No one can escape the truth. We are, by nature, fashioned to understand and respond to the truth. Whether we want to admit or not, we know this is a good thing. It points to the high order of life which God has given us.
“God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods.. . . I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.” (Ps.82:1&6) The 82nd Psalm was written as an admonition to the children of Israel. Man has divine origin not only because he is derived from God in creation, but because man shares in divinity. When man was created, he was made like God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen.1:27) God creating an image of Himself would be similar to man making a statue of himself. This is a feeble comparison, but the idea of making an image is true. On God’s plane of wisdom and love, the image He made was not done in futility, conceit, or some artistic reverie. He created an image of Himself so we might live in the glory of our Father’s goodness. Ultimately, we are made to be His children, not in a figure of speech but in the reality of His creation.
We see, in God’s conversation with Cain, a measure of god-like awareness and capability. . .
- Gen. 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
- 7 “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Cain was accountable for doing well. This implies God did not leave him in the dark with regard to obligation; God communicated His will. It further indicates Cain understood what God wanted. Cain and his sacrifice were rejected because he failed to do well. This points to the fact; Cain’s will was inviolate, he exercised it according to his desire. God reasoned with Cain in the aftermath of this failure. This at once denotes God’s kindness to work with Cain and Cain’s capacity to recognize the issue, repent and do the right thing. The ability to choose and be accountable, the ability to understand and respond, having the capacity to learn and repent are markers of being made in the image of God.
There is harmony inherent to being “gods.” Our frame and capacity are as God has created. Therefore “. . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10-11) Even the lost are in harmony (from a certain point of view) because all have the means to know God and agree with Him. For those who haven’t repented, the potential for salvation lends itself to a certain harmony. It is harmonious with God because it justifies the reason for the lost to exist. The very command to repent substantiates time and place for mankind. Therefore “every tongue should confess. . .”
Jesus taught of a certain rich man who died and was in torments; “. . .he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Lk.16:24) Removed from this earthly domain of the Evil One, he was stripped of the capacity for deception. There was no talking back, no whining about the injustice of God. He was in perfect agreement concerning his station. He didn’t argue about the absence of comfort forthcoming. He knew the righteousness of God. This idea is amplified by his fervent desire that his brothers should be saved. (Do the lost in hades want the gospel to be preached? I think so.) “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’” (Lk.16:27-28) He was created to receive this reality; what God had established through Moses and the prophets was enough to convict his brothers. The rich man was in absolute harmony with God, and learned a thing or two in his state of torment. His was not a coerced acceptance, his was an acceptance based on complete awareness, an awareness he could have sufficiently possessed through faith on earth. He was a god.
As shown by Jesus, the brothers of the rich man could have learned. Jesus didn’t tell us their outcome. However, it makes us aware. On earth we can put a veil over our ability to know and walk with God. We can give in to deception. We can live a lie, if that is what we want. Here we can choose; the truth or the lie. In the grave and beyond we will wear the outcome of our choice in harmony with our Creator. We are gods. We can know the truth, and we will know the truth.
- [A Psalm of Asaph] God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods.
- How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
- Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
- Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.
- They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
- ¶ I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.
- But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.”
- Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations. (NKJV)
I am an evangelist sent out by the Old Lamine church of Christ, which meets about 3 miles north of Lamine, Missouri.