Remaking God in Our Image
Title: Remaking God in Our Image
Reading for April 28: 2 Kings 20-22
He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
2 Kings 21:6
In a recent lesson I listened to, the following statement was made about why God condemns people to eternal torment. The preacher said: “Hell is not a place that God sends people to that he’s mad at. Hell is the place where people choose to pay their own bill.”
I can understand why people would like to believe in a God like this. We don't like to think of God as ever being angry. We would rather not think of him being a consuming fire or being full of wrath against sin. We would like to think of him as a kind, grandfather type; something like a super powerful, cosmic Santa Claus, who loves to give us gifts.
That's not God... not the God of the Bible. That's an idol. And God hates idolatry because of what it does to us. Idolatry turns the process of transformation into reverse: instead of being shaped by a holy God, we shape God into our image. As a result we’re no better off than when we started. We might strive to be a better version of our old selves, but in the end nothing has fundamentally changed about us. It is the worship of self.
Never settle for a watered down version of God. Do not be deceived by the idol makers of our age. True transformation can only come when one comes to know the fullness and the depth and the complexity and the transcendence of the One who is described in Isaiah as the “Holy One of Israel.”
“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Eph 5:5-6
Holy, holy, holy God! We tremble before you! Help us to see your wrath! Help us to appreciate your love and grace! Help us to know that only by your grace can we be made pure and holy!