Can a Man Mock God?
By: Jim O'Brien
Job was at the lowest point of his life. In addition to the loss of his children and the loss of wealth, he was afflicted with terrible sores. If it could be worse his friends came to tell him that God had cursed him for good reason.
Job challenged that judgment by asking, "Will you speak wickedly on God's behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him?" (Job 13:7) The King James Version interprets that as asking, "Will you mock God?" (verse 9). In other words, "Will you turn His words into something He does not intend to say?"
King David asked much the same question in the Psalms when he pleaded, "Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long." (Psalm 74.22)
Those scriptures came to mind this week when it was reported that Pope Francis shocked the world and traditional Catholics by declaring that God made homosexuals the way they are. Without parsing words the Pope went on to say that God approves of homosexual behavior.
Columnist Patrick Buchanan wrote, "That joking retort we heard as children, 'Is the Pope Catholic?' is starting to look like a serious question."
A few years ago former President Jimmy Carter declared that if Jesus were here today He would approve of homosexuals.
These statements by religious and national leaders strike at the heart of both our country and religion. One leg of the Judeo Christian ethic is law. When God led Israel out of bondage to Egypt He did something unique in the history of man. God spoke the Ten Commandments to three million people gathered in the desert.
It is important to note that God referred to the Law as the Testimony. We use that term in legal matters to refer to events we have witnessed. "I saw it with my own eyes!" In other words, God is a witness from an eternity of history about what comprises justice.
To change God's testimony to say something He never intended it to say is to mock God.
What is the purpose of law?
It does more than govern behavior, else there would not be so many people in jail. Law defines who we are as a people. For example, some nations don't allow women to vote, drive a car or hold a passport. They are misogynist (hate woman). Some countries don't allow citizens to own private property. They are communists. They're also poor.
Laws are a primary factor to determine how long a civilization will last. Bad laws inevitably lead to revolutions. The United States has the longest running continuous government in the world, which testifies to the profound wisdom of the founders.
What happens when leaders inherit good laws and won't enforce them?
A pundit recently wrote "If a state, or nation, has laws it will not enforce for political reasons, it mocks both the law and politics, to say nothing of the cultural order. If the language of laws has no meaning other than what lawmakers assign to them after a law is enacted, it is proof that we have arrived in a kind of legal "Wonderland" in which Alice is told by Humpty Dumpty, When I use a word ... it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less. To which Alice responds, The question is ... whether you can make words mean so many different things.
Is Humpty Dumpty sitting in the Judges seat? Does he occupy the seats of Congress? Is he in the pulpits?
At the core of our national crisis is a disrespect of law. If religious leaders taught obedience to God's Law, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess. Rather than blame blasphemers, atheists and pagans for the shape the country is in, maybe Christians and Jews ought to look at our own houses of worship. After all, over 70 percent of this country is Christian. If Christians upheld the Law of God maybe we could require Congress to uphold the laws of our nation.
At the core of law is God. Law stretches back to God for the right to exist. It looks for a moral basis on which to rest. It transcends temporal desires of politicians. In the end good laws make for a great civilization. As Moses said to Israel "What other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?" (Deuteronomy 4:8 NIV).
If Job were alive today he might ask our religious leaders, "Will you speak wickedly for God, And talk deceitfully for Him?...can you mock Him as one mocks a man? (Job 13:7-9 NKJV)
Until next time,
Pastor, Church of God Cincinnati
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