GOD IN THE MIRROR?
What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
You hate my instruction
and cast my words behind you.
When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
You speak continually against your brother
and slander your own mother’s son.
These things you have done and I kept silent;
you thought I was altogether like you.
But I will rebuke you
and accuse you to your face.
The psalmist (Asaph) points to the sins of those who claim to be followers of God’s way but live their lives in sin. They are hypocrites. They recite God’s laws and speak of his covenant with them. Yet they have no interest in God’s words. They want to go their own way. They steal, commit adultery, lie, and slander. These hypocrites do all these things thinking they will not be judged yet God says he will rebuke and accuse them. Why do they think they can get away with ignoring God’s word and living any way they want to live? What is behind such foolish behavior? Asaph hits the proverbial nail on the head in verse twenty one: You thought I was altogether like you.
If you think about it, that is the kind of thinking behind all kinds of sin. People don’t think they were made in the image of God. Instead, they make God in their own image. They think, “God is just like me! Surely he won’t judge me for doing what I like to do? God wants me to be happy! He wants me to enjoy my life!”
People are always attaching their own values and standards to God. “What kind of God would allow little children to starve to death in Darfur?” Inherent in that statement is this: “If I were God I would do a much better job than he is doing.” The very same person might say, “God wouldn’t want me to have this baby. I’m just too busy right now to have a baby and it wouldn’t be fair to the baby or to me!” God’s word and his commands have no place in such thinking. God will just have to understand!
God is not like us! God is completely other from us! The biggest mistake we could ever make is to think God is altogether like us. When we begin thinking that God thinks like we think or feels like we feel or shares our values and standards then we will be giving ourselves a green light to do whatever it is that we want to do. And then we will expect God to understand and give us a break, because that’s what we would do. We will expect God to grade on a curve. We will expect him to open heaven to us because we know a lot of people who are much worse than we are. That won’t happen. God says it himself through Asaph, I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face. There will be a lot of surprised people when they discover God is not altogether like them!