Is God Like Us?

28 Jan 2010

With another Australia Day, we hear another round of calls for a head of state just like us: not advantaged by birth, but instead a citizen like the rest of us, and chosen by us. With this societal view we could be tempted to feel that God ought to be the same, with the same rights and values as ourselves.

This attitude of a “God like us”, is perhaps exemplified in the 1986 film, “Crocodile Dundee”. The Mick Dundee character spoke of his view of God, “I read The Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were all fishermen, just like me. Yeah, straight to heaven for Mick Dundee. Yep, me and God, we'd be mates.” He was comfortable and proud of what he was, and assumed that meant that God would be happy with it too.

In the Psalms, this very attitude is condemned. Psalm 50 depicts the power and authority of God as far above ours, and by extension also his rights.

Psalm 50:1: The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken, And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth ... 11. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. 12. If I were hungry I would not tell you, For the world is Mine, and all it contains. NASB

He then goes on to explain how there are people that he defines as wicked. There isn't a democratic process is determining what is right of wrong, as to God the wicked are people who don't respect and obey his words. One key element in the behaviour of the wicked is that they pictured that God was just like them, one of their mates, and respecting their views,

Psalm 50:16: But to the wicked God says, What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth? 17. For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you. ... 21. These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes. NASB

There's a strong temptation for us to try to build our God in our own image. We determine what we think is right and good, and then apply those qualities to the God we have in our minds. To complete this into a circle of false logic, we then note that this God has the same views as us, and so feel we must be accepted by him.

The Bible demonstrates that God isn't like us. When comparing between a president or a king, God is much more the king. He inherently has rights and powers that we don't have. By virtue of being the creator, he even has ownership over us, and the world. In Psalm 2:11, we read that even kings ought to “Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.” We can't afford to treat God in the same way our culture would treat its rulers. God has promised the world his kingdom, and not his republic.