His precious peace and love today.

In Him,

Andrea

LisaShaw said...

I just wanted you to know this affected me so much I came back to glean one more time!

I love you.

a portland granny said...

Sometimes when I read your posts, they are almost too deep for this old brain of mine--so I don't comment but I read them well.

This is a good one and makes me think of current situation in our country. I'm afraid we have some God-makers in our midst....and its scary!

On a personal level, I think I need to examine those things in my life which I elevate where they do not belong!

Thanks for your deep wisdom in the sharing that you do with us.

I soooo appreciate you!

beBOLDjen said...

A thumbs up post. Lots to chew on as always! Thanks.