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October 27, 2008

God, or your God?

Moses_with_tablets I'm always fascinated by the conversations in the Bible between prophets or leaders, like Moses and Jeremiah, and the people who relied on them to act as a go-between with the Almighty.  Frequently these exchanges include something like this:

THE PEOPLE: Pray to the Lord your God on our behalf.

THE PROPHET: Okay, I will pray to the Lord your God.

It's as if the people believed that the prophets and leaders had an exclusive inside track with God, while the prophets continually tried to remind the people that the Almighty was the God of all the people, not just the well connected.

In her book, No Other Gods, which talks about the modern day idols that turn our attention away from the only God we should be serving, Kelly Minter talks about this issue of "your God."

"I am the LORD your God." It is the core of our beliefs, the essential resolve from which Christianity stems. Without this fundamental starting point--the Lord is God--our belief system loses its backbone. If he is not actually God, or if what he proclaims is not truth, we have nothing on which to stand. Yet this opening line of the Ten Commandments serves as more than just a proclamation of God's deity, as that could be said as "I am the Lord God." But an additional word is written, one that takes his unattainable God-ness and endearingly personalizes it, making it "I am the LORD your God." It's the one word that changes everything, the word that brings what could have been a faceless God into a reachable One, the word that sparks the question, "Is he God, or is he your God?"

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Not two days ago I listened again to Michael Card's "Know You In The Now", in which he sings:

We should confess
We lose You in our busyness
We've made You in our image
So our faith's idolatry

That arresting thought is, I think, worthy of serious consideration. Thanks for the link to the book, Kristine; I'll check it out.

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