John T. Willis

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Human Beings Parading as Gods--This is a Heart Issue

Throughout history, human beings enter into life, and when they become adults for some reason at some point in their lives that they look on themselves as gods. This can happen on any level. People can think of themselves as gods because of their power, their intellectual capacity, their demeanor, their persuasion over other people, their reputation, their apparent fearlessness, etc.

I. In the Bible, there are several examples of people who assumed that they are gods.
    a. The King of Babylon. Isaiah 13:1-14:27 contains a long oracle announcing the fall of Babylon to the Medo-Persians (see Isaiah 13:17-19). Isaiah 14:13-14 describes the attitude of the King of Babylon [in this context this may mean Nebuchadrezzar II]:
         "You said in your heart,
              'I will ascend to heaven,
           I will raise my throne
              above the stars of God;
           I will sit on the mount of assembly
              on the heights of Zaphon;
           I will ascend on the tops of the clouds,
              I will make myself like the Most High.'"
This king thought of himself as EQUAL WITH GOD HIMSELF. But God soon overthrew him and cast him into THE PIT, that is, the grave.
    b. The Prince of Tyre. Ezekiel 27-28 contain a lengthy series of oracles about the fall of Tyre under the invasion of Babylon in 573 BCE. Among other things, Ezekiel 28:2, 6-7 contains these words:
         "Thus says the Lord God:
              Because your heart is proud
                 and you have said, 'I AM A GOD;
              I SIT IN THE SEAT OF THE GODS,
                 in the heart of the seas.' . . .
           Therefore thus says the Lord God:
              Because you compare your mind
                  with the mind of A GOD,
               therefore I will bring strangers against you,
                   the most terrible of the nations;
               they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom
                   and defile your splendor."
       c. Herod. Acts 12:21-23 narrate this picture of Herod when Peter was in prison in Jerusalem:
            "On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and delivered a public address to them. The people kept shouting, 'THE VOICE OF A GOD, AND NOT OF A MORTAL!' And immediately because he had not given the glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died."
In more recent times, we can easily think of Octavius, Alexander the Great, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, and many others.

II. Why do people think of themselves as GODS? Here are some obvious suggestions.
     a. Some people want to be in control of other people. If a person is not in control, he or she just cannot survive in life. This happens with kings, university presidents, elders, mothers, fathers, preachers, CEOs, and the like.
     b. Some people are very insecure. To compensate for their insecurity, they try to prove themselves in one way or another by pretending to be like a GOD.
     c. Pride motivates all of us to gain notoriety and fame. If one does not turn to God as the only Creator and Sustainer and Leader in the world, he/she will trust in himself/herself socially, religiously, politically, and in every other way.
     d. Failure and Fear are great motivations. When we fail or when we are afraid about important issues in our hearts, we compensate by asserting that we are superior, we think we are GODS. This leads us to think and speak and act in very ungodly ways.

This is a huge issue. This just touches the tip of the iceberg. Think of YOUR OWN feelings and perceptions of this concept.

Share YOUR ideas and feelings and holdbacks and experiences and failures with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

1 Comments:

  • Dr. Willis,
    Good to see you posting again after a brief hiatus. I have a question, a bit off topic, regarding the Prince of Tyre. Ezekiel's description of him doesn't seem to fit a man (in the garden of Eden, anointed cherub) or Satan (you are a man, you shall die the death of the uncircumcised). Is it possible that the Prince was a man, possessed by Satan himself? Or could this be a case of dual fulfillment? Something else?

    By Blogger cozy cottonboo, at 2:49 PM  

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