A TRAGIC TRADE
"When Paul and Barnabas finally realised what was going on, they stopped them. Waving their arms, they interrupted the parade, calling out, 'What do you think you're doing? We're not gods. We are men just like you, and we're here to bring you the Message, to persuade you to abandon these silly god-superstitions and embrace God Himself, the living God. We don't make God; He makes us, and all of this -- sky, earth, sea, and everything in them.'" Acts 14:14-15 (The Message).
O, what a message the world needs to hear! We don't make God; He makes us.
How can it be possible that millions of people have swallowed the lie that the universe came into being by sheer chance and that we can invent our own gods? Surely the wonder of creation itself should lead us to the Creator! Has anything that we use every day just happened -- motor vehicles, aircraft, great ocean liners, buildings, computers, cell phones; you name it -- it had to have a designer and a craftsman to fashion it.
Surely any rational and sane-thinking person must realise that there is no such thing as spontaneous change or interim stages in a creation of such complex and intricate function. If any component is missing in a machine, it will not work. Anything in a human body that malfunctions or is not there causes deformity and disease. A single extra chromosome is enough to produce Down's syndrome.
And what about the unity of creation? How can the entire created order function in such perfect harmony, even galaxies of stars millions of miles apart affecting each other, so that the universe has never gone haywire? Without the laws of nature, humans cannot harness the natural world for their benefit. Scientists could never have put men on the moon without them. The universe functions as one to reflect the perfect oneness of the God who created it.
And what of the gods humans have so cleverly invented? Does a single one of them come anywhere near the nature of the God who had revealed Himself in His Son? Can anyone think that up! We can only imagine what we know. Every god humans have ever invented is a taker, demanding, unpredictable and without love or justice.
Only the God of the Bible, who has revealed Himself to us in Jesus, is a gracious and generous giver and a perfectly righteous and just God. We only need to look at the cross to see love and justice coming together in perfect harmony so that God is free to forgive and restore everything humans have messed up by their irrational and rebellious independence.
We cannot hide behind the excuse that we did not know.
"But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate; as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being. So nobody has a good excuse." Romans 1:18-20 (The Message).
Why is the world like it is? We brought it on ourselves.
"What happened was this. People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat Him like God, refusing to worship Him, they trivialised themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in His hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside store." Romans 1:21-23 (The Message).
What a tragic trade! And what was the outcome?
"So God said, in effect, 'If that's what you want, that's what you get.' It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshipped the god they made instead of the God who made them -- the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!" Romans 1:24-25 (The Message).
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