After studying Psalm 2 over the last week or so and seeing a very different picture of who God is than the get-a-long with everyone God that I often want him to be, I have been asking questions about what it means to make God in my image.
Really, to be honest, I am asking question about how I myself make God in my image. When I am scared, I want him to fix my problem immediately. When I want to be in control, I expect him to do exactly what I ask. When I treasure my sin an wallow in it, I want him to smile and wink and say something like "Let's not make a fuss about that." I often expect him to be like I can when other people sin against me: self-righteous and angry to the point of secretly hoping that someone pays for their sin.
But, the God who made us in his image is different than the image I make of him.
He is far less agreeable to me than I want him to be and far more loving than I expect. If God agreed with everything we thought we wouldn't rage, but we wouldn't worship either.
In Psalm 2 verses 1-3 the "nations" and their rulers are described as being enraged. A cold, calculating rage that drives them to be antagonistic to the Lord and his anointed King. (At the time of the writing of the Psalm, it was the king on Israel's throne, but that king always represented and pointed forward to the True and Better King, Jesus.) They saw the Lord as oppressive in his ways and repressive in his standard of life. There was no convincing them that real life, real joy was found in the Lord's way of living. They couldn't and wouldn't believe it. So they wanted to throw off the perceived shackles of his oppression and search for life their way. The best possible life they could find apart from God.
We are not so different. It is too easy to believe that God just wants to be the Cosmic Killjoy trying to take from us what we enjoy in order to make is boring (and bored) people who are quiet and submissive. The lie the enemy of our souls tells us is that God is holding back from us, keeping all the joy and pleasure to himself while we are made to dutifully be good little boys and girls.
The "nations" and the kings of Psalm 2 could not imagine a deeper joy or greater pleasures other than what they knew. They could not imagine that the way they were rejecting was really where they would find their deepest life and the fullness of joy. (see Psalm 16:11; Matthew 11:28-30)
Like me, my friends often make God in their own image saying things like "If he is loving he must be___________" or "I cannot imagine a God who would ____________." We have this thought that God should be in our likeness...agreeable to us.
We want the God we create in our mind to be like us. We want God to be a god who never disagrees with us, but only always gives us a thumbs up.
But what if...track with me for just a few sentences longer...what if it is better that God is more like himself than he is like us? What if there are times when he disagrees with us? What if he desires to reshape us to make us more like Him rather than leave us in the shape we feel good about?
How about last thoughts on this and you can go back to your life: Do we want a God who agrees with us on everything? Or do we want our God who loves us enough to tell us where were wrong?
I am grateful for a God who shows people grace by revealing that he is different than we want him to be.