Dennis Green, the former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, after a devastating lose (by one point) in 2006 in a game in which his team led 23-3, went ballistic in the post-game press conference, unleashing a profanity-laced tirade in response to a reporter’s question. One of the most famous lines from the press conference, which he repeated several times, his voice getting louder with each repetition was they are what we thought they were! His tirade has gone down in NFL lore as one of the great coaching meltdowns of all time.
They are what we thought they were.
That statement is true in life. People often live up (or down) to what or who we think they are.
The same cannot be said of God.
Paraphrasing Dennis Green, God is not who you think He is.
Too often we picture God as some kind of super human. Like a super hero. Human, just bigger and better than the rest of us.
That’s not who God is.
Although the Bible speaks of God in human terms – His strong right hand, His eyes, His face etc., God is not human. In speaking of God this way, the Bible is using language that we understand. It’s so we can, in some way, know something about a Being who is so unlike us that we would never be able to comprehend Him otherwise.
In every way that you can think of, God is different from us. Theologians use the term wholly other, because that is what/who God is; He is totally different from us.
The only way that we can understand anything about God is through His revelation of Himself in creation (Romans 1:19-20), in His Son (Colossians 1:15), and in the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). Without His revelation of Himself we could not know God.
But getting back to Who God is.
The danger of thinking that God is basically like us is that we don’t take Him seriously.
We think that it’s OK if we tell a little white lie, so it must be OK with God. We think that a little profanity is not too bad so God must think the same thing. We think that it won’t hurt if we neglect reading the Bible, prayer or going to church, so God will understand.
In so many ways, sometimes without even thinking, we reason that if we can bring God down to our level it will make our decisions and our actions OK.
But it won’t.
In Psalm 50, God rebuked Israel for their sin and said: You thought that I was altogether like you (Psalm 50:21). In other words, they thought that if they could rationalize their sin certainly God would understand. We’re the same. He’s just like us. They didn’t understand that God is different, especially when it comes to sin.
Understanding that God is not only different from us, but He is above us, higher than us, more complex than us, will go a long way in helping us take God, and what He says seriously.
We’re not dealing with a super hero here; we’re dealing with G.O.D.
We underestimate Who He is to our own detriment.
Stay in the Word