You are gods

What amazing power we humans have been given over all creation, to study it, to understand it, to master it, to use it, to help it, to destroy it. But even greater in the eyes of God than this dominion of our planet is our power to help or hurt those beings created in His own image - our fellow humans.

God spoke to his people Israel, reminding them of the power He had given them - the authority of gods - warning them of His judgment should they fail to use this power for that which it was intended.

God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
"How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I said, "You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince."

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!

And God will certainly rise and judge what we gods of earth have done. Every human is a being created in the image of God, and as such is a god on this earth, each entering this world with the gift of dominion, imbued with sublime power for good and evil, love and hate, help and harm. Life is not a game, an act, or a reality show. Life is real; life is short; life is serious. The things that happen in it, big and small, are significant. If we are to take this life we've been given and use it for what it is worth, it is inexpressibly important that this understanding, this sense of real power and real responsibility, permeate our souls. Consider it. Live it. We live this life as gods, bringing real pain and real healing wherever our feet carry us. We must determine which it will be. What will we take to the weak and needy among us? Will we bring them justice and kindness, or add to the weight of their suffering? What has our power done to our neighbors, our friends, our families, our enemies? What will we pass on to the next generation? What are we teaching our children to do with the dominion they've been given? Have we taught them the things that matter to the God who will hold us accountable for the influence we've been given? Have we taught them that their actions have the capacity to cause real pain, real harm, or to bring joy, delight, comfort and healing?

We who name the name of God will answer first for our treatment of the weak and needy, our justice for the helpless.What will He think of us? (See Mt. 25:31-46)


Anonymous said…
Great post, Laurie. It's sad, really, how easily we can get so wrapped up in technical theological discussions while we ignore the clear commands in Scripture to care for the weak and needy.

On a side note, the title of your post caught my eye because I'm teaching on John 10 in my Sunday School class tomorrow, and talking about Jesus quoting Psalm 82:6. It's an intriguing passage.
Laurie M. said…
Great timing then, Barry. Jesus' use of it is interesting, seeming to at once question their judgment of His claim of being the "Son of God" and bring to remembrance exactly what those called "gods" are supposed to be doing: "the works of God", carrying for the needy and weak, which was exactly what he was being criticized for doing. Such a deft use of Scripture...I suppose we should expect no less!
Hillary said…
THANK YOU for addressing this! This subject has been floating around in the back of my mind for some time and I really love what you've said. I am curious about one light of this Scripture and this post, how do you feel, or how would you feel, using the term 'goddess'?
Laurie M. said…
Hillary, that term is so loaded with pagan imagery that I wouldn't go there. I'm not all that comfortable even with going around saying "I am a god". Such language must be carefully guarded lest we lose the context, or mislead others as to our meaning. (I've heard this passage horribly abused by the likes of Ken Copeland.) I think of what Jesus said, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves." (Luke 22:25-26) Any power or authority we've been given carries with it the responsibility to serve.
Hillary said…
I agree. I just wondered because I've heard of some Christians wanting to "reclaim" the words and wanted your view. Great post!

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