I know people who believe God created the world and then washed His hands of it. I’ve always been told this belief is called Deism, that God is distant and impersonal and unreachable and that He has no interest in participating in our puny, little lives.
To those who are Deists, I really encourage them to actually study the Bible. Every story in the Bible demonstrates that God not only created the world but that He loves it too–enough to intervene its its affairs daily . . . on an extremely personal basis.
Like today’s verse, Psalm 116:1-2.
1 I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
2 Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!
Sorry but that doesn’t sound like a distant, uncaring, impersonal God to me.
I mean, if God didn’t care about us on a personal level, that would be completely understandable. Actually, it would make more sense. Because, seriously, God shouldn’t have anything to do with us. The difference between us and God isn’t just like the difference between a flea and a stray dog . . . it’s more like the difference between a flea and a dog-catcher. God is so high above us, so far beyond our understanding, it really doesn’t make sense that He would love us enough to care about our day-to-day troubles.
But the Bible says He does.
And if you haven’t read the Bible, how can you hope to know anything about God?
It’s a bad example, but think about how children love to talk to adults. Children love to tell adults things about their lives. I’ve never had a conversation with a child where that kid didn’t get super excited when I showed an interest in the things they cared about. And when I bend down to speak to a child on their level, that kid lights up and can talk my ear off for hours. It’s not that I can’t hear them when I’m standing up straight; I usually can. But have you ever tried to talk to someone much taller than you? It’s very frustrating because you can’t tell if they’re actually listening. So when I’m talking to a kid, I usually get down on my knees or try to get on their level so they can see that I really care about what they’re saying.
Don’t you think that’s how God is sometimes? Can’t you just see Him bending down to hear us talking? He probably smiles and nods a lot. And He listens. But He doesn’t just listen, He hears. And most of the time, He goes out of His way to make sure we know that He heard, whether it’s through an answer to prayer or one of those surprise occurences that remind us He’s there. But do you think He actually needed to send Jesus to Earth to hear us? No. God hears everything. But He wanted someone on our level–someone we could understand, someone who had lived everything we had lived–to demonstrate His great love for us.
It would have been enough for God to create us. It would have been enough for Him to send Jesus to die. It would have been enough for Him to offer us forgiveness. Even if He had done all that and still not cared enough about us to seek friendship with us, it would have been enough.
But then why would He create us in the first place?
A relationship with God through Jesus doesn’t just save us from eternal separation, it saves us from loneliness. More than anything, God wants to have a relationship with us. He wants to know us personally.
Do I understand that? No. If I were God, I wouldn’t want anything to do with me. But that’s what the Bible says, and I believe the Bible.
So I’m thankful. Because salvation would be empty without a God to love. Maybe I’d get my fire insurance, but if God wasn’t there to help me survive this broken life on earth, what good is living?