Which god?    God or god?

“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

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The “god” Of Power

December 3, 2011

Yes - the "god" of power -

not the power of God.

“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’"

The quote is from Jesus - in Matthew 22:37, in response to a question from the Pharisees about what is the greatest commandment. Here's the entire sequence -

The Greatest Commandment

Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

With all your heart - soul - and mind.
That's a lot.
That's pretty much everything.

But what about when things happen?

Things like -

More than 100,000 homes still in the dark in Southern California

as reported in a story on msnbc.com.

What are we doing with our hearts, souls and minds at this point?

I was hoping for power.
It was dark - and cold.
I was hoping for light and warmth.
The kind that comes from having electricity.

But then -
we do have a gas stove - so we could cook and heat water -
we do have candles and flashlights -
we do have cell phones, so we can tell what's happening -
we do have a fireplace and wood, so we can stay warmer in at least that room -
so it wasn't so bad -
not so bad that we needed God to "save" us from what was happening.

But we still wanted the power to come back quickly -
the god of power to return.

It's a pain - not having power.

But as soon as we say that - we realize that electricity is relatively new -
for most of the time that people have been on the earth -
there was so such thing as electricity.
But now that we have it - we want it - all the time.

So what about the Amish people -
we talked about them that night -
they could have it -
but choose not to -
so they can stay closer to God.

The lights are back now - for us.
For many people around here - they aren't - more than 48 hours later.

I'm not advocating not using electricity -
I still like having the light and the warmth -
but it does give pause -
makes one think about this god of power - versus the power of God.

I was curious to see what kind of comments people would have about this story on MSNBC. Here's a few of them that were recently posted as of the time I'm writing -

Of course there are 100,000 homes in the dark in the LA area. Liberals/progressives live their lives in the dark. Had nothing to do with wind.

Sorry - not everyone out here is a liberal / progressive. Dangerous assumption to make. And then that leads to a possibly more dangerous conclusion. No - it's better to not make either type of statement.

It takes a mighty closed mind to judge 100,000 people that you don't know. Talk about living in the dark!

Obviously - I agree. Hopefully this person is also praying for God to open the heart of the person making the first comment.

The Day when the Son of Man returns shall be much darker.

So true - and isn't that what really matters.

The rest really wasn't fit to mention.

Having said all of this - we did actually get to witness the power of God -
even though we slept through it.

When we woke up in the morning - there was a tree in the back yard.

That tree was is the neighbors yard the previous evening.


It was huge -
a giant oak tree -
pretty much filled up our entire back yard.

What it didn't do was hit my shed -
or hit the house -
or hit any of the dogs -
or hit us.

It just pretty much filled up everything in the back yard without hitting anything.

Now we're thinking about the power of God -
and thanking Him that no one was hurt.

And so - tomorrow - it's off to Home Depot to get a chainsaw.

Most of the tree has been removed -
just the trunk and the limbs left .
Time to turn them into firewood.

Then we can have some more light -
to consider The Light -
the Light of the world.

We went out to go shopping tonight -
saw quite a few places where they still don't have any power.

Don't know why some people never lost theirs -
why some of us got it back an about 24 hours -
why some won't get it back for another few days.

Don't know why some people didn't have any damage at all -
why some of us had some - but not too bad -
why some had cars and houses destroyed.

When Job lost his house - his animals - his children -
we see his response in Job 1:20-22 -

Job 1:20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Job 1:22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

And that pretty much says it all.

It really isn't always for us to know why.

It is for us to know that no matter what happens -

“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

So yes - I have to cut up the wood -
I have to repair the damage done to the yard and the plants when the tree fell -
but those were things from the Lord -
and they were taken by the Lord.
But they were - in the end - things.

It could have been worse.
we could have lost one of our "kids" - one of the dogs.
I'd like to think I'd remember this conversation between Job and his wife after things got worse for him -

Job 2:9 His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
Job 2:10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

After all of Jobs trials -
after listening to his friends tell him what they thought he had done wrong -
and after his refusal to curse God -
we see what God did for Job -

Job 42:10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.

In the worst case scenario - when people are hurt or killed -
one would like to think that we - as Christians - remember this as well.

Of course - Job is from the Old Testament. God's reward for us may not be in this lifetime. But as Christians - the reward we hope for is in the next - and that will certainly be even better than one could imagine - even compared to Job.

So why do these things happen -
and why do some people suffer more than others when they do?

Who knows - certainly not me.
Not the person who says that only liberals live in California.
But God knows.
And He allows it to happen for a reason -
just one that we don't know.

But that doesn't mean there isn't something for us to learn.

In my case - I thought it was probably not just coincidence that my wife and I were talking about lights - heat - electricity -- things that were relatively recent inventions that people didn't have for a long time and that some (like the Amish) still choose to avoid. And then the rest followed.

So for me -
the lesson seems to be a question of "which god" -

the god of power - the "god" of electricity --
or the power of God - the God of The Bible?

How about you?